This month’s Shapers condition spotlight is on the menopause which is relevant to many of us.
The menopause is finally getting the attention it deserves as a condition that most women go through. So how does this ‘dreaded change’ affect our weight and our ability to lose it and what can we do to help ourselves.
Firstly, what is the menopause?
Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life as her menstrual cycles come to an end. It’s usually confirmed 12 months after her last period. However, the transition and symptoms associated with menopause can last for several years. The menopause is linked to many uncomfortable symptoms (hot flushes and poor sleep are the most common) and increases your risk of certain diseases whilst lowering a woman’s bone density.
Facts to be aware of…
The menopause adds additional hormonal burdens to our metabolism and weight loss. During and after the menopause, us women become far more effective at storing fat and are less able to burn fat easily due to an enzyme called AT-LPL. One study even found that the ability to burn fat stored in the buttocks of postmenopausal women was 75% less than in premenopausal women.
Declining estrogen levels also negatively impact your metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. These changes may also affect your cholesterol levels.
So what can we do to help us get through this condition?
If we are feeling these symptoms then we should first look at lifestyle, so below are my top tip suggestions. I also recommend seeing your doctor. The most common menopause treatment in the UK is HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) where hormones are artificially introduced into the body by your GP to boost your estrogen levels, but they will suggest for you the best way forward. There are different options.
- Tweak your healthy diet – Try and eat foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D to help with our bone density. Foods high in calcium are mainly dairy or green, such as cheese and milk or kale and spinach. Also add more foods that are high in Phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Therefore, they should help balance hormones. Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soybeans and tofu, sesame seeds and beans.
- Keep exercising – when we don’t feel great it is easy to give up. However, it is strongly advised to keep a healthy BMI during the menopause. One study of 17,473 postmenopausal women found that those who lost at least 10 lbs (4.5 kg) of weight or 10% of their body weight over a menopausal year were more likely to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats.
- Drinking 17 oz (500 ml) of water, 30 minutes before a meal may lead you to consume 13% fewer calories during that meal which helps with our other goals.
If you wish your programme was a little tougher to fight these hormones – then please do not hesitate to ask an Instructor to review it today! Or may be try out the vibration plates to boost your results? We have also provided members with a great recipe this month that aims to help if you are in the menopause.
See you at the gym,