Why am I putting weight on around my hips and thighs?
A couple of years ago, I hit the peri-menopausal years and all of a sudden, I found weight started to creep on around my hips and thighs. And It didn’t seem to matter that I was a fitness professional, and a group fitness instructor AND I ate really clean and healthy…it still arrived on my butt and stayed there. FRUSTRATING!
I’d lose it, then gain it again. It seemed to be that there was a magnet in my thighs that just attracted fat!
Have you found yourself in this situation?
I found that I didn’t want to be seen in swim wear, and didn’t want to wear shorts. What was happening to me?
So off I went again on a learning curve to find out what was happening with my body, what were these dreaded hormones doing now, and HOW do I change the effects of whatever is happening to me.
This is what I have discovered, so listen up….
Female fat distributions
Progesterone & estrogen both play a role in keeping the waist of women smaller. This is because estrogen works against the action of insulin (and testosterone is a belly fat storing hormone in women) while both estrogen and progesterone oppose the action of cortisol. (Stay with me, I’ll explain.)
Insulin and cortisol, together with testosterone and low estrogen, are implicated in belly fat deposition in women.
Estrogen is the biggest factor in increasing fat storage at the hips and thighs providing the curvy hour-glass shape.
Interesting to note, even if your E2 level, that is estrodial, or the estrogen that is present up until menopause, are low, the E1, or Estrone hormone increases and therefore estrogen dominance can still be an issue even with the onset of menopause due to the ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Bugger!
Progesterone with estrogen halts the storage of fat around the waist, but stress can have more of a negative impact on progesterone’s action.
High stress has been shown to negatively impact progesterone, lowering levels that have a negative effect on weight. Women who see fat accumulating around the waist may need to look at ways of managing stress and raise progesterone.
Interestingly, progesterone can be used to make cortisol in the adrenal glands. Many professionals in the holistic medical world, believe progesterone can be used to increase cortisol production when needed. This is called “progesterone steal”
It is used to describe a situation where the adrenal glands “steal”or “use up” progesterone to make the stress hormone cortisol, usually due to low cortisol levels that are evident when adrenal fatigue is present.
This likely becomes an issue at menopause. Great!!!
DHEA, HGH (human growth hormone) and progesterone are all hormones that act to keep a woman lean and block the storage of fat in the middle of her body.
The tricky part is that a low calorie diet and a focus on cardio exercise only, makes this worse because they do nothing to restore these powerful hormones and may actually make the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone worse!!
And what do most women do when you are faced with ever increasing weight gain…. EAT LESS AND DO MORE CARDIO.
So how do we Fix the problem
Women need to be focusing on eating more of the right things and exercising smarter.
This means eating higher amounts of vegetables and protein, (as organic as you can)…. as well as engaging in weight training over cardio.
A great off the shelf to start with would be a paleo diet that includes enough starch to fuel weight lifting workouts
There are only three ways to reliably restore Human Growth Hormone /HGH in the body….remembering that HGH (human growth hormone) and progesterone are all hormones that act to keep a woman lean and block the storage of fat in the middle of her body. Those 3 things are….
- adequate protein
- intense exercise using weights
Weight training is perhaps the most important aspect of this and is critical for female health especially to stop the body fat that accumulates during aging. HGH is to women what testosterone is to men. It keeps them looking young, lean, and firm. Once progesterone levels fall due to stress, menopause, or other factors, HGH is all that is left to keep belly fat in check.
If you are a woman looking to optimize your hormones, exercise that includes weight training needs to be your focus along with some HIIT and more relaxing activities some slow leisurely walking or yoga to reduce stress.
Women falsely believe less intense exercise like walking and yoga will give them the desired body of their younger years.
While these activities are exceedingly healthy, and need to be done to decrease stress effects, they are simply not enough to generate the hormonal effect needed to raise HGH.
The female fat-loss formula involves the following:
- Decrease exposure to all estrogen related factors in the diet and environment. Including plastic bottles, heating food in plastic containers, pesticides, non-organic meats, sodas, etc.
2.Help the body deal with excess estrogen through natural detoxification. This is done through increased intake of green tea, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), increased fibre,(through a shiton of vegetables) tailored supplementation, and decreased dairy and grain.
- Reduce insulin and cortisol effects by decreasing most grains and starches, and replace with fruits and vegetables (more non-starchy veggies than fruits). Drink round 3 litres of water/day (not out of plastic) and green tea, and skip other beverages. (including coffee and wine, or cutting them back drastically)
- Supplement with Vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and Fish Oil/evening primrose oil, to protect bones, decrease inflammation, protect the body and balance female hormones.
- Weight train at least 3/ week, preferably 5 times per week. If you want to burn fat, decrease belly fat, build bone, improve mood, enhance strength, bolster self-esteem, tighten the body – NOTHING compares to weight lifting exercise. Walking is necessity, NOT exercise. Women should walk as much as they can daily.
There is a lot more to this subject than meets the eye and there are some many variables…so let me bring you more tips ideas and paths for you to peruse and gather the information you need to navigate your way through this messy time.
If you don’t ask the questions, you can’t expand on your knowledge. So if you ARE struggling with this then let me help you ….
Click on the link below, set up a time to chat and ASK the questions you want answered! Simple as that!
Remember……. all is NOT lost. It’s just a matter of finding out the right information, and finding the right way for you to lose that excess weight, lose the saggy flabby muscles and gain some tone, and lose the overwhelm of being a woman approaching the dreaded menopause years.
Better still…check out the link below and decide for yourself….
Until next time