Episode 10: PCOS Basics Part 2 – Success Boosters
Hello ladies! Hello again and welcome back to the Slim & Satisfied podcast with me, Dafna Chazin.
The focus for part two of my 3-part PCOS Basics series is on non-food related steps we can take to boost our success and support us on our weight loss journey. We want to really hone in on addressing the symptoms of PCOS like inflammation and insulin resistance and expand our perspective on steps we can implement into our every-day lives to real our goals. There are two main areas I want to cover in today’s episode. Both are key factors in treating our body well, especially if we are living with PCOS.
The first success booster we can shift our attention to is sleep. I think this is one of the biggest health concerns in our lives today. People who struggle with getting to sleep and stay asleep can see the effect it has on their health.
Sleep apnea, or briefly stopping breathing during sleep, can lead to cardiovascular complications, something women with PCOS are already at risk for.
Feeling anxious can lead to a lack of sleep, and vice versa—a lack of sleep can cause anxiousness and depression. These are very closely linked. Even further, hormonal changes start to occur when our sleeping behavior isn’t up to stuff.
Melatonin, the hormone that is largely in charge of feeling sleepy, can sink, causes us to feel more awake than we should. Again, women with PCOS may already trouble with melatonin levels, so this is doubly bad. Cortisol, or commonly known as adrenaline, should lower during the evening and peak in the morning to prepare for the day. In people with anxiety and women with PCOS, Cortisol levels may not drop at all. Finally, we can see the effects the day after a bad night’s sleep in our cravings. Sleep deprived people have higher levels of Ghrelin, the hormone related to feeling hungry, and lower levels of Leptin, the hormone that suppresses hunger. This will activate the part of the brain that searches for instant gratification in things like chips or chocolate.
So, what can we do to improve our sleep hygiene?
- Aim for the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, regularly. Try going to bed earlier instead of forcing yourself awake.
- Get natural light during the day. 10-20 minutes of early daylight can help with attention, mood, and alertness.
- Establish a routine. Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time. Try setting a short bedtime/wind down routine where you take 5 minutes to reflect on the day.
- Don’t miss your window. If you’re tired, your body is telling you it’s ready to sleep. Listen to it! Don’t push it or delay rest.
- Avoid stimulants and exercise. Try decaf and yoga. Let your body settle.
- Cut off blue light exposure 2-3 hours before bed. Blue light can disrupt circadian rhythm, suppressing melatonin 2x more than regular light.
Next up for our success boosters is stress. I know, stress seems unavoidable. But remember, it’s not the situation that’s stressful, it’s the reaction to it. Stress takes endless forms and people tend to avoid addressing it until it’s too late. The short of it is this: we’re afraid of the unknown. Changes to our lives can throw us for a loop! What we don’t want is constant stress that isn’t resolved or, at least, reduced. We can’t control or eliminate all stress, but we can do better to manage it. Someone cannot be healthy and be under stress.
Let’s break it down into two types of stress: Acute and Chronic. Acute stress comes as quickly as it goes. We’re wired for this naturally in our fight or flight response. This sort of stress is transient and we’re fairly well equipped to handle it.
Chronic stress, however, occurs over a prolonged period of time. Even though they may be relatively small stressors, they can build-up to a point where they are as harmful as bigger events. This stress rises Cortisol levels and can lead to weight gain, raised blood sugar levels, IBS, and a build up of fat tissue in the belly area.
High levels of Chronic stress can also cause our gut to be more permeable, which can lead to all sorts of problems.
What can we do to manage our stress?
- Awareness is key.Identify situations and circumstances that cause negative emotions like fear or worry. Avoid toxic relationships and interactions if you can. Be proactive!
- Don’t believe everything you think. Stress is perceived, it’s not fact. Reframe your challenges.
- Practice relaxation and self-care. Find simple, free, good forms of self-care. Try positive self-talk and avoid being critical of yourself.
- Breathe with purpose.This can diffuse negative feelings and reduce Cortisol levels. Try apps like Calm or Headspace.
- Create a stress resource kit. Make a list of your favorite people, phrases, books, movies, videos, anything that can help you when the going gets tough. I hope that these simple steps can help boost your successes throughout your journey through weight loss and towards a healthier lifestyle!
What you’ll learn in this episode
In this episode, you’ll learn some non-food actionable steps that you can implement into your day-to-day life to boost your successes as you work towards a healthier you. I’ll bring attention to two main inhibitors of success and give some tips on how to overcome challenges our lives throw at us. I’ll break down the impact, positive and negative, sleep and stress can have on our health.
- Episode 9: PCOS Basic – Part 1: Eating Well https://dafnachazin.com/pcos-basics/
- My FREE PCOS Meal Prep Starter Kit which includes a 3-day anti-inflammatory meal plan complete with recipes and shopping list as well as my 3-step process to detoxifying your kitchen. Grab your copy here: www.dafnachazin.com/pcosplan
- Get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org