Ever wonder why you train and you eat right but you’re not seeing that reflection in the mirror you want? This post is about results of my DNA test and how it’s given me – even a 34-year medical fitness expert and strength & conditioning coach– insight into exercise, nutrition, and recovery habits – that have in a very short time boosted my fitness level.

my dna test resultsMy DNA Test Reveal

Get fit faster, in less time. That’s the dream for so many of my clients. Granted you may really enjoy exercise and like training but there’s a better chance that until you turn a corner on feeling better you aren’t quite there yet

Whether you are a woman who wants to reclaim her body or you are one who wants to see what her body is capable of in this second (and make-it-better) half, this is for you!

If you find yourself dealing with a chronic injury or one after the other and stuck in a rut repeating the same kind of exercise and nutrition habits without better results, this is for you too.

Before I dive in, I want to remind you who I am. I do love exercise. I wish I had more time to not have to “bookend” workouts with appointments and obligations. I do though. That’s just the moment I’m in and I choose it, so it’s OK! That said, if you don’t have the time to exercise, maybe don’t love it, this makes me a little more like you. I don’t love a lot of things about exercise right now: the shoving it in when I’ve got too many other things to do; the fact that it seems like a chore instead of a pleasure some times. I know and have for 36 years that I never regret it and always feel better/work better/am me better after. Even then I suppose I’m tied to doing rather than being, which… is an entire other post for another day.

I’ve studied exercise physiology, kinesiology, and hormones, and I’ve listened to myself for 34 years. (exercise & sport psychologists tend to be good at that) And I had a lot of things right. But there is more.

I’ve learned from a simple swab on the inside of my cheeks that either confirmed things I was doing already, informed me of things I should be doing, and suggested things that will make my 2019 the most fit year of my life.

Are you, by the way, interested in having your fittest year too? (Hop down to the bottom of the post!)

And since September when I began applying changes? I’ve lost a few pounds and enhanced my energy level… without much effort. (Oddly, sometimes I find myself thinking, huh… usually I’m tired about now… and I’m just not!)

my dna test results

Can you tell which one of these I share DNA with?

My DNA Test Results Confirmed

>>I “rise & rest early.”

Yes, yes, I do. Always have. I smile in fact when people tell me, “I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning…” or even, “I woke at 4 today…” because I’m like… and?  I’ve always liked getting a head start on the day. On the flip side, I have been known to go to bed before it’s completely dark in summer.

>>My current supplements D3, Omega 3, Probiotics, C, and multivitamin of choice are right on target. They’re related to metabolism and stress so it makes sense for women in midlife to be aware of possible deficiencies.

>>I need a little more D (it comes up in several areas of my DNA results) so my habit of taking 3000 IU daily I’m actually bumping up during winter months. Though there’s ample sunshine here, I tend not to get out nearly as much in the winter so I’ll be missing D from sunshine.

>>I am predisposed to gluten sensitivity. This has helped me feel committed not crazy. Know what I mean? You have the suspicion you feel so much better without it but no confirmation on that …and its harder to follow through. Now it’s easy. I thought this for a long time and it will inevitably creep in because I don’t have Celiac I don’t have to be so careful, but I know now to ask and be more careful.

>>Carbs of choice for me (as for all women flipping 50) are important. For me there’s higher risk of obesity due to insulin response. Supplementing with Conjugated ALA supports insulin so I can keep an eye on a few things. If for example I had belly fat not budging in spite of quality sleep and exercise for instance, I would consider supplementing.

>The best way to enhance my fitness level is … endurance activity. So in spite of interval training benefits and anaerobic (weights) training, which science tells us balance hormones optimally (by negating negative effects of cortisol while working magic), I personally want to slide that to a smaller percentage of my exercise time. Longer bikes, hikes, runs and swims will do my body a fitter faster good. For someone who did a single sprint triathlon, two Olympic-distance tris, and then moved right on to Ironman distance and never looked back? This is no surprise.

>My sleep habits are right on target! Excusing myself early from parties is smart! I have a higher sensitivity to blue light. Since I am predisposed to a shorter sleep length and deep sleep (which was one big surprise my DNA results delivered: this confirms my habits make this no problem at all: win!) The blue light glasses I got my son for Christmas should likely be on my own list. Done.

my dna test resultsMy DNA Test Results Informed

>>Even though I deal with stress like a “warrior” and endurance exercise is my jam, I am predisposed to oxidative stress and more prone to ligament and tendon injury. What’s that tell me? Fit the yoga in girl. Keep up with strength training. Warm up and cool down like a boss. Doing hills? (hello, I live in the mountains) longer warm up and occasionally a drive to a flat is not silly, it’s smart. I also want to increase antioxidants in my life. Keep taking that vitamin C and collagen.

>>A high fat diet is not my best friend. For me there is an increased association of saturated fat and obesity. Along that thread high protein and more carbs (resistant starches and plant-based nutrition) will fill my energy needs. I’ve never had a problem with a higher carbohydrate diet as long as protein was also higher. The place where this resolves the most confusion is during longer training. I do better with a higher protein and carb combination than I do one too high in fat. Though I’ve experimented with shifting my ability to use fat at higher levels of intensity, my body’s preference is carb. A hike? Fats are fine. A long run or bike ride? I’m going to need carbs.

>>I have a predisposition for choline deficiency. Interestingly this is tied to liver enzyme levels.Last year mine were off for reasons we never really detected given my lifestyle doesn’t suggest anything that would contribute. Supplementing with choline however wasn’t suggested. I did stop drinking tap water which could have heavy metals in it, and used infrared sauna regularly (gladly!) I will keep tabs on my choline and liver enzymes and have this information to use if needed.

>>I’m more subject to oxidative stress. Taking conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can benefit me in a few ways. Reducing oxidative stress I can decrease risk of injury. CLA also supports a decrease in body fat.

>My higher homocysteine levels revealed in my recent lab tests are genetic. I have less frustration now over why I would have these levels given my healthy habits. So I’m adding probiotics, folate, and Betaine HCL to my regime consistently to see if a focused effort for three months will reduce homocysteine (an inflammation marker).

my dna resultsMy DNA Test Results Suggested

>>A twice annually micronutrients test will be helpful to determine my levels in order to adjust my micronutrients. Since I already order a full panel of tests annually and this is such a simple daily habit to enhance lifetime health, I’m in. I’ll test again at the beginning of the year, adjust if needed, and retest in the summer.

>>I want to check my B vitamins, D levels, Omega fat ratios, and magnesium levels specifically.

The goal is to take supplements I need and eliminate those you don’t. It’s not a one and done kind of thing however, your body’s needs changes with activity, stress, rest in this integrated thing called life. Your body simply can’t have a thriving metabolism or balanced hormones if you’re not getting or absorbing micronutrients.

It’s two months since getting my results and implementing changes (or simply following through better with existing habits). I’ve lost a few pounds without really trying and my fitness level has improved, not measured from testing but in energy. So much energy.

I’m not done though. Beginning January 1, 2019 will be my fittest year. I’m committing to it and to myself. I want to see what difference a year of focused training makes at 54-55 on speed, VO2, body fat, lean muscle, and cholesterol, heart rate and of course, hormone levels.

