One huge problem of women in their menopausal stage is gaining and actually losing weight. It’s a problem we continue to face because it always seems that in just a few added spoons to our diet instantly results to higher digits in our weighing scales. And in return, losing these added pounds takes great efforts for us to shred. There are many reasons why we easily gain weight in just a minimal cheat we do in our diet; one is because our body’s metabolism becomes slower as we age, second is due to our lifestyle change that’s mostly becomes less active, and due to our body’s hormones that sometimes make us crave for sugar and carbohydrates, which greatly adds to our weights.
Our choice of food, eating patterns and eating habits significantly affects the numbers at our scales. And as we age, especially for menopausal women, keeping a fit body is vital for us to relieve the menopausal symptoms a lot easier. Aside from the fact that lighter weights help lessen the severity of menopause signs, a fitter body would certainly lead us to a better life with good quality, confidence and health. This section would help us attain a fit figure by knowing how food affects our body, the preferable food choices to lose and maintain weight, how to effectively stick to the choices and turn it into a lifestyle.
Hormones Play A Vital Role in Losing Weight
One missed factor in losing weight is the role of our hormones. Our hormones affect our metabolism, can intensify or lessen our cravings for food and, and also manage our stress. If we will be able to manipulate our hormones and regulate them, losing weight will ever be easier.
Hormones like estrogen and progesterone play a significant role in weight loss. Like in menopausal women, when estrogen drops and falls off, cravings come that are hard to resist hence, sticking to a diet becomes harder to maintain. Estrogen and progesterone also have an impact to the burning of fats, as these hormones make women more insulin-sensitive. Meaning, the excretion of fats from insulin is more active, which would make our body store less fat hence, become leaner. Estrogen and progesterone are also anti-stress hormones or anti-cortisol, which drives away the negative effects of stress such as stress-eating and weight gain.
Unfortunately, as women undergo the menopausal period, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone diminish together the good effects they bring in our body. To utilize our body’s degrading hormones, we could initiate that by the food we take.
One proposed technique is called S4. It is not a diet plan rather a flexible starting point of lifestyle change for menopausal women. The basic structure is given and then adjustment depends on the person’s needs. S4 is the basis of what should be eating through out the day.
The first S of the S4 pertains to shake, specifically protein shake for breakfast instead of eating cereals. Protein shakes reduce craving but balance the insulin while also maintaining muscle mass. The second S stands for Salad. A big bowl of salad and a protein source such as meat is better than sandwiches or carbs-rich meals. Salads have far lesser calories, which should be preferred for breakfast or lunch. The third S is snack that should be vegetable, nuts or protein based to satiate your once in a while cravings. Finally, the fourth S is for starch. Starch containing food is good at the end of the day to reduce stress that will help you sleep well. It might be confusing for some because we are pushing a low-carb diet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean to make your diet carbohydrates-free. Carbs is still needed by the body and a starch containing food such as sweet potato with protein source on the side and fibrous vegetables is a perfect night meal that will also help you reduce stress and aid you to sleep better.
Losing The Last 5 pounds
If you know you’re doing the right things in able to lose weight, like committing yourself to exercise, eating the right food and taking weight loss supplements, but that last 5 pounds you’ve been aiming to shred doesn’t seem to go away. Maybe it’s time to think that you might be missing out on some vital factors that should be considered in able to effectively lose weight.
You might be having an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen. This could occur due to too much exercise or environmental factors like pesticides, industrial waste, meat, soap, etc. If factors like this are inevitable, you could take supplements that could balance your hormone. Go to this site where you can find a range of supplements for your hormone
Your cortisol might be rising. Your cortisol is your main stress hormone, and when provoked could lead you to stress eating, cravings for sugar and weight gain. Some factors that can affect cortisol are vigorous exercise, worries, chores, etc. So learn to take a break everyday even just for 10 minutes. This way your hyperactivity slows down that will result to the drop of your cortisol level.
