Men’s Hormone Health | His & Hers After 50

Lady, you’re an influence for everyone around you. Though there is an abundance of information out there about women’s hormone health and you know we cover it here, there’s less about men’s hormone health. So we’re diving into it in this episode.

I am so glad you’re joining me for this episode. It is really at your request that I have brought my guest on because so very often I’ve been asked, who is the guy’s version of Flipping 50?

This one no surprise if you’re paying attention to the title is about men’s hormone health. For your partner, your dad, sons, brothers or friend, you are most likely an influencer. I’m asked so very often, who’s the guy’s Flipping 50? Though he serves other ages, I want to give a warm welcome to my guest today.

My Guest

Dr. Tracy Gapin is a board certified urologist, men’s health expert, speaker, and founder of Smart Men’s Health in Sarasota, Florida.

Through his precision performance medicine program, he provides men a personalized path to optimize not just their testosterone levels, but their overall health and vitality so they can be amazing husbands, fathers, and leaders.

He incorporates epigenetic coaching with data-driven biometric tracking, hormone optimization, peptide therapy, and cutting edge age management protocols to help men optimize their health and performance.

Men’s hormone health questions we answer in this podcast:

1 – What are men’s biggest health concerns? (or what should men’s hormone health concerns be?)

2 – If a listener is thinking, why has my man lost his edge and how do I handle it? What’s your answer?

3 – Let’s define epigenetics for listeners and how does it apply to men’s health?

4 – How do you work with men?

How to Connect with Dr. Gapin:

smartmenshealth.com

You can learn more about his program specifically for men’s hormone health – precision performance medicine.

men's hormone healthPlease leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Happy hormones not the way you’d describe right now?

This episode is more evidence that others have figured it out and you can too. Nutritional therapist Nicki Williams has changed her life since discovering how to change her own life.

Nicki Williams is a qualified Nutritional Therapist, author, speaker and founder of Happy Hormones for Life, helping women over 40 to get back to their absolute best – slimmer, energized, more productive and in full control of their hormones!

After failing to find any medical help for her symptoms of exhaustion, weight gain and hormone issues herself in her early 40’s, she discovered that she could turn things around using diet, lifestyle and natural supplements.

She went on to qualify as a nutritional therapist and hormone expert, and now helps women all over the world with her online programs, hormone testing, workshops and individual and group coaching.

She has recently published her first book,

It’s not you, it’s your hormones; The essential guide for women over 40 to fight fat, fatigue and hormone havoc.

She is the editor at Happy Hormones Magazine. Tell us about.

Questions we answer in this episode:

  1. Why did you become a hormone expert and author?
  2. What do listeners need to know about their hormones past 50?
  3. What do you find are the most common symptoms women are struggling with?
  4. What are the options for getting the support they need?
  5. What are your top natural solutions for menopause symptoms?

Free Hormone Balancing Guide: https://happyhormonesforlife.com/free-guide

Book:  https://happyhormonesforlife.com/buy-book 

Connect with Nicki:

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Website:  www.happyhormonesforlife.com

FB: www.facebook.com/happyhormonesforlife

Twitter: @nickijwilliams

LinkedIn:  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/williamsnicki

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Hormones After Breast Cancer? It’s Not What You Think

Hormones after breast cancer has always been a rigid no. For most. Not all. My guest today is not only a breast cancer survivor but a doctor and estrogen “think tank” participant. If you or someone you know has or has had breast cancer, this is a must.

She’s in her 70s and you’d never know it. She’s survived cancers and you’d never know it. Listen to her voice and you’ll question whether she’s really 70. She’s got the 411 on hormones and breast cancer.

My Guest

Dr. Berkson is one of the “mother’s” of functional medicine, considered a thought leader in hormones and functional medicine. She has been teaching CMES: continuing medical education courses, for health care professionals like MDs and pharmacists for many decades. Recently in Utah she gave the first CME accredited class, it passed peer review, on how and why to prescribe hormones for breast cancer patients to 150 MDs and pharmacists. She had breast cancer 26 years ago and has been on cBHRT for 20 years.

She has an eBook on hormones for breast cancer survivors. She has 21 books out, many on hormones and is a best selling author. She was a scholar at an estrogen think tank working with the top scientists that discovered the estrogen receptors and profiling for breast cancer patients.

There is a lot of misinformation in doc’s as well as patients. Don’t miss out on protection and youth as you age. Let’s get the facts straight from a doc and scientist that knows them.

Women have been told and believe that hormones cause cancer. Dr Berkson has a very different opinion and she’s living evidence of the opposite.

