Blame Cortisol, Sugary Carbohydrates, Hormone imbalances and Sugar, just to name a few!
Here's some great ideas of what you can do about it, if you choose because it's your choice!
Today you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't stressed out.
It's the nature of the crazy, rushed, chaotic world we live in.
It seems like the daily to-do list never ends, right? Well,
that stress affects your body.
Adrenaline and Cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormones put out by
your adrenal glands, were originally designed to give you the
extra oomph you needed to evade death by saber-toothed tiger;
in modern life, the stress caused by outrunning big, toothy
animals has been replaced with the constant daily hassles you
face - like sitting in traffic! However, whether it's a tiger
or traffic, your body still responds with a fight-or-flight
response, which spikes your hormones and keeps them spiked.
Our modern, deadline-a-day lifestyle overtaxes our adrenal glands,
which ends up overproducing Cortisol.
Perhaps you've heard me describe your hormones as a teeter-totter:
When Cortisol is constantly pumped out, it can blunt estrogen and
progesterone production and bring on those menopause symptoms.
Raised Cortisol has huge effects on our overall health - Cortisol
will rev you up and make it nearly impossible to sleep, and it
can put you at risk for a heart attack. An overabundance of Cortisol
also boosts your insulin levels, which can cause you to pack on the
pounds, especially around the midsection.
If you have insomnia and weight gain (particularly belly fat),
odds are Cortisol may be to blame. Here are some potential fixes for your problem.
" Find out about your Cortisol levels. A simple blood test
is all you need to see if your levels are within normal ranges.
" Load up on DHEA. This supplement helps transform Cortisol
back to cortisone, helping to reduce the amount of Cortisol
in your system.
But hold on! Before you go rushing to your nearest health-food
store to grab a DHEA supplement, you need to consult a doctor and
get a comprehensive blood test done to check your hormone levels,
so you can be sure to take the proper dose. Once your hormones are
balanced and your body is supplemented with youthful levels of DHEA,
losing weight will be much easier than you anticipated.
" Balance your sex hormones. Back to the teeter-totter - perhaps
an age-related decline of estrogen and progesterone are responsible
for your heightened Cortisol. If your blood tests show that either
of these hormones is low, consider supplementing those hormones
to bring your Cortisol into balance.
" Book yourself plenty of R&R. Start going to bed at a set
time every night. Your body needs eight hours of sleep to
fully regenerate; by getting the right amount of sleep,
your Cortisol levels will start to drop. Also, sleep
in total darkness! Research has shown that even a little
bit of light is enough to cause an increase in your stress
hormones. Additionally, try to lower your Cortisol levels
organically by reducing the stress levels in your life
through relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and exercise.
I know, I know. In today's cut-throat world, it's really tough
to just chill out. But high Cortisol levels, as you've seen,
are a vicious cycle: high stress = high Cortisol = less sleep =
higher stress = higher Cortisol = no sleep.… Get the picture?
Not to mention, it's not just your mental well-being that's
suffering - high Cortisol ultimately leads to weight gain.
Take the steps necessary to address your stress now!
You'll look and feel way better for it.
If you are a person who looks at others' bodies with envy,
it's time to stop being passive and time to start pumping.
After 40, it becomes very clear who chooses to work out
and who doesn't. And that's what it is - a choice. If it's
not a habit for you, it's a new habit you must create.
Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
Start today with a strength-training routine that will get
you on the path to the healthy lifestyle and slim body you
All workouts are not equally effective, but strength training
is the real key to a toned, lean physique. Want to reap the
benefits of strength training? Here's how to do it right:
Start small. If you're new to strength training, keep it
light at the beginning - two-pound or five-pound weights then
build up to heavier weights and resistance as you build your strength.
You'll reduce the risk of injury and painful post-workout soreness this way.
Ask for help. Most gyms will provide a complimentary consultation
with a trainer to help you create a weight-training program.
