Can we eat Carbs and lose weight?
I have had loads of questions about…
What is my menopausal formula? I know women are frustrated and confused, and are wondering what is the best approach for them now in the menopausal years.
There simply is no exact menopausal formula /protocol, just guidelines/templates we can start off with. Then we can adjust for our unique genetics, our preferences, and what we can see ourselves doing for the long haul.
I always think and ask myself when any ladies ask me what they should do….
What stage of life are they in?
Our they in peri-menopause, menopause, or post menopause?
What is their hormonal status?
How are they sleeping, eating and exercising?
Are they getting in enough relaxing movement ?
As it will be different for every stage of life, and for EVERY women, because we are all unique, in how we react to our exercise, or diets, stress, sleep, hormones, Etc…
I wish there was an exact protocol that would work perfectly for everyone without some tweaking/customization, but the truth is there is not.
We need to be our own Nancy Drew, or Sherlock Holmes.
It can be hard to figure out with all the mixed information out there and especially on social media.
I have said to myself, wow! it is confusing, but here is what I tell friends and ladies who ask me what they can do.
You can start out with a guideline or template, then adjust for you, that is what I did all those years ago.
I have been thinking about menopause and all the struggles, I went through in my 40’s and 50’s….I found the not sleeping the hardest, and feeling frumpy.
Then the number two question is, why is my weight now shifting to the middle?
The women I talk with do not want six pack abs, most just want to have more energy, sleep without interruption, plus look feel amazing in their skin.
The first thing I think of is about our hormones, as estrogen and progesterone start to fall we become more insulin resistant.
Then WE become more stress reactive with that downward shift in our hormones.
Which can make us more sensitive to stress of any kind, physical, emotional, or mental.
I know this can be very frustrating ……
We have been eating, and exercising a certain way all our lives then boom! It does not work anymore.
Then to make it even more frustrating our weight starts to shift to the MIDDLE, not something we want to see happen, I know I did not like that at all.
And then going through any life change, or menopause sometimes we can develop an auto immune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as I did, or hypo thyroid disease.
I developed Hashimoto’s at around 50 years old. It caused me a few problems going through menopause, weight gain that was stubborn to come off, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and low energy…
My doctor just said oh! You are getting older and just going through menopause….
Yes, those symptoms can be from menopause or thyroid disease or a number of other things.
That was no help to me what my doctor said, just trying to lose 5 pounds became a chore, and for 6 months caused anxiety for me, and a ton of frustration.
My advice would be to always get your thyroid checked to rule that out. Since the doctor might just blame all your symptoms on menopause.
Here I was thinking I was eating an optimal diet, and doing 5-6 days a week of running, plus weight training, working, and walking.
All with no sleep mind you…it took me a long time to figure out what I was doing wrong for my body at this age, and how to fix it. Even when I found out that I should be doing less long distance cardio exercise, I was afraid to stop doing it as I thought I would start gaining more weight.
It was hard to believe that doing LESS exercise and something entirely different, would work better for me.
It went against all that I had always believed and heard, which was the more exercise you do the better.
It can be dam scary to change or try something new, Can’t it? It was for me.
For menopausal weight gain, we need to find our own unique way of eating, and moving.
How much protein, fibrous veggies, fruit, fat, and starchy carbs, treats, wine etc… can we eat and maintain our weight now in the menopausal years.
We do not tolerate as many starchy carbs now with the drop in our hormones.
You may need to adjust the starchy carbs down a few bites at meals, have less wine, and less treats, even less fruit….I hate to say it BUT it depends, we are all different.
BUT, eating NO starchy carbs, can also backfire….We need some, and some of us need more than others do to feel good and sleep well.
Where ever you are now, if you feel you are eating to many cut back a few bites at meals….Or if not eating enough add some.
Such as small sweet potato to dinner, or 1/2 cup of rice, or squash or other starchy carb choice etc…
In the Am you might want to try 1/3 cup of berries in a smoothie or a 1/2 frozen banana, especially good post workout and see….
You maybe like my friend Mary was and do good with 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal and some protein with it.
Oatmeal never worked for me I always crashed an hour later….See we are all different.
My client Lisa did well with a morning breakfast sausage on a bagel, totally does not work for everyone, BUT it held her over and she got results for her body…so all was good.
Age, genetics, hormone levels, etc all matter, there is NO one way.
Amounts can always be adjusted up or down according to YOUR results, and how you feel.
We also are much LESS tolerate of any kind of stress, so lowering our stress level, and getting enough sleep, for belly fat loss, and weight loss is key.
Strategies that may help you:
• Don’t diet, that is a stress on the body
• Don’t over do long endurance type exercise or any type of exercise
• Stress management, try to relax more, and fun stuff.
• Find your starchy carbohydrate tolerance that has you feeling good, and losing fat if that is the goal.
• Balance exercise with fun play time activities
• We need to be Lifting weights
• Get enough sleep, #1 for reducing the middle
• Walking in nature is super, and really can lower our stress levels. (up there with sleep)
When I say dieting is a stress on the body, I mean the body then thinks it’s starving and will go into starvation mode, it will slow your metabolism. It thinks their maybe a famine coming, our bodies are programed to help us survive.
Exercising to much, is a stress on the body, exercising to little or not at all is a stress on the body.
We need to find a balance that will work for us, now in the menopausal years.
As for carbs, I’m not on a low carb diet, because all greens, and fibrous veggies are carbohydrates.
I also have some fruit, berries, sweet potato, squash etc, but these I eat to my tolerance and it changes all the time.
I love my whey protein smoothies, big salads, and dinner with protein, fibrous veggies, and starchy carb.
We need to find the amount of starchy carbs, fat, protein, that works for our own bodies, your amount could be more, or less than mine.
I’m a big proponent of moving more I live this way, all relaxing physical activity is great for us, think about what do you love to do, is it dance class, Zumba, pilates, yoga, gardening, biking, whatever it is I say great.
I do think the simple act of walking is KING, walk everyday to lower your stress, I know its hard not to do tons of cardio and vigorous exercise. I have days off now, and just walk and sometimes I want to start running as its nice out, and I love running.
I have to remind myself to just walk and chill out, and please just walk slowly not power walking with weights unless that is exercise for the day, but weight training will help your body way more, than power walking with weights.
Optimal nutrition, protein first, fibrous veggies, good fats, controlled amount of starchy carbs. Play with the amount that gets you results, and to your preferences as always.
Consistency, patience, and figuring out what will work for you for the long haul, as a lifestyle and not another diet.
I think journaling is so beneficial, it lets me know how a meal has effected me.
I can see did I get tired after the meal, was I hungry just one hour later,
was I bloated, moody, low energy etc…then you will know how to adjust your next
It only takes a minute, and helps you figure out your body, and what will work for you.
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