Let’s blow this myth up and talk about pros and cons of hormones after breast cancer.

Questions we answer in this episode:

  • How does something like this – misinformation get so accepted as fact?
  • What other benefits does estrogen provide?
  • What’s the connection between mortality rate and hormones?
  • What is the % reduction in BC from estrogen replacement?
  • What would you say to a woman currently under the care of a physician who’s advised not to do replacement therapy who might want to reconsider for the other reason you mention (bone, mitochondria, aging)?
  • When will you go “off”? What criteria will you use?

Connect:

Drlindseyberkson.com

Get her muffintop-recipe (whole other interpretation)

Resources:

Sexy Brain (book)

Estrogen Matters (book)

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Don’t miss the next Café open enrollment!

How to Harness the Power of Women’s Hormones

The more you learn about women’s hormones the more you know there is to know. This is an exciting time. As I like to say there’s never be a more exciting time to be flipping 50. This is the first in a few episodes this month addressing women’s hormones and perhaps flipping your thoughts on your future.

Explore your choices, re-examine your current options, and combine lifestyle habits for the optimal aging you want, need, and deserve.

I brought on one of the top women’s hormone doctors and renowned speakers to share her insights with you.

My Guest:

A committed trailblazer, Felice L. Gersh, M.D., works in integrative and holistic medicine, creating new paradigms in women’s healthcare.

Dr. Gersh is a renowned international speaker on topics of women’s health, exercise, nutrition, fasting, and essential oils. She has a special passion for educating all on the complexities of women’s metabolic and hormonal health throughout their life spans.

She has received numerous awards, including being named Physician of Excellence in Orange County 12 years in a row, a Super Doctor of Southern California multiple times, and a TopDoc. She was recognized for her excellence as an attending surgeon at USC Keck School of Medicine by the OB/GYN Department, and was elected into the prestigious medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. She is the Medical Director for the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, where she leads her team of dedicated holistic practitioners.

I took advantage of this opportunity to ask Dr Gersh about women’s hormones research, her advice for staying healthy as you age, and her involvement in the Women’s Hormone Network.

Questions we answered on this episode:

  • How can hormones help women to stay well after menopause?
  • What other options can women take to stay healthy?
  • As for the upcoming hormone conference and how it can be beneficial for all women and doctors to attend?
  • Can you tell us about your research with the Women’s Hormone Network?
  • You’re speaking at a conference just around the corner. Can you share some details about your sessions?
    • Hormones and Diet PCOS
    • Hormones & Heart Health
    • Physiologic Hormone Restoration

Get Connected with Resources Mentioned:

Learn about Women’s Hormone Network events 

Dr. Gersh’s office: Integrative Medical Group of Irvine

Dr. Gersh Book: PCOS SOS 

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Don’t miss the next Flipping 50 episode with my friend Dr Lindsey Berkson when you’ll hear how women’s hormones post cancer are keeping her not only alive but thriving in her 70’s.(and you would NEVER know it by a picture) Is it time for a rethink about cancer and hormone replacement?

Want support? THE first and only membership site dedicated for women in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause. It’s natural hormone balance through exercise, and the research-based lifestyle habits that support your hormone replacement choices no matter what they are. Workouts, courses, coaching, exclusive interviews, recipes, special rates on other Flipping 50 services.

weight loss exercise log bookIs weight loss possible after 50?  Do you wonder that? If you’re just trying to lose those last few pounds that came on during stress or hormone change, what does that take? How is it different than if you have 50, 100, or even 20 pounds to lose?

[Originally published in August 2017, this popular post has been updated – just in time for a special Fit-U program launch.]

Or rather, how should it be different? “It” being the process that you go through.

An Example of Failed Weight Loss After 50

On this post I look at parts of the process that deserve attention. If you’re reading this you know very well by now what permanent weight removal is not. Take Carla*, one of my clients. When we met she was walking two to four hours a day, and eating as little as 800 calories per day. Her weight at the time was well over 200 pounds. If weight loss were a math equation, Carla, should be skinny. Here’s why.

Her estimated calculate Basal Metabolic Rate was a little more than 1700 kcals.

[By the way when I searched Google for the phrase “how many calories to lose a pound” it’s clear we still think weight loss is math and someone is still writing this B.S.: 17 million pieces of content were found. Confused? No wonder.]

Even walking slowly, at her start weight Carla would burn over 300 kcals per hour. She was burning 600-1200 daily.

Exercise calories are added to your resting (basal) metabolism for total energy daily expenditure. The total kcals to maintain her current weight were, depending on her activity that day, were 2300 – 2900.