I’ll assess my fitness, health, and wellness throughout the year, including hormones, micronutrients, VO2, body composition, and health markers so I can adjust as needed. I’ll be posting about it in so many ways, beginning January 1.

Want to join me and create your fittest year ever with me as your coach? Here’s how to get started.

Watch this.(all the way to the end!)

Or skip to the order form.

Register for I’m all in or (12) monthly installments.(contact me for no-interest 12 pay)

P.S.I hear your resistance because I’ve got it too. If you’re thinking this just sounds like a long list of supplements I have to take, it does. I think it’s fair to ask why we don’t question the increased toxic exposure we have, the increased pace of life, and decreased time to relax and yet still think we don’t need a little help from the positive side.

The elephant in the room… no one ever said to me, “I love taking supplements.” But I’ve heard hundreds of thousands of women say, “I like feeling good,” or “I want to feel good.” Testing helps you see what’s true right now about why you don’t feel as good as you could. Whether it’s a complete panel, micronutrients, food sensitivity, or it’s DNA or all of them, when you know better you do better.

Are you flipping this second half with me? I’d love to hear which tools (DNA testing, full lab panels,  micronutrient testing, food sensitivity testing you’re using to stop guessing and get great results!)

Ready to Test? This Month it’s a great gift for yourself or someone else! Choose from GOLD, PLATINUM, or ELITE. Click here or the image to learn more about each. use code: genes for 20% off right now!! Includes a personalized results form and full session with me to go over recommendations. Limited time offer!

calorie counting
And you thought the politics were on a break. There’s a whole other debate going on.

Are you in the calorie counting doesn’t work camp or the calorie counting is king cult?

Have you asked any of the following calorie counting questions?

Have you had a fitness instructor tell you any of these?

Then you of course are part of the calorie counting culture. It’s hard not to be with numerous messages coming at you.

A 2018  study showed that there is no universal weight loss approach works for all individuals. There is a wide variability in weight loss response to low fat, low carb and some diets work better for some individuals than others.

You will not lose weight following a strict “diet” though you may, if you work with a blueprint, find your right approach. DNA may have something (a lot, actually) to do with it.

What DNA testing told me

After 54 years on the planet and 36 years as a fitness enthusiast I’ve found by trial and error much of what my DNA testing confirmed about me:

There goes that excuse to add guacamole to everything.

Though I eat a considerable amount of fat now compared to my habits even a decade ago, I don’t follow a high fat diet. I have a predisposition for issues with high saturated fat so I avoid it (although research in the last 10 years has revealed saturated fat is not the villain it once was: it’s the combined intake of increased processed carbs and saturated fats that is deadly). I also do a considerable amount of strength training (relative to total exercise time, not a lot of time per week) because I love my bones and I need muscle. Any woman of 30 who is not weight training should start. Yesterday.

But for me, strength training “more” is just wasted energy. Thank goodness I didn’t have aspirations of becoming a body builder.

You need to know you, and your DNA, if you really want the whole scoop on your exercise programming. If you know the exercise (or diet changes) you’re doing matter, you’re going to be far more committed to doing them. It’s the age-old, what’s measured matters.

calorie counting

 

 

 

 

I don’t love taking pills or supplements any more than you. But I regularly test my micronutrient levels … and for good reason. I’ve found that I’m predisposed to deficiencies in Vitamin D, magnesium, B6 and B12, as well as have a tendency toward a less-than-optimal Omega 6:3 ratio. Thankfully, I’ve been taking D, Omega 3, and additional magnesium as well as a multi that provides significant levels of B vitamins.

Having my DNA results (for life! They’re not going to change!) I’ll be able to more consciously track my energy, tolerance to stress, and check B levels diligently to determine if I need to supplement. My iron levels also showed up on my DNA. Go figure, I can blame my parents for that one. I’ve always been in low range of healthy and suffer a little at altitude as a result. Ego hit: I’m a poor adapter to altitude.

What About Calories?

The study on calories, publishedin JAMA, may kick calorie counting to the curb. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.

Do you have a low fat genotype or a low carb genotype?

Does it matter?

Before you test DNA, based on this study, it’s important first to have a high quality diet. It’s important that you’re willing to commit to that. Subjects in this study were all from the Bay area, well educated, with access to plentiful high quality food.

They didn’t eat potato chips, or pop, or muffins. They chose brown rice, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. The fats they chose were olives, avocado, nut butters and grass-fed pasture-raised animal foods.

If Not Calorie Counting What’s A Girl To Do?

Step 1: Flip the carbs you are eating for better carbs, and the fats you’re eating for better fats.

Step 2: Change your food timing to improve hormone balance.

Step 3: Start exercising.

Step 4: Test your DNA and find out what your genetics suggest about additional nutritional changes, testing for micronutrients you may be deficient in, and your optimal exercise programming by consulting with a coach.

Results did show consistent effects of the diets on cholesterol levels. Healthy low carb diets increased HDL and triglycerides decreased. Healthy low fat diets favored improved LDL (decreased) levels. Note: calorie counting does nothing necessarily to influence these outcomes. You’ve got to go deeper.

HDL = “Happy” cholesterol

LDL = “Lousy” cholesterol

The quality of food strategy worked for people (subjects average age: 40) whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates. Further, their success did not appear to be influenced by their genetics or their insulin-response to carbohydrates.That may sound conflicting to my suggestion to gather all your personal information, but I still stand that the more you know, the better you’ll be able to choose.

The Flip on Calorie Counting

It isn’t all calories in calories out. Quality counts. For a woman in peri-menopause and beyond hormones play a big factor. Your “healthy” is not someone else’s healthy. Your gut health (impacted by what you eat and stress and exercise) influences your hormones.

Your genetics do predispose you and yet your actions in your environment change the expression of those genetics. Learn more about genetics and coaching based on your results here.

While in the midst of writing this blog a subscriber shared an article outlining a study published featuring low carb diets may support weight loss maintenance. (I’ve included it in resources).

Here’s how I responded:

Fact: Low fat and low carb diets do EQUALLY WELL when the quality of the diet is changed.

Fact: For women 50+ (My ONLY focus at Flipping 50) hormone status of the woman must be taken into account and diet outcomes must positively influence body fat or it simply doesn’t make long-term success a possibility. Energy expenditure was shown to increase on a low carb diet in the study shared however, body composition change wasn’t documented in the study.

That’s a gap.

There’s not large probability that this research is directly applicable to a women in peri-menopause and beyond given the 18-65 year old male and female subjects. That’s not to say it won’t work, but there’s no direct correlation that can be made.

Always ask:Was this done on women just like me?”

Weight is relatively easy to lose following any number of plans regardless of who you are genetically if you follow a moderate intake high quality diet.

What we want to know is does it reduce body fat and maintain lean… in WOMEN in peri-menopause and beyond? Few are addressing and advocating for Flipping 50 women. That’s ALL we do here.

Genetics may or may not play a role in diet.

In my case they do. Strongly. For myself and the clients and colleagues who have tested genetic markers there’s a correlation between the predispositions and the right exercise and nutrition that provides them with results.

Having a Hard Time Giving Up Calorie Counting?

I get it. We crave structure. How ironic! As much as we don’t like rules and limits, we do operate best with them much of the time. There’s truth in the fact structure provides freedom. So if you’re having a hard time actually knowing where to start if you’ve been a calorie counting, point tracking gal for a long time, you are not alone. Work with a coach, whether privately or in a group, to help you make the shift. This is a multiple times of day activity that has a major impact on your living your best life.

