As a woman over 40, are you having trouble losing weight?
Do you try one diet after another, only to find yourself frustrated?
Are your energy levels lower than they used to be?
Do you have less passion for the things you love?
The good news:
You’re about to learn a way to melt the fat off your body. A way that doesn’t involve harsh diets, hours of exercise per day, or anything crazy. A way to get the body you deserve. It won’t eat up all your time.You’re a busy woman. You don’t have time for complicated exercise routines or counting every little calorie. You need something that works quickly. Something efficient.
Optimizing your hormone levels gives you a lean, fit body. It’s the key to
weight loss for women over 40. Most women focus on calories or carbs. While both are important, they completely miss the most important thing.
When you fight against your hormones, weight loss is impossible.
When you work with your hormones, the weight rapidly melts off your body.
You can optimize your hormones. Naturally. Without drugs or food cravings.
In this short guide, I’ll show you how.
You’ll learn how five hormones affect your body. You can maximize each hormone and
lose the weight…. without cravings, hours of exercise each day, or nutty diets.
Let’s start with Leptin, the “King” of hormones.
WHAT CONTROLS YOUR APPETITE?
Do you struggle with food cravings? Body weight issues? Yo-yo dieting? Yesterday you were able to stick to three square meals. Today some animal urge makes you eat everything in sight.
It can often feel like your appetite changes on a day-to-day basis. And yes, every day can be a little different. Hunger comes from a complex mix of:
• Physical activity
• How much sleep you get (or don’t get)
• Emotions — particularly stress
Over time, however, certain trends become apparent. You might notice you frequently
have trouble controlling your appetite. If you have trouble controlling your appetite, you probably have a leptin problem.If you have more than the occasional food craving, a leptin imbalance is likely.
THE WEIGHT LOSS HORMONE
Leptin is the king of hormones. It’s the most powerful hormone in the human body.
Fat cells produce leptin. Leptin sends signals to your brain. Your brain receives the signals and decides if you need more food. Leptin has a strong influence on your metabolism, weight loss, and hormone balance. Leptin controls your appetite and energy.
THE REASON FOR FOOD CRAVINGS
Leptin imbalances are the primary reason for food cravings. Imbalances lead to overeating, faulty metabolism, an obsession with food, and heart disease. It’s impossible to maintain a healthy weight if leptin isn’t functioning well.
Leptin allows people to control their eating habits and burn off what they eat…. when it works like it should. When leptin works like it should:
You can eat normal portions without the constant hunger pains of dieting.
When it doesn’t:
You gain weight. Your brain never receives the signal your stomach is full.
Leptin resistance occurs when the body produces leptin in higher levels than normal.
Your brain stops responding to the signals. Women who experience this feel hungry – even after a large meal. They crave sweets. They get no lasting satisfaction from anything they eat.
Leptin resistance often happens in combination with a slowing metabolism. When both occur at the same time, you gain weight quickly — especially if you’re over 40.
If you don’t address the leptin resistance in your body, it’s impossible to lose weight.
WHAT TO DO
Figuring out how your body became leptin resistant tells you what to do to fix the issue. Fix the issue, and you start to lose weight. Look at the list below. Are you doing or eating any of these things? If so, that’s what you want to change.
CAUSES OF LEPTIN RESISTANCE
• Foods with high fructose corn syrup
• Sugary foods and drinks
• Lack of sleep
• High-stress levels
• Foods high in fat or refined sugar
MAKING LEPTIN WORK SO YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT
Leptin resistance can be reversed. It can be done naturally. However, you need to exercise and follow a weight loss plan.The plan includes inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress. It also includes eliminating sugar and adding more protein and fiber to your diet.
You’ll notice a remarkable difference. Not only will you look and feel better, you’ll find the pounds dropping off. You’ll stop craving unhealthy foods.
INCREASE YOUR RESTING METABOLIC RATE
Regular exercise stimulates fat-burning enzymes. Leptin also stimulates these enzymes. When the enzymes are stimulated, you increase your metabolic rate — even when you’re not exercising!
