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10 Dec

4 Keys to Stress Less and Celebrate More

How did that time of the year we used to regard as "magic” become so filled with anxiety and stress?

Holidays as a grown-up are very different from what they were when we were kids. As grown-ups, we’re responsible for making the magic happen. That means that there’s a total shift of energy: jubilant anticipation turns to anxiety and stress. But with a little planning, and our 4 keys to stress less AND celebrate more – that doesn’t need to be the case this year.

Enjoy the spirit of the holidays by changing the way you approach these four classic stress-inducing situations.

Scenario #1: Your flight home has just been delayed for the third time.

The key to getting through your travels unscathed is to plan ahead as best you can, and then let go of what you can’t control. When travel is interrupted, instead of melting down and worrying about how it will impact the rest of your day, see the extra time as a gift. Now you have time to take a brisk walk around the airport terminal, call a friend or family member or catch up on your reading. Just stay in the moment and make the most of your time — instead of worrying, which will only drain you. Of course, having kids with you makes it more complicated: That’s when the planning comes into play. Make sure to pack things like playing cards, kids’ books, coloring books, travel-size board games and healthy snacks to keep kids occupied. Also, remember that most of the time, they take their cue from your behavior; if you’re calm and upbeat, they’re more likely to follow suit.

Scenario #2: It’s been a tough year and you simply can’t afford to buy extravagant gifts for friends and family. 

There’s a reason January and February are big depression months: It’s when the credit card bills from the holidays start rolling in. It goes back to that pressure to make magic — especially for kids. It’s vital that as a family — early on — you have a discussion about money. When it comes to kids, just be straight with them — level with them about the fact that you don’t have the money to buy everything they’re hoping for. Emphasize the parts of the holiday that don’t have to do with money (like spending time together baking, playing games or making holiday crafts). Money conversations are harder to have with friends (especially if their finances appear to be smooth sailing). Honestly, it can be very embarrassing. Perhaps you can set a money limit for gifts or agree to do homemade presents.

Scenario #3: You’re being dragged to your husband’s company holiday party — an event that always leaves you feeling awkward and self-critical.

First, try to identify what it is about the situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Having awareness won’t make your feelings go away, but it can help you create a plan for getting through the situation. Again, it’s often a matter of the language you use in your own head. Phrases like “these events are horrible” only reinforce those negative thoughts. Try writing a new script for yourself, whether it’s a simple mantra like “I am intelligent and charming” or “this is just one night.” Also, remember that we often tend to evaluate our social “performance” as much worse than it is (worrying that we offended someone or put our foot in our mouth), when in reality, no one else thought anything of it.

Scenario #4: You fought the buffet table and the buffet table won.

The last thing we need to add to our psyche is guilt about the food we eat — yet we do it all the time. The first thing you need is perspective: A few days of indulgent eating can be a setback, but they don’t have to spell disaster. Second, try to remove the emotional component from your calorie splurge — it is what it is, and it’s over.  Think about what you learned and what you could have done differently (so you’re prepared next time), and then cut it loose.  Every day is a new day, and you get a clean slate!


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23 Nov

Super Charge Your Immune System

With the Cold and Flu season right around the corner –  now is the time to Super Charge Your Immune System.

As the temperatures drop, we will be spending more and more time indoors. Whether it’s the office, the gym, or a classroom, any enclosed, shared environment is like a giant petri dish full of potential to derail your health.

But there’s good news! It’s actually easier than you think to super charge your immune system with simple yet effective lifestyle techniques – in addition to washing your hands –  that will actually cut your risk of colds in half! Let’s take a look.

Exercise – some people love to exercise. Others do it because they want to get fit and look good for the holidays or a special vacation. Still others loathe any excess movement and respectfully refrain from working out. Think about which category you fall into. Now think about this: People who don’t exercise regularly take twice as many sick days as those who do — and that’s not because they’re playing hooky! A yearlong study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed that 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day cut the risk of colds in half — and increased immunity over time. By the end of the study, exercisers were three times less likely to get sick.