Your sleep patterns may be out of whack. Our quality of sleep greatly affects our body specially our hormones. Hormones that are involved in the connection of sleep and weight loss are ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells us not to eat if we have enough sleep, while ghrelin tells us to eat more if our sleep is deprived. Meaning, our body naturally wants to consume food if we have less sleep to maintain energy. The solution to this especially at situations when lack of sleep is inevitable (like jet lags) is to take supplements with melatonin or magnesium to keep the body balanced.
To keep and promote your estrogen balanced, eating Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and other vegetables of the same family is one efficient way to have a better estrogen metabolism. Aside from it’s the cheapest way to maintain a balanced hormone and lose weight, it is also the easiest one.
Tips to Losing Weight Effectively
Intermittent fasting is one the trending ways to lose weight in just a short span. This weight loss technique is usually done by not eating or just taking the lowest calories possible for 14-16 hours. Some experts say that it is good for health, though there are various points to consider if you are fit to undergo intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is also proven to lower the risk of heart attack, diabetes, obesity and can greatly help to maintain a balanced hormone. There are different ways and techniques of intermittent fasting which you could choose from to fit the lifestyle you are living. This technique could also let you enjoy the both sides of eating what you want and losing weight. You can know more about intermittent fasting in this article!
Tone Down With Carbs
It is fact that our body needs carbohydrates as a source of energy because it is the most root of sugar, which is the token to start the circulation of energy. But carbs as the main contributor of sugar greatly adds digits on our weights and bulks in our bellies. Hence, the solution is to trim down the carbohydrates in our diet and get nutrition from other food sources like protein.
17 recent studies proved that a low carb diet is the most efficient way to lose weight, but how? According to these studies a low carb diet makes us to want eat less, meaning it shuts our craving to eat more even if in reality our body already consumed the amount it needs. This is due to the sugar and starch that are included in high carb foods, which increase our hunger. Meaning if we avoid this delicious sugar and starch that carbohydrates has, our appetite will as well decrease. Additionally, a 2012 study also stated that people on low carb diet burns 300 more calories a day even at rest. It is due to a lesser sugar and starch that we intake in a low carb diet. Meaning, if we intake less sugar, our body naturally shifts to burning the fats that we have in able to produce energy that consequences to a fitter, leaner figures.
No Fright For Fats
One misconception on getting into a low carb diet is the notion of being afraid to eat fatty foods. Carbohydrates and fats are the main sources of energy hence, if both will be avoided, fatigue, cravings and hunger will persist. This results to people giving up sooner and quitting their diet.
The solution is to eat enough natural fats until you feel satisfied. Eat butter, fatty fish or coconut oil, as long you’re on a low carb diet since the body’s fuel will burn the fats you intake. This is due to the fat storing hormone insulin that is lowered because we minimized our consumption of carbohydrates, which contains sugar and starch.
Once a Week Cheat
If you can successfully follow your meal plan daily or at least most of the time, you can do cheat days at least once a week. Treat yourself and take off the barriers until you satisfy yourself, but still do not forget about moderation. Besides there are foods that give the same pleasure but leave less guilt. One example is dark chocolate. If you’re really craving for sweets like the ever-uplifting-chocolate-goodies, always choose dark chocolates from milky ones. Aside from dark chocolates are more nutritious, and it is proven to be an effective antioxidant, there was also one study where chocolate lovers were given dark chocolates and milk chocolates. It showed that those had dark chocolates ate 15% less pizza than those who ate milk chocolates.
It is also said that if you go on your cheat days, add pureed vegetables to your meals. For example a yummy, drooling mac and cheese, if added with pureed vegetables, it gives as much satisfaction but leaves 200-350 fewer calories than the typical mac and cheese.
Be Aware Of What You Eat
Always keep in mind to eat real food. Fill your house with whole healthy foods and read the labels as you do the grocery. Do not be fooled by the marketers who urge you to buy their highly processed products or what they call special food products with “low carbs”. A real low carb diet should include of foods that are real or if possible fresh such as meat, eggs, fish, butter, olive oil, etc.
