Diet And Lifestyle Factors
Last weekend was very exciting as I flew up to Townsville to shoot the video for my website. I have not been to Townsville for some time and was really thankful to experience the warm weather after the recent cold snap in Sydney. Whenever I travel to Queensland I am so appreciative of the friendly nature and more relaxed lifestyle, which is so very different to the chaos of Sydney.
We were fortunate to be able to shoot my video in a luxurious office building owned by Brad Webb at an industrial estate called Bohle. The marble, chandeliers and office suites were so beautifully designed, it was more like a visit to the museum than an office building, what a privilege to see this building and talk to the owner himself Brad Webb. Please head over to my Facebook page or Website to see the video and let me know what you think, I would love to hear your feedback.
Let’s jump right in and talk about the ‘Diet and Lifestyle Factors’ important for fertility treatment.
I get asked this question all the time – How can I improve my chances of success? My answer is the same every time – look at ways to reduce stress, improve your diet and lifestyle and engage in some form of exercise.
So when I say improve your diet, what exactly does that mean?
I routinely do this with my clients who want to lose weight and become a healthier version of themselves in general. We will complete a food diary for a week, in the first instance this is just a log to look at the type of food you are eating throughout the week. Most people however are surprised at what is in that diary, as food becomes a habit and no-one is consciously considering the calories and content of what they are consuming – it is really chunking down to the specifics of what you fuel your body with every day.
So what can we do to improve our diets, with my clients we look at whole foods and processed foods?
What is the difference? Whole foods are considered nutrient dense whereas processed foods are energy dense.
Nutrient dense foods provide the body with fibre, vitamins, and minerals with low added sugar or fat. Energy dense foods are high in calories and provide very little value to your body, with energy levels initially given and then quickly burned away.
There is generally some form of preparation involved to eat nutrient dense foods, washing, and cutting up, cooking etc. Generally the more manual processing involved, the healthier the option as it does not come in a ready to eat package (fruit is the exception, although I am still washing mine).
One client of mine would turn to desserts and sweet treats when feeling down or a little flat energy wise, when we looked at the amount of extra sugar in her diet from these daily sweet treats, it was not surprising that she was gaining excess weight. Over the course of Lent the 40 day period observed by Catholics, this client cut out all desserts and sweet treats and lost a total of 6 kilos, this was without any other changes to her diet or exercise routine. Naturally she was sold after this small intervention and we went on to have a Hypnosis session to further increase her health objectives.
Of course we cannot forget that with upcoming fertility treatment, folic acid is an important vitamin addition to take daily for 3 months prior to conception ideally and more research is showing the importance of Vitamin D levels for optimum health, so it is a good idea to have these levels checked at your next blood test.
A recent study in the Journal of Reproductive Health in February 2018 that I was reading showed that women who ate more junk food, took longer to achieve pregnancy. There are countless studies showing that being overweight and/or obese also effects your fertility.
So it makes sense that perhaps the easiest and most cost effective way to increase your chances of pregnancy, is to modify your diet and eat healthier foods. Healthy food intake will ultimately give you better quality eggs and sperm production.
Interestingly another study from the Journal of Epidemiology looked specifically at sugar laden soft drinks and energy drinks and their effects on achieving pregnancy. This study in North America followed 4000 women and 1000 men.
The results for women showed a 25% reduction in fecundity (chances of achieving pregnancy) and a 33% reduction for men. Now whilst the numbers in this study are small, the percentages are large enough to show significance. Ultimately this is an easy way to increase your chances of pregnancy.
Other lifestyle factors to consider when trying to achieve pregnancy are smoking, drinking alcohol and exercise.
There have been many studies about the effect of smoking on fertility rates, smoking causes significant health issues and in particular these can be observed with sperm counts (the actual numbers present and sperm morphology, which is the actual shape of sperm. Morphology is a determining factor with fertilisation, so important to note that smoking is having an impact on your chances of conception. If you have tried patches and other techniques to quit smoking, perhaps you should consider Hypnosis, this technique has proven very successful in eliminating the habit of smoking permanently.
Alcohol consumption again has shown to have an effect on women’s fertility with excessive drinking being associated with heavier and more irregular periods and taking longer to achieve pregnancy. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that the safest option for women who are trying to achieve pregnancy or who are breastfeeding is to avoid drinking alcohol all together for the best health outcomes.
Finally let’s talk Exercise. This is a foreign word for many people as when they leave high school, there is no forced routine for exercise in their daily lives. This does not have to be an expensive gym membership, simply walking every day or every second day briskly enough to get your heart rate up, is perfect to not only reduce your stress levels, but also release endorphins, which make you feel happy. Exercise can be increased throughout the day, by taking the stairs instead of the lifts and parking an extra block away from the train station so you have to walk more daily. These are simple methods to increase the movement that you can implement every day and increase your fitness and overall health.
Well that is all from me for this week on Diet and Lifestyle factors to consider when trying to achieve pregnancy, I hope that you have enjoyed this episode.
If you would like any further information or would like to send me any questions please head to my website –
www.ivfcoachingclinic.com.au or my Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/ivfcoachingclinic/ or you can follow me on Instagram
@sophiabaseotto or @ivfcoachingclinic
Kind Regards, Sophia