The decline in oestrogen causes changes in certain enzymes in the body that play key roles in the breakdown and storage of fat. It changes where fat is stored encouraging it to lay around the middle of the body and around the organs. This is why women can suddenly start to put on weight around the trunk of the body becoming more apple shaped than pear.
Some Women become testosterone dominant which causes a certain glycoprotein that’s made in the liver to decrease which also then signals more fat storage around the tummy.
Our Adrenal Glands produce cortisol, a hormone which is released in response to stress and low blood sugars. It aids in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates, regulates blood pressure and controls your sleep/wake cycle.
High cortisol due to a busy lifestyle or constant stress signals the storage of belly fat, increases appetite, causes a rise in insulin which tells us to store fat and crave sweet and fatty foods. Fat is deposited around the waist to be close to the liver so it can be quickly re-converted back to energy to keep up with the demand of the stress response.
Our Adrenal Glands also make oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone but if they are too busy having to make more cortisol, they then slow down the production of these hormones. Women will then experience symptoms like PMS, low energy/ low sex drive and difficulty sleeping. So, keeping our stress levels down is a major contributory factor in optimal hormone balance.
Excess cortisol will also disrupt the thyroid leading to a slower metabolism and encourage muscle breakdown to provide glucose for your brain. Less muscle = a slower metabolism.
High cortisol can also affect sleep and a lack of good quality sleep is also associated with weight gain. One study showed that people who slept for only 5 hours a night compared to 8 hours had 15.5% lower leptin levels, the hormone which makes you feel full and 14.9% higher Grehlin, the hormone which makes you feel hungry.
Try not to weigh yourself on the scales as this can be deceiving but use a good old fashioned tape measure. It’s the waist measurement we need to watch and measuring your waist to hip ratio is a good guide to see how you’re getting on. Measure your waist at the narrowest part and your hips at the widest then divide your waist by your hips for the results. A measurement over 0.85 for women is apple shaped which puts you at higher risk. For women a waist measurement of 32 inches or above puts her at increased risk of developing health conditions and over 35 inches a high risk of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and other conditions.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO RESTORE BALANCE?
- Create a new lifestyle, mindset and new healthier habits. Your body is DIFFERENT now and will be for the rest of your life. You can’t get away with what worked before, you need to listen to your body and implement positive lifestyle changes CONSISTENTLY with COMMITMENT to achieve AMAZING results.
- GUT HEALTH is vital for optimal hormonal health. What, when and how you eat WILL make a huge difference to your symptoms, food is medicine.
- EXERCISE, you need to be doing the RIGHT types of exercise to keep your metabolism working at its best and strengthen your heart, bones and brain for your future.
- STRESS, implementing a mindfulness and stress management strategy to down regulate your nervous system is key.
SIMPLE RULES TO FOLLOW…
- Stop and think before you eat
- Start cooking more fresh foods
- Stand, move and walk more than you sit
- Stress management, make a plan
- Serotonin, what do you do for fun?
- Practice good sleep hygiene
- Build a diverse exercise program
- Say no or limit alcohol, sugar, stress and vexatious people
Re-invent yourself, transform through midlife & beyond into the person you really want to be.
Sarah can show you the way, schedule in a FREE Discovery Call today by clicking here.