Should women eat more often to balance hormones?
There is a big trend in the health and fitness world to do intermittent fasting, or eating only during a short window during the day. There are also conflicting ideas about eating only 3 larger meals per day, or eating smaller meals and having regular snacks. One of the biggest reasons for this conflict of information comes down to one big thing: gender.
Men and women regulate hormones differently in their bodies, and it’s no secret that women have a harder time losing weight because of it. So much of the marketing geared towards women promises fast results, and some women actually lose noticeable weight fast…but it comes right back on and then some when they go off of whatever product or crash diet they were trying.
This is because women’s hormone balance, specifically the amounts of progesterone, ghrelin, cortisol, and leptin, need constant nourishing fuel to send signals to the woman’s body that she’s safe, not under threat of starvation, and does not need to store excess fat.
Constant fuel? Yes. Women should have smaller meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain energy and good hormone balance. In this way, you can remain satisfied and not feel like you’re starving, while your body heals and naturally reduces the amount of stored fat.
The best meals and snacks contain some of each of the macronutrients. This means you should be getting protein, carbohydrate, and fat each time you eat.
Some of the best combinations are fruit and cheese, sushi with fatty fish, or a salad with your favorite kind of meat. The trick is to not overdo it. Eat healthfully until you are no longer hungry, then stop and save the rest for later. Eating until you feel full usually means that you’ve eaten a bit too much at that sitting, so try to avoid that feeling. It can take some getting used to in our culture, where more is regarded as better. In this case though, smaller bites throughout the day can lead to better health and a better body.