Midlife Women Metabolism Boost – 5-Day Plan by Nagina Abdullah (Diet & Lifestyle Tips) | Podcast #431

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Nagina Abdullah offers a free 5-day metabolism boosting workshop for midlife women, focusing on adding natural foods to enhance metabolism, balance hormones, and reduce cravings.


🍳 Protein, fat, and fiber-rich breakfasts are key to boosting metabolism and reducing cravings in midlife women.
🌿 Lifestyle changes, such as setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care, can help manage stress and cortisol levels.
🍷 Choosing low-sugar alcohol options and incorporating apple cider vinegar can support hormone balance and blood sugar control.
💧 Staying hydrated and delaying alcohol consumption with water can help reduce the impact of alcohol on hormones and inflammation.
🍵 Herbal teas like cinnamon or turmeric can provide relaxation and inflammation reduction as alternatives to alcohol for hormone balance in midlife women.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it's Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome to the Beyond Wellness Radio podcast. Feel free and head over to justinhealth. com. We have all of our podcast transcriptions there, as well as video series on different health topics ranging from thyroid to hormones, ketogenic diets, and gluten. While you're there, you can also schedule a consult with myself, Dr.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: J, and or our colleagues and staff to help dive into any pressing health issues you really want to get to the root cause on. Again, if you enjoy the podcast, feel free and share the information with friends or family. Hey guys, Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Today I have Nagina Abdullah. Today we're going to be chatting with her about her summit coming up or her program coming up for midlife women that want to boost and enhance your metabolism.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think all women could use some of these principles to enhance your metabolism. So we're going to dive in even if you're not in that category, I think there's gonna be a lot of good tips here out of the gate. Nagina, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today? Dr.

Nagina Abdullah: Justin Marchegiani I'm doing so well.

Nagina Abdullah: Thanks for having me, Dr. Justin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. So I know you have a bootcamp coming up, right? And so this is going to be catered to more midlife women, but other people in those kind of vicinity could still benefit.

Nagina Abdullah: Yes, absolutely. Well, this is going to be a free live, a five day metabolism boost workshop. For midlife women.

Nagina Abdullah: And this is all about exactly what to add to your diet. That's all natural so that you can feel full and satisfied. And it's going to boost your metabolism. It's going to burn fat faster. And I'm going to tell you exactly what to do. Step by step starting with your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and also my biggest day where I'm going to be teaching you on day four of the five day metabolism boost of how to get off sugar.

Nagina Abdullah: without feeling tired or restricted. And these strategies work quickly. Dr.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Justin Marchegiani Oh, that's awesome. We're going to put a link right below justinhealth. com slash metabolism hyphen boost. We'll put a link right below. If you guys want to dive in, that'll take you right there where you can sign up and get access to the free workshop.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So let's just dive in here first. So tell me about yourself. How did you get into the health field? And are you, are you practicing some of the things that you're talking about out of the gates? I'm just curious how you kind of walk this path.

Nagina Abdullah: Absolutely. Well, I had struggled with sugar, my sugar cravings.

Nagina Abdullah: I'd struggled with my weight for my entire life. And I was somebody that knew every single calorie count of every food that I was eating. But if you looked at me, you would never realize that because I never looked like I was healthy, but I was doing everything. So I just didn't know what to do or how to do it.

Nagina Abdullah: And my metabolism always felt like it was slow. And so I was always wanting to lose about 20 pounds always throughout my life and trying every single diet out there. There from Weight Watchers to Noom later on, then I was also trying South Beach Atkins, just eating less and tracking my food with such diligence.

Nagina Abdullah: And, you know, I would be able to lose five or 10 pounds, but then when I would hit that number, I would start eating all the foods that I had restricted myself from because I loved those foods. And so the weight just came right back on. And so I was never able to keep it off and I was always in this diet yo yo cycle.

Nagina Abdullah: But then what changed for me is that after I had children, I was really in my, at my maximum weight, I was working in a very demanding job. I had pregnancy weight on me, but I had a new why. And my why was that I wanted to have more energy for my I started doing a lot of research in the early years.

Nagina Abdullah: And I found out that not only was I able to feed myself in my later years, but also for my children to be able to be an energetic mom, to be active, to be somebody that they could that they could look up to as a health role model. And so I started researching a lot of information. Now I have a background with a degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley.

Nagina Abdullah: And so I started going into the scientific research that I had access to. when I found out that instead of depriving myself, I could add food. And they would actually boost my metabolism and I would no longer have to diet. And so I started doing those things and with such surprise and such excitement, I lost not only the 20 pounds I'd always wanted to lose, but I lost 40 pounds in only nine months.

Nagina Abdullah: I got to the most fit I had ever been in my life. And now what's even better is that it's been over 12 years since that happened and the weight has stayed off permanently and I've just been able to get more toned and more fit and now literally my kids have to keep up with me and that is what they always tell me.

Nagina Abdullah: They're like, mom, I don't want to do all those things. We need to slow down. And I'm like, let's go, let's go. So. So that's really what happened to me is that I found out that it wasn't as hard as we have been taught that it is. And, and so my mission in life became to help other women, especially women in midlife, because that's when weight really starts to get more challenging, help them to bust through and burn fat faster and really work on their metabolism.

Nagina Abdullah: And it really is possible to do this by making some, some easy, simple food choices and some.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So let's just kind of talk about some of the simple principles. What was your diet or lifestyle like before you had all the, you know, before you've kind of. Yeah. Yeah. address some of these weight loss issues and boost your metabolism. What was a typical day like for you? Were you eating a lot of processed foods, standard American diet?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Were you having a lot of hormonal issues at that time too? What was going on?

Nagina Abdullah: Yeah. So, I mean, I always thought I was being healthy and you know, that's what I see a lot. A lot of women think they're being healthy, but it's because it's based on all of the, the, the jargon that we're hearing. That's not necessarily true.