Exercise can super charge your immune system and boost your resistance to viruses and infections by stimulating the release of immune cells into our bloodstream. These cells hunt down foreign invaders. You want to have a good amount of immune cells in circulation, so if there’s an attack they can mobilize to the area.

You don’t have to be an elite athlete, either. Research has found that walking briskly for 30 to 40 minutes five days a week lowered the number of colds people got by 40 percent!

Walking for 30 to 45 minutes most days of the week is just the right amount to boost health, improve fitness, reduce sick days and super charge your immune system. Of course, you can also maximize your resistance to colds, cancer and everything in between with a good Multi-Vitamin and Probiotic as well as targeted supplements like Vitamin D to keep your immune system strong and other kinds of moderate exercise. Moderate being the key word. Vigorous training exhausts more than your muscles; it can weaken your immune system as well. Marathon runners, for instance, are six times more likely to get sick after a race.


Another key element to super charge your immune system is to keep chronic stress under control. The effects of long-term stress on the immune system are many and may influence depression, infections, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and even some types of cancer. While it is not completely understood how, studies show that the more a person exercises, the more capable she is of handling psychological stress. Working out regularly also helps build self-esteem, which can make you feel more balanced and capable of handling life’s challenges.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

 

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11 Nov

Boost Your Energy, Lose Weight, Look And Feel Great!!

There’s no doubt that along with following a healthy diet, exercise will boost your energy, both immediately and over the long haul, making it easier to do everything from going to work to cleaning out the garage to running a 5K. It helps increase your strength and stamina, helps you look and feel great, busts stress, fights depression and fatigue, invigorates your brain and helps you lose weight — which by itself will give you more energy.

And it just makes you feel good. Exercise releases endorphins, your body’s natural happy pill. The more endorphins you have coursing through your veins, the better you feel.

Moderate and Steady Wins the Energy Race

That picture you have in your head of being chained to the treadmill, drenched in sweat, pounding away for hours, just to reap these benefits — throw it out. Long, grueling exercise only leads to fatigue for most people.

What takes you to the finish line in your everyday life is regular, moderate exercise. A brisk walk, a bike ride, an aerobics class can all do the job — anything that gets your heart rate and breathing up.

Not quite there yet? Low-intensity activities work too. One study showed that regular, low-intensity exercise, such as leisurely walking, helped inactive adults who suffered from fatigue increase their energy by 20 percent and decrease tiredness by 65 percent.

If you have a choice between not moving and moving — move!

Experts are quite clear on this point: Get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise three to five days a week for improved energy as well as to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. But if you can’t hit that target for whatever reason, do something.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is having an all-or-nothing mentality.  If you can realistically only commit to working out three days a week, remember that three is better than zero! Even if you can devote only 10 or 20 minutes to exercise, you’ll always feel better afterward.

Catch some Zzzzz!

To lose weight and feel great getting good shut-eye is a must. While quality sleep helps our bodies and our minds repair and recharge, chronic sleep deprivation creates persistent fatigue. And many of us are not getting the seven to nine hours a night we need. When we’re tired, our bodies crave high carbohydrate foods like sugary snacks. Sweets mean more calories, not to mention that sugar crash we know is coming. Plus, when we’re sleep deprived, our bodies hold on to calories and fat. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, when we’re tired, we’re less likely to exercise.

But you can flip that downward spiral on its end and create a positive routine instead. Get good, regular sleep and you’ll have more energy for every part of your day. You’ll have more energy to exercise and be active. You’ll be more ready to tackle the stress. And you’ll look and feel great!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

 

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28 Oct

7 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

We’d all love for there to be a magical pill we could take or a food that we could add to our diet that would — poof! — make our risk of cancer disappear. While that’s not available to us yet, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and these 7 ways to prevent breast cancer can help.