This is important. Your resting metabolic rate accounts for two-thirds of the calories you burn each day.
STEPS TO INCREASING METABOLISM
1- MAXIMIZE FLAVOR AND NUTRITION
Choose foods with the most flavor and nutritional value.
These foods have vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. Examples include
blueberries, tomatoes, ginger, onions, and fresh herbs.
2- OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy functioning of the body and brain.
Omega-3s heal inflammation. They improve or prevent depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other disorders. They keep leptin in balance.
Sources of Omega-3s include:
• Ground flaxseed
• Beans — especially navy, kidney, and soybeans
• Fish, especially cold-water fish like salmon and tuna.
3- EAT 9-10 SERVINGS OF FRUIT AND VEGGIES PER DAY
Find delicious ways to include fruits and vegetables in every meal.
Choose fruits and veggies with deep colors and intense flavors. The colors reflect a high phytonutrient content. Phytonutrients are plant-based nutrients. They’re great for health and help stabilize hormone levels.
4- SKIP THE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Studies show artificial sweeteners interfere with weight loss. Artificial sweeteners deprive you of the nutrients found in herbs, spices, and fruits. Enjoy fruit, fruit juice, and fruit concentrates instead. The flavor and nutrition can’t be beat.
5- SAVOR HEALTHY SNACKS AND DESSERTS
Enjoy delicious snacks like crunchy walnuts or almonds. Try desserts made from fruit and yogurt. They excite your palate while keeping you satisfied. Indulge yourself – but make healthy choices.
Exercise builds muscle, burns calories, and reduces stress. Follow an exercise plan that takes leptin resistance into account. It stops you from aggravating the problem further. Exercise lowers your stress… as long as you keep it short. Lower stress levels help balance leptin in your body.
Many women wonder: “Can estrogen cause weight gain?”
It can, but the problem is not usually estrogen itself. The problem is usually estrogen dominance.
What’s estrogen dominance?
We’ll get to it. First, let’s discuss estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics. There’s an interesting connection between estrogen and weight gain. As you age, levels of all your hormones tend to decrease.
Your doctor may have told you your estrogen levels are plummeting. That’s why it’s confusing to hear estrogen dominance leads to weight gain in menopause.
Estrogen levels decrease during menopause. If your progesterone levels decrease even more, you still have estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is about the ratio of estrogen to progesterone. If you have too much estrogen compared to progesterone, you gain weight. You store fat around your middle. Most women have an estrogen dominance, especially those of us over 40.
You are likely have estrogen dominance if you have…
• Sugar cravings
• Difficulty with certain foods, like chocolate or ice cream
• High, low, or borderline blood sugar (normal is 70-85 mg/dL)
• Trouble lasting longer than 3 hours between meals
• A muffin top (waist > 35 inches in women)
• A lack of weekly exercise
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS ) — a condition with irregular periods, acne, and
increased hair growth. There’s sometimes infertility and/or cysts on the ovary.
HOW TO BALANCE ESTROGEN FOR WEIGHT LOSS TO AVOID ESTROGEN DOMINANCE…
– Exercise daily
– Try to eat 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day
– Eat a pound of vegetables per day (not as hard as it sounds — a pound of vegetables is about as big as a softball)
– Take Wild Yam (Dioscorea Villosa) in capsule or dried herb form
– Reduce your red meat intake
– Eliminate excess sugar and processed foods
Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas. It helps regulate glucose (blood sugar) in your body. If you’re overweight or even a bit flabby, your insulin gets thrown off balance. You have a harder time losing weight. If you eat sugary foods all day, your insulin works overtime to clear the sugar from your blood.
What does insulin do with the extra sugar? It stores it as fat.
THINK INSULIN RESISTANCE IF YOU HAVE…
• Trouble sleeping
• More than one cup of coffee per day and giving it up seems outrageous
• Anxiety or irritability
• Burn out
• Gut problems such as indigestion or ulcers
• Thinning bones
• A tendency to overeat when stressed
THE GOOD NEWS
Insulin is the easiest hormone to balance. You can do it in less than 3 days, according to recent studies.
