Boobs, Butts and Belly Fat – You are not alone ladies!!
I have done some observational research. I have been observing middle-aged women and have noted that most women over 45 are carrying extra weight around their waist. However while our waistlines are growing, for some of us, annoyingly, so too are our butts and boobs. Last month I covered off weight gain during menopause, the decrease and resultant imbalance of Oestrogen.
However there are several lifestyle factors that impact the hormonal imbalance during menopause, making this life stage, more than any other, one to focus on our own health.
So lets just look at two of them – stress and sleep;
- Stress makes our bodies burn carbohydrates. While we are trying to turn our bodies into ‘fat burning machines’ by reducing our carbohydrate intake, hormones released when we are stressed; cortisol and adrenaline trigger our bodies to burn carbohydrate. As stress forces our bodies to burn carbohydrate, we are more likely to crave more carbohydrate to compensate, creating a cycle of stress and carb intake. This process will facilitate weight gain.
- After a night of disrupted or poor sleep, firstly our normal morning cortisol levels are lower than normal, so we lack that get up and go. Now remember that cortisol is our stress hormone, and while we don’t want prolonged increased levels throughout the day, we do need it to get us going in the morning. Secondly, those sluggish cortisol levels increase later that day and remain at a higher than normal level throughout the late afternoon. These increased cortisol levels in the late afternoon and early evening will very likely set you up for another sleepless night. Furthermore, following a night of disrupted sleep our insulin responses can become impaired, once again putting you at risk of carbohydrate craving and weight gain.
So it seems there is a never-ending list of factors ready to impact our weight and health in middle age. So ladies the answer is;