Why 40-something females are feeling fat and frumpy
For us ladies, it seems to happen around age 40 and onwards – we lose that bounce-out-of-bed energy, stress can start to build up, and no matter what we do, we cannot shift those last few pounds. After trying every possible diet, shake, pill, potion and magical promise with little-to-no success, you can understand why lots of women start to blame themselves: I just don’t have the willpower, I’m just too tired, I’ll just have to make peace with feeling fat and frumpy forever…
But there is a missing piece of the puzzle that not enough women understand and which can change EVERYTHING. Yes, I’m talking about hormones.
Women’s hormones are in a constant, complicated dance with each other. With the pressures of modern life, what should be a delicate-and-balanced ballet of hormonal harmony can way too easily become a twerk-fest, resulting in out-of-control stress, lack of interest in sex and an unshakeable fatigue.
If you’re a woman over the age of 40 and these general feelings of lousiness sound familiar to you, I’d bet Miley Cyrus’s last dollar that your hormones are out of whack. Because of the complex interplay between the hormones, it can be helpful to speak to an experienced doctor or health coach, who can help you to identify your particular hormonal profile. In my experience, however, almost all of my female patients who come to me with hormone issues have the biggest problems with cortisol, the stress hormone that just doesn’t know when to stop. It’s an excellent place to start trying to re-balance your hormones, and there are a couple of really easy shifts you can make that will have a remarkable benefit on your overall health.
- Ditch the high-sugar breakfast in favor of slow-burning carbs and protein.
Blasting your system with sugar first thing in the morning sets up the energy peaks-and-troughs that add to your body’s perception of stress. Things like commercial cereals, toast, fruit juice, pastries, donuts and pancakes all set this stress cycle into motion. Instead, try green smoothies, eggs, porridge, gluten-and-sugar-free muesli and quinoa flakes. Whereas the sugary options are quick-burning kindling, these options will stoke your fires in a more gentle, sustainable way.
- Fill up on fiber.
While you may know that fiber is excellent for your bowels and for feeling full, you may not have realized that it’s also excellent for re-balancing your hormones. Most women could benefit by significantly upping their fiber from vegetable sources, such as broccoli, celery and greens. A good amount to aim for is 35-45 grams of fiber per day.
- Address food intolerances.
Undiagnosed, these put a lot of stress on your system and can become a real barrier to feeling good. The problem is, most of us have had these intolerances for so long, we don’t even realize that they are contributing to our general sense of malaise and fatigue. The most common ones I see are gluten, dairy and sugar. An elimination diet can help you to figure out whether any of these food are an issue for you.
- Go loco for coco(nut) oil.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) that encourages your body to start burning fat as fuel. For women with hormonal issues, I recommend replacing most fats with coconut oil to start reprogramming the body from its sugar-burning ways to being a fat-burning machine.
- Supplement with a good quality fish oil.
Of all the supplements out there, a good fish oil is the one I recommend over everything else. Studies have shown its significant benefits in reducing inflammation throughout the body, which is yet another form of physiological stress. Aim for 1,000 – 4,000 mg/day, from a high quality source (preferably a refined fish oil in liquid [not capsule] form, from a sustainable and ethical source).
- Seriously. I mean it!
Those who are stressed out don’t want to hear it, but this is the most important recommendation of all. Actively seeking ways to soothe the soul and nourish the spirit is the most effective way to manage your stress levels and rebalance your hormones. It doesn’t need to be twenty minutes in a pretzel-like position, even five minutes of quiet focus on the breath is going to have an impact. It’s all about the breath, baby!
We females are not destined to live a life feeling frazzled and frumpy, and forty is not a downhill slope! By starting with these six steps, you can start the journey of rebalancing your hormones. Forty, fifty and beyond can be fantastic!
(2)The Hormone Cure:By Sara Gottfried, M.D.
Rosemarie Beltz is the creator and director of the Heart Health Concierge, a prestige health coaching service offering heart-smart health advice to clients all around the world. As a cardiac perfusionist for almost 19 years (currently practicing in a hospital in Los Angeles, California) and certified health coach (graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City), who is also trained in hormone therapy under Dr. Sara Gottfried-she is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the world of western medicine and holistic health. You can connect with Rosemarie at the Heart Health Concierge [www.marprana.com], on facebook at [https://www.facebook.com/hearthealthconcierge] follow her on Twitter [https://twitter.com/marprana] and Youtube [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-X8APOL12PU1SI0-A3ICJG].