HOW TO BALANCE INSULIN FOR WEIGHT LOSS
– Get enough of the right kinds of exercise
– Increase your protein intake
– Eat low glycemic index foods
– Include “good” fats for healthy hormones
– Balance your meals
– Enjoy a healthy breakfast every day
– If you need to snack, snack healthy
– Plan your meals ahead of time
– Get enough sleep
Have you increased the amount of time you exercise? Are you trying to ‘outrun’ your belly bulge? Your body is aging and changing, as are your hormones.
These changes include:
• Muscle loss
• Weight gains
• Insatiable food cravings
• A belly bulge or ‘muffin top’ that won’t go away
There are things you can do before you throw in the towel. In particular, you can focus on the way you exercise.
We know exercise is good for us. It strengthens our major organs and muscles. It helps regulate blood sugar and fat storage. It improves bone density and stimulates ‘feel good’ hormones. Exercise is essential for weight loss. But… Exercise creates stress on the body… and not just wear and tear on the joints and muscles.
Exercise also creates metabolic stress as your body increases cortisol production.
HIGH CORTISOL LEVELS
High cortisol levels cause extreme fatigue, reduced immune response, and low blood pressure. High cortisol levels are even worse for the perimenopausal woman. Her production of progesterone is at an all-time low. The adrenals can’t make cortisol without progesterone. The more cortisol required to offset stress, the less progesterone available.
Progesterone balances estrogen and testosterone. Without the balancing effects of
progesterone, estrogen production gets out of control. Your adrenal glands are busy making cortisol when you’re stressed. The glands are too busy to deal with estrogen.
Your estrogen levels then rise.Excess estrogen leads to weight gain. In particular, an increase in the body’s central fat stores – the belly bulge. Women with high central fat tend to secrete more cortisol than women with lower central fat… especially under stress.
Cortisol prompts cravings for “comfort foods. ” These are typically high in carbs and saturated fat. Acting on these cravings leads to weight gain. This becomes a vicious circle. You’re stressed. Cortisol levels go up. You eat comfort food. Your progesterone is busy dealing with the cortisol, so estrogen levels go up. You gain belly fat and tire easily. This leads to more stress. The circle begins again.
We need to balance the benefits of exercise with the drawbacks… elevated stress and
cortisol levels. We need to exercise for hormonal balance.
HOW TO EXERCISE FOR HORMONAL BALANCE CARDIO GUIDELINES
More cardio is NOT better. Short, intense cardio workouts keep cortisol production down.
EFFICIENT STRENGTH WORKOUTS
Compound, whole body exercises are the way to go. They involve more muscles and
burn more calories, both during and after your workout. They reduce the duration of your workout. Keep your strength training sessions short but intense. Long exercise sessions cause cortisol to spike.
ADD MORE NON-EXERCISE MOVEMENT TO YOUR DAY
Take the stairs. Park farther from the store. Incorporate more movement into your day. Non-exercise movement raises your metabolism without increasing the hormonal stress on your body.
ENGAGE IN FORMAL EXERCISE FIVE DAYS PER WEEK
Regular exercise at the right intensity is the key to losing weight. Alternate weight training with light intensity workouts. Make sure to do high-intensity cardio, mobility exercises, and stress relief activities.
SAMPLE WEEKLY WORKOUT
MONDAY Weight train – 25 to 30 minutes. Include a 10-minute high-intensity fat burn
TUESDAY Light intensity fat burn – 30 to 120 minutes
WEDNESDAY Weight train – 25 to 30 minutes. Include a 10-minute high-intensity fat burn
THURSDAY Light intensity fat burn – 30 to 120 minutes
FRIDAY Weight train – 25 to 30 minutes. Include a 10-minute high-intensity fat burn
SATURDAY Mobility exercises – 20 minutes and an 8-minute high-intensity fat burn
SUNDAY Stress release activity – yoga, tai chi, meditation
CORTISOL’S RELATIONSHIP TO SLEEP AND STRESS
We also need to focus on sleep and managing stress to keep cortisol levels down.
