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    #392 Menopause: How To Burn Fat, Sleep Better & Live In Harmony With Your Hormones with Dr Mindy Pelz

    Taking care of yourself and honoring your biology during the week before your period can significantly reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, leading to a more comfortable and empowered experience.

    enOctober 10, 2023

    About this Episode

    CAUTION: This podcast discusses fasting, and its advice may not be suitable for anyone with an eating disorder. If you have an existing health condition or are taking medication, always consult your healthcare practitioner before going for prolonged periods without eating.


    I first spoke to today’s guest on Episode 342 - and that episode has become one of the most downloaded episodes of the year - it has transformed the lives of many women - and men and I think this conversation will do the same.


    Dr Mindy Pelz is a nutrition expert, a pioneer on the subject of women’s health & hormones, and the author of Fast Like A Girl and The Menopause ResetGet Rid of Your Symptoms and Feel Like Your Younger Self Again.


    Mindy’s aim is to empower women by explaining the biological changes that take place each month and throughout a woman’s life. She believes that, armed with that knowledge, they can improve their health, happiness and relationships. But this conversation is just as relevant for men.


    We discuss whether weight gain is inevitable as we age. Is it our fate – and particularly a woman’s fate – to gain weight once she hits 40? It can be, she tells me, but only if women don’t know how to harness their hormones to prevent it. She explains how declining oestrogen levels can make women insulin resistant which may be one the reasons why the diet and lifestyle that worked for them in their 20s and 30s, no longer does once they hit 40.


    At the same time, declining levels of progesterone, the calming hormone, can result in lower-quality sleep, more perceived stress and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol - which, in and of itself, will contribute to an increase in belly fat. It makes so much sense when Mindy explains it, but unfortunately, this information is still not widely known.


    We cover so many different topics, including:

    • How to adjust when and what you eat during different phases of your cycle.
    • The importance of gut health when thinking about hormonal health.
    • Why women often handle stress in a different way to men.
    • The impact that hormonal changes can have on brain function.
    • The practical steps we can take to improve our sleep.
    • The importance of lifestyle changes irrespective of whether a woman chooses to have HRT or not.
    • The best times in a woman’s cycle to resolve conflict and deal with relationship issues.


    This episode is jam-packed with insightful information and practical take-homes. I hope you enjoy listening.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/392


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • By understanding and addressing insulin resistance and making lifestyle changes, women can prevent weight gain and maintain their health during the menopausal years.
    • Insulin resistance, along with hormonal changes, can contribute to weight gain during perimenopause and menopause. More research is needed to understand and address the specific challenges faced by women in this stage of life.
    • Women in their forties may struggle with weight loss due to hormonal changes and increased stress levels. It is crucial to address these factors and prioritize sleep to achieve successful weight loss.
    • Prioritizing hormonal health through simple lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, sun exposure, consistent dinner and sleep routines, and creating a sleep-friendly environment, can have a significant positive impact on overall well-being for perimenopausal women.
    • By understanding and respecting women's monthly cycles, adjusting diet and exercise accordingly, prioritizing light exposure, and adapting eating patterns based on seasons, women can optimize hormonal balance, circadian rhythm, and overall well-being.
    • By acknowledging and accommodating for the different stages of their menstrual cycle, women can support their reproductive health and achieve overall well-being.
    • By understanding and taking control of their hormones, women can prioritize self-care, adjust their routines, and make intentional choices that support their well-being, leading to a more empowered and balanced life.
    • Understanding and working with our bodies' natural rhythms, adjusting exercise routines accordingly, and managing stress levels can improve weight loss and fertility outcomes for women. Further research is needed to explore the potential role of group synchronicity in menstrual cycles.
    • Women's hormone cycles have different phases that can impact their mental and physical well-being. By understanding these phases, women can tailor their exercise routines and listen to their bodies for improved health.
    • Recognizing and working with hormonal fluctuations allows women to optimize productivity, creativity, and communication while prioritizing self-care.
    • Taking care of yourself and honoring your biology during the week before your period can significantly reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, leading to a more comfortable and empowered experience.
    • Supporting and respecting each other during the pre-menstrual phase can strengthen relationships and enhance overall harmony by embracing biological differences and empowering women holistically.
    • Women should prioritize self-nurture and rest, acknowledging the negative consequences of neglecting their health. By understanding their natural rhythms and making choices that promote their well-being, women can improve their overall health and trust themselves.
    • By acknowledging and addressing women's hormonal changes, healthcare professionals can empower women to optimize their exercise routines and overall health, leading to a better quality of life.
    • Adapting your exercise routine to your menstrual cycle can maximize your fitness potential and honor your body's natural rhythms, leading to better results and overall well-being.
    • Adjusting workouts based on hormonal changes can optimize results for menstruating and perimenopausal women, while post-menopausal women can focus on exercise as a support for brain health and overall well-being.
    • By understanding a woman's hormonal cycle, partners can adapt their communication styles and provide support at different phases, leading to a more harmonious and fulfilling relationship.
    • By understanding how hormonal changes can impact behavior and emotions, women can improve relationships and make informed choices to support their hormone health during mid-life.
    • Women over 40 should focus on finding their own balance when it comes to hormone replacement therapy and overall health. This includes varying fasting and diet, taking care of gut health, and supporting the microbiome to reduce the risk of imbalances and related health issues.
    • Paying attention to the products we use and incorporating ancient healing strategies can help restore hormonal balance and improve overall well-being.
    • Fasting, even for short periods of time, can have significant effects on health, such as reducing the risk of breast cancer and regulating metabolic markers. However, it should be done under professional guidance.
    • Starting with small fasting periods and gradually increasing can help individuals with adrenal fatigue gain energy and heal their adrenal system. It's important to view cortisol as a partner, and consider individual stress levels and menstrual cycle when customizing a fasting lifestyle.
    • Adopting a specific eating pattern, including a substantial dinner before the shift, fasting during the shift, and avoiding sugary additives, can improve performance, weight maintenance, and melatonin regulation for shift workers.
    • Fasting can enhance endurance and muscle strength in older athletes. However, fasting is not suitable for everyone and should be tailored to individual needs and considerations.
    • Embrace curiosity in exploring alternative approaches to health, as relying solely on traditional methods may not be effective. By taking a personalized approach, we can make meaningful changes that improve our overall well-being.
    • Women in their forties can improve their weight management by practicing time-restricted eating, experimenting with carbohydrate intake, and prioritizing self-care and nurturing. Understanding their individual responses to carbs and diversifying food choices are also important for overall well-being.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Preventing Weight Gain and Maintaining Health During Menopause