Ready to test? If you’re reading this during our week of feasting, my DNA Gold package is on sale. You can read more about it and what the results will tell you here. Use Gold50 for a limited time: it ends Cyber Monday.

calorie counting or genetics

Stay tuned! If you’re intrigued about DNA testing I’ll be sharing what I learned from DNA testing I did using each of our three test options.

Resources:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673150
https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4583
Referred to:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/well/eat/counting-calories-weight-loss-diet-dieting-low-carb-low-fat.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/well/eat/how-a-low-carb-diet-might-help-you-maintain-a-healthy-weight.html

How Much High Intensity Exercise is Too Much?

high intensity exercise primer

Are you doing too much high intensity exercise? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been the holy grail of fitness trends for the past several years. Is it the Holy Grail for YOU? Here’s what a recent study says and how to interpret that if you’re a woman flipping (or wanting to) her second half with flare.

Exercise is stress. High intensity exercise is greater stress. Stress causes cortisol.

Cortisol plays two roles in our lives. It’s both the stress hormone and the energy hormone. The perfect amount of stress makes you feel alive and thrive. Too little or too much cortisol each causes problems.

When you’re exercising with the right amount of “overload” or stress you create a positive, not negative, stress response. That’s not to say (because I hear you saying that’s how you negate stress) that exercise doesn’t relieve stress. It can. But we sometimes don’t give ourselves the right dose, frequency or intensity to optimally relieve stress without having it come back to bite us you-know-where.

Better Stress

The key is to find your personal optimal exercise. I’m an advocate for the right exercise for you right now. Women in midlife are more susceptible to the negative effects of stress as they go through other major hormone changes. What worked once – even as recently as months ago or last week – may not be your ideal exercise this week.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to suffer, gain weight, get moody or any of the above. If you adjust your exercise according to what’s going on, respond to it even if you can’t predict what changes will be, you’ll sail through those years from peri-menopause to beyond menopause better. That sets you up for a full Flipping 50 (49-99) feeling as young as your habits will allow you. It’s habits that determine how your genetics express or suppress (epigenetics).

What’s the best exercise?  The answer is not the same for you and for every other woman over 50. We’ve got common denominators but your details are unique to you. If you’re deconditioned, conditioned, or an athlete it changes your exercise prescription. If you’re in adrenal fatigue, you’re estrogen dominant, or have low testosterone will change what I suggest you do. If you have osteoporosis, are trying to prevent it, or you have 20 or more pounds to lose, each of these (and more) will change the exercise plan that’s best for you.

A recent study of weight training performed as high intensity interval training (HIIT) was created to determine if HIIT weight training was better than traditional weight training. Researchers asked, is heavy weight training better than the moderate-to-light weight training recommended for decades?

A side note here: the fear of “bulk” from strength training is legit. The three sets of 10-to-12 repetitions taught for decades, as some kind of gold standard actually IS a bulk-building protocol. Ten or fewer repetitions is the optimal strength, bone building, and fat reducing/lean increasing protocol while higher repetition ranges are best for performance enhancement and influencing smaller muscle activation.

Your personal exercise protocol is also influenced by whether you’re a mesomorph, endomorph, or ectomorph. Each body type can respond differently to a protocol.

ACE Research

According to the study performed by the American Council on Exercise, a leading authority in fitness, moderate or average exercise should occur between 70 to 80 percent heart rate intensity, HIIT training requires at least 85 percent heart rate intensity, the study says. Les Mills’ researchers (creators of Body Pump) wanted to determine how to best achieve a healthy balance between one’s HIIT volume (minutes of HIIT per week) and one’s positive stress response. Their hypothesis was that more than 30 or 40 minutes of weekly HIIT volume would prompt a reduced positive stress response.

“A positive stress response to exercise is a critical part of creating the bio-chemical changes in the body that help build new muscle and improve fitness,” the study says. “The stress response can be measured effectively by examining cortisol and testosterone concentrations in saliva.”

Not to repeat myself but as mentioned earlier, this is really what we refer to as the principle of overload in fitness. The stimulus of exercise must be adequate to provide overload such that the body responds after (when between sessions fitness occurs IF you have adequate rest, food, and sleep).

Remember Your Hormones

It’s key for YOU to remember, Flipping 50 friend, that you have another thing to consider. The status of your hormones, not just of your mind’s desire to lose fat, or get in shape needs to be considered when designing your exercise program. Pushing through … following lame social media memes suggesting that “sweat is fat crying” can backfire on you and increase fat storage when stress goes the wrong way. When you read “move more” interpret it as walking down the hall to deliver a message as opposed to going to boot camp 6 days a week or doing two-a-days.

Let me take a step back here and describe what it feels like to lift at a level defined as HIIT. There’s a lot of confusion about HIIT. Anything that gets you breathing slightly harder is NOT HIIT. Lifting with a weight that causes fatigue at 10 repetitions correlates with 80% intensity. So in order to lift and a HIIT level of 90% as per the study, you’d be lifting a weight closer to 5 repetitions.

Don’t panic. You definitely progress to this point. You also can reduce the weight slightly and use power, increasing speed on the lift but always controlling the lowering (eccentric) phase of exercise to achieve this overload without a heavy weight. You do this in daily life… the wind grabs the car door, the door to a store is heavy, or you heft the garbage bag out to the curb… so if you’re worried about injury (valid) do consider whether your daily activity warrants the work so you’re prepared.

Fatigue vs Tired

Moving fast to get breathless is not necessarily overloading the muscles in a way that muscle changes and creates lean muscle tissue that assists in fat burning.

THIS is a key distinction most program creators and attendees fail to make. Going to a boot camp where you’re moving fast from a strength exercise to a cardio exercise to a core exercise will likely tire you. Tired is not muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue must be reached so your body changes.

Will it burn calories right now? Yes. Will it change your body, your body composition, and set you up for years of a stronger leaner body? No.

The study used strength training as the mode of high intensity exercise.Researchers compared one set of 5 repetitions for each of 10 exercises to 1 or 2 sets of 10 repetitions for 10-12 exercises. The subjects were both male and female and ages up to 59.

The results showed body fat decreased significantly for both groups. Blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased only for the HIIT group.

“When it comes to HIIT, adding volume doesn’t deliver better results,” the report says.

“It actually hinders. To get the full benefits of HIIT and prevent overreaching, our recommendation is to…

Do a maximum weekly HIIT sessions that are above 90 percent maximum heart rate for 30-40 minutes…

…and balance them with other less demanding workouts.”

“It’s also imperative that you let your body recover properly after a HIIT session. This way, you’re likely to perform better when you do your HIIT workouts and benefit from the positive results,” researchers added.

The key exercise flips:

  1. More is not better when it comes to High Intensity exercise
  2. An understanding of what constitutes high intensity interval training is key if you’re to reap benefits
  3. The more health markers (blood pressure and cholesterol) you’re trying to target with your exercise, the more HIIT could benefit you done with adequate progression
  4. A low volume of HIIT (no more than 40 minutes a week) is far better for results (and reduction of injury) than more volume (frequency, or duration)
  5. If you’re doing high intensity exercise that is also high impact cardio or high intensity strength training every day you may be inhibiting your recovery and results.

