Let’s cut to the chase… Losing weight is hard. But overcoming the specific challenges thrown in by the menopause makes it seem almost impossible.
When that dreaded ‘M’ word knocks on your door, lets itself in, then sets up camp in your favourite chair, there’s a shift in the body’s hormone production. These hormonal changes are directly responsible for weight gain and a shift from stored fat in the hips and thighs (stored there for childbearing reasons) to storing fat more in your belly. As a double kick in the crotch, this increased belly fat also now increases your risk of heart disease.
On top of having to fight these hormonal changes, menopause also hits around the same time your metabolism slows down. It happens to all of us as we get older, the amount of food we put in our face at 30 or 40 is now packing too many calories for 50 to 60 year old us. If your diet and eating habits aren’t adjusted, then you will find that you are gaining weight quickly and that weight is harder to evict.
But we’re not done…
The hormone therapy often used to treat menopausal women can also cause weight gain and water weight gain due to bloating and water retention. Ever stood on the scales to find you weigh 5 pounds more than the day before? Yeah, that’s that lovely water weight! Fortunately, this particular weight gain is only temporary and is more easily controlled than fat weight gain.
It may seem all doom and gloom, but it’s not time to hang up your hat yet. I’ve personally taught hundreds of women how to punch the ‘M’ word in the face, and get rocking abs, hot hips, and fabulous thighs well into their 50s, 60s, and beyond.
Age really is just a number.
Menopause may come waltzing into your life like it’s the big ‘I am’, but here’s 8 things you can do to knock it down a few pegs:
- Increase Your Calcium And Vitamin D Intake – Not only do these two vitamins and minerals strengthen your bones and drop your risk of osteoporosis, but both help speed (and increase) fat loss among dieters.
- Go For A Walk – Walking has to be the simplest way to increase your metabolism and burn additional calories, so start your attack on the ‘M’ word by getting up and getting out. As a Brucey Bonus, your walk will also help lower your risk of osteoporosis as it is considered a weight bearing exercise.
- Add Phytoestrogens to Your Diet – Menopause is the result of your body slacking off when it comes to producing oestrogen. Phytoestrogens occur in foods and are a natural method to help return normal hormone function to the body, which will result in a return of normal oestrogen levels. Soybeans and products made from soy are a rich source of phytoestrogens.
- Create Healthy Eating Habits – You are never too old to improve your eating habits. Clean up your diet and eat more fruits, vegetables, and fish instead of fast foods and sugar. Eat a balance of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Hormone Therapy – While therapy may cause temporary water weight gain, once balanced, hormones play an important part in regulating your metabolism. Once your hormones are under control (and you have your eating and exercise plan nailed), you will begin to see weight loss.
- Drink More Water – Avoid the fizzies, even those “diet” varieties that feed your sweet tooth. Drinking diet sodas can actually lead to weight gain instead of weight loss! Try drinking water or green tea instead, both are beneficial when losing weight.
- Resistance Train – Whether it’s your body weight, or a set of dumbbells, just lift things up, put them down, and repeat. Resistance training not only stimulates fat loss, but increases your metabolism, so when it’s started slowing down as we get older, resistance training will kick it up the jacksie.
- Keep A Food Diary – Most people eat without thinking, which is basically eating blind. This then leads to bad eating habits, bad food choices, and weight gain. You can’t control something you can’t see. If you keep a food log detailing everything that goes in your mouth, you will actually become more aware of the types of foods that you eat and any patterns that emerge. Just writing down what you eat is the quickest way to put you in the drivers seat.