I Answer Flipping 50’s Reader Questions on Hormones & Exercise

I’m taking today’s blog to respond to some recent questions from subscribers and our Flipping 50 community. These are some of the most common questions that come in. I hope something here helps you.

Q: I’m walking 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and get 10K steps by every evening. I lift weights twice a week doing two sets of 12 repetitions. Why am I still in the overweight category? 

I first have to ask if the speed and incline is always the same on the treadmill. Do you ever get out of breath? Is there variety in the workouts day to day? With the resistance training, are you varying the sequence, and reaching fatigue? Is there progression from week to week?

Eating “healthy” meals is hard to know unless you’ve tested for yourself what is healthy for you.

If you’re doing those things right and still not seeing results, look at sleep and stress. Are you getting quality sleep in the right amount for you? Make sure your body is not showing signs of stress from a diet that might not be serving you, or exercise that isn’t the right dose or intensity. You have all the parts, you may need to make some flips to optimize your results.

Q: [My biggest challenge is] sugar/junk food addiction and stuck in the same workout rut.

You wrote you’re starting with what I call “carbage” – cookies, muffins, cereals. Starting that way is going to sabotage your entire day. Step 1: remove those foods from your environment and stock up on high protein breakfast items. I love the convenience of a smoothie. No more thinking about what you’re going to have or having to “prepare” it. It takes minutes. And you can stock up on a variety of simple things to get variety in every smoothie. The number one mistake that women make with working out is the nutrition that supports it. To keep or create muscle (and boost metabolism) you need protein.

What women don’t realize is that the wrong carbs increase your fat stores and make it hard to release fat.

Before we go into exercise, you wrote that your sleep is poor and your stress is high. We need to flip those around! You may need to work on both at the same time. Since stress can disrupt sleep and a lack of sleep causes stress, they’re equally important! Stress may not disappear but if you find ways to do things you love you’ll offset your stress.

With exercise, it’s easy to get into a rut if you don’t take time to plan. Lay out a weekly plan so you don’t just default to your usual ho-hum. Not only will you be more excited about your workouts, you’ll start seeing and feeling better results. Watch this series for how to plan your ideal program.

Q: [My biggest challenge is] getting a handle on my weight. I’ve been in menopause for 8 years. I let my weight get out of control and now I’m just overwhelmed.

Confusion about exercise and overwhelmed choosing the right program is common! You’re not alone. What we learned once is hard to let go of, especially if you haven’t yet found a new niche you feel good with.

Start with a quick assessment of all the integrated parts. How’s your sleep and stress? You can make nutrition and exercise choices to improve sleep and stress. If you’re not sleeping and or you’ve got a lot of stress right now start exercise simply. Light exercise for a week or two to focus on habit. Introduce weight training twice a week. You can add bits of interval training as long as you keep it short.

Where most of us go wrong is feeling like the more we do the faster we’ll get in shape and feel better. What usually happens instead is burnout, literally, and fatigue gets worse instead of better. If you can let go of calorie burning and focus on hormone balance and feeling better not beat up, your exercise will help you release weight.

Q: [My biggest challenge is] losing weight and belly fat.

You wrote you’re having a smoothie for breakfast and lunch and a salad for supper. You’re doing thirty minutes of elliptical or walking most days and Pilates 3 times a week for 30 minutes. You’re not doing any weight training.

First, be sure if you’re having smoothies you’re getting in full meals in those smoothies. High protein, plenty of healthy fat, and fiber and antioxidants through veggies, some fruit, and added items like chia, flax, or hemp hearts. If you’re skimping on calories, or missing micronutrients, your body can’t operate well. You want to be sure you’re getting some healthy carbs.

Typically belly fat is a sign that cortisol and insulin are working together against you. Be sure you’re not getting sugars in your smoothies and you’re taking care of stress. The biggest concern I have is for your lack of variety in your diet and I’m curious about whether your caloric intake is so low you’re increasing stress on your body. That is going to make it easy to store fat and hard to burn it.

You want to make sure that anything you’re doing to lose weight is something you can sustain. It takes more effort to maintain weight loss if you’re dropping caloric intake and or increasing exercise too much. You have do do more to hold the weight loss, which becomes almost impossible.

Start with good food, and you can eat more and still lose weight as you balance your hormones and your internal environment. It feels better with more energy and vitality. It’s less limiting when you have a social life and you can still find foods that fit your lifestyle and your health.

You don’t have to do this alone! The fastest way to sort out and test your best program is to join the 28 Day Kickstart. Our next Kickstart is beginning soon. is our first. I am there with you weekly for 4 weeks with a step-by-step plan for learning the new science, your hormone and exercise connection, and integrating small changes in your daily life that make all the difference. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It just has to be in the right sequence so it serves you best.

IF you’ve been looking at all the options and you’re exhausted from choosing, trying, and finding it’s so intense you can’t keep up, this is for you. This LIVE coaching program puts you in a group with other women who have the same challenges. It’s based on fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle habits for women in perimenopause and beyond. It’s for YOU. By one of you.

You’ll learn: 

  • why it IS going to require weight training and HOW specifically
  • why I am not “pro-Paleo” “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” … I am pro-YOU
  • why timing of your meals and what they consist of makes all the difference
  • why “healthy” eating and exercise is unique to you and how to find it
  • why you’re exercising and not getting results you want
  • how to exercise less and get better results
  • how to stop dieting, stop counting calories and enjoy real food again
  • how to continue after 28 days for more success and know how to reroute your own GPS

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