This distinction of when to work hard and when to recovery is so important. It’s not intuitive for a generation that witnessed the work harder, get better results discipline of our parents.

This is sure to bring questions! It may also bring breakthroughs in your fitness. Add your comments below! I love to hear from you.

high intensity exercise

Do you sauna? Why would you want to?

How would you like a passive way to boost your energy?

Not to mention detox, improve skin, sleep, heal wounds…

And a convenient way to do it at home? In minutes?

[Image: me next to a Sunlighten full model last August! Do you recognize fellow fitness pro Betty Rocker sitting inside?]

I’ve discovered a passion for my personal sauna in the last six months and I wanted an expert to share the details and unpack the difference between infrared wave lengths and the benefits with you.

My guest Brooke Basaldua started her career with Sunlighten over 11 years ago.  Brooke has a personal passion for wellness and loves working directly with wellness thought-leaders and elevating Sunlighten’s vision to make the world a healthier, happier place.  During her time at Sunlighten, she has served on the product development team and played a role in developing the most advanced 3-in-1 infrared technology that allows users to customize infrared treatments for their individual wellness goals.

Questions we answer on this episode:

  • What is infrared?  Give brief overview of IR and how it affects the body
  • How Sunlighten Infrared saunas are different?
  • Are far or near infr­­­ared saunas better?
  • What is the difference between Near, Mid, and Far and what benefits each provides?
  • What are the benefits of sauna use?
  • What’s unique about Sunlighten product design?
  • How is detox supported with a sauna- particularly from heavy metals and daily toxins?

[Image: me getting in a sauna session at home in my personal sauna. I shoot for 40 minutes a few times a week now. It’s not the no-sweat way to weight loss, but it’s a inside out sweat sessions and I LOVE it!]

Confession: sometimes I return from a trip and turn it on before I even walk upstairs so it can heat up while I unpack! Before I do anything else! It helps me shed the toxins from travel and get a good night sleep after sleeping in strange beds for days!

I scored Flipping 50 listeners $200 off + free shippingthrough 11/21 thanks to Sunlighten!

You’ll learn: 

  • How you can benefit from a sauna
  • The difference between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna
  • The difference between far, mid, and near infrared light
  • How to plan a sauna routine
  • Sauna options for in-home convenience

You can enjoy benefits of improved blood pressure, skin enhancement, detox, weight loss, sleep enhancement, would healing, and more from the regular use of a sauna. I love mine!

It doesn’t feel like something I’m doing for health markers. It feels indulgent, like me time, right at home.

Save $200 right now!

CLICK HERE

You’re going to love it!

Connect and follow Sunlighten for more health benefit info: 

https://www.facebook.com/SunlightenSaunas/

https://www.instagram.com/sunlightensaunas/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/sunlighten/

https://www.youtube.com/user/sunlightsaunas/videos

This post covers the relationship between fasting and sleep, and my own experience regarding those topics. This post is sponsored by the good folks at Sleep Number. As always, all thoughts are my own.

fasting and sleep

Improve Your Sleep with Fasting? You Must Be Kidding!

As many of my followers and subscribers already know, I don’t advocate fasting for everyone. Many of the women I work with have a relationship with food that first has to improve overall so that we set ourselves up for success (i.e., we don’t set up a binge-purge cycle). I believe in a strong nutrition foundation first before beginning on any fasting continuum. That continuum begins with at least 12 hours overnight and between meals. Many women are not doing that simple step to enhance hormone balance.

Set up a Strong Nutrition Foundation

For exercise to be successful a strong nutrition foundation has to be in place. That is, identifying what the best dietary plan is for each individual at the current point in time. Before you manipulate when or if you eat, you need to make sure you’re eating what’s right for your body, and that you’re absorbing nutrients. Fasting is something you may do for a short time for a positive benefit but you’ve got to have a good foundation every day. You’ll create a stronger, healthier, vibrant body, with positive and consistent daily habits. I’ll link to the Flipping 50 28-day Kickstart if you want support finding your best foundation for both exercise and exercise nutrition.

Given my stance on fasting it may surprise you that I’ve tested the fasting mimicking diet developed at the Longevity Institute at USC. I’ve used it the last three months and because I don’t have significant weight to lose, or major concerns with health markers, my biggest reason for trying it was that I never recommend something I haven’t used. I am asked frequently about fasting, weight loss, health concerns, and the interaction with menopause symptoms. So I tested it. Below are the results of my experience.

I’ll use “fast” throughout this post to refer to the “fasting mimicking diet.”

My sleep improved and it shocked me.

I’m a good sleeper to begin with. I know the value of sleep as it relates to physical performance and optimal weight and energy, so I have good sleep habits. Since beginning a regular fasting program three months ago, I’ve had even more restful sleep, waking less, and feeling more refreshed in the morning.

At 54, I have experienced minor and very infrequent hot flashes and night sweats. I attribute my good fortune so far to a good diet, exercise, good habits, and a dreamy bed. My Sleep Number 360 smart bed with the Dual Temp layer has been a big part of buffing up my sleep in this last eight months. I would never have guessed a mattress would make so much difference!

Hormone balance begins with sleep.

A good mattress should be a prescription for women in peri-menopause! Fasting too may be a part of cracking your own code on hormone balance.

During the fasting mimicking diet you’re eating an overall low calorie plant-based diet. You do actually get to eat three meals and snacks depending on the day. Your body is “tricked” into a fasting state where it begins to burn ketones, or fat, rather than sugar, for fuel.

The re-entry into healthy eating after the fast is when the magic happens. It’s much like the workouts you do provide the opportunity for fitness and the rest between your sessions is when the fitness actually happens.During the five days of the fast everyone’s experiences are reportedly different both daily and overall. My own three five-day fasts were each unique.

The first fast had novelty and I felt good and more energetic during the day and rested surprisingly well at night. I say surprisingly well because I enjoy good sleep most nights already. I wasn’t looking for improvement there. I was actually more ready to go to bed, though and woke more refreshed than usual.

Fasting and Sleep

There’s not a ton of science connecting sleep and fasting. Some of the superficial information is basic. Having too large a dinner, eating too close to bedtime, or skipping dinner each tend to disrupt sleep.

It turns out there is scientific evidence that fasting increases parasympathetic output – the part of the nervous system you need for quality sleep.

If you crash during the day and stare at the ceiling at night like many students before Flipping 50 programs you’ll love this: fasting can improve circadian rhythm, meaning you sleep again.

No surprise to my Flipping 50 fans who know me for hormone-balancing exercise and lifestyle habits, there are hormones involved in this fasting-sleep improvement phenomena. Serotonin is our feel good hormone – and more of it calms us down – and melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep. Melatonin production, you may remember from prior posts, is reduced with age. Fasting helps increase your body’s production of both those hormones that are key to sleep so you can get a better night.

I found that though I had slightly different overall experiences during each of the three five-day fasts I did, I was able to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. I didn’t sleep longer as some of my clients have reported. That was likely due to the fact I am by nature a long sleeper and regularly enjoy eight if not nine hours.

fasting during menopause

My Fast

I found the first fast easy. It was novel and interestingly enough I began it after a 12-hour fast for a blood test, which felt like a bit of momentum. My first meal that morning after I had the blood draw was a part of the fasting mimicking diet.

