If you are a woman over 40 desperate to get rid of unwanted fat, you may be frustrated…
Not only does it pile up in all of the wrong places — like your belly, hips, thighs and butt — but it gets stuck, becoming almost impossible to get rid of. And no matter how well you eat or how much you exercise none of it seems to make any difference.
To fix this you first need to understand what’s REALLY going on…
When it comes to frustrating stubborn fat gain for females over 40 it’s all about oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen, along with its counter-balancing hormone progesterone, are the reproductive hormones that allow women to be fertile and bear children.
Normally they’re balanced by your brain’s hormone control central; the hypothalamus. But the hypothalamus often gets thrown out of whack… oestrogen goes up, progesterone goes down, and you become oestrogen dominant.
When you’re oestrogen dominant, it not only commands your body to deposit fat especially on your thighs, hips and bum, but it also orders your fat cells to grow and multiply!
To make matters worse, oestrogen blocks your thyroid while progesterone stimulates it. Too much oestrogen and not enough progesterone is like taking your foot off your metabolic accelerator pedal and then slamming on the brakes at the same time.
You can counteract this oestrogen induced metabolic slowdown. But first, let’s look at the 3 reasons for oestrogen dominance…
1. Reason #1
The primary cause of oestrogen dominance is aging. As you age past 30, you ovulate fewer and fewer months of the year. Ovulation disappears completely by, on average, age 52. That’s important, because whenever a woman ovulates, progesterone surges, counter-acting the oestrogen surge that happens prior to ovulation, so fat making and fat burning stays in balance. But as you age and ovulation starts to decrease, you get fewer thyroid stimulating progesterone surges, leaving relatively more thyroid blocking estrogen doing its dirty work.
2. Reason #2
The second cause of oestrogen dominance is the 80,000+ chemicals released into the environment over the past few decades. These range from pesticides, plastics, food additives, chemical-filled personal and household products. Once some of these chemicals infiltrate your body, they can mimic the effects of thyroid blocking oestrogen, wreaking havoc on your fat burning ability. Scientists have documented that some male fish found in our lakes and rivers are actually CHANGING into females from all the excess fake oestrogen they are absorbing.
3. Reason #3
The third major cause of oestrogen dominance and fat gain after 40 is something every woman today is familiar with; excess stress. When stressed, your body secretes a powerful hormone, cortisol, to help you deal with the stressful situation. But if you are constantly stressed, your body produces cortisol non stop. And to get enough biological material to produce that cortisol, guess what? Your body must steal it from progesterone. So your progesterone levels drop even lower. Since the downside to lower progesterone is lower thyroid function, which takes the gas off your metabolism, once again fat starts to accumulate.
Now for the good news: To help rid of that stubborn padding on your belly, hips, thighs and bum, there are 3 simple things you can do right now to counteract oestrogen dominance:
1. Eat clean and organic.
This minimises your exposure to those fat loss blocking fake oestrogens found in all the chemicals conventional food is treated with. This also applies to your personal hygiene products. Whenever possible, avoid shampoos, lotions, makeup and other skin care products that contain parabens as these can have a dramatic effect on hormone levels. In regards to the containers and bottles we use each day, glass is always your best bet so invest in a few glass containers and drink bottles so you can be sure to avoid any nasty chemicals that may be used in the manufacturing process of plastics.
2. Remove stress.
Draw firm boundaries and make time for yourself to relax and “unbusy” your schedule. This will keep your cortisol down and, therefore, your thyroid stimulating progesterone up. Yes this can be tricky if you’re juggling a household, family, a career and any number of other responsibilities. If you feel overwhelmed because of all that is on your daily to do list, be sure to ask for help from your loved ones and maybe consider getting some professional help and/or guidance. Reducing stress is imperative if you not only want to drop that stubborn fat but if you also want to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.
3. Resistance Exercise Program.
The third and most overlooked way to overcome oestrogen dominance is to follow a regular, sensible and supervised resistance exercise program (i.e. lifting weights). Most woman make the mistake of thinking that lifting weights should be avoided as it will make them look ‘manly’. This could not be further from the truth.
Regular resistance training will not only allow a woman to improve her shape, strength, mobility, confidence, self-esteem, immune system, mood and energy. It will also help to correct her oestrogen dominance therefore putting her on the right track to burning that stubborn body fat.