Apr 30, 2019
8 Crazy Truths About Healthy Weight Loss and Hormones
Your healthy weight may not be the number in your head. If you’ve been attached to a number on the scale, been attached to the scale period, you’re potential for self-sabotage is high.
This post is all about how the days of “eat less, exercise more” have caught up to you and how your metabolism has suffered. I’ll share the common mistakes, the how to restart your metabolism, with a lifestyle that doesn’t include over exercise or undereating.
This episode is brought to you by Flipping 50’s Fit-U, dedicated to women over 50 with 20 or more pounds to lose. Weight loss and particularly, fat loss, after 50 is different. Not impossible, just different.
I use only research featuring women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond to create programming. I also employ 30+ years of experience as a coach, personal trainer, who has worked with midlife women to know what works, what questions to answer – before you may know to ask them.
You’ll identify your “stinking thinking” from science that’s decades old - that’s been replaced – but that’s hard to grasp as an over abundance of information is coming at you today.
The Scale Lies.
Checking your weight is not enough. It doesn’t tell you body composition. You can buy one that does. It doesn’t tell you if you’re dehydrated, you’re going to appear fatter since you store water in your muscle.
It doesn’t tell you if you’re retaining water weight since you had potentially higher in sodium or sugary foods you’re not used to. It doesn’t tell you that you have inflammation from any cause – eating foods that aren’t ideal for you, or from too much exercise. It doesn’t tell you that you may be constipated and may just be used to that feeling not even questioning it.
Calories counting is a myth.
The truth is you can eat about 300 kcals more a day if you’re consuming quality calories than if they’re poor in nutrient density. The volume of food you can consume can increase, stay the same, or be less depending on the meal. You can choose avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds. You can consume plates of vegetables.
Healthy weight loss doesn’t occur at a controlled speed. You may have noticed! A piece of chocolate cake is not the same as a piece of salmon. They have very different effects on the body. Even though the calories might be the same.
One will spike blood sugar, and therefore insulin. Fat storage starts and fat metabolism halts. Game over.
The same will happen if you have fruit on an empty stomach. It may seem more logical that the same is true of wine on empty, which is most often when you drink it. You will tend to - if you love your wine – look for someone who will give you the answer you want about drinking wine. That’s been my experience. If you’re ready to change you will, if you’re not you’ll ignore the steps you can take to improve your chance for fat burning (and for sleep).
You don’t exchange a glass of wine for other calories during the day and make it “okay.” This, friends is a myth.
Eating less signals your body to burn less.
Dieting is stress. When you are eating too little, your body is stressed. A stressed body holds onto every calorie. It’s a form of self-protection. Meanwhile, in old school thinking you believe you’re being “good.”
You’ve learned if you’re hungry and grumpy that’s part of the diet process. Because (totally illogically), you think if you feel like crap you’ll eventually feel great. How wrong is that?
Makes no sense when you think about it. Keep doing what never worked – permanently – and in fact do MORE of it and you’ll get better results?
That’s pretty close to insanity.
The more times in your life you’ve fallen for eating less and losing weight from restriction, then gained it back, or gained dozens, or hundreds of pounds, the more damage to your hormones that regulate weight you’ve done.
It’s time to reset and restore. Start nurturing instead of starving. We all know a 20-something woman is now or has (maybe she was you) dieted and restricted and lost weight.. only to gain it back, get exhausted, not sleep, have gut issues. She may have thinning hair and when she does “eat”? She eats garbage. She likes to bake and cook. All of course under the premise of taking care of her health, and giving.
She may share this passion with others. Unfortunately, for her, it’s not healthy. It could have been you. It may still be you. Yet now, you’re the adult in the kitchen to care and prep for someone else. And because you haven’t made peace with food, it’s all you think about.
Exercising more can put you into stress mode.
Some women are just more likely to dial up the exercise. More is better, right?
Wrong. Again it’s a stress signal for your body. Cortisol will – especially if you are eating less – come back with a vengeance. You are putting one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator. How well does that work?
You’ll forfeit any growth hormone and testosterone benefits when you eat less and exercise more because cortisol is king, queen, prince and princess of the mountain. You cannot get fit without adequate calories and protein. Most importantly, without rest & recovery you’ll limit that supply of endorphins and serotonin that could help you too. Burnt out, your body won’t give you those any more during exercise.
Relying on “diets” creates a co-dependency that leaves you without a life plan.
No liquid diet, three-day reset, or 28-day magic (my program included) will support a lifetime of freedom around food if you don’t start with a healthy diet and relationship with food. Healthy weight loss is not a temporary thing. You get there with a long game.
You have to stop identifying as someone heavy. You have to lose the idea of someone who can’t experience healthy weight loss. You have to in short, start living. You’re going to have to stop the ways that never led to healthy weight loss sustained for a long time in order to attain healthy weight loss that lasts forever.
Women in their 50s and 60s and 70s have done it. Stop believing you can’t. It’s different, yes. Because the right way was always different. You’ve now exhausted the don’t-work ways. Now you can get on with a healthy approach.
A rigid eating plan creates physical and psychological reactions that make you want to eat.
Every signal from your brain to your gut to the rest of your body is going to tell you to eat. It’s the nature of the game. Your hormones jump into action when they aren’t being nourished. They’ll do everything they can to protect you.
Then when you do eat, they revert to the way cavemen feasted and fasted when they found food and then went long periods without it. But you’ve got more going on during menopause and beyond.
Your changes in estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone are going to set you up for more fat storage and a lot less fat burning. Until you ditch the thoughts around food and fat as your enemy, and begin to identify food that’s good, taking pleasure in it, your body may not support your mind’s effort.
A binge-purge cycle occurs – whether small or full-blown when you go “off” anything.
If you don’t have a good relationship with food in the first place a diet is not going to improve it. You won’t start having a good relationship with food because you’ve lost weight. You’ll begin to better your relationship with food – likely eating more than you’re used to - and then begin to experience healthy weight loss.
Physical breakdown that leads to injury and or illness is likely.
If you’ve had years of skimping or dieting and of “treating” or eating junk your micronutrient levels may be so low that injuries and illnesses occur frequently.
Even things like plantar fasciitis are more than just wearing high heels and carrying extra weight. Breakdown of muscle as well as bone is in part hormones, but also a lack of a diet sufficient in micronutrients.
A healthy weight loss is not about creating lack in the body but rather abundance. An abundance of micronutrient dense foods can support estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone balance. Cortisol, insulin and ghrelin and leptin levels improve so that you can leave cravings that sabotage behind.
More than you need to know a specific heart rate zone for fat burning, you need to know and read the clues your body is sending you about hormone balance.
Healthy weight loss happens after 50. It just won’t happen without a change in the way you think about healthy weight loss.
Need support? Consider Fit-U – it’s an online DIY program dedicated to fat loss for women over 50. And though it’s DIY, you get:
Right now it’s 50% off and we’re open for enrollment. It ends the first week of May. Make May and June your months to reset.