Yes, it’s possible, even though it might not feel like it at times. In fact, many women feel like they are going backwards once menopause hits. They feel like they are getting weaker and fatter and there’s nothing they can do about it. Well, there is a solution and it’s backed by real science.
It’s actually pretty easy for some, but harder for others, so if you really want to be strong and lean after menopause, you have to be prepared to do some work if necessary. If you really want it, you can have it. If you have to work for it though and are truly willing to do that, stop reading now because you will just be wasting your time.
You may have to make some changes and sacrifices you didn’t have to make when you were younger and that’s certainly not fair, but I’m sure you know by now that life isn’t fair and we have to change habits and patterns along the way to get what we want and become who we want to be. Rachel Mclish, pictured here, at 51 years young, has it figured out and you can too. Betsy, 78 years young, also has it figured out and you can too!
Many women start gaining body fat after menopause and some even start several years before that as they approach menopause. The main reason is because hormones are changing, but stress can also be a factor, as well as sleeping habits. Decreased activity can also be a contributor, but that’s the easiest solution because all it takes to fix that one is more activity like walking, hiking, cardio and the best of all – high intensity training like we do at X Gym. More on that below, but first, let’s talk about body fat facts.
First of all, women have more fat than men and that’s the way it should be. The main reason for this is the difference in hormones between men and women. Women have hormones that encourage fat storage for many reasons. If you are a woman and you are trying to be as lean as a man, give up now because that’s just not healthy. The healthy range for men can be anywhere between 3% body fat and 17% body fat. The healthy range for women starts where the healthy range for men leaves off – at about 17% body fat – and the upper range for women can be as high as 25% body fat.
It’s still possible to be 25% body fat or less, even after menopause with the right habits though. One of these is getting enough quality sleep. Postmenopausal women and even premenopausal women have difficulty with this. Hormonal changes are partly to blame, but changes in mood seems to be the biggest culprit. To fix the mood part of it, meditation and relaxation techniques are golden. The EFT brain training technique is amazingly helpful too. Dr. Mercola has lots to say on improving sleep habits and sleep quality, so I would suggest researching his advice starting with this article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/02/secrets-to-a-good-night-sleep.aspx
Another factor most women don’t address or realize is that eating “fast carbs” like sugar and starchy foods takes a toll on the organs over time – especially the pancreas. This can set women up to be insulin resistant which can also contribute to weight gain. Estrogen plays a role in this too, so menopausal women get the double whammy. The simple fix for this is to cut down on sugar and starches and while this is simple, it’s not always easy. There are certainly ways to do it though, ranging from sheer willpower (which doesn’t work very often), to brain training techniques like EFT. X Gym members get access to dozens of brain training techniques to help them rewire their brain and reduce the need for sheer willpower, but the EFT technique is certainly a great start whether you are an X Gym member or not.
The worst thing you could do is the normal calorie restricted diets you did when you were younger. Your metabolism is already more challenged than when you were younger, so restricting calories will be even more devastating than it used to be – especially for your muscle mass and bone density – so get that technique out of your mind right now! The second worst thing you can do (or maybe just as bad) is to eat a low-fat diet. Studies have shown the low-fat revolution was a huge blunder and is largely responsible for making us fatter as a nation and is now spreading to the rest of the world.
Here are 5 simple steps to follow for permanent, easy fat loss, no matter what you age, for men and women.
1.) Eat “slow-carb.” Notice I didn’t say “low-carb,” but instead I said “slow carb.” This eating method will indeed be relatively “low-carb” but that shouldn’t be the focus. The focus should be on avoiding “fast carbs” like sugar and starches and seeking out “low carbs” like green vegetables. This step should be your first priority and the faster you implement it, the sooner you will start seeing results. This eating method has been shown to be superior compared to other popular diets as well, so stop your shopping around and just trust me on this. Notice also that I don’t call this a “diet” because it’s not. It’s an eating strategy that is also the healthiest way to eat – the way we were designed to eat – and should be a lifelong strategy, instead of a temporary diet.
There are plenty of handy apps and websites out there to look up foods to see if they are fast or slow carb. The glycemic index is a good first place to start your research and the second phase of your research should be the glycemic load. As long as you eat low glycemic index foods that end up resulting in a low glycemic load, you’re golden. If that seems too confusing, just start with a paleo or primal diet. There’s plenty of information and recipes on the web that support those nutrition styles. The best side of course is the X Gym’s recipe page. If you eat exclusively from that, you are guaranteed to lose body fat as fast as your body will allow.
Important note: When consuming more vegetables – and you will with this strategy – make sure your sources are organic or clean, local farms. Eating non-organic food is inflammatory and that can cause your fat loss efforts to slow or even completely screeched to a halt.
2.) Drink enough clean water. If you are between 100 pounds and 150 pounds, you should be drinking at least 2 quarts of filtered water per day. If you are over 150 pounds, your minimum should be 3 quarts per day. When I say filtered water, I’m talking about a high quality filtration system like the Zero Water brand filter. This will take out chlorine, and fluoride found in tap water that can sabotage your efforts to lose body fat. If you want to go even more aggressive, get a Berkey filter because that will take out other trace chemicals and the pharmaceutical drugs found in tap water. Spring water is the best though, so if you can find a local source, do that. But if you think you can get your spring water from bottles at the supermarket, think again. Plastics are a bad idea, even if they are BPA free.
3.) Make sure you are eating enough protein. This is a very hard to do, because it really only takes 100 grams to meet your quota and to make sure your hunger is satisfied. Make sure your protein sources are also organic. All this talk about eating clean, organic food is actually necessary because I have counseled many people who think they are eating “perfectly,” but then make the switch to organic and the weight quickly starts falling off them, even though they are eating the “exact same foods.”
4.) EAT MORE FAT! I’m sure you can see by now that I am vehemently against the low-fat diet. We should all be doing the opposite and eating more fat instead. The type of fat is crucial though because if you eat more trans fats, manufactured fats and non-organic fats, you will probably get fatter. If you’re eating organic fats and especially animal fats from grass fed sources, you will get leaner. Another thing to get out of your mind is the concept that saturated fat is bad for you. Coconut oil is actually more saturated than butter, but it’s the best fat for burning body fat. That’s what makes PJ’s fitness chocolate recipe a fat burning food, which brings me to my next step:
5.) Eat more Fitness Chocolate! This recipe has been specifically formulated to burn fat off your body. In fact, when combined with a “slow-carb” diet, it’s an aggressive fat loss food and in that case, the more you eat, the leaner you get. The Fitness Chocolate recipe has several other potent fat burning and metabolism boosting ingredients as well, so it will help give you energy and even build muscle with the right exercise program (like X Gym for instance).
6.) Xercise like the X Gym style is ideal because it’s safe, effective and efficient. If you can’t join in X Gym, then you should certainly get the video. And of course, stay active with more walking and/or lots of fun stuff that you enjoy (biking, hiking, kayaking, etc.). Xercise and activity also helps blow off stress and even improves mood, which can help with the sleep issue mentioned previously.
7.) Rewire your brain. The EFT method previously mentioned is the great start, but rewiring your brain with the right brain training techniques will not only make your journey easier along the way, but will make your results permanent once you achieve them. The only way to break the weight loss yo-yo is to change the brain wiring while the body is changing. If the brain stays the same and the body changes, the brain will always win and the body will always snap back to the way it was. PJ’s book, “Cracking Your Calorie Code” is a great resource for people who do not have access to brain training techniques through the X Gym.
Now get started because you can do it – provided you really want it!