 

Lose the Belly Fat

Decrease your risk of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence by reducing your abdominal fat. Body fat boosts estrogen storage, so the heavier you are, the more circulating estrogen you’ll store and the more circulating harmful estrogen you’ll have. The good news is, you don’t have to be a size six to reduce your risk. Research shows that even moderate weight loss can lower breast cancer risk by 25 percent. Belly fat is especially dangerous, so flatten that tummy. The quickest way to get rid of a spare tire: portion control and reduced intake of stripped carbohydrates. Failing that, try resistance exercises, and in a distant third place, vigorous cardio (exercise) like jogging or speed-walking.

 Limit the Alcohol

If you want to diminish your risk of breast cancer, cut way back on the booze. Drinking alcohol, even moderately, can increase your cancer risk. Even as little as one drink per day seems to be associated with breast cancer, and the more you drink, the higher your risk. Three or more drinks per week boost the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 30 percent, and overweight and postmenopausal women may be particularly at risk. What matters most is the cumulative amount of alcohol you drink over a lifetime, so whether you have a glass of wine every night with dinner or a few cocktails on weekends, the effect is still the same. To keep your breast cancer risk low, limit your cocktails at one or two a week

 Eat Veggies, Especially From the Cruciferous Family

Just as there’s a strong association between emotions and cancer, there is also an established link between our eating habits and the disease. Red meat and fried foods are shown to heighten cancer risk. Sugar feeds inflammation and tumor growth. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables provide abundant antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are especially beneficial because they contain components that support breast health by helping to balance hormones.

Bone Up on D3

Your pale complexion may confirm that you haven’t seen the sun in weeks or that, when you do, you’re covering up as you should. But lack of sunlight also keeps us from manufacturing vitamin D3 — and vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient that may help prevent breast cancer. Most of us are walking around with low vitamin D3 levels, in fact, less than one in ten Americans get the amount of vitamin D that studies suggest is optimal for breast health. The latest research shows that vitamin D is crucial for breast health. For breast cancer protection, research from America’s most prestigious medical schools suggest that optimal health requires 2000IU to 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day.

Butts Out

If you’re still smoking, it’s time to call it quits. Women who smoke have an increased risk of breast cancer — and the earlier you start, the higher the risk. A recent study found that women who maintained a pack-a-day habit for 30 years or more increased their risk by 28 percent. Light smokers who quit after fewer years had only a 6 percent greater risk — so quit now.

 Strategic Supplementation –Breast Health Formulas

While many foods are great sources of anti-cancer compounds, optimal vitamin D levels require supplementation. Every woman should consider adding a combination supplement formula designed to promote breast health to their daily routine. Key ingredients to look for include: Vitamin D3 in sufficient levels, as well as Calcium D-glucarate for detoxification and hormone balance, DIM for healthy estrogen metabolism, Green Tea extract for its polyphenols and Lycopene as an antioxidant with specific benefits for breast health.

Take Time to De-Stress

Though we don’t have a lot of research to prove it, stress, loneliness and other negative moods increase the risk of developing most cancers, so they may affect your odds of developing breast cancer, as well as your chances of surviving if you do get it. A stress-fueled lifestyle may be linked to more aggressive tumors, and women with a family history of breast cancer may be more easily frazzled by everyday stresses. Too much stress is clearly bad for you, and getting it under control will help.Studies recommend meditation, regular exercise, spending quality time with loved ones, engage in hobbies you love, and laughter — these are all potent stress reducers, so enjoy ’em daily.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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14 Oct

Nutrition For Happy Hormones: What To Eat And What NOT To Eat

No treatment for happy hormones would be complete without mentioning other ways besides supplements that  can help you through the ups and downs of hormone fluctuations. One of the MAIN ways you can help your hormones stay balanced is to get your nutrition and weight on a healthy track. Doing this will help you avoid the weight gain that can be so common during the years leading up to and including menopause. Even if you’re nowhere near menopause, eating properly and getting regular exercise will  explode your energy and improve your overall health, and help you shed any unwanted pounds you may have already been carrying around.

Of course it’s sometimes easier said than done, but good nutrition or “eating healthy” does NOT have to be difficult. Healthy eating is simply eating “real food” — food that is not pumped up with chemicals, hormones, preservatives and antibiotics. By supporting your health through good nutrition it will positively influence your hormonal balance – which is critical in managing PMS and menopausal symptoms. The following are guidelines that, if followed, will greatly improve your health, raise your energy, reduce weight gain, fight disease and increase your ability to maintain balanced happy hormones.

