Ten Tips to put the pause on perimenopause weight gain, belly fat and fatigue.
There are steps you can take to handle perimenopause weight gain and reduce your belly fat while making your energy levels soar.
When I was 37 years old and was a hot mess (now I am 45). In fact, I never felt worse. I literally crashed.
I had no energy, little patience for my family and even less patience for life. I cried at the drop of a hat and had this sense of looming fear for no reason. As a fitness professional, I couldn't muster the energy to exercise and started losing muscle mass and gaining weight. In fact, I couldn't even do my OWN boot camp classes!
During this time I was being certified in functional diagnostic testing, hormones and metabolic function. This helped me to understand what "metabolic chaos" was and how to reverse it. I learned that I wasn't depressed but instead I was just metabolically and hormonally imbalanced.
So what did that look like?
- My progesterone and testosterone levels were low.
- My cortisol levels were low and my thyroid function was sub-optimal.
- I was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
- Most importantly I learned I was NOT going crazy like my husband thought .
I was basically running on fumes to say the least. Think of it this way. If we ran our CARS like we ran our bodies, our engines would SEIZE. Just like a car that gets regular service, when we do more than the bare minimum for our health we can far exceed our own expectations.
GET STARTED NOW!
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN YOUR 40’s and BEYOND
So many women think that they have to live with feeling tired, bloated and emotionally stale. They think that it's just part of "aging" to gain 2-8lbs. per year on average and that this is just part of life.
You do not have to live with the inability to lose weight and surviving on rabbit food just to maintain your current weight.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is not the case and you do have more control over your body than you realize. You just need to know where to look and what to do.
The tips below are enough to get you started on finding a way out of your perimenopause blues and on your way to finding balance and vitality.
- Find a doctor or practitioner who can help you assess your
hormones and metabolic function so you can achieve balance in your body.
Educate yourself about your lab reports and understand what HEALTHY and OPTIMAL
looks like. Find out your estrogen/progesterone ratio and ask about your testosterone levels.
- Weight train CONSISTENTLY because the rate of muscle loss in your 40's and beyond
speeds up and this in turn lowers your metabolic rate which speeds up fat loss.
So make strength training your friend....for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.
- Learn what your cortisol and thyroid levels are and learn what type of exercise works
best with your current levels. You can't give what you don't have.
Another words, if you don't have much gas in the tank extreme exercise
such as plyometrics or cardio can make your hormone profile worse which can
also make your fitness efforts counterproductive.
- Figure out your level of CARB TOLERANCE. Everyone is different in this
aspect and sometimes women resort to NO CARB diets but you can shoot yourself
in the foot with this approach. There is a balance and everyone is
different. Knowing your insulin resistance score is extremely helpful.
- Eat ENOUGH to maintain your weight while weight training and STOP existing
in a perpetual calorie deficit. For a
period of time STOP thinking about losing fat because most likely you have been
in this mode for a long time which causes a lot of muscle loss. Instead, focus on adding as much muscle
density as possible with proper nutrition and a slight calorie surplus and then
choose a few weeks to focus on losing fat.
Most women spend most of their YEAR trying to lose fat and it has been
their focus for too long and that’s a metabolic disaster.
- If you are not sleeping well at night - find out WHY and fix it. This is more important than you realize and affects WAY MORE than meets the eye (and you don't need to rely on AMBIEN!!)
- Find out the balance of your gut bacteria as this can hinder not only the best weight loss efforts if the balance is off but it also affects your immune system. A good stool test is worth the cost.
- When training - make sure ALL your muscles are firing up properly. This will help to avoid the "aches and pains" that prevent many women from LIFE later on down the road. You don't want your aching knees or sore low back to prevent you from doing what you love!!! These aches and pains are AVOIDABLE with a good training program that includes postural restoration and corrective exercise. The biggest culprits for women are weak glutes, hamstrings and transverse/anterior core muscles.
- Find a group of women who are JUST LIKE YOU and who will support you and uplift you. They will carry you through.
- Find something that improves your mindset and helps you to develop an optimistic and positive attitude - one filled with gratitude and appreciation that will boost your self image.
Now that you are armed with a plan the next step is to commit to the process of undoing perimenopause weight gain and all the symptoms that come along with it. Advocate for your own health and excellent self-care. You are not selfish in doing so, you are being responsible for taking ownership of your own quality of life.
Make it the best it can be!
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Case Study: How Heather Lost 40lbs. When She Turned 40
Hormone Imbalance Symptoms in Women
- Bessesen, Daniel, and Daniel H. “Role of Carbohydrates in Insulin Resistance.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Oct. 2001, academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/10/2782S/4686473.
- Harakeh, Steve M et al. “Gut Microbiota: A Contributing Factor to Obesity” Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology vol. 6 95. 30 Aug. 2016, doi:10.3389/fcimb.2016.00095
- Beccuti, Guglielmo and Silvana Pannain. “Sleep and obesity”Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care vol. 14,4 (2011): 402-12.