For many women over 40, overwhelm, exhaustion and stress can become the norm. The body is starting to change due to the onset of peri-menopause (estrogen beginning to decline in preparation for menopause). Plus the kids are becoming teenagers, parents are getting older, work is getting busier and relationships might be getting stale. It’s no wonder being stressed is the default position. And often this is when many women turn to food, caffeine and alcohol to help them get through.
I know what it is like to feel exhausted. I know what it’s like to need a cup of coffee (or 3) to get going in the morning. And then that feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed and treating myself with a large glass of wine (or 3) at the end of the day. And don’t get me started on emotional eating to help deal with stress, anxiety or disappointment.
I think what most women know deep down is that these “treats” aren’t actually helping. And the more research I am doing, the more I know that consistently eating (or drinking) this way is completely counter-productive.
I’m not suggesting that a glass of wine or a cup of coffee is forbidden forever. But we should aim to have a break from Liver Loaders every once in a while. Let me explain…
What are liver loaders?
Liver Loaders (a term lovingly derived from Dr Libby Weaver) are substances that we ingest or are absorbed by the body that overload the liver. Our livers are there to help us detox unwanted chemicals and other wastes from the body. When we are overloading the liver with liver loaders (often unknowingly) the liver can’t do it’s job properly. It becomes sluggish and so does our energy.
Things that can be included in the Liver Loader category are alcohol, sugar, transfats, caffeine, chemicals in skin care and cleaning products plus herbicides and pesticides.
How do they impact the body?
Excessive Liver Loaders can cause some of these issues in your body:
- That roll of fat under your bra
- Rashes, acne and other skin conditions
- Feeling hot
- Bad sleep (especially after alcohol)
- Waking at 2 or 3 am
They can also affect your mood in the following ways:
- Bad temper, impatience, anger
- “I NEED coffee!”
Plus, that feeling that a coffee or a glass of wine is the only way to get through the day or the only reward at the end of the day.
Plus, liver loaders can lead to an estrogen dominance in the body. The liver is too busy processing them rather than the old estrogen every month. This can lead to a whole other set of problems:
- Conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain (especially around the midsection)
- Decreased libido
- Bloating and fluid retention
Interestingly, these are common symptoms of menopause. So, reducing liver loaders will not only supercharge your energy. It will also help you to have a more manageable menopause.
What should you do to reduce liver loaders?
It’s important to take a break from Liver Loaders. Or at least reduce them. I find it really hard to reduce things. It’s easier for me to give it up completely for a while. But everyone is different. You’ll know what is right for you.
I highly recommend that you try to detox completely from Liver Loaders for a period of at least a couple of weeks. If you can last a month that is even better. I have a 15 day detox program to help facilitate this.
Once you have taken a break then come back to “normal” eating following the “80/20” rule. Eat really well 80% of the time. Avoid Liver Loaders. This gives you 20% of the time to enjoy them without any guilt. For instance, if you have been drinking wine daily, you might aim to have alcohol only on 2 nights a week. Or if you have multiple coffees every day, you might aim to have only one a day instead.
I’m not saying any of this is easy. I am asking you to look at changing patterns that might have existed for years. But imagine life where you feel energised and motivated. Where your body is functioning at it’s best and every day stress is a thing of the past!
If you feel like you might like the support of a health coach during this very important process, then book in for a free 30-minute Discovery Session with me. Who knows, it might be the one conversation that changes the rest of your life.
I’d love to know, which elements of you diet could use a holiday to help supercharge your energy? Let me know if the comments section below.
And if you would like to learn more about living a life full of health, joy and vitality in your 40s and beyond then subscribe to my free 3-part video series. You will receive an 8-minute full body toning workout straight after signing up.