The second time through, a month later, the novelty had worn off. I knew what to expect and by day three and four – the toughest for me psychologically, not physically – I was over it. On day five it was nearly done and easy to finish. Mind you, I never felt it was “hard” to do physically. I programmed exercise during each fast specifically to support it and act as detox.

The third time I experienced the most psychological resistance. Though I knew I’d felt noticeably different (better) during and long after the last two I was inconvenienced. I had to turn down some social opportunities. Lunch invitations with family members and dinner with out of state guests both came and I declined.

Would I do it again? I will though not soon. I’ve definitely had noticeable results in addition to my sleep: I also reduced my coffee by 66%. [Possible connection there!] If you’re sleeping better less coffee may happen naturally. No need for the pick-me-up. I was up! I felt less bloating, though It wasn’t a complaint I had necessarily, you don’t know how good you can feel until you do! I’m also more keenly aware of the amount of food I was eating out of habit. I need less except when I’m exercising and I’m much more mindful about that now.

If you’re seeking some hormone support, naturally, and a sleep aid with nothing but positive side effects, reach out for more information about the fasting mimicking diet and coaching or my Sleep Number bed and Dual Temp layer.

P.S. Curious about Fasting Mimicking Diet for you??  You’re going to want to tune in to the Flipping 50 podcast (Subscribe now: click view in iTunes and then subscribe) Tuesday Sept 18, 2018!

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27304506
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29302618
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20425196
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24901017

MORE on FASTING You Might Like:

Intermittent Fasting Beyond 50

Sleep Better During Menopause and Beyond

EPISODE 13 Flipping 50 TV: Fasting vs. Eating for Weight Loss

Can You Make Menopause Better?

Yes.

In the gym and in the kitchen you’ve got a dozen ways to make menopause better. Your trip through menopause can be easy and enjoyable. Here’s how the exercise you do can make menopause so much more pleasant!

make menopause better#1 Reduce Stress

Let’s face it there are so many ways stress – and the cortisol that comes from it – creep into life during menopause. It also happens to be a time when women are at a peek in their careers, or in a transition to a new career. The same can be said for relationships. Children can be in kindergarten or graduating college. If you’re an American family, maybe both! You may have aging parents or relatives who depend on you too. Exercise can help offset those stressors.

Short, high intensity exercise, done infrequently (not daily), can reduce negative effects of cortisol. Long outdoor nature walks/hikes/rides can reduce cortisol. Yoga (as long as you love it and don’t go for hot, power yoga that puts you over the edge) can reduce stress levels.

Weight training makes you strong in many ways beyond muscle. Women report confidence, resilience, a difference in the way they carry themselves when they’re strength training.

How?

Serotonin production along with the well-known endorphins produced after exercise can change chemistry. While non-exercisers during menopause often report greater tendency toward depression, weight training is known to help decrease anxiety and depression both. Make menopause better by feeling better both physically and emotionally.

#2 Improve Sex and Intimacy

Exercise in menopause can boost your testosterone levels directly, provided you choose less and more intense exercise when you do it. Long endurance activity kills testosterone and therefore your romantic Saturday night. But short hits of intervals a couple times a week along with a weight training routine that really works (put the pink dumbbells down) will support testosterone levels.

Exercise enhances sleep, which in turn improves cortisol, testosterone, and growth hormone. If you feel less stressed there’s more chance you can feel amorous. No one feels sexy when the wheels are falling off the bus. If you’re handling it well though, maybe.

You may be more inclined to leave the lights on. Strength training can help you feel better naked and boost your libido. Strength training, faster than any other form of exercise, will change your body shape and proportions. You’ll feel it faster, too, than trying to spend hours doing cardio which will leave you wiped out rather than feeling like a little black dress.

How?

It takes as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day to improve self-reports of sleep quality by 33%. You can do a full body strength training routine in 10 minutes! 

make menopause better#3 Reduce Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

Exercise in menopause can reduce hot flashes intensity, frequency or both. In fact, the occurrence of hot flashes is reduced by about 21% in exercising women. It is dependent on the type and timing of your exercise so if you’re shaking your head no, it’s not working for me, then a change in your exercise is the answer.

How?

The exercise has to be both vigorous enough to change your vasomotor control (aka, your heating and cooling system) and regular enough.

Flip:“Intense” and “vigorous” are two words that can cause concern but they needn’t. High intensity exercise has been used for decades even with those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and asthma. Safe forms of exercise can help you reach the intensity you need to get results without risk of injury.

make menopause better#4 Prevent Bone Losses

Resistance exercise can prevent bone and muscle loss that’s going to accelerate during menopause. Bone losses increase to up to 3-5% a year during menopause (from 1-3% losses pre and post menopause). Weight training with a bone density-increasing protocol should be mandatory for women in midlife! This tip not only helps you make menopause better but makes post- menopause better and reduces your risk of falling.

How?

Use a weight that causes you to reach fatigue in 10 or fewer repetitions, or use power with slightly lighter weights. Both have been most closely related to the best bone benefits. Minimal bone benefits come from doing more repetitions of light weights or taking more steps per day. There needs to be a Minimal Effective Stress (MES) applied to gain the most bone benefits.

Where you have co-existing issues like arthritis preventing heavy weights, do the heaviest you can without complications and focus on balance to prevent falls.  There are specific other habits you’ll want to do to optimize your bone health.

Flip: All too often you’ll find resources suggesting walking or light weights, even yoga increases bone density. These activities do exist on a continuum from sedentary-inactive to very specific optimal bone density activity. They will only reap rewards for a period of time as your body adapts. Once you’ve become a regular walker or done yoga, you will no longer continue to gain benefits doing the same activity over and over without overload.

Do the best you can for your personal conditions and if you’re apparently healthy, weight training to the point of muscular fatigue at 10 or fewer repetitions or using power with approximately 12-15 repetitions will get the best bone-specific results.

make menopause better by avoiding weight gain

#5 Prevent Weight Gain

I saved the best for last. What would make menopause better for many women is avoiding the weight gain that can happen. Hormone changes can sabotage your tried-and-true habits and cause weight gain. They don’t HAVE to, however. It’s not “NORMAL” for that to happen, and it’s certainly not mandatory.

In fact, worldwide menopause and weight gain don’t have a correlation. Here in the states however, it’s common.

Weight training benefits within the first four weeks, provided you do a protocol that overloads your muscles, results in typically a 4 lb fat loss and 3 lb. muscle gain. The net weight loss is not significant but the change in body composition is and that positively influences metabolism. Those results can be expected within the first 12 weeks of a strength training program, or an existing one in which you make significant changes. For more information about Flipping 50’s new 12-week STRONGER program and the enrollment period, join for email announcements that first go to our subscribers.

How?

A “traditional” protocol of using major muscle groups to fatigue optimizes lean muscle. A few minutes of random exercise following a cardio class or a bootcamp movement course moving quickly and getting tired, but never reaching muscle fatigue, will not have the same effect on long term metabolism.

You can make menopause better physically and psychologically with minutes a week. It doesn’t take a lot and you can do it conveniently at home, it doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

Resources:
https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/27/health/menopause-hot-flashes-exercise/index.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27163520
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29452777
Atkinson, D., 2017. Hot, Not Bothered

We Made the Best Podcasts After 50 List!