    Weight gain is not inevitable as we age, especially for women. The traditional approach of calorie counting and excessive exercise may no longer work as hormonal changes occur. As women enter their forties, declining estrogen levels can make them insulin resistant, causing weight gain and belly fat. Making a shift in lifestyle is essential during the perimenopausal and menopausal years to prevent weight gain. This includes understanding insulin resistance, which is the resistance of cells to the hormone insulin that helps glucose enter cells for energy. By harnessing the power of hormones and making lifestyle changes, women can prevent weight gain and maintain their health and well-being.

    The Role of Insulin Resistance in Weight Gain during Perimenopause and Menopause

    Insulin resistance plays a significant role in weight gain, particularly for women going through perimenopause and menopause. When the body becomes insulin resistant, glucose cannot enter the cells efficiently, leading to the storage of glucose and insulin as fat. This can slow down metabolism and contribute to weight gain. Additionally, the loss of the powerful form of estrogen called estradiol during this hormonal transition further impacts metabolic processes and weight management. However, research on this topic is lacking, and there is a need to study women going through perimenopause and menopause in isolation. By discussing and sharing experiences, we can shed light on the challenges women face during this stage of life and advocate for more targeted research.

    Understanding Hormonal Changes and Stress for Effective Weight Loss in Women

    As women enter their forties and experience hormonal changes, they may find it harder to handle stress and lose weight. The decrease in hormones such as estradiol and progesterone can lead to increased cortisol levels and insulin resistance, resulting in belly weight. Unfortunately, society often overlooks the needs of women throughout their hormonal cycles and life stages. To address this, it is important to approach weight loss through a hormonal lens and not just rely on grit and discipline. Additionally, the lack of sleep, a common source of stress, can further contribute to weight gain. Encouraging women to prioritize better sleep by resetting their circadian rhythm and getting exposure to morning red light can be beneficial.

    Supporting Hormonal Health through Lifestyle Changes

    Women need to prioritize their hormonal health and make lifestyle changes to support it, especially as they enter the perimenopausal years. Simple habits like exercising, getting sunlight without sunglasses, and maintaining a consistent dinner and sleep routine can make a significant difference. For perimenopausal women, the timing of dinner is crucial to avoid insulin resistance and sleep disturbances. Creating a sleep-friendly environment with a cool room, dark spaces, and even using weighted blankets can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and improve sleep quality. The modern world brings various physical, emotional, and chemical stressors that can negatively impact hormonal balance, leading to conditions like PCOS and infertility. By understanding the evolutionary mismatch and taking proactive steps, women can combat these challenges and prioritize their well-being.

