Menopause: 3-Steps to Fighting Hormone-Based Weight Gain
I love being a woman. I believe that the powerful emotions I feel and can express help me be a better mom, a better boss, and better health professional.
But let’s face it. The same hormones that we often feel give us our “essence” – our sex hormones – can feel like they’re turning on us when menopause approaches. My clients tell me their emotions and mood are all over the place, and unfamiliar. And topping it off, the hormone changes can make weight loss really difficult.
When our ovaries decrease the production of progesterone and estrogen, other organs and systems step in to try to compensate. But so many things can throw off that process, including stress and inflammation. Now your hormones are off kilter, and your body’s receptor sites get ‘clogged,’ unable to utilize progesterone and estrogen. Excess hormones can then be stored in fat cells, and the body produces even MORE, fat cells to store more excess sex hormones.
The result? Weight gain, and/or hormone-based weight-loss resistance. If you love the science aspects of this, as I do, check out my video on Menopause and Metabolism.
3-Steps to Fighting Hormone-Based Weight Gain
1. Feed yourself
The Fast Metabolism Diet is designed to help balance hormones and find your body’s natural homeostasis. But during menopause, you may need extra help. On Phase 1 and 3 of The Fast Metabolism Diet, aim to consume foods containing resveratrol, which can mimic estrogenic effects in the body since your body has reduced its production. Think blueberries, pomegranates, cranberries, and cacao. On each Phase go for those cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These veggies contain DIM (see #2).
2. Add DIM
DIM (the long name is diindolylmethane) helps open the pathways of hormone detoxification, balancing your sex hormones. You can get some DIM from cruciferous vegetables, but a supplement contains far more. You can find DIM supplements at your local health food store, but as always, the trick to picking a brand is understanding the company making them. As you guys know, I am completely neurotic about sourcing the absolutely highest quality ingredients with superior bio-availability. Heck, if you’re going to add a supplement to your routine, you want the highest quality formula. Otherwise, why bother? That’s why I’m so proud of my Metabolism DIM.
Stress reduction is super important during periods of hormonal changes. Our adrenal glands, which regulate stress hormones, control how our bodies store sugar: either use sugars for energy or store them as fat. And when your adrenals are stressed, you can guess which one happens. Dry skin brushing, deep breathing, meditation, and massage are some of my favorites to reduce adrenal stress.