AARP, the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age, recently recognized the Flipping 50 podcast as one of nine best podcasts after 50.

best podcasts after 50I’m thrilled.

I’m thrilled for the guests that join me on the Flipping 50 podcast who have a message that I’ve hand-selected for the show because of the way they might positively influence listener’s lives.

I’m thrilled for listeners of the Flipping 50 podcast who have more opportunity to be inspired, educated, motivated and find a community of others who can raise their expectations about aging.

I’m thrilled for those who aren’t listening yet. Those 30 and 40-somethings will have a life of aging they look forward to and dreams that start or are fulfilled after 50 because of the examples they’ll have and the new research ahead.

Years ago I got that AARP card in the mail and couldn’t throw it away fast enough! Anyone else? I was like, yikes! way too soon! Now, I’m excited about the possibilities and their selection for best podcasts after 50!

AARP has 38 million members. That number ironically is the same number of baby boomer women. There are 25 million Gen X women right behind us. We’re powerful. Women make or influence at least 80% of all household decisions. We’re influencing the health of this world by example.

AARP and Flipping 50 are leading a revolution in the way people view, live, and love life after 50. One way I do that is through the Flipping 50 podcast.

One way you can help is to visit the podcast on iTunes. Leave a rating for the podcast if it’s been valuable for you. When you leave a rating you’re voting for best podcasts after 50 too! You’re telling iTunes and me that the content is valuable and creating more awareness for women who might be struggling to find a voice that they can know, like, and trust.

Here’s how to leave a rating for the Flipping 50 podcast:

  1. Visit the Flipping 50 podcast in iTunes
  2. Click to view in iTunes
  3. Click “ratings and reviews”
  4. Click the 5-star (yes, optimistic!) rating AND leave a comment

Another way is to download the Flipping 50 podcast on your phone and take me with you for a walk, your commute, or listen during your weight training session.

The best way to help spread our news about the best podcast after 50 selection is to share the Flipping 50 podcast with a friend (or three). Share the iTunes link of an episode that you enjoyed. Add it to your Facebook timeline (you can link right to it from iTunes episodes). Creating awareness that it’s out there, it’s for women, and it’s focused on the most frequently asked questions, the most frustrating concerns, and the most uplifting stories, is the first step.

best podcasts after 50How to share Flipping 50 with a friend:

  1. Visit the Flipping 50 podcast
  2. Click on an episode you found valuable to see it in iTunes
  3. At the far right click to get a link to share to Facebook (or Twitter). It might look like you’re buying (it’s free) but this is where you can “get link”

OR you can grab the link from your browser when you’re in iTunes and share that to your Facebook timeline too. Let someone know you’re listening and why you enjoy it. Psst, you can just share this post with friends too!

Like AARP is creating possibility for better aging for you by listening to members, the Flipping 50 podcast content comes from listening to you.

At Flipping 50 I’m about creating possibilities in your second half. By creating better health, and a stronger physical body, you create a stronger sense of self and a vehicle for your gifts shine. Flipping 50 does that by:

Forming programs & services that are accessible

Serving as an advocate in the Fitness Industry

Serving as an advocate in the marketplacetailoring quality products and services for women over 50 to live their lives to the fullest.

Affordability & Value we put into Flipping 50 products.

Flipping 50 programs and products are not the least expensive: they offer recognizable value at competitive prices. There is something available for all budgets.

Quality with every book, program, webinar, Flipping 50 podcast episode, blog, custom coaching recommendation.

Everything we do is based on sound research featuring women in midlife and beyond, and 34 years of experience, surveys and polls from our ever growing community.

AARP is a recognized leader. Flipping 50 is partnering with other recognized leaders also engaged in making aging healthier, happier, and full of possibilities. I’m grateful for making this best podcasts after 50 list and the opportunity it provides for inspiring others to a second half of life they love!

Want to join our community?

You can join our subscribers for research announcements, recipes, and special offers we only share via email. Click here

You can go to iTunes and subscribe, leave a rating, and share with a friend to create your own community talking about possibilities. Click here (or follow the links above for the specific action you want to take).

You can join me on social media too. Choose the network(s) you use:

Love Instagram?

Love YouTube?

Love Facebook?

Are you in business? Connect on LinkedIn!

Did you know? If you have a women’s organization, a corporation, and you have events where the topics of energy, productivity, focus, balance and becoming your best to make the best decisions for work, family and life are of interest? I have been speaking to audiences for 25 years. Let’s connect.

best podcast after 50Visit the Flipping 50 podcast page here at flippingfifty.com when you’re listening to any episode for the show notes that include links to resources mentioned in the show or to use special show offers and connect with guests.

Now, will you help me create content? What would you like to hear more of when you listen? Is there a guest you’d love me to interview? Do you have a story to share that will uplift our community? Do you know someone who does? Comment below with your ideas!

What other podcasts do you love to listen to? What else is on your best podcasts after 50 list? I’d love to know!

exercise during menopause

IMAGE: The Whole Flip 4-DVD set [cardio/strength/joint protection/core] for exercise during menopause

Exercise During Menopause

Is exercise during menopause confusing you? Why are you doing it? What have you been doing? How is that working? The right exercise during menopause requires some questions, some reflection, and some honesty.

Honestly, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing what you’ve always done. You know the end of this sentence. Most of the time the end of that sentence is, “getting the same results you’ve always gotten.” Except in this situation you don’t. Exercise during menopause either amplifies symptoms like fatigue and fat storage or those like energy and focus.

If you’re doing what has always worked for you, you’re probably not getting the same results. If you’re trying to do more of what’s not working, how well do you think that’sgoing to work? But that’s often the intuitive thing to do isn’t it?

Frustrating, I know. There’s good news. Exercise during menopause can be more enjoyable, less frustrating, and even less time consuming than you’ve ever exercised before.

You, dear woman, were a part of the early “club scene” after all. You were a part of the movement into gyms and health clubs. Sure, there were men in the weight room but you were there in that aerobics studio.

5 Truths about effective exercise during menopause:

  1. It is not text book.
  2. It should be based on your signs and symptoms.
  3. It is based how much weight you have to lose.
  4. More of ineffective exercise hurts more than it helps.
  5. High and low intensity exercise both win for most women. Moderate exercise during menopause falls in the no benefit zone (NBZ).

Here’s why most exercise during menopause doesn’t work:

There are a lot of copycat programs created from something one trainer saw another trainer do.

A mere 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features women. A fraction of that features women in peri-menopause, menopause, and beyond.

What worked for one woman will not work for another.

You don’t need a one-size-fits all guarantee, you need a blueprint to find the right balance for your needs.

You’re not all in. You’re testing a program, trying to learn why it won’t work. You’ll tweak it and convince yourself it doesn’t work (because a proven program tweaked doesn’t).

Here’s new research on exercise during menopause:

  1. Women doing short interval training workouts stick to exercise better than those who do endurance activity.
  2. Women doing intervals lost twice as much weight as the endurance subjects.
  3. Increased protein intake, and greater skeletal muscles mass is associated with lower body fat.

