3 Signs You’re Aging Too Fast + How Your Diet Can Help Slow It Down
Getting older often gets a bad rap — particularly for women. Our society seems to instill a fear in females that if we surpass the age of 25, we’re no longer sexual, powerful or even relevant. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As I’ve grown older and gained more confidence, I truly feel like I’ve become the best version of myself. But while I’ve relished maturing into a strong, self-assured woman in my 30s, I’ve also enjoyed the occasional experience of getting carded. I’m not going to lie, it feels pretty great to have a bartender do a double-take at my ID! I’m often told I appear younger than my chronological age.
I’ve managed to slow the biological clock because for close to two decades, I’ve been living and eating in a way that enhances my hormonal balance.
How To Tell If You're Aging Too Fast
Around age 35, most women begin perimenopause, the period before menopause when your body starts changing. Perimenopause is an important biological shift that doesn’t get as much attention as menopause itself. As a result, few women even realize it’s happening to them.
Perimenopause is the slow process of your pituitary gland making more and more follicle-stimulating hormones, until you eventually stop ovulating. But this process doesn’t happen overnight; it should take about 10 to 15 years and you should experience minimal symptoms.
These aren’t inevitable symptoms of life after 35 — these are signs that your diet is out of whack and your hormones need help.
However, due to the overabundance of environmental and lifestyle hormonal obstacles these days, it can happen much more quickly for many women.
Going through this process too quickly means aging too fast, closing your fertility window sooner, dampening your libido and causing your metabolism to stall. These aren’t inevitable symptoms of life after 35 — these are signs that your diet is out of whack and your hormones need help.
The important first step in slowing perimenopause is identifying the signs. Here are three reasons to suspect you’re aging too fast:
1. Your period starts to change.
This is often the first noticeable difference for most women, and it can take many forms: in length, heaviness, cramps, or PMS symptoms. If the period of your mid-30s seems noticeably different from the period you had in your 20s, consider this a red flag.
2. You can’t sleep.
Due to plummeting hormonal levels, many women going through perimenopause begin to suffer from insomnia or the unpleasant experience of hot flashes and night sweats. If you consistently find yourself up at night or inexplicably soaking the sheets with sweat, you may want to investigate.
3. Your skin breaks out like you’re going through puberty again.
Maybe you thought hormonal acne was in your past, but if you’re going through perimenopause you may notice a significant, seemingly uncontrollable increase in blemishes. Or, worse yet, a maddening combo of pimples and wrinkles. Off-the-charts acne or the appearance of lines and crinkles can indicate the onset of perimenopause.
How To Fix Your Hormones And Slow The Aging Process
If you identify with the signs above and suspect your body is heading into perimenopause prematurely, or you’re speeding through it far faster than you should, fear not.
The good news is we can help slow this process down, and enjoy our young bodies, firm skin, hot sex drive, abundant energy levels, and optimal fertility for as long as possible. How? With food.
1. Sync your diet with your cycle.
It’s easier than you think to eat in a way that complements your hormonal fluctuations throughout the month. To get started, aim to drink green juice during ovulation and eat sweet potatoes during PMS.
I also recommend eating certain greens during each phase of your cycle. For example: artichoke, broccoli and string beans during the follicular phase; asparagus, spinach and Brussels sprouts during the ovulatory phase; cauliflower, collard greens and squash during the luteal phase; and beets, kale and kelp during your menstrual phase.
2. Increase your intake of fat and protein.
Not only do proteins and healthy fats, like coconut oil, keep you feeling fuller longer, they’ll also help you manufacture the hormones you need to help slow down the aging process.
All hormones are synthesized from amino acids, so to offset the slow down in their production, make sure you're eating adequate amounts of protein. Does it have to be animal-based? That might depend on your microbiome and digestive strength. If your digestive system is healthy, then you can absolutely take in more plant-based proteins. If you need more digestive support, take a digestive enzyme and probiotic.
3. Take the right supplements.
I’m a big advocate of getting as many of your nutrients as possible from whole foods. But supplements like vitamin D3 and evening primrose oil can also help balance your hormones during the perimenopausal transition and ward off some of the symptoms.
If you feel frazzled, bloated and unsexy, your hormones may be aging faster than they should. Learn how you can start reversing this process with my free guide, The Magic Missing Micronutrient to Get Your Sexy Back. And join me this Thursday, Oct 15th at 12 p.m. EST for a free webinar: Optimize Your Sexy FLO.
Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Vitti has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Lifetime, and has been a regular contributor for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health. She is the founder of The FLO Living Hormone Center, the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally using her highly effective FLO Protocol and the FLO Balance Period Supplements, and the creator the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker. She is also the author of the best-selling book WomenCode. She has presented at SXSW, TEDx, Talks@Google, Summit Series Outside, and SHE Summit and regularly trains women in the workplace on how to use her Cycle Syncing Method for greater creativity, productivity, and wellbeing at work.