We hear this so often. The moment women go into either menopause or peri-menopause, the weight starts piling on and all the wheels come off. Yes, it’s a hormonal problem, that’s pretty obvious, but what can you do about it? Know this, there is hope! The first thing to comfort yourself with is the knowledge that this a normal phase of life. It’s not a disease and should not be treated as such. Natural methods, lifestyle, supplements and diet can get you sailing through this time of life.
Here are some helpful guidance to support you
- VERY important: You have to realise that carbohydrates are not your friend. This is because as we get older our insulin automatically (like everything else!) goes south or rather in the case of insulin becomes less sensitive. This means more insulin is produced and the more insulin you are producing the more fat you are storing around your belly. You have to now ‘break up’ with carbs like bread, sugar, alcohol and dairy. If you are one of the lucky ones who has sailed through menopause without this problem and you may well sit there and laugh at the rest of us. Not many people escape this middle-aged spread story but you are blessed if you can still indulge in all your favourites. While still getting away with no weight gain. We are all very envious. Great news – we are here to help and would like to support you along your journey.
- You naturally experience fatigue at this time of life (don’t worry, it passes!), and you could end up reaching for processed food or ready meals from sheer exhaustion – and turn to sweet things and alcohol to comfort and relax so you get through the day. You need to eat wholesome REAL food. This is a secret hiding in plain sight – eating real food every single meal you possibly can. And if you need an afternoon power nap, take one – it can refresh you no end.
- Thyroid hormones dictate how much energy the cells of the body can produce. When the levels of hormone increase, it tells the body to burn fat to produce cellular energy (ATP). Compromised thyroid hormone levels will prevent burning carbs and fat, and lead to weight gain.
- Extra stress at this time of life all contribute to how our hormones react. Very often around this time you are dealing many stressors and there is simply no time for you! This is a huge part of the equation. Stress leads to excess cortisol being produced by the adrenals, and may lead to weight gain.
- Estrogen is not the only hormone which is affected. As estrogen declines, so cortisol is elevated, thyroid hormones may be affected, and then there is insulin and leptin. Your body is undergoing a complete hormonal shift. Be kind to yourself and realise that this is something that you can control up to a point with lifestyle and diet. And by saying NO to more outside requests so that you have the time and stamina for things you need to do for yourself and your family.
- Insulin is the hormone responsible for decreasing circulating blood sugar. It’s necessary and wonderful when it “works” properly. But to keep a balanced level you need to dump the sugars and grains and anything high in carbohydrates. (The Low-Carb Creed outlines all this with lists and ideas for you). More carbs means more insulin, which means more fat storage, and perhaps insulin resistance, which is a decreased sensitivity to insulin, and a precursor to diabetes. Insulin resistance leads to weight gain, possible high blood pressure and raised blood lipids – even the dreaded fatty liver – so it’s it is important to either not let this happen, or address it now and reverse it.
- Cortisol, our main stress hormone, increases blood sugar levels providing fuel to the cells to provide energy. Very high blood sugar levels lead to cortisol resistance and adrenal fatigue, as the adrenals are unable to keep up with the demand for more and more cortisol – all this leads to weight gain and no energy.
- Leptin is the hormone our fat cells produce to tell the hypothalamus in the brain that we have had enough to eat, thank you. Too much fructose especially leads to leptin resistance where the messaging system stops working, the brain doesn’t get the message that you are full, you remain hungry and continue to eat more and more to satiate yourself.
- Take some helpful supplements during this difficult time.
The following are all helpful – and may get you flying through this bumpy time:
- B Complex – this is a winner for menopause
- Omega-3 fish oil
- Renewed Balance cream (a natural progesterone – only if you are not on HRT)
- Vitamin D3 – really important for 1000 reasons!
- Vitamin K2 for heart and bones
- Pure Hydrolysed Collagen is amazing for so many reasons too
- Glutamine (prevents cravings)
- Berberine (blood sugar balance)
All of these products are available from the online store on our website here www.sallyanncreed.co.za/shop – use the “search” button if you get stuck finding them.