It seems there is something memorable or defining that comes with every decade. Hitting double digits for the first time, independence and adventure in that second decade, settling down a little in the thirties, finding a plan and purpose in the forties, fifties finds you finally doing those things that always got put off....so far this is as far as my personal experience goes so I'll pause here. This past year notwithstanding, I'm finding the fifties to be my best decade yet. Especially when it comes to health and all the things that can plague women in my age bracket.
Weight gain, lack of muscle tone, hot flashes, hormones out of balance, emotions running amok, sleep disrupted, are just some of the things women are told to expect when menopause hits. Hot flashes tend to be the biggest complaint. But hey, it's “normal” so you're gonna have to just live with it. Possibly for as long as ten years according to The British Menopause Society. The Mayo Clinic concurs. This is so not cool. Nor should it be considered normal.
Although it's not entirely certain how hormones fluctuate, the Mayo Clinic, reports it's this fluctuation that is responsible for all you ladies feeling like hot stuff. Literally. It's thought that when the body's estrogen levels decline, the hypothalamus in the brain – your body's thermostat – becomes oversensitive to slight changes in body temperature and reacts, triggering the personal heat wave. And if you're a smoker or overweight, the likelihood and the severity with which you will have them, increases. Not all menopausal women suffer from hot flashes, but there are many out there who do. If that's you, keep reading. There are things you can do to decrease, and in some cases eliminate those symptoms.
If you're a veteran in the hot seat, you've probably got a list of things that you know from experience make you a little hot under the collar. The “things to avoid” list. If you're new to flashing, or rather flashes, you might have noticed things like eating spicy foods, drinking hot beverages or having caffeine, alcohol, and smoking tend to trigger that tropical feeling. Obviously avoiding those things that bring you discomfort is recommended. But aside from avoiding triggers and taking hormones, there's not a lot of recommendations out there with regards to what you can do to, 1. be proactive if you're not menopausal yet, and 2. reduce and in some cases eliminate those nasty hot flashes and start enjoying life again. But there are things you can do.
So if we know that when hormones are not balanced, it affects the hypothalamus. If we know the hypothalamus is the body's thermostat, it would stand to reason that doing something to balance hormones would be a good idea. And the way we do that naturally is to eat PFC every 3. Eating a protein, fat and a healthy, non-processed carbohydrate together, within an hour of waking and every 3 hours throughout the day, until about 1.5 hours before bed, puts your body into homeostasis. Balancing your macro nutrients, (PFC) and consuming them frequently throughout the day does just that. Food quality, filling nutritional gaps, and reducing internal inflammation is also super important. Eating this way stabilizes blood sugar, turns on the body's metabolism, releases stored fat, increases energy, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and, wait for it.... balances hormones.
Over the years I have coached many menopausal women, both one on one and in group settings. And I can't tell you the number of wonderful reports I've had from ladies who have adopted these principles, taken them to heart, and are no longer feeling the heat. For some, hot flashes were simply annoying and getting rid of them was a nice perk that came along with the weight loss. For others, it was truly life changing. Like anything, the more you do something, the better you become. Our bodies are the same. The longer you PFC balance and make those quality choices, the better it gets. And for all you ladies who are still cool as a cucumber and haven't experienced your own personal heat wave, getting a head start on these tips will definitely help when you do reach menopause.
Full disclosure here ladies, I'm coming up to 53, almost 3 years post meno, and no meltdowns. How? Eating PFC, supplementing to fill the gaps, making quality food choices and generally focusing on creating balance and health within my body. I highly recommend it.
For more information on balancing hormones, losing weight and generally creating a healthy body, email Tania at [email protected] to book your assessment. And join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes community for support, tips, recipes, exercises, and inspiration.
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