    Women's Health and Well-being: Harnessing the Power of Cycles, Light, and Seasons

    Women's bodies operate on monthly cycles, and understanding and respecting these cycles can greatly impact their overall health and well-being. Women should consider adjusting their diet, exercise, and fasting practices based on the different phases of their menstrual cycle. This awareness can help optimize hormonal balance and prevent potential damage caused by following a one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, the importance of light exposure cannot be underestimated, as it plays a crucial role in setting our circadian rhythm. Ensuring appropriate exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, can have significant benefits for our overall health. Finally, adapting our eating patterns based on the seasons, eating lighter meals in the evening during darker months, can support weight management and metabolic health. Taking these small, personalized steps can make a big difference in promoting overall well-being.

    Honoring and Adjusting to Women's Monthly Fluctuations

    Women's bodies go through seasonal fluctuations every month, and it's essential for them to honor and respect these changes. Women should consider where they are in their menstrual cycle and adjust their lifestyles accordingly. The week before their period, women should prioritize rest and recovery, reducing stress levels, and engaging in gentle forms of exercise like yoga or walking. They should also increase their intake of natural carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, to support their body's glucose needs. Additionally, prioritizing sleep and minimizing stressors like social media can have a profound impact on women's reproductive health. By following these practices, even busy individuals can restore their menstrual cycles and achieve overall well-being.

    Harnessing the Power of Women's Hormones for Self-Care and Empowerment

    Women have a unique superpower in their hormones that they can learn to harness and utilize for their benefit. Instead of viewing hormonal changes as frustrating or burdensome, women can reframe their perspective and see it as empowering and in tune with their bodies. By understanding and taking control of their hormones, women can prioritize self-care and make intentional choices that support their well-being. This can include adjusting workloads during certain phases of their menstrual cycle, practicing self-care activities like yoga, and finding ways to reduce stress. By embracing their hormones as a superpower rather than a hurdle, women can live a more empowered and balanced life.

    The Impact of Stress and Hormonal Fluctuations on Weight Loss and Fertility

    Stress plays a significant role in our ability to lose weight and conceive. Our bodies prioritize survival over weight loss or reproduction when under stress, as they perceive stress as a threat. This can lead to hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to achieve our goals. Women, in particular, face additional challenges due to their hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. Exercise can be a powerful tool in working with our hormones, but it needs to be tailored to our specific needs at different stages of the cycle. By understanding our bodies' natural rhythms and adjusting our workouts accordingly, we can optimize our chances of success in weight loss and fertility. Mindful and strategic exercise scheduling, guided by the moon or natural outdoor exposure, may also contribute to group synchronicity in women's menstrual cycles, although further scientific research is needed to validate this phenomenon.

    Understanding Women's Hormonal Cycles for Better Health and Well-being

    Women's hormonal cycles have a significant impact on their overall well-being and should be understood and respected. Women's cycles involve different phases, each with its own characteristics and effects. During the first phase, from day one to day 10, estrogen levels rise, leading to mental clarity, improved brain function, and physical benefits like full hair and moisturized skin. Around day 10 to 15, estrogen peaks during ovulation, accompanied by a surge of testosterone that enhances motivation and libido. Understanding these phases can help women tailor their exercise routines to maximize benefits. Additionally, the discussion highlights the need to bring back hormone literacy and empower women to trust and listen to their bodies for better health and well-being.

    Understanding a woman's hormonal cycle for empowerment and productivity.

    Understanding the different phases of a woman's hormonal cycle can empower women to optimize their productivity and communication. During the power phase, women are driven and motivated, making it an ideal time for taking on new projects and pushing themselves physically and mentally. The manifestation phase, which occurs during ovulation, is a time when women are hormonally "locked and loaded," making it the perfect time for creative endeavors and solving problems. It is also a great time for resolving conflicts with women, as they are more open to verbal processing and have a calm demeanor. Finally, the nurture phase reminds women to actively care for themselves and prioritize self-care. By recognizing and working with their hormonal fluctuations, women can harness their innate power and achieve their goals.

