By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
Female Weight Gain: Why am I gaining weight?
One on the most common complaints in women over 35 is inexplicable weight gain or inability to lose weight. Do you have to accept that extra 10 – 20 pounds? The answer may lie in three areas: #1 our genetic makeup (over which we have no control) #2 our hormones and their balance level. #3 our behavior – the way we live within a somewhat antagonistic environment.
Although, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone becomes top heavy during this time of our lives, producing fat cells and some extra weight, there are some natural health alternatives to this hormone imbalance.
So one might ask? What happens to our metabolism as we age? We are learning more and more about the intricate “body symphony” & the “domino effect” of imbalance. After years of low fat, high carbohydrate diets, processed foods, alcohol, & soft drinks, women have developed insulin resistance (also known as Metabolic Syndrome or Pre-Diabetes). When you are insulin resistant your body converts every calorie it can into fat – even if you are dieting. Hormone imbalance and insulin resistance can affect metabolism & body fat storage, resulting in unsightly weight gain and an inability to lose the excess weight.
In America, it seems that just about everyone suffers from chronic stress. Stress hormones like cortisol block weight loss. The body interprets extended stress as famine and stores body fat to offset starvation. Prolonged stress can also lead to chronic inflammation and adrenal fatigue. High carbohydrate diets cause imbalances in the brain that can lead to food cravings. Many women with adrenal fatigue crave sweets, which can exacerbate the already rapid weight gain process.
On top of all this, during the premenopausal years (35-50 years old), toxins such as pesticides, plastics, chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, hormones in foods & milk, have accumulated in our fat cells. This toxic load can lead to inflammation and allergies.
So stop beating yourself up. It’s not about willpower or starvation diets. We all know that most “weight loss diets” don’t work.
The key lies between natural hormone balance, detoxification, reversing inflammation and lastly resolving emotional issues. Stress management is also a huge part of successful weight management.
In France, most women over the age of 35 are placed on Prometrium (natural Progesterone). Recent studies show that the women on Prometrium had the lowest incidence of breast cancer. French women are also the skinniest in the world.
So, for women whose goal is to lose weight or stop gaining weight: stay focused on balance, limit high density carbohydrates if you’re over 35, especially after 3PM. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Incorporate stress management techniques like yoga or meditation into your daily routine. Maintain hormone balance with natural bio-identical plant based hormones and take a good quality nutritional supplement & drink lots of water. Even if you don’t start losing weight immediately, you can at least correct the biological issues at play and put a stop to that unwanted weight gain once and for all.
Additional Weight-Loss Resources:
* The Fat Loss Bible – Step-by-Step Guide to Eliminating Every Last Ounce of Unwanted Fat
* The Rapid Fat-Loss Handbook – A Scientific Approach to Crash Dieting
* Slim Mom Secrets – Don’t Let Pregnancy be the Beginning of the End of Your Body!
* The Fit Chic – Workout Plan for Those Struggling with Female Weight Gain
* Fat-Fighting Foods – Discover the 110 Amazing Foods that Fight Fat and Help You Lose Weight