“Cat, as I’ve got older my tummy fat has got out of control!” I hear this so often from my Club ladies from their 40's up (generally)
First know this: it’s not your fault, but you do need to know how to adapt to the new hormonal status you find yourselves in. It's surprising how confused they can be. Only yesterday I had a lady think she was 'through it' even though her last cycle was a month back (Although she'd been a LONG time without prior to that - if you have just ONE - you're not through it! Some Dr's say two years! I went a year without (I'm now 56), so thought I'd cracked it - then just before I went to the Pilates retreat in June was STUNNED (and somewhat bloody annoyed) to find it was not so!
Your nutritional and training requirements from peri-meno and post - are very different from when you were a young woman.
NB: The last time I wrote about the menopause, a male reader essentially said 'Ew'! But there's no way I'm going to shy away from this subject. Women need to what's going on, and how to cope.
You see - the menopause CAN play havoc with our metabolisms - and you do hear horror stories about it, with so many dreading this life phase - but it doesn't have to be that way. Indeed there are areas in the world where the 'symptoms' of menopause are practically non-existent! In my dealings with ladies at the Club I have those who have sailed through it with no problems and those who still have hot flushes in their 70's.
The perimenopause phase is characterised by lower progesterone than before, with unstable oestrogen levels, so this period can feel very unpredictable. The menopausal stage results in drops in both oestrogen and progesterone. Now if you consider this:
Oestrogen helps us to be more insulin sensitive and thus better able to handle starches and sugars. Together Oestrogen and progesterone, block the actions of cortisol. (which rises with stress).
Therefore we are exposed to, and far less able to manage any batterings from excess carbohydrate intake or stress exposure. And 'stress' can come in many forms: Dehydration, Under/over eating, Deadlines, Ill-advised relationship choices, Over-training, Nutrient deficiencies…So: how to help our bods?
First now knowing the above you can see how it makes sense to support our physiology by not over-stressing the metabolism.
This includes your training: switch from longer harder, maybe too frequent workouts, (the body will see this as pure stress and it's not good ANYWAY).. to: shorter, 3 weekly ones (max) but with ‘spikes’.
Your emphasis is now on mindful, long, slow walking (an hour each day if you can). I find walking my dogs utterly changes my mindset and it kicks in after about 7 minutes of being in the green. If I'm taken away from my beloved mountains and forests I really do PINE!
Post menopause. Here, oestrogen and progesterone levels will remain low, but the ovaries go on producing testosterone, which may increase the spread of belly fat in women. To combat this, take advantage of this valuable hormone (testosterone), by weight training a few times a week.
I can guide you as to the best protcols to follow here but don’t fear going with heavier weights as you get fitter. This is your way forward, I promise you.
For my no-obligation ‘meno fact sheet’ just contact me, and it’s yours! firstname.lastname@example.org