For the last week I’ve played with my diet to see what works in minimizing my menopause symptoms and it’s looking like a strict ketogenic diet is the way to go. When I say strict, I’m talking about reducing both my carbs and protein intake while increasing healthy dietary fat.
However, there are a few other changes I’m making to my diet and lifestyle that will go into my March 30-Day Keto Challenge. I’ve been easing into those changes in February so it isn’t such a shock to my system, but they are significant.
Dot’s New Macros*
As for calculating my macronutrients, there are a lot of good ketogenic macro calculators online (here and here). I’m a fan of nutritionist Maria Emmerich and after listing to a podcast of her answer questions about keto and menopause I decided to go with her calculator.
- Daily Calories – 1706 kcal
- Daily Macros (calories/grams/ounces)
- Fat – 80% (1346.4 kcal/151.6g)
- Protein – 17% (290 kcal/72.5g/10 ounces)
- Carbohydrates – 3% (51.2 kcal/12.8g)
Over the last five years anytime I needed to change my macros there was always an adjustment period. While my brain and satiety hormone (leptin) told me one thing (“You don’t need that much food anymore”), my eyes shouted something else (“That’s too little!”).
Right on cue my eyes are telling me I’m eating too little protein and vegetables. But my stomach and energy levels tell a different story. It really is a case of not believing my lying eyes.
*Note: The macros listed above are specific to me and based on my information and not meant as medical advice. If you want to try a ketogenic diet, make sure you consult with your doctor first to see if it is right for you.
What I’m Eating
Here’s a quick list of what I’m choosing to eat:
- Meat, fish & eggs
- Pasture raised
- Wild caught
- Hormones & antibiotic free
- Organ meat (at least once a week)
- No nuts, nut flours, seeds or psyllium
- No alcohol
- Dairy limited to butter, ghee & goat cheese only
- Fruit limited to avocado & tomato
There are three specific areas where I’m shaking up my regular LCHF diet. For the time being I’m my beloved macadamia nuts are off my menu. They’ve become a daily habit and while the fat is healthy the carb count is too high.
Dairy, except for butter, ghee and goat cheese, is next on my hit list. I’m trying to reduce the amount of sugar and carbs in my daily diet. I’m consuming 5-6g a day in milk sugar from creams, cow cheese and yogurt. Those sugars make up half my new daily carb intake. Yikes!
Finally I’m cutting out wine. Of all the things I consume this is the biggest offender when it comes to triggering hot flashes and insomnia. Hmmm…a glass of wine followed by the sensation of your body set on fire on and off for hours OR a good night’s sleep? A no brainer!
I’ve been working on most of the following changes, but not all are ingrained habits just yet.
- Eight hours of sleep a night
- Morning exercise (to take advantage of high cortisol levels)
- No eating 3 hours before bed (interferes with release of the growth hormone)
- Practice mindfulness 5-10 minutes each morning (reduce stress)
- Daily intermittent fasting (eating hours Noon – 7:00 pm)
While the challenge officially begins March 1, I’ve already started to some extent, especially with the lifestyle changes. For the rest of February we’re going through our remaining cheese, nuts and non-challenge approved cuts of meat.