Choose the following foods as often as possible for optimal health:

• Organic or grass fed beef

 The reason why is that American cows continue to be fed corn and other ground-up diseased animals to fatten them up for the market (which in turn makes them sick because it is a vegetarian animal that should be grazing).   In addition, despite public outcry, they are still being pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones – and all this winds up on your plate. So if you’re going to eat beef, at least eat healthy beef.

• Organic free-range chicken

Many of the above reasons apply to chicken as well. Many chicken farmers keep the chickens so fattened up with corn feed that they cannot walk beyond a few steps before they have to lay back down again. And we wonder why America has an obesity problem.

• Wild-caught fish

Wild caught fish feed on their natural food sources, plus they have the benefit of constant exercise. Farmed fish such as Tilapia, often live in crowded ponds without much movement, plus since the conditions are poor, they are often given antibiotics too.

• Organic vegetables and fruits (fresh and/or frozen)

 Avoid pesticide and herbicide traces that not only are on the surface of non-organic produce, but also sucked up into the plant itself. organic also has MANY times the nutrients than conventional fruits and vegetables. You can look up the Rutgers university study to see how vast the difference is.

• Flaxseed: Cold pressed oil can support healthy hormone balance

 Lignans are hormone-like compounds found in Flaxseed oil that may support women’s health by maintaining healthy circulating levels of women’s sex hormones, which may benefit menopausal symptoms.

• Healthy fats: Organic Butter, Sour Cream (whole), Cream, olive oil, yogurt (whole)

No man-made fats!! Whenever we as a society think we can “improve” upon nature, we get into trouble. After all, it came to light many years later that while we all thought we were doing well by eating margarine, it turned out we were poisoning ourselves with trans-fats.

• Nuts, seeds and their butters (i.e. almond butter)

Wonderful sources of dense protein and nutrients.

 Foods To Avoid –

The following list of foods will negatively affect your hormonal balance:

 Basically the reasons why all fall under the same umbrella: the constant use of chemicals, preservatives, artificial this and that, dyes, bad types of fats are all conspiring against you and your health.

• Processed Foods

• Soft Drinks

• Chemically Sweetened Products

• Fast Food

• Junk Food

• Fried Food

• Artificially Altered Foods (ie: Fat Free)

 Your hormones cannot do their job if you’re putting junk in your trunk!

 Sugary foods and trans-fats will not only end up on your hips it will also disrupt your hormones.Keeping you from the youthful energy and health you want. Eating REAL food that has not had all the life squeezed out of it by being processed to death will help you rebuild your body’s biochemicals. You can stay younger looking, have better health and vitality if you eat real whole foods. “If it didn’t grow that way, don’t eat it.” If you change your diet, you can change your life – and the second half will be Better than the first!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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01 Oct

Fatigued to Fantastic – Reclaim Your Energy!

Being fatigued has practically become an American way of life. Day in and day out, most of us are inundated with unrelenting stress, information overload, and sleep deprivation. To cope, we put our health and well-being on the back burner, depending on stimulants like caffeine to keep going. If this sounds like your life, you’re not alone.

Fatigue is often caused by a less-than-ideal lifestyle that can include overworking, a lack of sleep (including interrupted sleep), a lack of physical activity, mental stress, and poor eating habits. Over time, pushing yourself past your limits can lead to serious health consequences. Besides the obvious effects on the ability function physically, being chronically exhausted can interfere with your memory and concentration. It can also lead to weight gain and weaken your immune system, leaving you less able to fight off disease.

On the flip side, a sedentary lifestyle can also leave you fatigued. Lack of exercise leads to a problem called “deconditioning” where the organs of the body begin to deteriorate, resulting in fatigue. Research shows that even mild exercise could counteract the deconditioning response.

