Have you become frustrated with how your body is coping with hormonal changes in menopause?

One of the key issues for women during their menopause transition is the sheer exhaustion they feel from not sleeping. I know this from being in front of hundreds of women during my seminars throughout 2019. Every time I asked who wasn’t sleeping now that they had reached menopause, nearly the whole room would raise their hands. So if this is you, then join the club!  However, for many women, there’s another issue as well.

It’s the change in their body shape, weight and joint health too. 

The triple-whammy of poor sleep, joint pain and menopause weight changes, are the most frustrating problems that I hear from mid-life women when I take my Masterclass on Menopause live events. It’s also what I see on the screening forms of women who have joined the MyMT community over the past year. Despite regular exercise, and eating well when they reached their late 40’s or early to mid 50’s, many of them have become as confused as I used to be back then too.

When the types of exercise and nutrition that I had embraced for years no longer worked for me as I reached my early 50’s, I was so confused. But unraveling our symptoms in menopause, including weight gain, as part of my studies led me to learn why. When we begin our natural, biological reproductive ageing, which is what menopause is, then we enter a different hormonal environment which has major impacts on other hormone-producing organs in the body too.

These organs are our thyroid, pituitary, pancreas, liver and adrenal glands. Every one of these organs produce chemical messengers, known as hormones and all these organs are connected. It’s why when one hormone is low or high, (such as our changing reproductive hormones) then this has a down-stream effect on every other organ that produces hormones too. Your body is always trying to be in a state of homeostasis. What this means is that it’s always trying to correct any imbalances that are occurring, so the way your hormones ‘talk’ to one another is an important survival mechanism, especially for women!

And I want you to remember that our fat storage is under hormonal control too, which is what I talk about in the Transform Me programme when women become oestrogen dominant causing a disruption in the fine balance between oestrogen and progesterone.

Managing menopause symptoms (especially weight gain) isn’t necessarily about taking medications or endless supplements, it’s about knowing how to re-balance all of the hormones that are affected by our changing hormonal environment. 

When we fail to change our lifestyle to accommodate peri-menopause and menopause, then many of these other hormones get out of balance too – especially our thyroid, stress and sleep hormones. When the hormones from these organs get out of balance, then there is a lovely menopause-induced cocktail of hormonal chaos which leads to worsening symptoms and for many women, they just keep gaining weight, despite exercising.

So, if your new year resolution is going to be to lose weight and it was the same resolution that you had last year, but you didn’t get to your goal weight, then maybe you didn’t take into account these factors:

  • Interrupted sleep. When low oestrogen impacts on our sleep hormone called, melatonin, then this has a down-stream effect on the ability of our body to ‘burn fat’. This is because when we are in our deep-sleep phase, our insulin and cortisol levels are at their lowest. When these two hormones are low, our body is better-placed for using storage fat as an energy source. This is why, even if you are sleeping fairly well, my 12 week ‘Transform Me’ programme teaches you how to improve the quality of your sleep, so that you improve your fat-burning metabolism overnight. When your sleep is deep, then you stop gaining and start losing.

  • You are oestrogen dominant.
    Have you ever heard of this term? Despite over 30 years in the health and exercise industry, I had never heard of this term until I began researching menopause. Not even my Doctor told me about it. Nor any nutritionists or Personal Trainers or health specialists. So, when I read articles about this condition, I suddenly thought, “This is me!” We can become oestrogen dominant, because our fat cells have a tendency to store oestrogen – which includes various sources of oestrogens – from animals, dairy products, alcohol and even from plastics and chemicals. Called xeno-oestrogens, for decades many of us girls’ in our 50’s have been subjected to all sorts of food, chemicals and additives, that stimulate this storage of oestrogen in our fat cells, especially breast, liver and deep-tissue fat that surrounds our major organs.

When we store oestrogen in fat-cells, then this disrupts the opposing hormones called progesterone, which becomes low, and testosterone, which becomes high (yes, women do produce testosterone). When testosterone is high and we have extra oestrogen in our fat storage areas, then this causes other energy-regulating hormones (insulin and cortisol) to become unbalanced too.  Our hormones are all connected, so when our reproductive hormones change in our menopause transition, other hormones get out of balance too. When this happens our menopause symptoms can become worse. 

