In your 20s, and even well into your 30s and early 40s, losing weight and keeping it off seemed to be SO much easier. You could easily tweak a few things, get some extra walks in, stop having that extra snack during the day and the pounds would just melt off – am I right?
Fast forward into the few years later and you feel tired, low in energy, hungrier, all of the excess weight seems to reside in your mid-section, and the methods that you used to lose weight and get fit in the past just seem to be NOT working anymore. WHAT HAPPENED???
I can tell you that as we age, things CHANGE. First, your metabolic rate just naturally slows down. Unfortunately that means you’re burning less calories at rest, which can attribute to you packing on extra pounds. Second, our muscle mass naturally decreases, which ALSO contributes to less calorie burn at rest. The less muscle mass we have, the less of a fat burning machine we are. Next comes the fun hormonal imbalances that we experience. In Perimenopause (the stage before menopause), the beginning stages of Menopause, and when you’re right in the thick of it, we experience a hormonal imbalance with it comes to Progesterone, Estrogen, and even Testosterone. When these hormones have an imbalance, it causes all sorts of wacky things to happen to us – like hot flashes, mood swings, and that famous mid-section bulge that we all love so much.
Are you reading this and thinking to yourself, this is me? Are you saying, I’m doing what’s always worked for me, and it’s just NOT working anymore? I eat well, exercise regularly, and I’m not losing anything, maybe even gaining weight?
If that’s you, I have good news for you. Your fat burning, feeling good and feeling fit days are NOT over. Let me give you some tips that can help you down the right path to feeling like yourself again.
1. Stop eating so much SUGAR. You are sweet enough already! And no – I’m not talking about that occasional piece of dark chocolate that you have. I’m talking about simple carbohydrates that you THINK may be part of your healthy diet, but are really not. Things like pasta (even whole wheat), rice, bread, granola bars, soda, white potatoes, and anything highly processed. You’re wreaking havoc on your body and its hormones because sugar increases insulin, which directly affects all of the other hormones in the body. Instead, replace those things with sprouted wheat bread, quinoa, sweet potato, and sparkling water (no sugar added).
2. Eat more GREEN veggies. You may not realize it, but the nutrients in dark, green, leafy veggies have a lot of the nutrients your body is missing that are causing cravings for the bad, sugary stuff. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, and cabbage, contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down a harmful and potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. And don’t be afraid of them – make them taste good! You can cook them in healthy oils like coconut or olive or even grass fed butter!
3. Add more healthy fats your diet! Are you sitting here like, did she just tell me to eat fat?? Yes I did. Fat that comes from healthy, rich sources is NOT bad for you. I’m talking about things like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and salmon. Get them in because they will make you feel AMAZING.
4. Supplementation. Did you know that it’s next to impossible to get all the nutrients our bodies need by just eating? It’s true – we’d have to eat a TON of food to it all. That’s why supplementing with something that has all of your vitamins and nutrients in it is essential. Make sure that your vitamins are all natural and NOT synthetic – meaning they should come from all natural sources – not created in a laboratory.
5. Muscle building exercise. Remember I talked about how as we age, we lose muscle mass? Well, making sure that you’re getting resistance training in at least 3 days a week can help you counteract this natural decline in muscle. I do believe it’s becoming more common practice, but I think there are still some women who are afraid of resistance training. You will not get bulky! On the contrary, you’ll build lean muscle definition and notice a smoother look to your skin!
If you’re one of the ladies struggling with a hormone imbalance and can relate to this, make sure to let me know in the comments!
With these simple steps, regaining your sense of sanity and self IS possible, ladies. I’ve been there, so I know you can conquer this too!