Normal fatigue happens to all of us from time to time. In some extreme cases, fatigue and lethargy can be the result of an undiagnosed medical condition. If you simply can’t find the energy to make it through the day – even though you eat well, supplement, exercise, and get plenty of sleep-ask your doctor about other potential causes.

The following can also zap your energy levels and leave you feeling fatigued:

Adrenal Fatigue-Your adrenal glands produce the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine during times of stress. These hormones also balance your blood sugar, which helps your body manage the daily flow of energy. After years of nonstop tension, your adrenals can “burn-out”. This can leave you in a constant state of exhaustion. More than 80 percent of Americas suffer from some level of adrenal fatigue, says Marcelle Pick, RNC, MSN, OB/GYN, NP, and the author of Are You Tired and Wired? Signs you are among this statistic include feeling tired for no reason, having trouble getting up in the morning – even if you’ve gone to bed early the night before, feeling rundown or overwhelmed, having trouble bouncing back from an illness, and/or having intense cravings for sweet and salty snacks.

An Underactive Thyroid -The most common thyroid malfunction among women, it can intensify or mimic PMS or menopausal symptoms, including weight gain, lack of energy, and depression. A drop in hormone production can also make you feel weak and tired. Thyroid hormones become inefficient when the stress hormone, cortisol, it too high or too low.

A healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of an energetic life. A high-energy diet is essential to feel fantastic. It is rich in complex carbohydrates, whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables – together with lean protein. Generous amounts of healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado or organic coconut oil can also keep fatigue away. To keep your energy consistent throughout your day, try to include a serving of lean protein, healthy fat, and a whole grain with at least one serving of vegetables and/or fruit in every meal.

In addition to a healthful diet and exercise, the following supplements can help reclaim your energy levels and support overall good health:

AdrenalEssence– Boost your energy with Cordyceps, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Schizandra and Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng). Together, these plants provide countless phytochemicals that rebuild adrenal energy, counteract the physiological effects of stress and renew adrenal integrity. AdrenalEssence provides the most potent botanical blends money can buy that will boost your energy, more quickly and more completely than any other adrenal supplement you’ll find.

Metabolic Advantage Thyroid Formula provides essential ingredients, including a powerful thyroid extract and thyroid-supporting iodine to support healthy metabolism, promote weight loss, and enhance thyroid health. Includes thyroxin-free thyroid extract, and a multi-glandular complex, as well as a good supply of minerals and iodine. Gluten free.

Fatigued to Fantastic! Energy Revitalization System features a combination of 39 energy-building vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and malic acid to help build all-day energy and endurance. It also contains whey protein, which supports healthy muscle formation, tissue formation, and also supports healthy immune system functioning.

For more tips to “Reclaim Your Energy” visit me at www.WomensHealthMadeSimple.com and download our FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Hormone Health & Weight Loss: “Every Girls Survival Guide”

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.


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02 Sep

Prevent Menopause Weight Gain, Hot Flashes and Depression Too!

If you are a woman in your forties or fifties, you may have noticed a few extra inches around your waist. You can thank menopause for that. During the transition to menopause, many women find that losing weight is very difficult, and they also notice a shift in weight from their hips and thighs to their stomachs. Menopause weight gain, especially in the abdomen, is a normal part of the signs of menopause, but thankfully, it does not have to be inevitable.

There are a variety of simple ways to prevent menopause weight gain: One of the first and simplest steps you can take is to prevent weight gain before it starts.  Starting in your thirties, it’s an excellent idea to pay extra attention to your diet and exercise plan.  Try to stick to a healthy, low-calorie, nutrient rich diet and increase the amount of exercise you get.  As your metabolism slows with age, you’ll probably need about 200 fewer calories per day.  At this time of life, your  body will tend to burn fewer calories and lose muscle mass. To combat this we recommend adding or increasing aerobic exercise and include weight training to your routine. Both are beneficial in avoiding mid-life weight gain.

Weight gain is not only uncomfortable, but it also may lead to more serious health problems Menopause itself can be a factor in heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.  But menopause weight gain will increase the chances of these conditions.  Anything you can do to prevent midlife weight gain will have tremendous positive influences on lifelong overall health. Preventing weight gain will also reduce the apparent link between menopause and depression.

