So here you are....late 30s, 40-something, getting out there exercising like they say you should ....or maybe thinking about exercising at least ! :), but the weight just won't budge.
Why do you still have your tummy, I hear you ask, when you are doing the right thing and exercising???
Ahhh! Could it be peri-menopause???
Yes, there is a link between weight gain and unbalanced oestrogen.
Sadly, no matter how healthy you eat, and how much you exercise during this '2nd puberty' stage, hormones have the ability to override it and control weight gain and loss.
Its not just oestrogen - its cortisol too - yep, that stress hormone that you've heard about and insulin - the hormone in control of blood sugar and fat storage!!!
So, let's look at these three hormones and how they affect weight.
Oestrogen and Insulin
Our beautiful 'protective' hormone becomes unbalanced during the peri-menopausal time until it settles again in menopause. During this up and down tidal stage of oestrogen, your insulin levels may also jump on for the ride.
As oestrogen drops, insulin rises.
Insulin and oestrogen affect each other, its quite a roundabout!
The hormone Insulin not only allows glucose into your cells to provide you with energy, it also plays a role in balancing your menstrual cycle. When oestrogen and insulin are in balance - it's happy days!!
BUT, when both are out of whack - weight gain and a number of other symptoms can occur.
Here's a small checklist to see if you may have insulin resistance/sensitivity (otherwise known as
'pre-diabetes') - aka when insulin is high!
Fat gain around the tummy
Waist circumference over 80cm for women and 90cms for men
Elevated cholesterol / triglycerides
Increased facial hair
Oestrogen and Cortisol
So now let's bring in the hormone cortisol.
During peri-menopause, your stress adaptability is hijacked.
When oestrogen is raised, it reduces cortisol, our hormone that is like a Friday night wine - it is there to calm you.
Conversely, high levels of stress means higher levels of cortisol (yes! that frustration and anger you feel without the ability to control it!), which increases oestrogen levels, and again we have that merry-go-round effect. And to top it off, both of these affect insulin!
HOW TO BALANCE THE HORMONE MERRY-GO-ROUND
Balancing these three hormones on paper is super easy.
Reduce insulin sensitivity/resistance
Reduces stress - thereby reducing cortisol
But that is not so easy to do, right!!
Well, not without some help, anyway.
Here's a few things to to get you started.
Improve your liver metabolism. Your liver is involved in oestrogen balancing so help to keep it in good working condition by reducing coffee and alcohol - harsh i know...but i did say reduce!! (however if symptoms are quite bad, you may need to stop for a period of time to restore balance - sorry!)
Eat three meals a day and skip the snacks. Allow time for your food to be broken down and absorbed to make energy. Snacking only increases insulin production.
Practise meditation/yoga/mindfulness or any thing else that makes you calm. This could also be a walk on the beach, singing or even watering the garden!
If you would like more tricks that improve your ability to lose the mid-life weight gain and reduce other peri-menopause symptoms, then I'm here to help!
Let me guide you to a happier you, together we can do this !!!