I am beyond excited to feature a guest post today, by my good friend and “gorgeous” best-selling author Esther Blum, RD, of Living Gorgeous. Esther and I have been friends since her first book, Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous came out years ago, and over the years it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow in her influence and impact.
Her most recent book, Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat, just came out last week and I couldn’t be happier to get this exclusive post from her for JillFit readers. A lot about female hormones, carbs and how to know if a Paleo approach is right for you. As you know, at JillFit, we believe that each person has to approach fat loss in their own unique way–and also not be miserable–and Esther’s approach falls in line with that.
Great info here, take it away Esther!
Hi Gorgeous Girls,
I just released my fourth book, Cavewomen Don’t Gat Fat, and I could not be more excited! No pun intended here, but it’s been quite an evolution ;-). It took me quite awhile to return to my Paleo roots, and now that I have, I’ve finally found what works for me.
Funnily enough, I cringed when my agent pitched the idea of writing a diet book to me—especially since my last three books were all non-diet books. I’ve never liked diets, mostly because they always left me feeling hungry and deprived. And I’ve never figured out how to reconcile eating “diet food” with leading a balanced life. Sound familiar?
So I created my Paleo Chic Plan—the ultra modern version of the Paleo Diet—that is specifically tailored to the nutritional, hormonal, and real world needs of women like you and me. Most diets take a one-size-fits-all approach; mine provides you with a template and enables you to custom-tailor that template to your unique needs.
One question I always get asked is:
“But how do I know if the Paleo diet is right for me?”
If the Paleo plan deviates significantly from the way you usually eat, then it won’t be sustainable and you’ll go back to your old ways.
In fact, a lot of women shy away from the Paleo way of eating because they cringe at the thought of giving up carbs. The fact is, when you laterally switch out protein in place of carbs, your hunger levels will be kept in check. Most women own up to snarfing down a bag of chips or a sleeve of cookies, but I’ve yet to hear tales of any woman bingeing out on a steak!
So my Paleo Chic plan takes into account women’s hormonal needs and supplies readers with tricks on eating carbs that can actually boost your results, keep you feeling full, and help you start shedding those stubborn pounds. Here are some insights you might be interested to know re: women, carbs & fat loss:
Every woman has a unique tolerance to carbs.
Try reducing your carbs for 2 weeks, which will clean up metabolic clutter, reset your body’s sensitivity to carbs, and lower your insulin levels. Then try reintroducing 1 complex starch ½ cup serving a week to find your unique carb tolerance. You can do this until your body fat percentage goal is reached.
Eating a single cheat meal with carbs once a week can help with fat loss.
This will help you lose weight by resetting your body’s leptin levels. Dieting can lower your leptin levels (leptin regulates appetite and hunger), and severely limiting your carbohydrates for more than a couple weeks can raise your cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone). A cheat meal boosts your metabolism and resets your leptin levels so the body does not think it’s starving. Plus, it will keep you psychologically fulfilled and allow you to enjoy your favorite carbs on occasion.
Women can eat more carbs the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle, when insulin sensitivity is greatest.
Estrogen production is on the upswing, which improves insulin sensitivity and retains muscle mass, which means you’re likely to burn, rather than store, fat during this two-week cycle.
Women who lift heavy weights can improve their tolerance to carbs.
Lifting heavy weights improves insulin sensitivity and can effectively mobilize fat stores. Eating carbs within a 30-minute window of your workout will spike insulin levels and ultimately raise growth hormone, which builds muscle. Increased muscle mass can improve insulin sensitivity and put you in a fat-burning, rather than a fat-storing, state.
Esther’s new book, “Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat” is out now! Lots of awesome info on female hormones, how to incorporate healthy carbs and lose fat, while also not being miserable! Get the book here! Highly recommend :) Ox, Jill