One of the most common complaints of women in menopause and beyond is weight gain, primarily in the midsection.
While your body does change during menopause, and what worked before may no longer work, know that your body is doing the best she can for you! Here are three steps you can take to regain control of your wellbeing and maintain a healthy weight during menopause and beyond.
1. Strength Train
After the age of 40, we start to lose muscle mass. This is true for all people, not just women. Loss of muscle mass can slow your metabolic rate, meaning you will naturally burn fewer calories throughout the day, thus making it easier to gain weight.
Aim for 2-3 x per week of full body strength training either at home or at a fitness facility. Choose exercises that target the major muscle groups (such as quads, and upper back), as well as exercises to improve your posture and correct any muscular imbalances you might have. To get help with this, I invite you to learn more about our Fit for Life Program at Ascend Fitness + Lifestyle athttp://www.getfitchilliwack.com
2. Balance Your Blood Sugar
For decades, we’ve been told to eat less to lose weight. And while how much you eat matters, so does what you eat. If you eat foods that cause big spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, losing weight is more difficult. Not only that, but blood sugar dysregulation also increases cravings, disrupts sleep, and increases fatigue.
To stabilize your blood sugar, build your meals around protein, good quality fat, and fibre. For example, instead of starting your day with a piece of toast and jam, have a piece of high fibre toast with an egg. For an afternoon snack, enjoy plain Greek yogurt and berries or some hummus with veggie slices.
For a deeper dive into blood sugar regulation, download my free guide on the 3 Critical Mistakes Women Over 50 Make When Trying to Lose Weight at http://www.fitvibrantguide.com
3. Prioritize Stress Management
When you are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released from the body. Following the stressful event, cortisol levels eventually return to normal. However, many people are chronically stressed- leading to chronically elevated cortisol levels.
Elevated cortisol levels stimulate your appetite and cause more fat to be stored in the belly. Not only is this annoying when you’re trying to do up your pants, but abdominal fat is strongly correlated with the development of heart disease and stroke.
Some common sources of stress are poor sleep, excessive exercise, alcohol, negative self-talk, always being ‘go-go-go’, and food sensitivities.
To thrive during menopause and beyond, prioritize stress management and taking care of you. What you do to manage stress will depend on the source of stress in your life.
We are here to help you thrive through menopause and beyond. To learn more about our strength and nutrition program for people over 40, go to http://www.getfitchilliwack.com