Studies show meals with 30 grams of high quality protein is optimal for muscle protein synthesis. Many of those studies were included in You Still Got It, Girl.

Once you assess your personal signs and symptoms that you want or need to change you can find your fitness formula.

The After 50 Fitness Formula:

Weight lifting + High Quality Protein + Correct Cardio = #youstillgotitgirl

 

After 50 Fitness Formula

Rest & Recovery

Weight lifting to fatigue

High Quality protein with EAA timed right

Correct Cardio

Based on status

=    #youstillgotitgirl

light

Animal runs

Short low Intensity

moderate

Animal flys

Short interval training

heavy

Animal swims

Long Low intensity

Plants + Support

 

Step 1:

Are you tired? Do you get breathless easily? Do you simply suffer from fatigue such that when you wake up in the morning even with a good night you don’t feel rested?

Then you don’t pass go, collect your $200, or start exercising vigorously or frequently before you restore.

Rest and Recovery come first in this formula because we’ve been brainwashed. We’ve been told (and I’ve said it), “energy creates energy.” It does, but only if you have some in the first place. You can have a match but with no wood you’ve got no fire. “No pain, no gain” memes suggest you should just get on with no matter how bad it feels. Fitness and health pros even are showing images of their maximum lifts and recording their mileage on social media. That’s not helpful if you’re too far from that place yourself.

What you don’t see and what they often don’t share is adrenal fatigue they suffered before they figured it out. Or, potentially if you haven’t seen images of those inspiring people recently, check in on them. You too are human. Your life, your work, your worry, as well as your nutrition and exercise all determine collectively your need to do more, or do less, in order to feel better.

Step 2 & 3:

Weight lifting to fatigue combined with protein timed carefully before and or after  should be thoughtfully planned for adults over 50 (when muscle protein synthesis – MPS- decreases).

Reduced MPS means you don’t utilize the protein from food you eat as well as you once did. Weight training done properly has been shown to help boost MPS.

Muscle breakdown has the potential to occur at faster rates than build up after age 25 when muscle mass naturally peaks. If you haven’t been lifting weights, and or have had a diet insufficient in high quality protein, you have some catching up to do.

You can.

Muscle mass loss is not inevitable. Slowing metabolism is not inevitable. Though hormones can get wonky for anyone, from athlete to the deconditioned they don’t discriminate, it’s possible to reprogram your GPS as soon as you get those signals you’re at a dead end.

You do need to lift weights. You’re not going to increase your lean muscle mass doing barre classes or Pilates or yoga. You may get to the point of muscle failure and you may boost your mood. If you have time, include these types of activity but if you little time, focus on your major muscles, which are in charge of metabolism first. These types of activity can be a first step, or an extra-curricula step after you’ve initiated metabolically active muscle, I’m not throwing them out. If you only have so much time however, you want to think about your biggest reward. What do you love? What will keep you motivated?

Step 4:

Yes you need to breath a little harder. That is harder than you do at rest. If you are in need of restore in Step 1, you do less heavy breathing, less duration. You would never write checks on an empty bank account, right? If you have tons of energy, you’re sleeping well, one or two short duration high intensity interval training sessions a week and longer lighter activity once or twice can serve you.

What doesn’t serve you is what, as a Strength and Conditioning coach, I call zone 3. That’s No Benefits Zone (NBZ). That’s where you may have been exercising your entire adult life.

That’s the heart rate check in aerobics back in the day to see if you were in your optimal heart rate training zone. I did it. I was that fitness instructor making you stop and check your pulse before Fit Bit or Garmin were on your wrist.

But guess what? More than 15 years ago I stopped doing that and stopped two dozen trainers on my staff from doing that because unless you’ve been tested we don’t know what that number should be for a group of people who just stumbled into a group fitness class because it was the right time of day for them.  Predicted heart rate calculations either over or under estimate where adults should be, and most often for adults over 40 they under estimate you.

The world underestimates you.

So let’s just raise a few eyebrows and set them straight.

We have to lead the way. Get off the scale. Treat yourself as something more valuable and important than that number. Don’t let that stereotypical chronic dieter be the right image. Show them a strong woman with goals and value making waves in the world and at starting lines and bottom (and tops) of mountains.

Exercise during menopause shouldn’t be about your heart rate. It isn’t about calories. It is about hormones. How you feel doesn’t lie. You can be “in the zone” and feel terrible! You can be “in the normal range” of hormone testing according to western medicine and feel terrible.

How you feel counts far more than an arbitrary, imposed number. Do not waste time or energy trying to be in some “zone” of exercise for some quota of minutes. The game has changed.

Change your strategy and exercise during menopause becomes more enjoyable, even fun, and more rewarding and beneficial.

exercise during menopause

Join me for a LIVE Facebook this Friday at 4:30pm MST. I’m going to answer questions about exercise during (or before or long after) menopause. Post your questions below. Turn on your notifications for facebook.com/flipping50tv so you get notified when I go on live.

Is Your Diet Keeping You Up at Night?

dietThis post about better sleep is sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely my own.

If you’re on a low-calorie diet, you might be missing out on important nutrients. If you’re missing out on important nutrients, it could be interfering with your sleep. This vicious cycle is detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. This statistic is staggering: A recent study published by the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) found women between 60 and 90 who suffered from poor sleep also had poor diets. We need to stop ignoring the direct correlation between sleep and diet, so we can instead implement healthy routines to put the vicious cycle to bed (literally).

A few sleep flips for you right off the bat:

A diet insufficient in any way negatively affects neurotransmitters that regulate sleep and wake cycles. So if you’re trying to cut calories, or you make poor choices more often than you’d like to admit, you could be cutting your sleep, too. Then, the poor dietary choices you’re making could be a direct result of sleep deprivation! This downward spiral is tough to break.  In addition to neurotransmitters, Melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, is also negatively impacted by a poor diet.

The more restrictive your diet, the more essential it is to look at what micronutrients might be missing and see how you can account for them. You might dismiss this sooner than you should. Sleep will often improve when you first start a diet, but can then worsen as insufficiencies catch up with you.

The NIPH pointed out many subjects in the study above had poor quality of protein due to missing leucine, a key essential amino acid in muscle building and repair. If you’re eating strictly plant-based, you’re more likely to need a boost of leucine at each meal, not just for sleep. Leucine is key to building muscle and sparing loss.

As if the frustration of tossing and turning isn’t the only motivation for sleep, lack of sleep slows your metabolism. No matter how much you exercise or how well you eat, without sleep, you’re going to struggle with weight. Longer sleepers have lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those that can’t get sweet dreams. BMI is not the end-all, but it’s a strong component used to predict healthy weight by physicians.

How much does it matter? For one of my clients in her sixties, it mattered to the tune of an extra 75 pounds she was able to lose. After years of exercise with no results, she decided to increase her quality and quantity of sleep, and that’s when the weight started coming off. You too can make nutrition changes to improve your sleep!

How to Eat for Sleep

Once you’ve buffed your diet, make sure you go to bed on a bed you love. A mattress is a smart investment, given you spend a third of your life in it! My Sleep Number bed has been a game-changer. I never knew what I was missing until the first night I slept on it.

A third of Flipping 50 customers have hot flashes or night sweats before they begin. Changes in diet can help you control the frequency and intensity of those midlife symptoms. A Sleep Number Dual Temp layercan keep you (and your partner) at the right temperature each and every night.

