Why the menopause can make you fat!
Oestrogen’s are the essence of women. They transform girls into women; help control menstruation and pregnancy; help regulate body temperature, help you sleep, support collagen in your skin, help your memory, concentration and bone density and help keep your mood positive. Oestrogen also protects you from cardiovascular disease and assists in the production of serotonin the feel good hormone. So you can see why so many women suffer with the side effects of oestrogen withdrawal once they go into the menopause and the ovaries stop producing this hormone.
Oestrogen is the name of a group of hormones produced by a woman’s body until menopause. These hormones include:
When women hit the menopause the body switches from estrodial to estrone as its source. Estrone is produced in the adrenal glands and your fat cells. During menopause your body will produce more fat cells so it can produce more estrone and it will do everything it can to hang on to these fat cells. Your body will even break down muscle rather than use fat for energy. So it’s really important to do the right type of exercise to keep and gain lean muscle tissue to keep the metabolism fired up as well as eating the right diet.
Insulin levels also rise when estrone increases. Too much insulin has the potential to lead to type 2 diabetes when your body can’t deal with excess sugars in your blood and then stores these sugars as fat. The more fat you have, the more estrone you produce, and so the cycle continues!
My 4 top tips for menopausal women to help them improve their health, lose weight and relieve the symptoms are:
1. Get plenty of sleep
Get to bed and asleep by 10pm at the latest at least 5 nights a week. This will help keep your cortisol levels in check. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone; high cortisol levels will also add to the fat bank affect the digestive system and ultimately make your body lay down more fat. If you have trouble sleeping I highly recommend taking a decent quality magnesium supplement and having a bedtime tea in the evening.
2. Clean up your diet
Remove all processed foods, dairy, alcohol, sugar and wheat from your diet for 21 days. This may sound extreme but you need to ’re-boot’ your system. All of these foods play havoc with your hormonal system. Eat plenty of red onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. These contain Indole 3 Carbinole which are great for detoxifying. Cut out all fizzy drinks, squash and fruit juices, start each day with a warm water with fresh lemon juice and throughout the day drink plenty of water, herbal and fruit teas. Also, cut right back on pasta, potatoes, white rice and bread, instead opt for healthy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown basmati rice and quinoa. If you need help cleaning up your diet my metabolic booster programme will show you the way www.metabolic-booster.com
3. Regular exercise which includes resistance training.
Holding on to and gaining lean muscle tissue during the menopause is essential to keep the metabolism raised. This can be achieved by resistance training which can come from using free weights like dumbbells or bars, machines, rubber resistance bands or a dynamic yoga practice which uses your own body weight.
4. Meditation, yoga and pranayama.
Take time to switch off the mind and relax the body by adding meditation, yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques) into your schedule. Meditation stills the mind of excessive thought and can give the clarity and focus needed to deal with menopausal mood swings. Simple yoga postures which encourage synovial fluid into the joints help keep the body flexible. Practicing pranayama will flood the body with life force energy and will also promote relaxation helping to relieve anxiety and stress. Sitali pranayama which is a cooling breath can also be a technique to try when a hot flash strikes.