Nagina Abdullah: So basically what I was doing was eating. Smaller portions of processed foods. So I would always be looking and I was very focused on the calories and everything, and I was calorie counting. I was addressing what the calories were and everything, and just trying to keep my calories as low as possible.

Nagina Abdullah: And so, you know, a typical day would be, you know, me eating something like like a skinny bagel. I would try to have a healthier version, like a skinny bagel with low fat or, or zero fat cream cheese and and then also having some fruit with it and having some, you know, some healthy juice that I thought was healthy that I thought was helpful for me.

Nagina Abdullah: And you know, at lunch I was really trying to be more vegetarian, so I would have more of a I would have something like a veggie burger with a bun and then I would have like some kind of corn or something like that on the side. And so, you know. These are all healthy ish sounding things. But what I was really lacking, you know, we'll talk so much, you know, we'll talk more about that, but like there were things that I was just, it was just the formula of what I had on my plate was not, was not correct.

Nagina Abdullah: And there was other days that I would just try to skip meals. So I would try to skip my breakfast or skip my dinner and I would think, okay, well I'm eating less, I should lose weight. But it always led to me actually wanting to binge on some kind of dessert or some kind of. I helped big carb dinner. Like I would try to eat.

Nagina Abdullah: I would try to restrict myself through the day and then I would end up just like letting go at nighttime and, and that cycle like continued over and over.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so what were some of the big things you plugged in? Like what's your typical breakfast now? Like what allows you to feel good, feel pretty energized?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What does that look like?

Nagina Abdullah: So, yes. So then I started learning and, and, and taking action on several things that now is in what I call my four part fat burning food framework. And so really that starts with this concept, which is a mantra that I say at every meal. And I recommend that everyone says this, if you're looking at boosting metabolism, which is protein more.

Nagina Abdullah: And so I would always look for protein and I started with my breakfast adding protein. And so now, you know, my breakfast, though, a skinny bagel can work maybe on the weekend. It's not like I can't, I don't have that or forget about the skinny bagel. I'll just have a regular fresh bagel once in a while, but I just won't do that every single day.

Nagina Abdullah: And so now what I do is I add protein more in a few options for breakfast. So one of the options is if. For people that like eggs, I like eggs. I do. I have an egg breakfast, but let me just kind of bust a myth right now. You know, two eggs is only 12 grams of protein. Each egg is only six grams of protein.

Nagina Abdullah: So if you're. Exactly. It's not enough. And a general really nice rule of thumb is to have 30 grams of protein. So if you're only getting to that 12 grams of protein, you will crave sugar and you will crave unhealthier foods because your body's just crying out for more. And so if you take action on that and actually be proactively add protein, then you're going to feel satiated and, and very, very full.

Nagina Abdullah: full and satisfied. And so a really easy way to do that is you pair those two eggs. Either what you can do is an easy score. If you're making eggs, you can just add a cup of liquid egg whites and liquid egg whites are 20 grams of protein and they're lean. They don't have fat because you're getting your fat.

Nagina Abdullah: From your eggs, you're getting what you need from your eggs. So you just need to get a boost of protein. So you're going to bump that up to 30 grams of protein, and you're going to eat more, which is another of my mantras eat more because then you'll help you lose weight in a healthy way. Cause you're, you're actually being intentional about what you're eating more of.

Nagina Abdullah: And. Now, if you're someone that feels like, okay, I don't want to eat that many eggs, or that might be too big of an egg scramble. You, you could also have the two eggs with Greek yogurt and Greek yogurt is around 18 to 20 grams of protein. These days, there's some really great Greek yogurts out there, like this Oikos 20 that I've just found.

Nagina Abdullah: You can also do cottage cheese or any other kind of meat that you might have from the night before, and then pair that with some high fiber. Fruit. So what, what I mean by high fiber is usually that's a lower sugar fruit. So berries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or have a small apple or two small oranges, like two small tangerines, that's going to give you some fiber and lower sugar and that in combination with the protein and then the healthy fats from the eggs or from whatever else you may be having is going to keep you so satiated.

Nagina Abdullah: It's going to keep your blood sugar stable, and you are actually going to burn fat instead of gaining fat. And so those are what my breakfast look like. I either do an egg breakfast combined with one of those things, you know, usually doing the egg white scramble is super easy for me. I put like onions mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach in it, make it like really nice, put some hot sauce on it.

Nagina Abdullah: And then I also have a salad. side of low sugar fruit. But I also sometimes recommend, you know, for myself and for my clients to have a quick smoothie in the morning, which is something that you can just grab and go. And so a smoothie, you know, a really quick formula for a metabolism boosting smoothie is to have a non dairy milk.

Nagina Abdullah: Cause then you're really helping yourself with with with inflammation by, by avoiding dairy. So you're having a non dairy milk, like almond milk or water or anything else. You have a protein powder that I absolutely recommend is a really good thing to add a low sugar protein powder. That's around 25 to 30 grams of protein.

Nagina Abdullah: If you don't have protein powder, you can use Greek yogurt instead. Then add half a cup of berries and strawberries taste really tasty in the smoothie at a cup of spinach. So you're getting your fiber and your greens and you're not even tasting it. And then I call it my secret ingredient, but adding two tablespoons of flax seed which give you some extra fiber and keep you very full.

Nagina Abdullah: And it's a healthy fat as well. And then if you want a little bit of best. Flavor boost. You could add six or so sprigs of mint and mint has been proven to avoid overeating and avoid sugar cravings, help you avoid sugar cravings. So you can also sprinkle some cinnamon in there, which will help you bring down your, your blood sugar and help you store less fat.