 Many experts  recommend a holistic approach to jump start your metabolism. Start with a good detox cleanse and combine that with healthy eating and proper exercise to loosen up and flush out both the fat and the toxins at the same time.  This is very important as toxins are stored in fat cells, and women biologically carry more fat than men do.  Studies show that we also carry around more toxins – this makes us especially susceptible to various womens’ cancers and also makes it more difficult for our bodies to eliminate excess fat.

That being said, a HUGE tip for you is to consider giving up or greatly reducing sugar in your diet – this is a good place for you to start since one of the major hormones in your body is INSULIN. If your body has too much insulin this will throw off your hormonal balance. And if one hormone is off – they’re all off. Your hormones work together and actually speak to one another. So if you’re eating a diet loaded with sugar, processed foods and chemicals, your insulin will rise – and weight gain will be the result.

Hormonal balance helps lead to greater menopause relief – from hot flashes, weight gain and depression, especially. Those wicked three are greatly hormone-driven, so when you get proper nutrition, regular exercise AND include  menopausal support supplements, you will make leaps and bounds towards making your menopause a positive experience.

For more information visit me at www.WomensHealthMadeSimple.com and download our FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Hormone Health & Weight Loss: “Every Girls Survival Guide”
 
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional or any information contained in product labeling. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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21 Aug

Midlife Weight Gain – What’s Up With This Belly?

Chances are you have a friend or two, probably female who has had trouble with midlife weight gain. Midlife weight gain is common no doubt.

Many of us gain a pound or so every year as we make our way through young adulthood, ending up fat and flabby at age 40 and beyond. Even if you’re not close to 40 yet, midlife weight gain may already be on your mind. It is for many of us, who worry about the impact of hormonal changes on our shapes and weight.

The truth is, your hormones, can wreak some havoc with your metabolism. This is true. But hormones only account for about 2 to 5 pounds. The rest is the result of overeating, poor lifestyle choices — such as not exercising enough — and stress. ‚¬Â¨However, we’ve seen many women successfully maintain their weight and lose weight during and after this life transition, and now new research sheds a little more light on which strategies work. ‚¬Â¨In the University of Pittsburg study, researchers tracked more than 500 post-menopausal women for several years. After six months, they found that four specific behaviors led to weight-loss: eating fewer desserts and fried foods, drinking fewer sugary beverages, eating more fish, and dining at restaurants less often. After four years, eating fewer desserts and sugary drinks continued to be associated with weight loss or maintenance. And in the long-term, munching on more produce and eating less meat and cheese were also found to be tied to weight loss success.

The great news about this research is that the same tried and true techniques we know to be effective earlier in life worked to support weight loss after menopause. In other words, you don’t have to resort to a drastic diet or feel doomed to grow wider as you grow wiser.

So the burning question remains: How can I lose this belly?

Controlling stress is key. Unfortunately, the modern world triggers the stress response on a nearly endless basis. Money problems, relationship issues, family concerns. This constant stress response weakens the adrenal glands, which, in turn, undermines mental function, causes fatigue, and triggers weight gain. It also triggers hormone imbalances that lead to symptoms of PMS and menopause discomfort. You may respond to stress by making poorer lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthfully and not exercising enough. ‚¬Â¨Look at your nutrition — in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency of eating. You should eat often, 3 to 5 small meals per day. ‚¬Â¨Quality is all about eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein.

Processed foods are bad. Anything that comes in a family-size bag, turn in the opposite direction and run.

Quantity is where a lot of people fall. The majority are baffled by what a serving size should look like. When eating out, and in doubt, eat half of it or less. Be accountable for calories. You need a general idea of how many calories you need. An average woman, in her 40s or 50s, needs about 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day, on average, if she is exercising. ‚¬Â¨But you may be saying “I’m 40-plus, eating right, and exercising but not losing weight. Why do I have midlife weight gain?” ‚¬Â¨If you have tailored your portion sizes to ones that are appropriate, added proper supplementation to balance your hormones and support your Adrenal glands, look at the frequency of your eating. Eat every three or four hours. But not too late at night. The later you eat, the lighter you eat is a good rule.