    Nurturing Yourself During Your Period for PMS Relief

    Nurturing oneself during the week before one's period can greatly reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. Often, women feel that hormonal problems around their periods are inevitable, but it seems that these symptoms are a result of a mismatch between our lifestyle and biology. When a woman is unable to nourish herself during this time, she is more likely to experience uncomfortable symptoms because she is working against her body. While it may not be feasible for everyone to honor their biology during this week, knowing that their symptoms are a consequence of neglecting self-care can bring some relief. By experimenting and intentionally nourishing oneself, women can discover that taking it easy and prioritizing self-care leads to feeling better during this time. This knowledge is empowering and can be shared with spouses or partners to foster understanding and support during this period.

    Improving Relationships through Menstrual Cycle Understanding

    Understanding and respecting each other's menstrual cycles can greatly improve relationships and overall harmony. Partners who support and nurture each other during the pre-menstrual phase can strengthen their bond and reduce tension and irritability. This support can involve simple acts of kindness and gentleness in communication and offering assistance with household duties. It's important to emphasize that this is not about regressing or undermining feminism, but rather acknowledging the biological differences between men and women. By recognizing these differences and finding ways to work within them, women can optimize their energy and productivity and contribute fully in all aspects of their lives. Ultimately, it's about incorporating a holistic approach to women's empowerment and well-being.

    Prioritizing self-care and understanding hormones for women's health

    Women need to prioritize nurturing themselves and understanding their hormones. Mindy Pelz emphasizes the importance of self-care and rest for women, particularly during perimenopause. She highlights the negative consequences of not prioritizing self-nurture, such as lack of sleep, autoimmune problems, and even divorce. By acknowledging the need for recovery and rest, women can improve their overall health and well-being. Mindy also discusses the societal pressure for women to constantly push through, disregarding their natural rhythms and innate wisdom. Recognizing the biology and hormonal changes that occur throughout the menstrual cycle empowers women to trust themselves and make choices that promote their health. The conversation around women's hormones and lifestyle needs to be elevated in healthcare discussions to prioritize women's well-being.

    Embracing Women's Hormonal Cycles: A Path to Better Health and Well-being

    Women's hormonal cycles play a significant role in their overall health and well-being. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to recognize and address these hormonal changes instead of dismissing them. By empowering women to understand and embrace their natural rhythms, we can promote more constructive conversations and provide tailored support and guidance. Women should listen to their intuition and adjust their exercise routines accordingly, focusing on pushing themselves during the first half of their cycle when estrogen is high, and prioritizing rest during the second half. By integrating hormonal awareness into healthcare and everyday life, we can better meet the unique needs of women and improve their overall quality of life.

    Optimize Your Fitness Results by Tailoring Your Exercise Routine to Your Menstrual Cycle.

    Tailoring your exercise routine based on your menstrual cycle can help optimize your fitness results. During the first two weeks of your cycle, when estrogen is high, focus on high-intensity exercises that stimulate BDNF and promote neuronal growth. Push yourself and engage in cardiovascular workouts to get the most benefits. During ovulation, when testosterone peaks, concentrate on strength training and building muscle. Lift heavy weights and target specific muscle groups to increase insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization. In the final week before your period, you can continue exercising but with less intensity, allowing your body to recover and nourish. By adapting your exercise routine to your menstrual cycle, you can maximize your fitness potential and honor your body's natural rhythms.

    Understanding How Exercise Impacts Women's Bodies

    Exercise can have different effects on women's bodies depending on factors such as their menstrual cycle, menopausal status, and individual hormone levels. For menstruating and perimenopausal women, it's important to be mindful of their hormone fluctuations and adapt their workout schedules accordingly. This means modifying intensity and choosing appropriate exercises during different phases of their cycle. On the other hand, post-menopausal women can focus on exercise as a way to support their brain health and overall well-being. They can follow a 30-day or weekly workout plan that covers all their bases and addresses different hormone needs. Overall, being intentional about workouts and adjusting them according to specific needs can lead to better results and overall health.

    Understanding a woman's hormonal cycle for better communication and relationships

    Understanding a woman's hormonal cycle can greatly enhance communication and improve relationships. During the first 10 days of the cycle, when estrogen is high, women are great at multitasking and verbal processing, so it's a good time for open conversations. Between days 11 and 15, during ovulation, conflict resolution can be more effective, as women are at their best selves and their libido may be higher. After ovulation, starting from day 20, it's important to nurture and support women, giving them space and asking how you can help. By knowing and respecting these phases, partners can avoid taking things personally and create a more harmonious relationship.