Nagina Abdullah: So you blend that up and you're having what I call my morning mint and berry metabolism boosting smoothie. And it is, it's so quick, so easy, and it's also so filling. And it's going to boost your metabolism right away and you're not even going to want to eat until lunch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you got mint berries. What was your protein?

Nagina Abdullah: The protein is protein powder or Greek yogurt,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: like, like whey protein, collagen, pea protein. What was the kind?

Nagina Abdullah: So, yeah. So you know, I've noticed that you can use any of those. Well you can use whey protein or pea protein. Collagen protein is, is something you can add in, but it's not a complete protein.

Nagina Abdullah: So we want you to have something else. Whey protein, I have noticed, and this is Every individual should see if this, if they have this effect, I have noticed that it can create bloating, but it is a really great source of protein. So if your body can handle it, it's good. I recommend an egg white protein because an egg white protein will absorb the most quickly in your body.

Nagina Abdullah: And it's going to keep you feeling lean and it's not going to create that bloating effect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I understand. Good. And so, all right, so we're looking at kind of your typical breakfast. That's great. Now, what about people that have some food allergy issues? I see a lot of dairy in there. How do you parse that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then, are you worried about the egg yolks? Because for me, I see egg yolks as like fat soluble vitamins, A, a lot of good healthy choline in there, a lot of good lutein for the eyes. Are you worried about the extra eggs? And are you worried about maybe some of the food allergens or some of the dairy coming in there?

Nagina Abdullah: Yeah. So, so for dairy, I don't recommend too much dairy at all. And that's why I recommend that you have a non dairy liquid. If you use Greek yogurt that's an alternative to protein powder. And I do recommend using protein powder first, instead of Greek yogurt, just because you're getting more protein in there with, with how much you're eating into the, in the calorie to protein ratio is much, is much lower.

Nagina Abdullah: So, So so the other thing is that you with Greek yogurt, that is actually, that's one of the dairies along with cottage cheese that I do recommend that are okay, because they are processed in a way where they take out the sugars and they, so they're taking out the lactose and all of the, all of the things that are causing bloating, causing inflammation as much and, and the protein is increased.

Nagina Abdullah: So those are the two dairy that I recommend. But other than that, I really don't recommend dairy. But if you want to have your protein in that source, those are two options. But in terms of other things like food allergies, yes. If you have a food allergy to, to any of these foods, you can always swap them with something else.

Nagina Abdullah: Like you can swap a veggie for a veggie. You can swap a fruit for a fruit in terms of the eggs. I do want a limitation of two eggs because in that amount, you're getting the fats that you need. You're also getting. The cholesterol that you need. If you go more than two eggs, you will get too high. And, but two eggs a day is going to be fine.

Nagina Abdullah: And that's why I recommend pairing it with other lean types of, of proteins without fat, because you're getting what you need in terms of the fats, the cholesterol, so many other things in the two egg yolks, but if you're somebody that has allergies to egg yolks, then that's just one option for a protein item.

Nagina Abdullah: You can have. multiple other things that I mentioned. Or you can have just, you know, other real proteins, like any kind of meat, you could have smoked salmon, you can have salmon, you can have a tofu scramble in the morning, which would be a great replacement as well. So. Dr. Justin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Marchegiani Oh, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so in general, though, are you worried about extra fat? Like, are you worried about kind of counting calories in a way or worried about the extra fat coming in from yolks and things like that? Or does it depend on each person? Kind of where they're at.

Nagina Abdullah: So that's such a good question. So I actually and, and I'm really happy to talk about this because there's a lot of myths around fat.

Nagina Abdullah: There's a lot of different approaches to fat, but what I've seen works is that we, we don't want to count calories, but actually fat is the one macronutrient that I do recommend that you look at your portion sizes. And that's because it is very dense in calories. And so if you're having, for example, two tablespoons of peanut butter, that's going to be 180 calories, which is a good amount.

Nagina Abdullah: And that's really all you need, but it's easy to by mistake, because you're thinking that you're healthy, eat more of it without measuring it or without realizing what you're eating. And then before, you know, it, you could easily have eaten five. Four to 600 calories, which is quite significant and it's not going to make you feel as full as if you were having protein as some of those calories and having fiber.

Nagina Abdullah: So what I recommend is I have a, I have a saying, which is fat three times a day and a serving of fat is about 14 grams of fat. So you could have fat in your eggs, for example, then you have a snack that has nuts. Or that has peanut butter in an apple, that would be a great snack. That's your second time.

Nagina Abdullah: Yep. And then at night have a third serving of snack, which would be, or a third serving of fat, which would be a fatty meat. So something like salmon, beef, or if you're vegetarian, have half of an avocado or have a a tablespoon of coconut oil, which is a healthy fat that burns off pretty quickly due to the MCT oils in it.

Nagina Abdullah: Yep, exactly. But really look at. The three times a day for, for, for the fat that you're eating. And that is actually the number two reason that I see women in midlife blocking and staying stuck with their weight loss, because they're trying to be healthy, but by mistake, they're significantly overeating on their fat.

Nagina Abdullah: And it's as easy as just eating a couple extra tablespoons of peanut butter. That gets you there. So really keeping this in mind, fat three times a day is it could literally help somebody lose two to four pounds in the next week just by making sure it's at that amount.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Here's my take. I mean, so in general, you kind of have this calorie in calorie out model, which it's, it's more complex than that because.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Calories in calorie out is more of an effect, not, not a, not a cause, and it doesn't look at the hormonal output the food has, because we know if you increase glucagon and you increase certain foods like more protein rich foods, that increases neurochemicals like peptide YY, adiponectin. These are things that tell your brain to be full.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So as long as you're not like chugging fat down really fat, if you're eating at a slow pace and you give your brain a chance to, connect to what you're eating. Typically fats and proteins will make you feel more satiated. But like you said, you got a hundred calories per bite. And so if you're shoveling things down a little too fast and you don't let your brain catch up to what's coming in, then it's really over, really easy to overeat when you're consuming just straight fat though.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. Julie

Nagina Abdullah: Kinn Oh yes. Oh yes, absolutely. So, so it is, it is easier to consume more. And so the thing is, see, this is, this can be tricky because it does make you feel

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: satiated though. So. If you, if you pair it up, if you're like, Hey, this is a portion, I'm going to eat that and I'm going to give myself 10 minutes to let my brain catch up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Then a lot of times you're not like eating 10 minutes past you're actually full, meaning you're letting that signal happen. And then that gears your next food choice. Cause now, Oh, I'm going to step away versus eat more because my brain's catching up to the signals that are happening in my gut.