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29265779
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28750055
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22996147

 Don’t miss the April showers protein sale !!

dietSave 20, 15, or 10% off your first purchase of Paleo Power, Your Whey, or Plant Power with these codes:

20paleo, 15whey, 10plant

Summer’s around the corner! Flip 50 lean! [ends when April does]

Thanks for being a Flipping 50 reader!

 

What Exactly is Hormone Balance?

Before you get more hormone balance you obviously need a clear definition of hormone balance! If you’re not actually sure what hormone balance is or if some of your recent frustration with a lack of your “you-ness” seems to describe hormone imbalance, read on. This post is for you. It’s not just hormones though is it? For the majority of women Flipping 50, there’s also a special condition, a joint issue, a crazy schedule that also needs to be addressed.

hormone balance exercise

If any of these describe you:

Plus:

And potentially:

=>You don’t poo every day at least once (more is better)

=>You have rabbits or pudding instead of snakes

=> You have gas or bloating you just tolerate

And finally:

What you used to do doesn’t work any more.

Then this is definitely for you… if you want to change. I add that because, frankly, that’s the obstacle for a significant percent of women that express interest in change. If you aren’t willing to change habits, change beliefs, change what you eat and when, change how you exercise and when, then this will just be another blog. Get real with whether the fault you find in programs, and the resistance to making change is you being the obstacle in your way. Access to proven solutions doesn’t mean you’ll make the changes and get proven success. As an exercise psychology and behavior change coach, I’ve spent 50% of my time with clients focused on the process of change for over three decades. It is a big part of feeling better. No set of exercises, videos, menu plans will ever help until you decide you are 100% in.

Throw Away the Textbook

Exercise for hormone balance is not your textbook exercise. “I’ve never heard that before,” is not a good excuse to dismiss something as true. How many studies did you (or your trainer) read last week about menopause, hormones, and exercise? They’re at anyone’s fingertips in today’s world. So holding onto old ideas without researching for yourself or finding a voice you trust instead of going by an outdated text is irresponsible. A published textbook is outdated by the time it goes to print. Research in this area is accelerating. Get help up to the speed of research on hormone balance.

If the rules feel like they changed overnight and put you into imbalance you could notice a shift that quickly back into balance too. You may not be quite so lucky to get it right immediately, but you can feel better. You’ll get signs you’re on the right path and you can lose weight or get the tone you’re after if you’re willing to make some changes.

Hormone balance through exercise starts with these 3 steps:

  1. Assess what signs and symptoms you have from the list above.

Really, write them down. I’ll wait.

  1. Next to each sign or symptom write down what you’ve tried.

Make a column of signs and a column of what-I’ve-tried next to it with plenty of options for the solutions.

  1. Now get honest. Which things that you’ve tried have you actually tried systematically, one at a time, in a specific sequence?

If you’ve tried things before, even if you don’t have results, you know a little more about what does and doesn’t work for hormone balance.

Or do you?

Does #3 above resonate a bit too much? If you’ve said, “I’ve tried everything! Nothing works!” You may have tried things randomly or unknowingly sabotaged results of a good thing with the wrong type or timing of it. That’s where I want to jump in here with exercise for hormone balance.

I’ve written dozens of blogs, dozens more articles, and created still more videos about exercise and hormone balance. I touched on hormones and exercise for adults over 50 in one book and filled two more books with exercise for hormone balance. By this summer I could write another. Research is booming. There’s not a lack of information but there’s a lack of time.

When you want answers and your frustrated you want them now, like yesterday.

If you’re not getting results you want but don’t know why, below I give you some very quick very easy to implement answers. There are three scenarios here. There’s more where that came from, and more how-to do the exercise that will help you most, where this came from, but these are very common among the women I work with.

Is this you?

Your hormone balance exercise:

Reduce your exercise. Leave the weights and the High Intensity Interval Training alone for (at least) a week. If you can get out for walks (or bike rides) and enjoy yourself – alone, with a friend, or a dog – then do that. Stick with a short duration (20-30 minutes most of the time. A longer time (45-60 minutes)– as long as you enjoy it – on the weekends or day when you have plenty of time and you’re not on the clock can be good. Plan activities you love that have nothing to do with calories and fat and minutes. You need a major reset. Fill up that hole and rest. Focus on sleep, rest, a massage, meditation, journaling, and learn what proper nutrition is for you today – it’s not the “healthy” you once thought.

Is this you? You need small changes to your belly fat and tone

yoga for hormone balanceYour hormone balance exercise:

Get short quick interval training sets in 1-2 times a week that last 20 or 30 minutes start to end. Get two weight training-to-fatigue days in (same day or alternate). Make these things happen in the morning. Then get outdoors and do something unplugged at least once a week. Hike: get lost for that matter. You need to let go. No minutes, calories, miles tracking. While you’re doing that get a plan for eating. Plan breakfast. Plan lunch. Plan dinner. (my new favorite resource for cooking) If you’re over 50, you’re required by hormone law, you’re required to do some adulting.

If everything you do elevates cortisol, everything you do deposits fat to your belly. Lack of regular meals, lack of regular bedtime and wake time, reliance on some supplement or prescription to do the work daily habits should do will backfire. You do the work, and they’ll take you the rest of the way.

Is this you? You’re kind of an exercise-addict, love it, but may over do?

Your hormone balance exercise:

Cut your exercise in half. Increase the intensity of some of those longer workouts (1-2 a week) if you like but keep them short. There’s very little evidence that more time results in more results. In 34 years, those people we observe in the gym for hours every day never really changed their body over time. Same shape, same complaints, same energy or less potentially as they aged. For hormone balance, that “hour of power” on the treadmill, is public enemy #1. Lifting weights for the cosmetic effect does little to change your body composition. Those “total body toning” classes can give you a boost of confidence but it’s some short, specific exercise sessions that really get results. If you’re addicted, but tired, and continue your routine you’ll soon be burnout.

Is this you? You don’t have energy, libido, or muscle tone!

Your hormone balance exercise:

Start lifting weights focused on major muscle groups. Even if you want to tone those arms, you want to start with major muscle groups. Even if you want a flat belly, start with major muscle groups. Stop long slow exercise sessions and long endurance activity. Increase your protein at every meal and eat regularly. Get to bed early and make sure you control your environment. If you love your wine or nightcap, you’ll want to stop that. All of these things kill testosterone, a key hormone for building lean tissue and libido. Testosterone gives you a kick of confidence too also important for libido.

These are but a few scenarios of exercise changes you can make for more hormone balance. Each woman has a unique set of health history, physical status, signs and symptoms that make her unique. If you don’t see yourself here exactly take the one closest and start there.

Share your biggest hormone balance challenges below in the comments.

Do you want support determining what factors influence your hormone balance?

Your best next step is Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart, where I bring together the whole-istic whole-you approach to not just exercise, but exercise nutrition, the timing of them both and daily habits timing that matters for your hormone best. If you’ve started and stopped before, it’s a mindset shift and that’s a part of the process.

As both an exercise psychology and kinesiology expert and I can help you with what happens both above and below the shoulders for hormone balance.

hormone balance program for womenJoin in May! It’s our Anniversary Session! Registration closes Wednesday April the 25th

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