Eat a balance of lean protein, fats, and carbs. Make the fat good fat, not palm oil or hydrogenated oil, but high-quality good fats [such as those in nuts]. The protein should be lean — a turkey burger, grilled chicken breast or fish. ‚¬Â¨Most people have been doing the same exercise routine for years, and your body gets used to it. Fat cells at 40 are stubborn! You’ve got to shake it up! Mix up your exercise routine. Take a class. Hire a personal trainer. Exercise at least five times a week, and I mean cardio.

Add intensity. Add some level of weight training, and challenge yourself with the weights. [Getting professional instruction is advised if you’re a novice.] Weight train two or three times a week. Building muscle gives you that metabolic edge, since muscle mass burns more calories than fat and it keeps burning fat hours after you’ve finished your workout.

What’s up with this belly? I never ever had one before.

Some call it the menopot. On a man, it’s the manopot. It’s also been referred to as meno-pudge or the midriff bulge. You know ‚¬Â¦that ever increasing mid-section of yours that may resemble a flotation device. Excess body fat occurring in the midsection is associated with aging, after 40. You can thank Perimenopause for that. This excess body fat is normally only 2 to 5 pounds and is more likely due to a drop in activity rather than hormones.

Can I boost my metabolism?

Absolutely. You can boost your metabolism throughout life by maintaining the highest level of exercise you can, within the limits and constraints of your life. If you want to shed pounds, weight loss is no different during menopause than before it. “If you take in less calories than you burn for a long period of time, you’re going to lose weight,” says Dr. Minkin. Any balanced diet that cuts calories – and that you can stick with in the long run – will do the job. Note: If you lose muscle mass [by not exercising], obviously your metabolism is going to drop.

What workout or workouts are best for me?

Creative cardio. Burn 400 to 500 calories a day in cardio. On the elliptical, for instance, you can burn about 400 calories in about 35 minutes. Cross train as much as you can. Burn the 400 to 500 calories all at once or accrue it. And don’t forget the weight training.

Here are a few simple strategies to focus on today, and tips for putting them into action.

Rethink that drink

Red wine gets a lot of press for its impact on heart health, but for menopausal women the drawbacks of alcohol might outweigh the benefits. “One drink a day has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer”, says Dr. Manson. “So while it has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, it really is a trade-off for women.” If you enjoy a glass of Pinot, try watering it down with mineral water to make a spritzer (you’ll cut calories too). Also keep in mind that red wine and other drinks may bring on hot flashes as a result of the increase in blood-vessel dilation caused by alcohol. Another important tip is replacing just one can of regular soda per day with water would save you the equivalent of five 4-pound bags of sugar each year. Or better yet, just say NO to soft drinks, your body will thank you.

Get your fill of fiber

Fiber fills you up, but fiber itself doesn’t provide any calories because your body can’t digest or absorb it. Also, a German study found that for every gram of fiber we eat, we eliminate about 7 calories. That means consuming 35 grams of fiber each day could essentially cancel out 245 calories. The best sources are fruits and vegetables with an edible skin or seeds or those with tough stalks, as well as beans, lentils, and whole grains including oats, wild rice, and popped popcorn. You can also take a fiber supplement or drink. My favorite way to get a nice big dose of fiber every morning is by drinking a nice tall glass of Garden of Life’s “Super Seed Beyond Fiber”.

Keep a food journal ‚¬Â¨

A Kaiser Permanente study found that keeping a food diary can double weight-loss results. One reason it’s so effective is that many of us overestimate how active we are, overestimate our food needs, underestimate how much we eat, and engage in a lot of mindless eating. Journaling keeps you aware and honest, and can allow you to identify unhealthy patterns and change them.

For more simple tips: Download our Free “4 Steps to Hormone Health & Weight Loss” survival guide at  WomensHealthMadeSimple.com – 

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