I constantly hear from many women that weight gain and the inability to get it off easily seems to be their number one problem. And it also seems that weight literally piles in overnight. Seriously, what’s up with this?!!
It’s got to do with the changes that happen as you get older (and we all do, whether we like it or not!) One small tip I can give you today is that you need to be aware that your body assimilates food a little differently now. Here's what I mean.
There are three types of people - naturally slim (ectomorph) who should eat more healthy carbs and less fat at each meal, in the middle (mesomorph) who should eat a balance of fat and carbs, and naturally fatter (endomorph) who should eat fewer carbs and more protein and healthy fats at each meal.
Unfortunately, research shows that us women tend to fall into the latter category as we head into menopause, even if we've been slim in the past. Granted, if you were slim, it will not be as much of a struggle as if you tended to be fatter up until this point.
Keep in mind though, even if losing weight is your number one concern, focus on living a healthy lifestyle and don’t get caught up in the numbers on the scale. Any changes you make must be doable and sustainable.
There are other factors that play a role in the ability to lose and keep off the weight. One of the most important ones is getting enough quality sleep. If you don’t sleep well, the hormone ghrelin increases. This is the hunger hormone and levels of this hormone increase at menopause anyway. So you don’t want to be adding to the overload.
I know that if I don’t sleep well, the next day I want to eat everything in sight, especially if it’s a carb, and that’s exactly what I don’t need as I explained above. Give in to this craving at your peril! If you’re like me, the next day it will show on the scale! What’s up with that??
Another vitally important factor is stress. We are too stressed as a society now. There are many demands on our time, we rush around trying to get endless tasks done. This upsets our hormonal balance as most of us are in a continuous fight or flight mode. Our bodies were not meant to be in this state constantly, so often we are showing signs of adrenal fatigue by the time we get to menopause.
Your adrenals are supposed to take over the production of oestrogen when your ovaries naturally stop doing that job. But if your adrenals are fatigued, they can’t do that. Cue irritating and frustrating menopause symptoms like weight gain, especially around the tummy, hot flushes and sweats, itchy skin, brain fog, etc.
So take some time to destress daily. Even 5 minutes can help. Download a meditation app (my favourite is http://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app) and relax. Your body and mind will love it!
Women are typically the main caregivers and tend put everyone first before themselves, whether it’s because you want to or because it’s “expected”. But honestly, if you don’t look after yourself and you fall apart, then who will look after the very people you are putting before yourself? It is not selfish to think of yourself first, I have learned this. When I am healthy, I have energy to take care of those that need to be taken care of. And I can also see who is able to take care of themselves 😉
So here’s what to do to start gaining back control, and to get and stay lean and fit to enjoy this time of life:
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