Nagina Abdullah: Yes. So exactly.

Nagina Abdullah: So being mindful, you know, to eating your food slowly and also being aware of what you're eating and being, being intentional about it is absolutely going to help you. And you will feel more full 10 and 20 minutes after you eat. And, but the thing is fat is going to keep you full. It's important as a part of our diet.

Nagina Abdullah: We like there's so many, you know, in the past there was so no, no fat and low fat diets. And what that ends up doing is first of all, we need fat. For our hair to grow for it to be shiny. We need it for our skin to glow. We need it for our brain to operate. So if we're eating too low fat, those things aren't going to happen as efficiently, but also you're going to be hungry and you have to eat something.

Nagina Abdullah: So as an alternative, you're going to end up eating probably sugar and carbs because there's a certain level of protein where we're like, okay, I can't eat anymore. So really looking at this, like, that's why I want you to. Start with protein more and think about, I want you to eat as much protein as you can.

Nagina Abdullah: And I also have recommended amounts, but it's usually eat a little bit more than you, than you're eating right now, eat more veggies and make them tasty by, by making them like add flavorful spices and low sugar sauces. And then also have a serving of fat three times a day so that you know that you're getting it in.

Nagina Abdullah: Cause you don't want to under eat it, but you You don't want to overeat it. So, and yeah. And so, you know, just to add a little complexity, of course, calories are always going to be important, but it's more about the composition of those calories. So, you know, looking at the macro nutrients and how much protein, how much fat, what, how much, and what kinds of carbs are you getting?

Nagina Abdullah: Are these healthy carbs that burn slowly or are they fast? Yeah. Fast burning carbs that elevate your blood sugar. So really understanding and pairing the, the types of foods that you're having will take you away from needing to count calories because you'll just be aware of what your serving sizes are.

Nagina Abdullah: And, and then you will be eating the right amount of calories for you to burn fat really easily.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. If you look at Christopher Gardner's A to Z study back he was in Stanford 2008 or 9, he went into that study giving four or five different diets, like an Ornish diet, a vegetarian diet, a standard American, his own diet and an Atkins diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And of course, the theory was that the people on the Atkins diet, you know, we're going to consume the most calories and potentially gain the most weight because it was more fat, more protein. But the exact opposite happened. The Atkins diet group actually did the best in regards to weight loss, but they actually ate more cal they actually ate less calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: than other people, right? Which is the other groups. And the thinking is, oh, these don't, these foods allow you to feel a level of satiation that is better than, let's say, a lot of excess carbs or processed foods. And so, like you said, starting your day with that 30 grams of protein really helps get one, it satiates your metabolism, so you're not having cravings later on in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that puts you up to not being, not overeating as much. And then you're going to be a little bit more fat burning. During the day as well, because you're not overeating, you're not grazing, it's the constant bits of grazing I find that just continue to, to milk out insulin, insulin, insulin throughout the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you're milking out insulin consistently, you're not able to tap into your own body fat. Dr. Justin

Nagina Abdullah: Marchegiani Yes. Oh, yes. Absolutely. So, so the feeling of satiation is, is that was what the game changer was for me to be able to lose 40 pounds because all of the ways I had been eating with most of the diets that we're, that we learn about was eating, like I said, super, smaller portions of processed foods and processed foods.

Nagina Abdullah: Don't keep you full. That's why really moving towards real foods that are full of protein, full of healthy fats, full of fiber, which you get in your vegetables and low sugar fruits. And then the car, and as well as healthy carbs, that's going to keep you full. And then you won't have cravings. And once you don't have cravings, weight loss becomes easy because you could literally have your favorite, like.

Nagina Abdullah: cake or donuts or pastries or pizza in front of you, and you would feel completely in control. And that actually, that transformation can happen really quickly when you start simply adding protein to your breakfast and then following and making sure that you're adding the right amount of fat to the day, you won't even feel the cravings.

Nagina Abdullah: And so you can, you're, you're going to feel a lot more control over your, your body and your relationship with food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. That's phenomenal. Now. Cause we're talking about women in their maybe mid forties to fifties and such. And the adrenals play a major role as a woman transitions into menopause because now the adrenals become this backup generator for the ovaries that no longer have their follicles in there because they're used up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That's why they're in menopause. So the, the adrenals are so important. So we talked about managing blood sugar, dialing in your protein and fat. Where do adrenals come into this whole interplay kind of with you and your philosophy in and around supporting. healthy perimenopausal, menopausal health. Where does that come in?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. Melissa Miller, M. D.:

Nagina Abdullah: Yes. So, I mean, healthy adrenals are really, I mean, this is all a result of this is of how we're taking care of ourselves. And so, as you know, if you're eating in a way that you are, you're eating healthy, real foods, that's also going to be really good for your adrenals. You're not going to, it's going to, if you're feeling, you know, what we know is adrenal fatigue, this is likely due to some of the.

Nagina Abdullah: foods that you're eating. And so when you really try to try to uplevel your foods and just move into real foods, eating any processed foods or any carbs that are from a package or from a bag, eating it in a different way, like knowing that you can get carbs in a different way. Then a lot of, a lot of these feelings are just going to, you're going to start to, it's going to start to change.