  • You may be eating too much protein. 

Yes, that’s right – all those messages about protein don’t help us to lose our belly fat in menopause, unless you are doing lots of resistance training or you are very active throughout the day. Protein turn-over occurs in the LIVER but because the liver changes as you transition through menopause, your nutrient absorption may not be optimal. 

As well, because we also lose muscle as we age then again, this changes our need for high intakes of protein that are typically promoted. If you come into my 12 week programme, you will also discover why too much protein as we age also causes more HOT FLUSHES and NIGHT SWEATS – and as many of you are discovering, when we can’t sleep due to night sweats, the fat just keeps increasing causing our cardiac and metabolic health to change as we get older.

  • Increased belly-fat under your diaphragm restricts your breathing. 

Belly fat under the diaphragm restricts lung function and most importantly, your oxygen transport into your tissues – and every single beautiful cell you have in your body, requires the life-giving gift of oxygen! Couple this with increased stress and anxiety, low iron and Vitamin B12, which are often problems in menopause as oestrogen levels decline, then we can end up having low energy and poor oxygen exchange into our cells.

This can be frustrating for weight loss because fats get broken down in our tiny mitochondrial cells which is where oxygen is stored. Therefore, poor oxygen exchange may mean less fat being turned into energy in the mitochondria. If you can’t breathe well because of all the increasing belly-fat under your diaphragm, then your fat-burning ability may not be as optimal as you like it to be.

In both of the 12 week MyMT programmes  you learn a powerful deep-breathing routine, which is crucial to enhance your fat-burning every day!

When I myself, put on over 15 kgs in menopause, little did I realise that we are the first generation of women to transition through menopause in the context of all the confusing and conflicting advice around nutrition, exercise and health. This is why, I wanted to research our menopause transition and weight loss, as part of my women’s healthy ageing studies. When I understood that most of the advice is not designed for women transitioning into and through menopause, I decided to do something about it.

The MyMT ‘Transform Me’ programme is changing women’s lives, and my January Intake is open for you now. 

I’ve put this fabulous programme together for women to learn how to turn around their menopause belly fat especially if they are becoming concerned about their changing cardiac and joint health.

Weight gain during menopause is still the leading cause of changing cardiac and joint health in women. Many of our mother’s generation experienced these changes but I have learnt from the research on them and my purpose is now to help our generation not make the same mistakes as we transition through this very special time of our hormonal lives! Your hormones all work together and understanding the lifestyle-changes you need to make to ADJUST to your changing hormonal environment at this time of your life is critical to your weight-loss success. This is why if you would like to discover how to lose the high-risk fat under your diaphragm, without excessive amounts of exercise or crazy dieting, then I would love you to come on board any time from now and throughout January 2020 into my step-by-step, scientifically evidenced menopause-specific lifestyle plan.

As part of my women’s healthy ageing studies, I’ve researched our menopause symptoms including fat-loss and in the ‘Transform Me’ programme, which is ON SALE for you now, [please use promo code JANUARY20] you’ll discover everything I did to lose weight and feel fabulous again in my 50’s.  Some of you might also like to get off your Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and menopause-related anti-depressants too, [in conjunction with your GP of course], so I have modules which explain how to make specific lifestyle changes to help you do this, as Pauline did as well.

The programme is all online, so you work through each module in a step-by-step progression over the 12 weeks, in your exclusive member area on the website. I teach you what to do and why and YOU put it into action. 

If you would like me to help you, then I invite you to come on board into the programme and my private coaching community any time from now.

The MyMT Transform Me programme is on a January special and at only $87NZ a month for 3 months [compared to $100 a month], I would love to help you discover what you need to do to get your menopause weight under control. That way, like so many other women, you can enjoy the improved health, energy and vitality you deserve at this time of your life. 

To read what you receive in this powerful programme please click here. Then all you do to access your discount, is to use the promo code JANUARY20 here.  I can’t wait to help you enjoy menopause symptom and weight loss freedom in 2019.

Wendy Sweet (PhD/ MyMT Programme Coach)