Production of cortisol varies throughout the day. It’s highest upon waking. It declines to the lowest level right around the time you go to sleep. Sleep deprivation interrupts this cycle. It causes end-of-the-day cortisol levels to remain high. This leads to higher cortisol levels all day.
Over time, elevated cortisol levels lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.
Elevated cortisol levels are of particular concern to menopausal and perimenopausal
women. The combination of high cortisol and low estrogen contributes to middle-of-the-body weight gain.
Try to get eight hours of sleep. Go to bed by 10:00 pm.
Anything that calms you lowers cortisol levels. Keep your life as stress-free as you can. Try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE?
Testosterone (T) is a steroidal hormone. Testosterone originates in the sex organs of both men and women. It circulates in different amounts. Women typically have one-tenth the testosterone of men. Testosterone burns fat. An increase in testosterone leads to more muscle mass and bone density. Testosterone improves libido. It strengthens our bodies and improves our memory. It creates a sense of well-being.
Testosterone makes us feel wonderful and alive regardless of our age. A woman with high testosterone is the owner of a lean body. She has a flat stomach and high energy levels.
WHAT CAUSES T LEVELS TO DROP?
Age and stress reduce testosterone levels in women. Low T levels can lead to serious conditions. They include depression, low sex drive, obesity, and osteoporosis. Low levels also cause less serious issues like fatigue and moodiness. Fatigue and moodiness increase stress and inflammation leading to more fat accumulation. The sad thing is… most women consider these problems a normal part of the aging process!
As we mature, we should not accept obesity as the norm. Vitality, vigor, and permanent weight loss are attainable… with enough testosterone, exercise, and a healthy diet.
WHEN T LEVELS DROP
Youthful women age rapidly. They become overweight and more passive. Women with
low T feel tired and lazy. They gain weight easily. They develop heart disease sooner. They lose their memory faster than women with normal levels.
Aging is not the only cause of low T levels; medications can be devastating. Birth control pills and some antidepressants cause a drop in testosterone levels.
TESTOSTERONE AND WEIGHT LOSS
We naturally lose muscle as we get older. Increasing testosterone reverses the muscle loss. Testosterone plays an important role in fat loss as well. Women with fluctuating or low testosterone levels tend to be overweight.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR T LEVELS
– Talk to your doctor to check your levels.
– Exercise to improve testosterone levels and boost your metabolism. Muscle building exercises raise T levels.
– Get more sleep.
– Lower your stress levels.
– Include fiber-rich foods in your diet: flax seeds, prunes, pumpkin seeds, whole
– Avoid alcohol. It can damage the liver and kidneys and increases estrogen levels.
– Take zinc and protein supplements.
– Doctors can prescribe hormones if needed.
A FEW WORDS OF CAUTION
Taking testosterone without a doctor’s supervision is not only illegal — it’s dangerous.
SOME WOMEN HAVE THE OPPOSITE PROBLEM
Their T levels are too high. This doesn’t cause weight gain, but it’s associated with
problems that do. If you suddenly gain a lot of weight, you might have high T levels. Talk to your doctor if you think your levels might be too high.
YOU WON’T BECOME THE FEMALE INCREDIBLE HULK
Some women worry increasing Testosterone will make them look like a female
bodybuilder. Don’t worry — it won’t happen. You need to take illegal steroids and follow specialized training to look like that. Think of it this way: most young men who try to build big muscles fail. They have ten times the T of most women. Doing strength exercises a few days per week won’t make you Mrs. She-Hulk. It will
increase your T and help you lose fat.
If you’ve struggled to lose weight but can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong, your hormones are probably to blame. 99 percent of your weight gain comes from hormonal issues. Don’t worry about calories… focus instead on optimizing your hormones. Use this guide to try different techniques. The weight falls right off when you address the real problem. It’s your body. You should do everything you can to lose weight and feel happy, healthy, and whole.