    Understanding Female Physiology: A Key to Successful Relationships and Self-Understanding in Mid-Life

    Understanding the female physiology and biology can be transformative in relationships. It allows partners to not take things personally and instead recognize that hormonal changes can impact behavior and emotions. Many divorces initiated by women over the age of 40 may be due to a lack of self-understanding during this phase of life. It's important for women to recognize the neurochemical changes happening in their brains and ensure that their lifestyle supports their hormone health. While Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and bioidenticals may be options, they are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Each person is unique, and finding the right approach requires individual experimentation and attention to lifestyle choices.

    Navigating Hormone Replacement Therapy and Overall Health for Women Over 40

    Women over 40 need to find their own path when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and overall health. It's important not to compare yourself to others or get discouraged if HRT doesn't work for you or if you experience weight gain. Instead, focus on finding the right balance for your body. Some key recommendations include varying your fasting and diet, incorporating good carbs from nature and eliminating refined flour and sugars, and establishing a rhythm that aligns with your cycle. Additionally, taking care of your gut health and supporting the microbiome is crucial, as it affects how estrogen is broken down and stored in the body. By paying attention to these factors, you can support better hormone health and reduce the risk of imbalances and related health issues.

    The impact of modern lifestyle on hormonal health

    Our modern lifestyle and environment can have a significant impact on our hormonal health. The microbiome, which is crucial for hormonal balance, can be disrupted by factors such as multiple rounds of antibiotics and long-term use of birth control. Additionally, the toxins we encounter in everyday products can affect the hormonal control centers in our brain. It is important to pay attention to the products we use on our bodies and opt for more natural and less toxic alternatives. Research supports the idea that toxins can indeed have adverse effects on our health. By embracing some of the wisdom from ancient healing strategies and making simple lifestyle changes like fasting, we can potentially restore hormonal balance and improve overall well-being.

    The Benefits of Fasting in a Safe and Manageable Way

    Fasting may not be for everyone, but it can have significant benefits when done in a safe and manageable way. Fasting is a healing state that your body enters when blood sugar levels have decreased for a certain period of time. Even a 13-hour fast, such as finishing dinner by 7pm and not eating until 8am the next day, can have remarkable effects. For example, studies have shown that a 13-hour daily fast can reduce the recurrence of breast cancer by 64%. Additionally, a 16-hour fast with an 8-hour eating window can regulate metabolic markers, such as liver enzymes, blood pressure, and cholesterol. While fasting is not suitable for everyone and should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, it can be a powerful tool for improving health and well-being.

    Fasting for Adrenal Fatigue: Start Small, Increase Gradually, and Dance with Cortisol

    Fasting can be beneficial for individuals with adrenal fatigue, even those who have been under chronic stress for a sustained period of time. It's important to start small and gradually increase the fasting window to allow the body to adapt. By slowly tiptoeing into fasting, individuals with adrenal fatigue can experience increased energy and healing of their adrenal system without the need for supplements. Additionally, it's crucial to dance with cortisol and not view it as the enemy. Exercise can raise cortisol levels, but with a gentle approach and mindful consideration of individual stress levels, fasting can still be incorporated. Transitioning into a fasting lifestyle can be customized based on an individual's needs and preferences. Considerations should also be made for women during different phases of their menstrual cycle, allowing them to rest and nourish themselves accordingly. Whether it's shorter fasting periods or longer fasts, making small improvements can have significant health benefits.

    Optimize Energy Levels and Hormonal Balance: A Specific Eating Pattern for Shift Workers

    Shift workers can benefit from adopting a specific eating pattern to optimize their energy levels and hormonal balance. Mindy Pelz suggests eating a substantial dinner before the shift begins, focusing on protein-rich foods that provide essential amino acids for brain function and energy. During the shift, fasting is recommended, which can improve cognition and mental energy. Fluid intake should consist of unsweetened mineral water, tea, or coffee without sugar or artificial ingredients. Mindy advises against consuming juices, soft drinks, or sugary additives that can spike blood sugar levels. By following this eating pattern, shift workers may experience improved performance at work, weight maintenance, and better melatonin regulation, ultimately leading to optimal recovery.

    Optimizing Athletic Performance through Fasting and Protein Loading

    Fasting can have a positive impact on athletic performance, particularly for older athletes. By implementing a fasting cycle that includes periods of fasting and protein loading, athletes can experience improved endurance and muscle strength. However, it's important to recognize that fasting is not suitable for everyone. Individuals with eating disorders, during pregnancy, or while nursing should avoid fasting or consult with a healthcare professional. On the other hand, fasting can be beneficial for women trying to conceive by aligning their fasting patterns with their menstrual cycles. The key message here is that fasting is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and individual differences should be taken into consideration for optimal results.

