Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holiday Season
The holidays are here, and you know what that means – lots and lots of delicious, irresistible foods and drinks to enjoy! While it’s tempting, it’s important to maintain a normal, healthy lifestyle – especially if you or partner are trying to get pregnant (Guys, this goes for you too!). Weight gain is known to cause abnormalities in hormone levels in both men and women that can have a negative effect on eggs and sperm. Being overweight also puts the cardiovascular system in overdrive, promotes pre-diabetic and diabetic states, and increases cholesterol levels. So how does one keep it together even through the holidays? Just follow these tips below…
- Eat more often. It’s true! By eating smaller, more frequent meals you stay full throughout the day and boost your metabolism.
- Make sure your diet includes a balance of lean proteins (white meat chicken and turkey, lean cuts of red meat, nuts, beans, etc.), low glycemic index carbohydrates, and healthy fats (nuts, avocado, olive oil).
- Eat protein at every meal.
- Stop the bad habits! This means no smoking and limiting your alcohol intake.
- Exercise more frequently. Men, this goes for you as well as exercise has been proven to help sperm production.
- Men should stop taking male hormone enhancing drugs which routinely decreases sperm production.
- A low glycemic diet is important especially for women effected with PCOS who are prone to making high levels of insulin. This is because high level glycemic foods allow large swings in blood sugar, which in turn allow sustained elevations in insulin. Insulin acts as a growth factor in the ovary and releases male hormones, thus lowering chances to conceive. The Glycemic Index (GI) ranges from 1-100, and the most ideal foods have a GI range of less than 55. This includes foods such as vegetables, most fruits (watermelon, bananas, and grapes have a higher GI range), oatmeal, peas, carrots, skim milk, and beans. Examples of intermediate GI foods can include pasta, corn, and ice cream. Avoid high GI foods such as white bread, white potatoes, and sugared sodas.
While it’s certainly a challenge to go light on the delicious foods and drinks during the holidays, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on fertility in both men and women. For more information on fertility treatment options or to schedule a consultation at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Orlando, please give us a call at (800) 343-6331.