Nagina Abdullah: And the effect on our blood sugar and our hormones. are also affected because as you start balancing your blood sugar in the ways that I'm sharing, like by pairing your protein with a healthy fat and then with veggies or a low sugar fruit what actually happens is that when your blood sugar is not going up and down all the time, it's helping you balance your hormones and that is absolutely going to help you.

Nagina Abdullah: That's why so many women are losing weight following this method. In menopause and post menopause because, because of this, because they're able to balance their hormones naturally. And then they can also see if they need any additional support after that, but they're able to take a big step in that direction.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that because the adrenals. They manage stress, they manage inflammation, right? They Cortisol is a glucocorticoid steroid, so it helps with blood sugar and energy. So if you're balancing your blood sugar, then you're not overproducing cortisol, which cortisol can cause belly fat, but it's also a natural anti inflammatory.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when we get stressed or inflammation or joint issues, we want that cortisol to be there to help with our pain, but also our adrenals produce DHEA. And that's our precursor sex hormone that now we start to rely on because our ovaries aren't coming to the table. And DHEA is that building block that can convert a downstream into all your sex hormones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I see this very low in a lot of my perimenopausal menopausal women. Do you do any testing on hormones to see kind of where these hormones are at or how imbalanced or out of balance they're at?

Nagina Abdullah: So I do ask for women that are facing, you know, feeling like they're doing everything right. And, and and facing the, the, this frustration of what's happening.

Nagina Abdullah: Cause there's so many symptoms. It is important for them to get testing. So testing on all of their sex organs. Hormones and understanding what's happening. And then I do look at that. So but what I've also seen is that in terms of changing, like increasing hormones, a lot of it comes to what we're eating and then also supplementing after that.

Nagina Abdullah: But eating, eating a diet that you're having, these foods that we're talking about is the number one way to have the foundation. And so many women are actually able to lose significant weight because they're balancing their hormones because they're eating. eating correctly now. And part of that is, you know, the cortisol aspect, which is if you are, it's impacting women in midlife so much more because of these changes that are happening.

Nagina Abdullah: So when we can really focus on our cortisol, but it also comes with eating in the right way, because that's also causing our cortisol to increase, it's going to really make a big difference. So eating a balanced diet is a. Permanent way to keep our, to keep our metabolism high. And then if that's not work, if you want to keep going and you've done everything that you can, then you can add in you know, hormone replacement therapy and, and so many other things that are possible, which are really, really healthy and advisable.

Nagina Abdullah: But if you don't have your diet, right. And you're sick. Skipping your diet and starting with other things. You're going to be feeling like you're in a yo yo, like hormones will help with a lot of symptoms, but they won't necessarily help with your weight until you have the right balance of foods. And you're really starting with adding that protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree because your foods provide the nutrients in the building blocks to make your hormones. Almost all your sex hormones are cholesterol based. And so, we want good healthy fats, good healthy cholesterols. Plus, as we age, our skin, our hair, our nails, our bones are being regenerated off the food that we're eating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, as the quality goes down, it's like making a photocopy of a photocopy. Over time, it tends to degrade. And so, the food quality really helps with just our overall body's constitution. And then you talked about blood sugar, like, just these up and down swings in blood sugar put so much stress on our hormones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, like you said, if we can just kind of curb that off, now our hormones aren't so busy buffering out this, you know, buffering out the ebbs and flows. And you talked about stress, right? Cortisol, people think like, oh, cortisol is a stress hormone. It is, but What it does is it mobilizes glucose so we could run or fight or flee from a saber toothed tiger.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But now we're sitting in traffic, we're stressed, we have all this glucose. It's just like we had a soda. And so, even though you're not having a soda, it's like you're having a soda. That's what stress is doing. That's why, you know, from a lifestyle standpoint, I'm like, alright, I'm If you're feeling stressed, go for a 10 minute walk.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It starts to take that glucose that's in your bloodstream from the cortisol, and it at least curbs it down a little bit. What other strategies do you implement to help, you know, modulate the cortisol outside of the diet stuff? Anything specific?

Nagina Abdullah: I mean, outside of the diet stuff, I mean, you know, one of the key things for cortisol like within the diet, number one is to manage your sugar because sugar is breaking down and all of the, you know, all of the, all of those those kind of that, that sugar that's broken down is creating extra stress.

Nagina Abdullah: But outside of you know, outside of that. Side of the diet, really just being okay with not taking on as much being okay, like lifestyle changes with, you know, doing simple things. Not needing to, not needing to say yes to everything. Mm-hmm, and actually feeling comfortable with not having a lot on your calendar will, will make a huge, huge, huge effect.

Nagina Abdullah: Also, you know, for many women we are balancing, wanting to be accomplished in our careers as well as having a lot of things. Going at home. And so sometimes it's balancing and figuring out, you know, what can I change to make that work? And that may mean that you can change something in your work schedule.

Nagina Abdullah: Like, is there a way that you don't have to be working for, you know, being paid for your time or for your FaceTime? Can you change it so that you're being paid for value versus time? And really making these. It's actual structural changes in our life can have a huge effect on our, on our, on our stress and allowing that to happen.

Nagina Abdullah: Knowing that it's okay to say like, I can't do all this, or I need help with doing this. I, that's a really, really key part for, you know, for cortisol and for, for bringing that down. Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. Justin Marchegiani Absolutely. And most women, you know, in their, in their mid forties, right, we'll say we start in the mid forties, you know, their kids are starting to get maybe depending on when they have kids, they could be either.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: middle school years or up or even full grown, maybe grandkids. And there's a lot more obligations. You're bringing your kids or this, you're interacting with grandkids. There's so many things. And like you said, it's so easy to keep on saying yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And then you don't prioritize yourself at all

Nagina Abdullah: in the process.