    Embracing Curiosity and Individuality for Better Health

    We need to embrace curiosity and individuality when it comes to our health. The traditional approach of relying solely on diagnoses, medications, and surgeries is not working, as evidenced by the increasing rates of chronic disease and obesity. It's time to explore new paths and find what works for us as individuals. We should approach lifestyle changes and healing with a sense of curiosity, constantly asking ourselves, "I wonder if this will work for me?" This applies to everything from exercise to fasting. By embracing curiosity, we can learn about ourselves and make meaningful changes that lead to improved health and well-being.

    Weight management strategies for women in their forties: Time-restricted eating, carbohydrate experimentation, and lifestyle adjustments for optimal health.

    Women in their forties who struggle with weight gain may benefit from practicing time-restricted eating and experimenting with their carbohydrate intake. By compressing their food intake into a specific window and gradually extending their fasting periods, they can potentially improve their energy levels and mental focus. Additionally, understanding how their body responds to low carb and high carb diets can help them make informed choices about their carbohydrate consumption. Adding carbohydrates back into their diet during the week before their cycle, such as sweet potatoes and tropical fruits, can be beneficial. Diversifying their food choices, minimizing exposure to toxic environments, and prioritizing self-care and nurturing are also essential for overall well-being.

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    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    Have you ever thought about the role that rituals play in our health and wellbeing? Whether it's a morning routine, a pre-game warmup, or a cultural tradition, rituals can provide us with structure, meaning, and connection.

     

    Today’s guest is Professor Michael Norton, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the brand new book, The Ritual Effect: The Transformative Power of Our Everyday Actions, which delves into the science and psychology behind, why turning everyday habits into rituals can improve our work, our relationships and our lives.

     

    In this conversation, Michael and I explore the fascinating world of rituals and how they impact on our mental and physical health. We discuss the distinction between rituals and routines, why they can be really helpful in making our habits stick over the long term and how, by providing order and structure, they can help us manage overwhelm and stress.

     

    We also explore how rituals foster community and connection, how elite athletes like Serena Williams use rituals to enhance performance and mental preparation, and how team rituals, like the New Zealand rugby team’s iconic Hakka, are a great example of how ritual behaviours boost togetherness and collective identity. 

     

    Michael and I also share some of our own personal rituals  - including the preparation rituals I go through each week to prepare for this podcast. And, we also acknowledge that rituals can become problematic if taken to an extreme and the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with them, using them as tools for self-improvement rather than allowing them to be in control of us.

     

    Ultimately, this is a conversation that offers a compelling case for the power of rituals in enhancing our health and happiness. Whether you're an athlete striving for peak performance, or simply someone looking to live a more fulfilled life, I think you’ll find that understanding the "ritual effect" can be truly transformative.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/452


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    Today’s guest is the oldest person I’ve ever welcomed onto my show, and what a great pleasure it was for me to do so. 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 394 of the podcast with Dr Gladys McGarey.


    She’s 103 years old, co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, and author of the fantastic book, The Well-Lived Life: A 102-year-old Doctor’s Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age.


    For many of us, finding our purpose in life feels like an optional extra when we’re busy working, raising children or caring for parents. It can be hard to know who we really are or what we want out of life. But Gladys insists we should still strive to identify our reason for getting out of bed every morning.

    Gladys believes each of us holds a unique purpose - a true reason for being here. And in this clip, she invites you to find yours.


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    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/394


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #450 How To Eat To Boost Your Body’s Natural Defences & Avoid The Foods That Weaken Them with Dr William Li

    #450 How To Eat To Boost Your Body’s Natural Defences & Avoid The Foods That Weaken Them with Dr William Li

    Today’s guest passionately believes that the decisions we make every day about what we eat, have a huge influence on our overall health. Dr William Li is a medical doctor, internal medicine specialist, research scientist and the author of the 2 international bestsellers, Eat to Beat Disease and Eat To Beat Your Diet. He works in a field of research called Food as Medicine and having been involved with the development of many different drugs over the past few decades, he is passionate about using scientific rigour to analyse the specific benefits of food.


    Dr Li has been a guest on my podcast on 2 previous occasions - Episodes 234 and 376 - and those episodes remain some of the most downloaded episodes in the history of my show. Today’s brand new episode was actually a conversation Dr Li and I recorded together around 2 years ago, but the content within it, is just as relevant today.