Or if you can swing it, invest in a few sessions with a personal
trainer to help you design the perfect weight-training regimen for
you - and to check out your form for a few sessions to ensure that
you're doing the exercises correctly. If a gym isn't an option,
hit the library or video store: Many exercise DVD's explain proper
form and prompt you throughout the exercise to maintain it.
Use more than one training technique. While old-fashioned
free weights are an excellent choice, you might consider using
resistance bands, which are easily transported
for workouts on the go.
Make it a regular part of your routine. Make abdominal crunches
(another strength-building exercise) part of your daily regimen,
and work in a full-body strength-training session at least two to
three times a week to help build and maintain a sleeker, more toned physique.
Strength training is one huge way to preserve your mobility as you age,
and if you make it part of your routine, you'll have gorgeously toned
arms and legs before you know it!
Women and Men Hormone Imbalances and Solutions
We will begin here.
Menopause and Weight Gain - HRT and Weight Gain
Maintaining proper weight is a challenge for people of all ages.
However, the older you get, the more difficult it can be. It has been
found that 90% of women experience weight gain between the ages of 35 and 55,
not coincidentally, during peri menopause and menopause. While nutrition,
exercise and lifestyle are critical elements to weight loss, balancing your
hormones after the imbalance that peri menopause and menopause caused, is
vital to your success in maintaining a healthier weight. Hormones and
weight gain are closely related, if your hormones are not balanced,
you can gain weight, especially with too much Cortisol or too little
progesterone, testosterone or estrogen. Bio identical hormone therapy
may tip the scales in your favor.
The average weight gain is gradual, about 10 to 15 pounds starting in
peri menopause and averaging to about a pound a year. However, women who
experience early menopause as a result of surgical menopause (hysterectomy)
tend to gain the weight at an even more accelerated pace. Menopause weight gain,
thanks to the androgen hormone, tends to be located on your abdomen as
opposed to your hips, thighs, or rear.
Hormones and Weight Gain; What Causes Menopause Weight Gain?
The hormone fluctuations in peri menopause and menopause directly
impact your appetite, fat storage, and metabolism. Hormones and weight
gain go hand in hand. So, menopause weight gain is actually hormone weight gain.
Estrogen: It is common for estrogen levels to diminish
during menopause causing cessation of ovulation. The decreased
production of estrogen by the ovaries causes a woman's body to
search for other sources of estrogen. Another source of estrogen is
fat cells, so your body learns to convert more calories into fat, in
order to increase estrogen production. This means weight gain.
Progesterone: It is also common for progesterone levels
to decrease during menopause. Progesterone's role in weight gain
is more deceiving; low levels of the hormone do not actually cause
you to gain weight, but instead cause water retention or bloating. This
annoying side effect makes you feel heavier and makes your clothes fit tighter.
Testosterone: Testosterone in a women works to build and maintain
muscle mass among other things. These muscle cells work to burn calories
in your body and cause a higher metabolism. Levels of this hormone decrease
during menopause causing the loss of muscle mass and hence result in lower metabolism.
This also results in weight gain.
Other Causes: Insulin resistance and stress are also
responsible for a woman's difficulty or inability to experience
weight loss during menopause. Insulin resistance occurs when a woman's
body incorrectly converts every calorie into fat; this is an
extreme case of estrogen correction. Overtime, your body
resists the insulin produced in your blood stream
and you therefore experience weight gain.
Stress is also a contributing factor to menopause weight gain.
High stress puts your body into panic mode, preventing weight loss.
Basically, your body begins to store food since stress hormones, namely
high levels of Cortisol, are telling your body that you will not be
eating again for a long time. These stored calories result in
weight gain. Stress hormones and weight gain are a common
problem among women.
HRT and Weight Gain
Women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) typically
experience fewer problems with weight gain and redistribution
of body fat. Estrogen enables leptin - a protein hormone that
helps control the way that the body stores fat. Leptin helps
by making you feel full so you eat less and increase the
rate at which you burn calories. In addition to estrogen,
testosterone helps maintain lean muscle mass and can
also boost energy levels. Many women who supplement
the hormones estrogen and testosterone with HRT
are less likely experience weight gain and
Mens Hormone Imbalances and Solutions
Andropause:The Male Menopause Don't let it slow you down seek professional treatment from a Doctor!
