One of the complaints I hear the most in my office is: “I can’t seem to lose weight, no matter what I do.” It seems that many women (at least the ones that I meet in my office), after entering menopause, will gain weight. It’s usually in the mid-section, also known as the “spare tire”. Many people find it extremely difficult to lose this weight. If you read about bio-identical hormone replacement, you may read that having your hormones replaced in a balanced way will help you lose this weight. For many women, this is fortunately true. For others, they will still be left with the spare tire despite being on the most balanced and ideal hormone program.
The truth is that the weight that is added after midlife is a combination of MANY factors, not just hormones. Environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut, food sensitivities, stress, and lack of sleep are some examples of what other factors contribute to stubborn weight gain. In my experience, stress and what I call “emotional congestion” are the biggest culprits. The body will hold onto weight when it is in survival mode. We go into survival mode every time we deal with stress. But the worst is when we don’t come OUT of survival mode and we stay in this prolonged stressful state. This is when adrenal fatigue creeps in, which you may have read about. Having a healthy stress response and learning to handle stress better is one of the biggest things you can do to help your body lose the unnecessary weight… over time, of course.
However, I’d like to tell you about three things that you can do RIGHT NOW to help your body lose the stress-related weight.
- Chromium Picolinate.
Chromium improves blood sugar regulation, carbohydrate and fat metabolism. It increases the sensation of fullness and helps to reduce carbohydrate cravings. It’s nature’s perfect answer to stress-related weight gain. Because when we are stressed, we tend to overeat and crave sugary foods. Having chromium on your side will help you to regulate your appetite and lose a few of those extra pounds.
Relora is a blend of herbs (magnolia officinalis and phellodendron amurense) which have anti-anxiety, anti-depressive and anti-stress properties. Relora helps with stress-related appetite control and fat deposition. If you know you are going through stress or are about to go through a stressful time, why not have relora on your side from the get-go to protect you from the unnecessary side effect of weight gain? Because it is also calming, you will feel less anxious and there will be less of a need to eat to help you cope.
3. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP)
5HTP is a precursor to serotonin, which is known as “the happy hormone.” Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain which helps uplift mood, reduce anxiety, and give you a sense of happiness and satisfaction. When we go through stress, our bodies become depleted in serotonin. This is partly what causes us to crave sugar when we are stressed. Taking 5HTP daily can help reduce the sugar cravings and the sugar-related weight gain. Caution: you should check with your doctor or naturopath before starting 5HTP if you are taking an anti-depressant, as it does interact with most anti-depressant medications.
Information is power. The more you know, the more you will be able to make the changes you want in your body and in your health. The recommendations above should be reviewed with your primary care physician, bio-identical hormone doctor/anti-aging medical doctor, or naturopath to ensure they are best suited for you.