Nagina Abdullah: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and then one more thing I wanted to mention, you know, as we were kind of talking about like key changes to make, and I, and I had shared that the number two reason that women in midlife are keeping staying stuck is because they are by mistake eating too much fat.

Nagina Abdullah: The other thing, you know, around hormones and create and keeping our hormones balanced and and getting our metabolism high is the number one reason that women are staying stuck in midlife is because they're not eating enough. They're actually under eating and I am seeing this over and over again because we've been brought up in a society where we're supposed to eat less.

Nagina Abdullah: And like I said, I used to follow a diet where I ate small portions of processed foods and tried to add in fruits and vegetables, but. That's not actually, that's, then we keep thinking that more is equals weight gain, but actually you do need to eat enough for your body to produce these hormones, which are in decline.

Nagina Abdullah: And so a lot of women are facing hypothyroidism and they're obviously low estrogen, low progesterone, low testosterone. And when you pull back and you don't eat, it's actually impacting your hormones, which in turn is impacting. It increasing your cortisol, like your stress is going to go up when you're not eating enough because your cortisol is being released.

Nagina Abdullah: It doesn't have what it needs. And so one of the biggest ways to take care of ourselves and to give ourselves self care is to eat enough. And, and like I said, protein more and you can eat more. And when you start there and then start making your food tastes good and making sure that you're feeling full.

Nagina Abdullah: full. You won't have those cravings for other things, but you are going to be eating more and it's going to feel, it's going to feel like sometimes scary. And sometimes you're going to, once you start doing it and you watch your scale go down, you're going to realize that you need a different approach at this time of life.

Nagina Abdullah: It's no longer about eating less. It's more, we do need to eat more for so many of the reasons that we've been talking about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. And so I always tell patients when I look at calories, I get very concerned with, especially with women of that age, is are they eating enough? Because low calories to me automatically means low nutrition.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we want to make sure there's adequate nutrition. And if we low calories, then we're not getting enough nutrients. Where do you fit in intermittent fasting? Does that plug into you at all? And again, when I talk about intermittent fasting, it's really compressing your feeding window. But the goal with intermittent fasting is you're still getting enough calories slash nutrients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the entire day, you're compressing it into either a 16 by eight or an 18 by six, the smaller number being when you actually eat. How do you integrate that?

Nagina Abdullah: Yeah, so intermittent fasting, you know, is absolutely a great strategy. A lot of women want to do it and they do it, and they've seen really positive effects on their hormones.

Nagina Abdullah: But I also see that intermittent fasting, one, you know, one thing to alert people to is it can be easy to not eat all the calories you need because when you are intermittent fasting, it's like you're, you have a smaller eating window and you just have a structure that you don't eat outside of that.

Nagina Abdullah: And so unless you're being very, very proactive and making sure you get all of the calories, it's very easy to under eat. And therefore intermittent fasting doesn't always work as a weight loss. Tool for many women, if that's what they're using it for because they're under eating again and you know, the foods that we've been talking about today having healthy fats, having more protein, having vegetables with fiber, those foods are actually very filling.

Nagina Abdullah: So if you are eating those foods, you almost feel like you can't eat more of those within a shorter feeding window. because they're so filling. They're meant to keep you full throughout the day. So you end up going and eating foods that are spiking your blood sugar because they're not as filling like foods that are not as filling are going to break down quickly, like, like fast burning carbs.

Nagina Abdullah: So those are the foods that you might eat more of. So that you can get the calories, but those are not going to have the composition to boost your metabolism. So, yeah, so I have seen women that have, that I've worked with, that I've worked with them really closely to make sure that they're getting enough to eat if they're intermittent fasting.

Nagina Abdullah: So it absolutely can work. And what I would recommend is starting your day with water. And then also maybe if you drink coffee or tea, having coffee or tea with Cinnamon in it. Cause that's going to bring down your blood sugar. Then when you break your fast, starting with your protein, more breakfast, the ones that we were talking about earlier, but making sure you're having a lunch and a dinner, or at least another way to do intermittent fasting is to do like one and a half meals twice a day, but make sure you're getting in protein that you'd have at 30 30 grams, you know, at three times a day, you're getting that into your, into your feeding window.

Nagina Abdullah: You're getting in those three times a day fats into that feeding window. And you're also getting enough vegetables so that you're getting all of the right nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. And so I've actually seen many women lose weight without intermittent fasting. And I've seen that work very well because they're very satisfied and full with these kinds of foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dr. Justin Marchegiani And also the intermittent fasting Let's say the hormetic response that you get from it. I've seen women every day is an intermittent fast. It's like, well, wait a minute. It's like, it's meant to be an acute stress that your body can adapt to if you're doing it all the time and your body kind of adapts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so it may be something you throw in once or twice a week on a non stressful day. But like you said, make sure that meal is 1. 5 times what it typically is, because most of the time it won't be. And also a big thing is before you eat, 10 minutes before, go have your, you know, one to two glasses of really good mineral water that fills your tummy up a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That gets those barrel receptors stimulated, which allows your appetite to go down a little bit, and then you're less likely to overeat, too. If you're worried about eating too much. utilize the hydration and get those stretch receptors going to before me about 10 minutes or so.

Nagina Abdullah: Yes. That sounds amazing.

Nagina Abdullah: Absolutely. Absolutely. So this is so important to see. I don't think enough people are talking about this aspect of intermittent fasting and it's actually looked at as like a quick you know, like a, like a quick bullet or a quick kind of like pill type of thing that you can take and it just works.