Do not believe the marketers who tell you that you can eat their products that claim to have “low carbs” but are really just junk foods that’s full of preservatives, alcohol, starch, sugar and other odd additives. These products are mostly in form of high carb foods such as chocolates, pastas, bars, bread or ice cream, which they say have “low carbs” on them or “net carbs”. Marketers only say that to make you buy their products.
Keep your house, your meals, even snacks with quality real foods that are minimally processed. Eat organic food as much as you can, this way your metabolism will as well increase.
Losing Weight with Liquids
Water is one of the main keys to lose weight. Always keep yourself hydrated with water instead of sweetened or carbonated drinks. Drinking water throughout the day will also help you feel full. Therefore, water will help you avoid unnecessary and unhealthy snacks. Drinking water before and after meals also aids to improve digestion and speeds weight loss. It is also said that drinking water promotes metabolism 10 minutes after drinking and peaks after 30-14 minutes of consuming water.
When talking about consuming alcohol, always avoid beer as much as possible. Beer contains digested carbs that stops our body’s fat burning ability. This is why beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread”, that bloats and makes our bellies bulge quickly. Rather, choose wiser alcoholic options such as wine, dry champagne, whiskey, cognac or cocktails (but not sweetened cocktails). But massive alcohol consumption can still slow down weight loss, so moderation is still recommended.
Refuse Or Cease From Artificial Sweeteners
Some marketers claim that the use of artificial sweeteners is better than taking real sugar because of the absence of sugar itself. When in fact, artificial sweeteners have failed to prove positive results in weight loss. It is actually because artificial sweeteners increase appetite and somehow lead to addiction to sweets.
Some scientific studies claim that when artificial sweeteners are consumed, insulin amount in the body increases due to the anticipation of sugar in the body. This will result to the drop of sugar in the blood that results to hunger and craving for food and snacks. Though this chain of events is still unclear, it is still better to avoid artificial sweetener rather, enjoy the real sweetness of natural food that will help you avoid junk snacks and carbonated “diet” drinks.
Techniques to losing weight fast
Losing weight will never be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Despite of all the sprouting experts on weight loss and weight loss supplements that claim you could shred weight fast and easily, the main key to a thinner and healthier you would always be you: your efforts, discipline and mind set. One should always have a goal in mind and picture of a leaner body that you want to achieve. Every mission should begin with a vision and the right actions will follow.
Most successful missions begin with a plan. So write down what you will eat for a day or a week and strictly follow it. Make sure these are healthy meals, which are low on carbohydrates but enough with protein and some fats for your alternate source of energy. Always bring healthy snacks with you like eggs, fruits or nuts so whenever you feel hungry, your first choice of food would always be something you already have. Use a smaller plate when you eat; it is an effective way to lessen the amount of food you consume per meal. And take your time when eating; eat slowly and make sure you chew your food absolutely in every meal. The required number of chewing food for greater absorption is 5-10 times for soft foods while 30 times for denser food such as meat before swallowing.
Always follow the right order of eating. For example, you should start putting salad or vegetables on your plate and then proceed with taking proteins or fatty foods. If you still feel hungry, you could eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates but not too much. It is also advised that you cook your own food; in this way you are certain what your food is made of. If ever you eat out, always choose salad or vegetable over bread and pasta that are carbohydrates rich.
If ever you fail to follow your food plan, ask yourself why did that happen and note it down so next the time you know how to avoid it. Always keep in mind to never stress-eat. You might be suffering from an emotional eating, which might be caused by your hormones, specifically high levels of cortisol. (Read about emotional eating here)
One factor that changes as we age is our physical activities. Due to our busy schedule in work that takes most of our time daily, it makes our lifestyle less active where some cannot even commit to doing exercise. But most of us don’t know that even the slightest movements count than not moving at all. So take a break every once in while and move around at your workplace. Take the chance at your break times to walk before or after meals. Or if you travel every day to work, you can park or drop off a bit farther than usual to your workplace so you can still have time to walk before reaching and leaving the office.