     

    In this conversation, we covered a broad range of food related topics that people often find confusing, with the intention of providing more clarity. We start off talking about the foods we might want to consider cutting back on, due to their negative effects on our health. We talk about sugar, artificial sweeteners, ultra-processed foods, alcohol, and the problems with reusing oil when frying.

     

    We also talk about the practical steps we can all take immediately, when it comes to choosing foods that will enhance both our short term and long-term health.

     

    We cover so many different topics today, including:  

    • how you can go about choosing a good quality olive oil,
    • the benefits of pairing certain foods together to increase nutrient absorption,
    • how we can increase the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms,
    • why organic foods are healthier,
    • how to best read food labels,
    • the link between the foods we consume and autoimmune disease,
    • whether supplements are beneficial, and so much more.

     

    Dr Li is someone who wants joy to be at the heart of how we think about our food choices and our health. He is knowledgeable, passionate and a wonderful communicator. I always enjoy my conversations with him, I hope you enjoy listening.

    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/450

    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    Today’s guest shares a simple daily habit that can help us calm the fight-or-flight system and manage the build up of daily stress.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 278 of the podcast with natural lifestyle coach and record-breaking barefoot endurance athlete, Tony Riddle.


    Tony believes that through connecting with nature and our natural state, we can experience greater health and happiness.


    In this clip we discuss the physiology of stress and how breathwork can help us, and Tony to take us through a simple breathing exercise, in real time (so you can join in, too).


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/278


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    What does the word forgiveness mean to you? If the very idea of letting go of a past hurt makes you feel indignant or upset, then listening to this podcast could be one of the best gifts you give yourself.


    Today’s guest wants us all to understand why forgiveness matters for our mental and physical health. Dr Frederic Luskin is a clinical psychologist, researcher and speaker who has been teaching at Stanford University for the past 30 years. As Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, he has taught tens of thousands of people to live happier and more fulfilled lives through the practice of forgiveness, gratitude and meditation.


    Although 20 years old, his book Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, is as relevant today as it ever was. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, it provides practical strategies for letting go of grudges and resentments. And offers startling insight into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness, and its profound impact on our lives.


    Fred explains how our past hurts are stored in our bodies. People who are able to forgive are physically more relaxed. Their blood pressure and central nervous system normalise, their perception of pain lowers, their risk of depression and anxiety goes down. Crucially, their relationships are more open and trusting, so they feel less alone.


    This is such powerful knowledge to have. Most of us can probably think of an example where we’ve allowed something that’s happened in the past to sabotage our present. Not letting go of old hurts can be a way of trying to protect ourselves and control the future. But Fred points out this is a coping mechanism to stop us acknowledging when we are vulnerable. True resilience means sitting with that discomfort and learning that it will pass.


    Of course this doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to be devastated if our partner has an affair or our boss treats us badly. It’s vital to feel the hurt and process your feelings, says Fred. But if you’re still living in the negative emotions months or years later, it’s time to move on.


    If that sounds easier said than done, rest assured that Fred has plenty of inspiring examples and practical suggestions to help you forgive. He is adamant that forgiveness is a choice and a skill anyone can learn. And you start by giving yourself permission to enjoy your present and future, unbound by the past.


    I really enjoyed my conversation with Fred and completely agree with him that forgiveness is an undervalued human skill. It may feel hard to access, but it is a brave choice and one that in any given situation will trigger a cascade of rewards. I hope this conversation prompts you to reconsider some of your past hurts and move forwards with self-compassion and freedom.


    Dr Chatterjee's Journal https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/448


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    CAUTION: This podcast episode contains swearing.


    Headaches, migraine, back, neck or joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia – they’re just some of the common causes of chronic pain, which is estimated to affect between a third to half of all UK adults, or just under 28 million of us.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 310 of the podcast with Director of the Mind Body Medicine Center in Michigan and author of Unlearn Your Pain, Dr Howard Schubiner.


    Emerging neuroscience tells us our brains actually create what we experience in our bodies, through a process called predictive processing. Pain doesn’t come from the body part where it’s felt, it’s created by our brain, signalling that something needs attention.


    Howard believes that in many cases of chronic pain your brain has created a neural pathway which remembers the pain and keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle. 


    In this clip he explains why it’s not ‘all in your head’, your pain is real. And there is something you can do about it. 


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/310


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    Today we’re going meta, as they say. Because this is a conversation about…conversation. More than that, it’s a deep and meaningful exchange about why effective, authentic dialogue is so important to humankind – and yet seemingly in decline. And who better to exchange words with on this topic, than my fellow ‘professional conversationalist’, Nihal Arthanayake.

