Slay the Side Effects of Endometriosis & Learn How to Diet for Weight Loss
Gosh, I have so much to say about this subject. What inspired me to write this post was a lovely chat that I had with one of my readers through email. She suffers from Endometriosis and found this community through my post about women managing PCOS and weight gain. It made me realize just how many of the symptoms of PCOS and Endometriosis overlap since they're both estrogen dependent conditions. Additionally, many women who have Endometriosis also have PCOS. Still, each condition can occur independently of the other and women of both communities deserve to be heard and helped. So, here we are today.
No matter what the barriers are to weight loss, the best strategy is to recognize them all and develop micro-strategies to address each. Some of these micro-strategies may overlap, but that's a good thing, for simplicity's sake.
Why Endometriosis Makes Weight Loss Harder
What helps me develop a strategy in any situation is to take a look at all the moving parts and address each. As it relates to Endometriosis, here are the main barriers to weight loss. We're going to go one by one, addressing each barrier with a micro-strategy and by the end of this post you will have one large game plan to move forward with in weight loss success.
Endometriosis is an estrogen dependent condition. High levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone are an indication that a woman has Endometriosis. Generally, if a woman is producing too much estrogen she'll experience excessive fat gain, particularly in the hips and stomach and bloating. What's worse is that processed foods on the market only exacerbate the issue. Therefore, even though you may eat a seemingly healthy diet, often times the WAY that the food is prepared for mass production is more harmful to you. For example, animals given antibiotic injections or raised on soy and grain store excess estrogen in their bodies. That estrogen gets passed on to you when you consume them, thus worsening your estrogen dominance.
Here are the estrogen dominance side effects that can make losing weight with Endometriosis more difficult:
Excess Fat Storage
How To Address Estrogen Dominance:
No. 1: Take natural supplements to help you balance your hormones. For example, supplementing your diet with DIM can provide additional weight loss support. I take it myself and notice a HUGE difference in fat loss in my hips and stomach when combined with the diet and strategy. It's pretty inexpensive and you can grab a bottle off of amazon.
No. 2: Choose organic and responsibly sourced foods over processed irresponsibly sourced foods as processed foods like meats and poultry are injected with antibiotics that promote estrogen production in your body. If you love a good read, please check out "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. I'm reading it myself. It's HIGHLY acclaimed, well written, and really opens your eyes to how the food industry operates. Many of the ways the food industry irresponsibly sources and produces food exacerbate symptoms of hormone imbalances.
Taking birth control is an effective means of managing ovulation but the side effects can be devastating if you already struggle with weight gain. Clinical studies have found that there is no consistent connection between birth control and weight gain. However, women all over the world, including myself, have experienced it and felt able to pinpoint their weight management issues to their birth control. As a side-note, I talked about my experience with my Mirena IUD and what eventually led to my removing the device. If you have the chance, give it a read and let me know in the comments what your thoughts are.
Here are the birth control side effects that can make losing weight with Endometriosis more difficult:
Water Weight Retention
How to Address Potential Weight Side Effects from birth control:
No. 1: Practice mindful eating which will help you understand your cravings and manage your appetite naturally
No. 2: Drink at least 80oz of water each day
No. 3: SWEAT. Exercise daily, whether it be vigorous or moderate. It can be a full strength training routine or speed walking for thirty minutes. I use Sweet Sweat during walks and workouts and it helps me shed excess water weight. Regardless, you want to shed excess water weight by sweating.
No. 4: Hit the sauna. After a good workout, nothing feels better than sitting in the sauna and letting your pores open up. It also encourages your body to sweat more.
No. 5: Don't drink carbonated beverages like pops, they make gas bloat worse and contain sugars that promote weight gain.
Chronic Pain & Discomfort
Whenever my readers and clients experience physical pain or illness, my first suggestion is for them to skip the gym until they subside. But, what if the pain and illness is chronic? With Endometriosis there are a multitude of ways that you may not be feeling "up" for working out, or just flat out physically incapable of it. For example, some women who choose regular surgeries to treat their Endometriosis which naturally requires downtime for recovery. These surgeries can occur many times throughout the year. It's not hard to understand how the below list of reoccurring bouts of discomfort and pain could hamper your motivation.
A tool that can potentially help with menstrual pain and cramping is the Liviaelectronic abdominal treatment for menstrual cramps. It's intriguing because it's a drug-free solution(let's face it sometimes pain-killers don't cut it), and it's low profile so it can conspicuously tuck underneath your shirt and in your pants.
Lower Back & Leg Pain
You may find that you struggle with one or any combination of the three issues discussed here today. The thing to remember is that each can be addressed and you have the power to change your life.
How to lose weight despite chronic pain & discomfort:
No.1: Make your diet your main method for weight loss. The good news is that weight loss is 90 percent diet and 10 percent exercise. The difficult news is that because you experience chronic pain, you're not always going to be able to rely on that 10 percent of exercise that can help you lose weight. What that means is you need to be even more invested in consuming a diet that promotes weight loss.
The main diet tip you need to concentrate on is that you should be eating .8g-1g of protein for every pound you weigh, which generally comes to about 40%-45% of your daily caloric intake. For example, if your daily calorie goal is 1,500 calories, then 40%-50% of those calories should come from protein. This number amounts to between 150g- 187.5g or protein each day.
How to find your calorie & macro goals for your diet (the easy way):
Step 1. Use the Macronutrient Calculator on the I AM & CO Website.
Step 2. Enter your age, height, and current weight.
Step 3. Select the option that best represents how active you are
Step 4. Make a note of your TDEE & BMR numbers as an FYI
Step 5. Select the goal "Fat Loss."
Step 6. Select between .8-1g of Protein per lb of body-weight
Step 7. Select .3g -.35g of Fat per lb of body-weight
Step 8. Hit "Calculate Results."
You now know exactly how much calories, protein, carbs, and fat you need to eat to lose body fat. Now to hold yourself accountable, you need to enter those numbers into a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal, MyMacros+Diet, or LifeSum. I will show you below how to enter the diet goals you got from my macronutrient calculator into MyFitnessPal.
Entering Calorie & Macronutrient Goals Into MyFitnessPal:
Step 1. Open the App and select the "more" tab in the lower right-hand corner
Step 2. Select "Goals"
Step 3. Scroll to "Nutrition Goals" then select "Calorie & Macronutrient Goals"
Step 4. Adjust your Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat goals until they're close to or exactly match the numbers you got from the I AM & CO Macronutrient Calculator.
You're now ready to begin tracking your meals according to your customized fat burning diet goal.
No. 2: Invest in a 24 hr gym membership without a contract or exercise equipment at home. The point is to be able to "strike" the minute you feel well enough to workout. I stress that you should avoid a gym contract because if you end up having health issues for several months in a row, you need to be able to get rid of that expense if you're not able to benefit from it.
Leave a Comment Below & Start the discussion
(Remember to always be friendly and supportive!)
Do you or someone you know have Endometriosis? What has been your main struggle with weight loss and what questions do you have?