Nagina Abdullah: But it's not. But more women are finding themselves frustrated and that's because they weren't necessarily overeating, which I can see intermittent fasting has helped with women that are overeating to bring them their calories down. But if you're one of the many women that are already under eating, you're only going to get more stuck potentially, but using it, like you said, once in a while to shock and surprise your body is excellent if you do that once in a while.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I'm like, I went out to eat last night and so I had a nice breakfast, but I intentionally missed lunch on purpose. So I did a 10, 10 hour fast during the day because I knew I'd probably maybe overeat a little bit. And so getting, getting a little bit more into a fasting state, decrease my, you know, get more insulin sensitive.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So just basically you can work on strategies or, you know, you can do the same thing. If you know you're going to have a nice big dinner that day, you maybe you skip breakfast, right. You can do that or, or add in some cardio or so that morning to kind of decrease your Deplete glycogen so you have more storage of carbs later in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I like all those different strategies. Also too, with intermittent fasting, if your body's under stress, if you have a lot of hormonal stress, restricting nutrients throughout the day isn't a good thing. If someone's stressed, it's like if you have financial issues, you probably wanna get paid every week, not once a month.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? And so it's like paying your body with nutrients. Throughout the day, then that decreases the stress response because your body is like, Oh, I got protein coming in multiple times. I got nutrients and B vitamins, magnesium. So it does decrease that stress response. And then maybe when you get healthier, you can, you can try to finagle that as you get healthier, but if you're not healthy yet, have that good foundation first.

Nagina Abdullah: Oh my gosh. I totally agree. And I love how you said that because you know, otherwise your body's going to be in this starvation mode. It just doesn't know when It's getting its next meal. And so it's going to hold onto the fat because it needs fat for fuel and it won't burn your fat as efficiently.

Nagina Abdullah: And so when you do get into the place where you're eating enough, you are going to, you're going to know it because your body, you're going to feel less stressed in your body. It's like your body's just going to be saying thank you. And it's not going to be feeling heavy or, you know, or tired, which happens when you're eating more of the wrong foods.

Nagina Abdullah: But when you're actually eating these foods, you will feel that your stress goes down. Like it actually. actually goes down by feeding yourself enough. And so that's why really, really working on lowering stress through what you're eating is a really key way as well as some of the other lifestyle things we were talking about.

Nagina Abdullah: But don't skip over the importance of eating enough and eating enough of the right foods. Your body will just be thanking you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That's great. And so you got a five day bootcamp coming up. We'll put the link down. Below right here so you guys can see it, justinhealth. com slash metabolism hyphen boost b o o s t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I'll put the link down for you guys. What else are you going to be going over? Is there anything in regards to specific supplements or herbs, any other, let's say, biohacking strategies that you come up with? I mean, you don't have to go into details, but anything else that you're going to be covering?

Nagina Abdullah: Yes, absolutely. Well, the first day I'm going to be talking about the four part metabolism, boosting morning routine, where I'm going to give you multiple things that you can do right in the morning before breakfast that are going to get your metabolism skyrocketing. I'm also going to be talking in detail about the four part.

Nagina Abdullah: It's a four part fat burning food framework and giving you examples of lunches and dinners. And I'm going to be doing a deep dive on spices and herbs that you can add to your breakfast, to your water and to your teas at night that are going to create fat burning teas that are actually an amazing replacement to wine.

Nagina Abdullah: They make you, you make your body relax. And so I'm going to tell you the one spice you can add that's not spicy, but you add it to your tea at night and then you add it to your soup. Smoothies, and then also your coffee and it's going to bring down your blood sugar, and it's also going to decrease inflammation and it's going to burn more calories than even a 20 minute walk.

Nagina Abdullah: I'm going to be talking about those things. And then also how to get off sugar. I'm going to show you multiple ways that you can combine your foods so that you bring your blood sugar down, but you're still eating your favorite foods. And what to add so as you can keep your blood sugar down. So if you want to eat chocolate cake, if you want to eat French fries, if you want to eat pizza, I'll show you what to pair it with so that you will naturally bring your blood sugar down and you also won't want to eat as much of that.

Nagina Abdullah: So for these numbers of reasons, it's going to feel so easy to get your metabolism high and start burning more fat. And so, so yeah, I'll talk all about this at the five day metabolism boost for midlife women. And yes, we have that link down below. So I would be so excited for those of you listening and watching to check that out.

Nagina Abdullah: And I will be there live. So definitely say hi in the comments when you're there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That's very good. Any other strategies at all for. Just dealing with alcohol. Let's say you want to consume an alcohol wine and drink. Is there anything, any other strategies or tips that you have that will help with, with women in this hormonal kind of category where the blood, the blood sugar and their hormones won't get exacerbated by the alcohol?

Nagina Abdullah: Yes. So, you know, women in midlife, you might be feeling that You're having different effects of alcohol now than you were before. There's a lot of women that they don't, they, it doesn't help. It doesn't feel as good anymore, but yet you still want to have some drinks. So one thing is really to start looking at other low sugar alcohol drinks versus wine.

Nagina Abdullah: So if wine is making you feel bloated, I want you to be aware of, if you wake up the next day and you feel like you have a hangover, like you feel like you are, you're bloated. You're bloated, you're tired just because you had one or two glasses of wine. Well, let's look at switching it for actually a cocktail.

Nagina Abdullah: Like I recommend working on drinking low sugar cocktails with, with alcohols like that are clear alcohol. So vodka and tequila is actually the best. And gin having that with a club soda and a splash of juice is a really, really great way to have that alcohol, but it's not going to spike your blood sugar.

Nagina Abdullah: It's not going to make you feel as bloated as wine would. And then in addition to that, about one to 10 minutes before you're having a drink, there's a couple of things that you can do. Number one, I call it delay the drink. So there's a delay the drink strategy, which means have two glasses of water before For your first drink.

