5 Menopause Fitness Questions Answered | Listener Q & A

I’ve got 5 menopause fitness questions all cued up today. In this roundup from our Flipping 50 Insiders, Instagram, and iTunes comments I’m answering 5 questions. I bet one or more of them is a lingering question for you too, or you’ll love listening to confirm what you thought all along was spot on. And I’ll link to each of these too if you’re not following and want to hang out to see a positive message on your social media for a change.

That brings me to the sponsor of this episode. I’ll also link to a very special opportunity this month… if you’ve got 20 or more pounds to lose, and you know after 50 it’s different. It’s also different losing 20 vs a few. And if you’ve accumulated a mass of diet experience over the years, it can be really hard to know what the right thing to do at this point in your life really is. My Fit-U program is 50% off enrollment right now, with a special bonus for the first students – my Metabolism Mastery course (a $699 value) PLUS a special Fasting component layered into that.

Is soy or almond milk healthier for menopausal women?

I first wrote about this in You Still Got It, Girl! Soy is an estrogenic, an obesogenic, and a goitrogenic.

  • Estrogenic – it mimics estrogen, confusing your body
  • Obesogenic – increases fat stores
  • Goitrogenic – disrupts thyroid

That said there are a lot of benefits, like the increased protein that if you’re trading dairy because of food sensitivities, lactose intolerance, or gut issues, or in my case when I initially gave it up it was because of mucous that disrupted both running, teaching fitness, and speaking. Surprisingly, some gut issues I’d had for years also improved.

What’s the bottom line on soy today?

What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting?  

I’m going to do a rare thing here and share a limited time replay for you of the master class I did this week. The bottom line is this, some things are terribly wrong for you and some things are absolutely right for you. In this masterclass I gave you a quick self-quiz to decide if it’s right for you, or right for you right now. I share the mounting proven research on the benefits – the long term benefits of fasting – I share my friend and fasting expert with you if you want to go deep on a fasting lifestyle.

In the presentation I share the importance of having a specific plan. The timing is on purpose, not accidental. Your exercise during periodic, or during an eating or fasting window during a day should be on purpose as well. Should you resistance train while fasting? Yes, as long as you’re eating window fuels and refuels it with high protein meals. The answer to should you do interval training together with fasting, it depends on the type of fasting you’re doing.

Periodic with Calorie Restriction, not so much; using Time Restricted Feeding regularly, with the right timing of the exercise and food yes- making sure that your energy expenditure remains as high as normal. Not effort level, because most things will feel “hard” with little calories or fuel, but if you’re unable to achieve your usual effort level you’re not reaching the same level of fat burning, and you’d be better off exercising low intensity, or changing the HIIT sessions to an eating window.

Replay is on demand here for a short time if you’d like to take a deep dive. If you want support for exercise, fasting, and boosting your metabolism, and you’ve got closer to 20 lbs to lose, Fit-U is currently open, and during the month of February I’m offering the Metabolism Mastery in Menopause course (a 699 value) as a bonus, and that’s not all, a Fasting component to help you add this to the exercise, mindset, and recipe & menu suggestions during this 8-week program… that you have access to for good.

In this 5 Menopause fitness Questions round up one listener asked a couple questions:

When is it recommended to do endurance activities like a Power yoga, a jog or training for a 10K, or a spin bike? 

It’s recommended most often, not to do endurance exercise, if you’ve got hormone imbalances. That would be evidenced in weight loss resistance, belly fat, lack of sleep, hot flashes, night sweats.

What qualifies as endurance exercise has more to do with length- as suggested. So, a 20 minute power yoga? Go for it. But an hour power yoga session, unless for you it’s a norm and you’re relaxed and getting best sleep and at your ideal weight (aka, it’s working!) I wouldn’t recommend. Long runs ? Which are by nature higher in intensity… if you’re going 75 minutes… or doing even too many 45-minute workouts repeatedly in that “no benefits zone,” you’re going to make cortisol imbalance worse. Fat burning doesn’t usually occur well from those sessions.

The Surprise

Here’s the irony. A 45-minute walk may result in more fat burning than a 45-minute treadmill (or outdoor) run. It depends on your current status. If you’re balanced, you’re at ideal weight, energy, sleep, fat… then introduce it or continue. Not liking the results you have right now and you are having hot flashes, insomnia, belly fat…. Then you want to not run…. But run from the “more is better” type of workout. Go into the woods and do a 2-hour hike if you’re ready for it, if you need an endurance fix. The longer you go, the lower that intensity better be.