     

    You may know Nihal as an acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter. He presents a national daytime show on BBC Radio 5 Live, which has over 1.2 million regular listeners, and his unique style recently won him Interviewer of the Year at the BBC Radio and Music Awards. Nihal is a good friend, so I can testify to his ability to ‘give good chat’. But he’s also brilliant at having public conversations that are bold, thoughtful and honest. Guests from the world's biggest stars to leaders of inner-city gangs have lauded his ability to stimulate positive discussions without the need for confrontation. 

     

    In his wonderful book, Let’s Talk: How To Have Better Conversations, which has recently been released in paperback, Nihal explains that all the scientific evidence points towards us now sharing fewer conversations than we ever have done before. We may have hundreds of connections on social media, but fewer than ever in our daily lives. So, could learning the art of conversation be an antidote to loneliness?

     

    In our conversation, we discuss the importance of empathy and active listening, with your heart and mind as well as your ears and eyes. Are you listening to understand, says Nihal, or simply to respond? We talk about vulnerability in conversation, why men in particular find that difficult, and why it feels so hard for male friends to exchange words like ‘I miss you’ or even ‘I love you’.

     

    Nihal shares his personal experience and advice, such as how he’s approached conversations with friends who are going through tough times, or why he went to couples’ therapy with his wife on realising their interactions had become more transactional than conversational.

     

    He also explains the evolution and psychology of dialogue, as well as the neuroscience of what’s happening in the brain during meaningful discourse. And he shares some powerful, high-profile case studies who’ve proved that it is possible to find common ground with anyone, even those who are your sworn enemies, by finding your common humanity.

     

    I really think that the skills Nihal is encouraging us all to cultivate are essential if we are to live happy and contented lives, but also essential when it comes to our physical and mental wellbeing. This conversation was relaxed and light hearted but at the same time, powerful and provocative. As Nihal says, great conversation is the glue that binds us all together.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/446


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    So many of us struggle to make change in our lives, and each of us has our own journey ahead of us, but, as today’s guest highlights, life is short; all of us have less time than we think to make the changes we want to make.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 320 of the podcast with best-selling author and speaker, Robert Greene.


    In this clip he shares how meditation can help us gain a better understanding of who we really are, and why self awareness is key to creating lasting change in our lives.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/320


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    We often think about our memories as a record of the past – but what if they’re only a selective and evolving version of it? Today’s guest is a world-leading memory expert who has a surprising message: we’re not supposed to remember everything. In fact, our brains are designed to forget. And much of what you experience today will be lost by tomorrow.

     

    Dr Charan Ranganath is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California at Davis.  For more than 25 years, he has studied the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events, using brain imaging techniques, computational modelling and research on patients with memory disorders. The occasion for his appearance on my podcast is the publication of his wonderful new book, Why We Remember: The Science of Memory and How it Shapes Us, which challenges, educates and enlightens, on so much of what we thought to be true about memories.

     

    In this fascinating conversation, he explains that the seemingly selective and unreliable nature of human memory doesn't reveal laziness, distraction or early dementia. Instead, it shows that our brains have not evolved to keep a comprehensive record of events. Rather than live in the past, the brain’s job is to extract the information it needs, to guide our futures.

     

    We also discuss how memories create our sense of self. We learn that our memory is an unreliable narrator but that we can use this to our advantage. By changing our perspective on traumatic experiences, we can feel differently about them in the present – a theory on which many forms of therapy are based.

     

    We also discuss our brain’s ability to change – its plasticity – and how we’re most likely to remember life’s emotional experiences as well as its new and surprising ones. Charan explains why music and smells are evocative cues, why it’s never too late to learn new skills, and why forgetting is a sign of an efficient brain - in fact, one of Charan’s key insights is that we shouldn’t strive to remember more, but to remember better

     

    This is a fascinating conversation, full of fresh ideas, wisdom and practical advice about a topic that deeply matters to all of us.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Thanks to our sponsors:

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/444


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #443 BITESIZE | Avoid These 3 Foods For Better Brain Health | Max Lugavere

    #443 BITESIZE | Avoid These 3 Foods For Better Brain Health | Max Lugavere

    Today’s guest shares evidence-based principles that will help all of us protect our brain health.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 330 of the podcast with science journalist and New York Times bestselling author, Max Lugavere.


    Max is on a mission to help people feel better, live longer, and maximise their brain health by optimising their diet.


    In this clip he shares the three food types that we should think about cutting out of our diet – and why. 


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/330


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.