Nagina Abdullah: And that's because you're hydrating your body. So it's hard, it's hard to remember to do that after you start drinking. So if you do it before you've hydrated your body, your body's ready, more ready to take on the alcohol that you're going to give it. And if you really want to amp it up, put in, add in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into your water, right before you you have.

Nagina Abdullah: Wine, alcohol, or any desserts, and it very quickly brings down your blood sugar, so it helps to counteract any sugar that you're giving yourself. And so it's, it's, it's really going to help you manage that so that you're not storing fat as you're drinking that, drinking that drink or having that dessert.

Nagina Abdullah: So having one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, just mixing it in, you could either mix it into your water. You could put it into, you know, any type of like, Coffee or tea, if you want to do that but doing that and you're going to see that your blood sugar is going to go down. So that's kind of a hack.

Nagina Abdullah: And then also, you know, I recommend if you want to have alcohol or wine, that's fine. But if you want to find a replacement for it drinking something like a cinnamon tea, Or a turmeric tea at night is very relaxing to our bodies and it's not going to give us that mental kind of kind of feeling like we're going down low the next morning.

Nagina Abdullah: So having even a turmeric teabag or getting a cinnamon teabag or making it for you. Fresh tea. You're going to feel really, really comforted and like you're taking care of yourself, but you really are taking care of yourself because you're you're those natural herbs and spices are going to work with your body and help you feel really relaxed and they lower inflammation and lower blood sugar as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That's great. Excellent. And it's natural for women to, especially if they're that kind of menopausal timeframe and their hormones aren't dialed in, it's natural to start actually craving red wine because of the polyphenols do kind of modulate some of the estrogen receptor sites and help provide a bump in estrogen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So if your hormones are off, you may be just naturally gravitating towards red wine. to bump up your hormones. And so that there may be other ways you want to naturally bump it up outside of going to the wine because there's other issues on that front. So that may be a craving thing in the background.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So get your estrogen balance other ways that will help. Also, people don't realize, but alcohol actually lowers blood sugar, right? While your body's detoxifying the alcohol, it actually lowers blood sugar and that can actually cause more cravings. So when you go out to eat and you have your wine first, that's where you start to over order bread and pretzels or other more carby stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so I always tell patients, have your protein out of the gate because of one that kind of time releases the alcohol and it prevents that big drop in blood sugar. When your blood sugar drops hard, that's where you start to overeat. When you want the desserts, you want the more carby and processed stuff, and that gives you more control of your appetite.

Nagina Abdullah: Awesome. Yes, absolutely. And I know that many people that drink will experience that where you just feel like you have goals, but then you kind of lose control. But if you feed yourself first and start with that protein, absolutely. You're going to just keep yourself more stable. So see, the thing about this is, is that sometimes it can feel really frustrating or you don't know what else you can do.

Nagina Abdullah: And sometimes we tell ourselves, Oh, my body's not meant to lose weight or where I'm not meant to get over sugar cravings. I was just born like this, but it's actually not about that at all. It's more. more about just understanding the combinations, what to add these, these strategies and even hacks to, to just know how we're eating.

Nagina Abdullah: And I, I can tell you, you will get, you will see results. You will boost your metabolism. You will burn fat, even if you haven't been doing it through anything else, because this is all about, this is more of a strategic way to, to lose weight and more of like a strategy. People like that are listening. I know you're smart people.

Nagina Abdullah: This is the smart person's way to really understand your metabolism and and lose fat in a healthy way. A

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: hundred percent. Most people's metabolism drives them, meaning it's their cravings, their hormonal imbalances. They're reaching for this, they're reaching for that, their lifestyles driven by the hormones versus our lifestyle, driving our hormones, our lifestyle, driving our metabolism.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we want to, you know, we want to be in the driver's seat on this, not, not be a victim to our cravings and to all of our natural instincts. Right. So I think that's great. So guys. you want to dive in free five day boot camp. We'll put a link down below justinhealth. com slash metabolism or boost. Make sure you get the right metabolism hyphen boost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Put the link right below. It's going to be a wealth of information. So really appreciate everything, Nagina. Anything else you want to leave us today, any other links or access points to people to reach out to you? Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Nagina Abdullah: I think that's a really great place to stop. start is to join the five day metabolism boost.

Nagina Abdullah: And, you know, you will get so much, just, just valuable free information. And from there, I'll share more ways that we can get in touch, but I've just been, so, you know, it's been such a great conversation, breaking down the science, breaking down the myths and talking about really easy, quick additions. And you know, one thing I'll leave people with is, you know, one more kind of easy thing that you can do.

Nagina Abdullah: And I talked about this last week. slightly today, but I want to give a little more emphasis to that. And that is to start to boost your metabolism with one simple thing in your, in your morning. And that's to add cinnamon to your coffee or to your tea. Because it's giving you the sweetness that you get from sugar or artificial sweeteners, but in such a healthier way.

Nagina Abdullah: And it's actually lowering your blood sugar and and you are going to have your sweetness. Sweet cravings taken care of by cinnamon. And so it's something that I, I have every single morning. It's actually the first step that I took on my 40 pound weight loss because I loved my coffee and I wanted to have artificial sweeteners and for so many reasons, those are actually not good for us.

Nagina Abdullah: It, you know, not only, it's not only about calories, it's, there's other things. So when you're using cinnamon, that was the first step for me to be able to make all the other changes that we talked about today. So if you are listening to us still, I want to just say great job and take that hack because we left it till the end.

Nagina Abdullah: The best things are at the end and and you can get started there and and and you're going to start to see. See, okay, now your cravings are going down. Now you can add your protein more breakfast. After that, naturally the other steps will take place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Excellent, Naina. Very good. Link down below Justin health.com/metabolism Boost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you Nadina for being on today's podcast. Really excited for the summit. You guys take care. Thank you.

Nagina Abdullah: Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All right. Bye now.

Nagina Abdullah: Bye.

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