Should You Train for Endurance?

If you’re training for a 10K you can be smart about it. Less volume, more strategically planned workouts. I use a strategy for myself and clients…. Remember I spent 6 years in Boulder, where everyone tries to train as if they were a world champion. That over training leads to the high frequency of adrenal fatigue and injury you see in midlife women for sure. So I suggest you work with a coach who will help you plan your work and recovery not in a traditional training way. I’ve posted how I work with clients to do this and done for myself to reduce the amount of training I did for Ironman distance triathlons by nearly a third.

Spin bike workouts… with a warm up and cool down a good session is about quality not quantity. A 45-60 minute session should be no more than 25 minutes of high intensity. Or it should be a zone 1 to 2 level recovery ride. That’s just like your walk. When you know the affect your exercise has on your hormones you know how to manipulate your weight, energy, and sleep.

The same listener asked: Please clarify this point, as a nutrition major many years ago, The strategy was to eat carbohydrates after a muscle pump, also protein… But right after not to wait.

You’re not an athlete. If you are, and you’re training for a marathon or a triathlon, you’re biking miles and miles daily, yes, fuel immediately because you’ve got to get that glucose back in your muscle and recover to make that next workout best.

If you’re a midlife woman or older, exercising minimally for energy, for fat burning, and support balancing your hormones, you want to wait.

Something that gets tricky for one of our listeners, who is also a fitness coach and soon-to-be nutrition coach:  is when a carb is also a protein like nuts/hemp seeds, how do I balance meals?

First, quick correction – hemp seeds are protein and fat, not carbs. Then, let’s talk balanced meals. That looks different for everyone. You want to know that you or your clients do best with high protein, high fat, or high carb- and during midlife that one by the way is rare! A balanced meal for someone may be 33% of protein, fat, and carbs. For another it may be a higher fat moderate protein, low carb for a time – for instance doing a keto diet for reset. For others still it’s high protein, low fat and moderate carbs.

Then, there really isn’t a lot of confusion. Yes, foods “double” dip all the time. Salmon is a protein and a health serving of fat. So, at that meal you wouldn’t need to be as consciously adding an oil for instance. And if you were keeping fat moderate, because you’re predisposed to do optimally with high protein- moderate fat and low carbs, this would be even truer.

More on Fats & Protein

Hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fat, added plant based complete protein. They couldn’t solo as the only source of protein at your meal but they’re an addition. Nuts, are primarily a high source of fat, and offer some protein, for instance nuts and seeds pair well with a plant-based shake like my Plant Power smoothie because the pea protein and the nuts/seeds together create a much higher essential amino acid profile. The recipes I share in the Ultimate Smoothie book are on purpose, not random for this reason.

How We Do It – Are you a Fitness Pro or Health Coach?

Here’s how we operate at Flipping 50. We don’t count… calories, points, or grams of macros except for protein. There is a Formula for Women to follow to easily look at a meal and say… number of servings of carbs? Number of servings of fat? Right amount of protein? And if you follow it you may be counting your hemp hearts or salmon as sources of fat, and of protein, but you won’t back yourself into a corner and have too little protein, the worst mistake a women who wants to hold onto lean muscle can make.

For more information about becoming a Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist I’ll link in the show notes. You’ve got great questions that go deeper than RDAs and my Plate ever did or will. We’ve got to combat programs that are still suggesting if you’re going to have wine you just reduce your calories elsewhere in the day… and ignore what the calories you consume do to your hormones. And you can do it all providing information, and asking the right questions, within your scope of practice if you’re not a Registered Dietitian or operating in Colorado or California where those calling themselves nutritionists can say just about anything.

Resources mentioned in this 5 menopause fitness questions episode:  

Fit U (Feb 2021 with BONUS Metabolism Mastery to first 10, PLUS Fasting & Exercise Plan)

Limited Time Replay: Exercise & Fasting in Menopause

Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist course (ask about the mastermind too!)

After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course (for the science of nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, and hormones)

Flipping 50’s Ultimate Smoothie Guide 

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