The Facts: Andropause, also known as the male menopause or MANopause,
is the result of a gradual drop in testosterone which is an androgen,
giving the condition its name. In many cases, bio identical hormones can
be part of the solution. When men get into their early 30s, they begin losing
testosterone at a rate of one to two percent a year. According to the US
Census Bureau, approximately 4-5 million men have symptoms of low
testosterone levels and only 5-10% of these men will seek treatment.
A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report analyzed male hormones and found
that the testosterone levels in most 70 year old men were 10 percent of the
level in males that are 25 years old. By the time men are between the ages
of 40 and 55 they can begin experiencing symptoms of andropause.
The Importance of Testosterone: Testosterone assists the male body in building
protein and is crucial for normal sexual drive and stamina, and in producing
erections. Testosterone also contributes to several metabolic functions
including bone formation, liver function, prostate gland growth and
production of blood cells in bone marrow.
Other Factors: While testosterone is declining in men, the Sex Binding Hormone
Globulin (SHBG), also called androgen-binding protein, increases in levels.
SHGB inhibits a substantial portion of remaining testosterone from working;
the remaining working testosterone is referred to as bio available
testosterone. Bio available testosterone declines with time,
causing gradual male menopause symptoms.
The symptoms of male menopause:
•Irritable Male Syndrome
•Night Sweats in Men
•Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Men's symptoms appear over the course of a decade or more
and it becomes a very slow, insidious process that they attribute
to getting old. Beyond undesirable symptoms, studies show that the decline
of testosterone in andropause may put men at risk for heart disease and
bone loss. Symptoms of andropause are also associated with stress
levels, nutrition quality, fitness routine and the environmental
toxins the body is exposed to on a daily basis.
Why Isn't Andropause or Male Menopause More Well Known?
While familiar among doctors, surprisingly few men are aware
of male menopause or andropause. The condition has been found
in medical literature since the 1940's, but since doctors
lacked a method to properly diagnose the condition and
because the symptoms are so gradual and vary from man
to man, little was done to educate the population.
As a result, andropause is under diagnosed and under treated.
Luckily, state-of-the-art blood testing methods, like those used by
these expert physicians, have been created that can properly monitor testosterone
and diagnose andropause. The condition is now much better understood, as is treatment.
Physicians have been extensively trained in andropause and its treatment of natural
bio identical hormone replacement therapy.
The Solution: Androgen Replacement Therapy
The risks and benefits of testosterone replacement need to be evaluated
by a qualified hormone therapy expert. Each man's anatomy and physiology
are different, so androgen replacement therapy is not a one size fits all
diagnosis. Testosterone replacement therapy is a treatment for men with
low testosterone who want to boost their health and overall well-being.
Perhaps the best news for men is that hormone losses and imbalances
are easily correctable. And through proper treatment,
these physicians can bring about a healthier,
younger and more vital you.
Just one more piece of useful information. I found this Magazine article recently and had to post it!
Allure Magazine, May 2012 Issue Sugar & Skin
Low Carbohydrate Diets may have benefits beyond weight loss.
High blood- sugar levels contribute to health problems such as weight gain, but
a new study suggest that they can also accelerate skin aging.Researchers
in the Netherlands and England had 60 assessors estimate the age of 602
volunteers based on facial photographs. After accounting for actual age,
smoking, weight, body mass index, sun damage, and insulin functions,
people with the highest blood sugar appeared older than those with
the lowest levels. Studies have shown that high blood sugar can destroy
the skin's collogen and elastin.
Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can lower blood sugar levels
as well as minimizing consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, both
of which are quickly converted to glucose in the body, says Kylie Smith,
a scientist at the University of Tasmania in Australia. She recently
found that women who eat hot takeout meals at least twice a week have
higher blood sugar levels than those that don't- probably because they
tend to be overweight, she says.