Surprisingly, it’s probably NOT menopause that may be causing your metabolism to tank. There are three unlikely suspects that may be at fault:
- Body Composition
- Insulin resistance
Here’s a great note taking guide to help you.
You may be wondering what body composition has to do with a lower metabolism. It’s actually the LOSS OF LEAN MUSCLE that causes a slow down of metabolic rate.
Increased sedentary living can change your body composition.
You may have stopped exercising.
You may be in a more sedentary job.
For mothers, there’s often less chasing children around.
So you may be the same weight but now you’re in a different package.
It’s often likely that as you age you put on a bit of weight as well. Even if you ONLY put on a pound a year, this adds up to 20 extra pounds between the ages of 20 and 40. This weight is usually ‘fat’ as opposed to metabolically active muscle tone.
So now you have the double whammy of a less active metabolism with more body fat on your frame.
The solution is to add lean muscle tone to your frame to increase metabolism. Don’t worry, muscle is NOT big & bulky, it puts the sexy in your jeans and means you’ll also enjoy increased strength & functionality as you age.
Following a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet with processed and refined foods may make your body resistant to insulin.
Do you have weight gain around the middle? Insulin resistance might be the reason because many women with abdominal fat have insulin resistance.
- Here are the symptoms of insulin resistance:
- Brain fog
- High blood sugar
- Intestinal bloating
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Visceral fat storage
- Increased blood triglycerides
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased hunger
Is there a solution to insulin resistance?
The good news is that you may not easily control your menopause hormones but the you CAN control insulin sensitivity. The primary treatment for insulin resistance is exercise and improved nutrition.
Here are just a few tips:
- Add metabolic resistance training (like the My Bikini Belly workouts you can find here).
- Follow a healthy diet including lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs.
- Reduce processed and sugary foods.
- Reduce liquid calories.
Ever heard of ‘Hypothyroidism’?
The #1 reason for hormonal imbalance in women over 40 isn’t menopause at all…it’s hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are often confused with symptoms of menopause. Studies vary, but some say that as many as 24% of women suffer from hypothyroidism after the age of 40.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- puffy face
- joint and muscle pain
- dry skin
- dry thinning hair
- weight gain
- inability to lose weight
All these ‘symptoms’ can easily be confused with menopause symptoms.
There are actionable steps to take to reduce their severity…To boost your metabolism and lessen menopausal symptoms.
To start, go for a physical. Ask your doc to check blood levels of:
- T3 and T4 hormones
- Thyroid gland anti-bodies (aTPO and aTG to test for Hashimoto’s)
Talk to your doctor about your hormone levels and hypothyroidism so you can either rule it out or be treated for it.
Be aware that you may fall into the ‘normal’ range for these thyroid hormones and still not feel fantastic. Be an advocate for you own health and continue to pursue a health practitioner that will listen and work with you.
Here’s a cost effective lab service that will test the correct thyroid hormones and provide feedback as to the results.
There are other ways to support the thyroid:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce BPA exposure: In one study, women who were considered “obese” had 47% HIGHER BPA levels than women who maintain normal weight.
- Avoid chlorine and fluoride by using a water filter
- Some studies suggest UV filters interfere with thyroid function, so check cosmetics for UV filters and buy cosmetics with natural ingredients as much as possible
- Eat coconut oil
- Increase Magnesium (nuts: brazil, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts)
- Increase selenium (brazil nuts)
- Increase Zinc (Eat 3-4 oysters a few times a week)
- Eat Whole Foods (Minimal processing, Short ingredient list, Locally grown, Organic when possible)
By avoiding these hypothyroidism triggers…
By adding the ‘right’ kind of exercise to address body composition…
By addressing insulin resistance….
You’ll also lessen any ‘symptoms’ of menopause & boost your metabolism.
Of course, I always come back to the ‘one change challenge’…This is where I challenge you to make a small change to improve your health long term.
You might start by adding metabolic resistance training workouts like you’ll find in the follow along workouts here.
If you need more support in making healthy changes, I’m here for you. Let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together here.