I have been asked a lot about this lately, how do I fix that shift of weight to the middle.
Just today I was asked how can I get rid of my belly? I hate that my weight is shifting more to my stomach.
When we don’t sleep we are stressing out our bodies to much, and it raises cortisol. When I don’t sleep, the first place I notice fat gain is at my waist line.
My waist measurement will go up. I’m very in-tune with my body signals now, and if I see that happening, I immediately back off from what I’m currently doing with my exercise.
As we age we become much more sensitive to any kind of stress, (more stress reactive), the body does not know where the stress is coming from, it just knows there is chronic stress going on. It could be from lack of sleep, or too much exercise, or chronic dieting.
Stress is ok, if it is short, like running from a bear. As long as it then goes back down, that is how the body works.
But it’s the chronic stress, that is so bad for the body, when it is always high.
Sleeping is like the magic fat loss pill, if there was a magic pill that is. In my experience when I sleep well, and don’t exercise to much, my body responds well.
It’s still hard to listen to the body sometimes isn’t it? We don’t like change, I know that I don’t like change. And sometimes I need a knock in the head, to listen to my body, sigh!
For women, in the menopausal years the benefits of getting good sleep, and doing the right kind of exercise, by saying the right kind of exercise, I mean not to much for our bodies at this time in our lives.
It can be scary to do less exercise, as it’s so ingrained in us to do more, I totally get that, I was always taught the more the better. So I found it really scary at first to cut back on exercise, and try a new way, I thought for sure I would gain weight.
But I needed to change something as I was not sleeping well, had low energy, and not losing a little bit of weight that I wanted to lose, and getting injury after injury.
I also found that as the years went by I needed to change the way I ate as well, and shift to more fibrous veggie,s and less starchy carbs, and all the pasta dishes I was used to making.
Yep! As we age we can’t eat the way we did when we were younger, I have found we need less starchy carbohydrates, and fill up on more of the fibrous kinds of carbs, all greens and cruciferous veggies….BUT there are way more things we can eat more of than less of.
Notice I did not say NO starchy carbs, that totally won’t work for most women, as that will just raise your stress hormone cortisol down regulate the thyroid, and cause more sleep issues.
To whittle the middle, and get back the waistline, get quality sleep, don’t exercise to much, to hard or to often, balance your intense exercise with lots of leisure activities.
Try walking slowly, not power walking, any fun activities you like that will help to lower stress, walking in nature, yoga, stretching, reading, walking the dog, sitting even for 5 minutes in the morning sun to rest your circadian rhythm.
I got asked this today by someone I know…. What can I do to lose some belly fat? I have noticed I have more fat covering my muscles now at 61, and that my weight is shifting to the middle and I don’t like it.
For Exercise I told her as I know what she does.
- Still do weight training as that is her first love, but try switching up your routine.
- Try 2-3 days of weight training, plus 1-2 days of short burst of high intensity training, that could be running sprints, or doing sprints on a bike, stair climber, stepper, elliptical. 10 – 20, or 30 seconds hard, then rest a minute, then hard all out again.
- Repeat 8-10 times, if new to it just starting with a few times all out hard and shorter.
- And walk on all days as much as you can fit in, and any other leisure activities you can see yourself doing for the long haul.
- Consistency wins, do the best you can and not to worry about being perfect.
If you have never exercised or don’t start off by just getting out there and walk. I started that way and got off my first 60 pounds with just walking, then step aerobics, and weight training….one step at a time
Whatever you are doing now if it is not working change it.
For Your Diet
- You can start with a cupped handful of starchy carbs, which is about a half cup, and see how you do.
You may need more or less, and you can adjust the amount that makes you feel good and gets you to your goals.
- Having starch at night lowers cortisol, which will help your body relax and then you will sleep better.
- Cortisol a stress hormone is supposed to be highest in the morning, and lowest at night for sleep.
- Fibrous veggies: Eat all many fibrous veggies and leafy greens as you want to, I do a half plate full. Or Start with 2 closed fists full…they fill you up though and not out.
- Fruits: Try 1-2 a day and see how you do some of us can tolerate more fruits and some of us it can stall weight loss. low sugar fruits work well, all berries, apples, pears, grapefruits…I have cherries and banana to post workout.
- Berries A serving is about 1/2 cupful.
- I slice bananas and put in baggies and store in the freezer and take out about 5-6 slices to go in my whey protein smoothies some days. I mostly do berries as they are so good for you and have lots of water and fiber.
- Fats :1 thumb full per meal, or 1-2 tbs
- Protein: 1 Palm size quality, protein lean at your meals works very well. I say lean as toxins, and hormones are in conventional meats, and we don’t want those if we can help it. Wild fish, wild canned salmon, wild tuna, wild planet brand or vital choice are good, turkey, chicken, bison, beef etc…
This is a good starting pace that works well, we all need to adjust for our bodies and genetics. Plus make it what you love to eat, so that you not only lose the weight but keep it off.
It could be you just need 3-5 bites less of your food that you love at your meals….mostly less starchy carbs.
Eating slowly, really helps us know when we are full…really hard to do I’m a fast eater.
One tip, I have learned the hard way, I thought if having less starch was good, then having none might be better, I found, my muscle definition went away, and sleep was poor, and then those dreaded cravings started, which makes it so hard to not give into eating the container of ice cream, or a container of nuts, wow! I have been there.
When we get a good need nights sleep and that will cascade down into everything else. Like better mood, more energy, less cravings, which will help with any fat loss goals you may have.
Try these above strategies to help, lower stress, and start to lose stubborn weight gain and that shift to the middle I have created my FREE Belly Blasting Guide to help with all this giving you my best super simple strategies that work, to #whittletyourmiddle