Consuming 800 kcals per day she would easily be at a deficit. Repeating that day after day using an average exercise of 3 hours walking, she needed of 2600 to maintain her weight and taking in 800.

If this pure math solution was right, she was creating an average deficit of 1800 kcals a day. If it takes 3500 kcals to lose or gain a pound it should have been easy for her to lose a little more than 3lbs a week.

Yet, that’s not what happened. She didn’t lose. She reached a plateau pretty quickly. She got injured. She had insomnia. She gained. She got nervous when injured and unable to exercise. She feared eating more food or even the amount she was eating when she was exercising.

In spite of evidence (weight loss plateau, frequency of injury, even weight gain) suggesting that so much exercise and so few calories were actually slowing her metabolism, she held on to old emotional ties to the theory that exercising more and eating less will achieve weight loss.

After 50 Weight Loss Success

I won’t leave you hanging! Carla did eventually lose. A sluggish metabolism from years of slow down and unintentional sabotage takes time to bounce back. But she did. She’s lost close to 75 pounds at this point and she’s well past 50.

It’s hard to let go.

Some of us are emotional eaters. Some of us are emotional food avoiders. Both emotional eaters and avoiders have a dysfunctional relationship with food. Many of us have an addiction to struggle. Hard work, discipline, and control feel better than relaxation, acceptance, and trusting your body’s signals. That kind of dysfunction extends to exercise, too. It’s easy to get into a cycle of taking out big loans, payback, and withdrawal. This is more noticeable in women who seek weight loss after 50. In that bank analogy sequence two out of three actions are taking away energy and only one is paying back. That’s where we get it wrong with exercise and nutrition. We’re never filling our cup. Our tendency is to mentally believe we’re being “good,” we “have” to suffer through some form of exercise and deprivation, in other words: mindset matters.

If you think you’re being good… you probably think you get rewarded for that behavior at some point instead of believing the behavior itself IS the reward (e.g. enjoying good-for-you food because it’s delicious, and liking the way you feel when you’re doing exercise that’s right for you).

female celebrating Flipping 50 Fit-UYour Motivation for Weight Loss After 50

If doing things you love brings a second set of rewards, even better. In regards to eating good food and exercise you can expect rewards like better sleep, less fatigue, more energy, optimal weight, and body confidence. Not so different than people who are able to take a passion and make it a profession. The successful ones are not without a hard work ethic, but they love waking up every morning to work and even the tasks they don’t love they can tie to the passion for the outcome.

#joyinmotion is non-existent in the majority of diet & exercise to weight loss plans out there

(Have you noticed? Torch calories! Burn fat! Even free consults promise to tell you “how many calories you need to eat and burn to lose weight” lead you to a dead end: this is not your health GPS.) This is true whether you have 5 or 50 pounds to lose, but the longer you’ve carried additional weight and the more you’ve limited calories the more TLC your metabolism-controlling hormones need in order to reboot.

Eating, avoiding eating, and exercise are too often punishment. While it might seem compulsive eating is a reward, if you’ve been down this road before, it’s more like punishment because you know what’s coming next in the cycle. You’ll feel bad and the underlying purpose was to create those bad feelings. That’s bizarre, right? But true. It’s almost as if, the bad feelings are more comfortable. They’re at least more familiar. You can busy yourself with more exercise, fewer calories and get “back on track.” That feels like a game you can win. But then it backfires again and you’re right back where you started. Or worse. 

You’re not right back where you started from because…losing weight you lose fat AND muscle. Regaining weight is 100% fat.

Exercise as a punishment is like paying the interest on some huge loan. The cycle usually goes like this: you’ve overeaten something you wish you hadn’t, and you’re going to compensate for it with excess exercise. You might also use exercise as a coping mechanism for emotions you don’t like feeling. Frustrated, angry, sad or feeling inadequate, your exercise gives you a fix of mojo, at least temporarily. If this is you, you like exercise. Or you did, until you began abusing it.

The payback is the overcompensation that happens after being particularly “good,” which in my experience with is restricting calories or foods they love, and you got it, dieting. You’re “on something.” It may be legal but it’s not good. The off ramp on that diet highway has a lot of roadblocks on it. You end up eating because you deserve it, you can’t resist any more (there’s science behind that: your body is doing everything it can to tell you to eat more).

Then there’s the, “I exercised today so I can have this” and the opposite, “I haven’t exercised so I can’t eat.” Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards. You can sabotage yourself in fact with some of the recommended activities for weight loss. Longer extended walks are recommended. They’re lower impact, anyone can walk, and yet, if you get that information and you’re gung ho whether it’s January 2 or not, you’re likely to take that downtown with the if-a-little-is-good-more-must-be-better and you’ll over do it.

Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards.

The withdrawal is getting a great (long, or exceptionally hard, or both) workout in or dieting all week so that you can do the payback. You might have the special event and the dress to fit into. You might be planning it. You might not. You’re just trying to get ahead and “work hard” to get results until eventually the payback comes. That’s what clever programs call “cheat” days and what I call binge days. It happens if you’re starting something that you can’t possibly ever sustain. If it feels temporary, it will be, and it usually doesn’t end well.

My girlfriends and I used to joke that we each had to have (or in this case we were talking about someone’s daughter) a “bad boy” relationship. It was that one that everyone else knew wasn’t good for you, wasn’t going to last and yet you couldn’t resist. Yep. A bit like a diet or exercise plan that you start thinking that you can make it through this eight weeks and be magically transformed, skinny, and then you can do it normally. It never works that way.

Weight Loss After 50 and Exercise

Diets or crazy kamikaze bootcamps full of burpees, squats, and lunges that send you home unable to sit down and bring you back the next day more sore than you should be starting a new exercise session don’t instill #joyofmotion in most of us. Granted there are possibly the less than 1% of you reading this who are saying, yes, I truly LOVE to do punishing workouts, but the majority of us who follow human nature seek pleasure and run (or walk or bike) from pain.

The reality is that whatever you do to get to a goal – weight loss- fitness, you have to do MORE of to sustain. Why? Because a 250 lb body requires more calories to move, and sustain than does a 150 lb body.

You will slow your metabolism by becoming a smaller person. The good news: By changing the way your body burns fuel and adjusting it to becoming a higher fat burner, and increasing lean muscle tissue you can overcome and offset this seemingly BIG obstacle.

The truth about weight loss that isn’t done correctly is your metabolism will slow. If you regain weight (reminiscent of Biggest Loser participants) your metabolism could STILL BE LOW, if you’ve not released toxins that are stored in fat, or not paid attention to lean muscle creation. Those who are slaves to cardio and ignore weight training will be most likely to experience this.

Why can some people lose 50 or 100 pounds and keep it off? They’ve adapted eating and exercise habits that change the way they eat and exercise permanently. They’ve looked far beyond calories and looked at hormones and quality of food vs. quantity of food.

Hormones, not calories, control your weight.

You have an abundance of hormones. So at first glance, it’s a challenge less simple than addition and subtraction required to do calories in calories out. It’s like me and trigonometry. I had the multiplication tables down, damn it. Who moved the cheese?

But it’s also easier to balance out hormones. [The hardest part is reconciling your brain with the idea that less exercise is more, and more good food is more.]

It’s not punishing exercise. It’s exercise you like and less of it but with more purpose.

It’s not dieting or deprivation. It’s flipping foods you love that negatively impact your hormones into foods you love made with food that loves you back.

You don’t need bootcamp 6 days a week at high intensity. You don’t have to say no forever to dessert or to snacks. That would be unrealistic.

Remember this one thing about your body: It wants to be at ideal weight.

Now, your ideal weight might not look like the cover model on a magazine. (Even the model on the cover doesn’t look like the model on the cover). Your body wants the path of least resistance as much as your mind does. So if you feed it and move it optimally, it will respond by releasing fat it no longer wants to carry around.

If you have tried or are trying to burpee and starve your way to get there, or you “have to have” some crazy concoction of foods made or delivered to you to make your goal a reality, chances are this is not sustainable. If you want weight loss and yet your relationship with foods that feel comforting (momentarily) is so great you can’t or you refuse to break that cycle, now may not be the time.

What? That’s not where you thought this was going? I wish I could give you a program that works even when you aren’t ready to change. But, I simply can’t.

No one can want it worse than you.

This place you’re in could be your upper limit. You’re possibly afraid of changing so much that you won’t. Something about your struggle is working for you. You may associate yourself with the struggle. You spend time, energy, maybe money investing in new programs, or finding new experts to ask about what to do. You get a lot of answers. But you don’t DO any of them.

Then nothing I say can help.

If you are ready to make changes, to see changes, there are things to consider. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, the changes you need to make with mindset become more important.

woman floating on inner tubeUnique Needs for Weight Loss After 50

Women over 50 have a unique set of circumstances:

You need to address the whole person you are. You’re going to be either positively or negatively influenced by each of these:

So if you’ve skipped or ignored any one of those needs during a “diet” or a “bootcamp” or delivery of food to your door, there have been potentially more obstacles than solutions. It’s not your fault.

You can’t diet the way a 20-year-old does. You can’t fast the way a 30-year-old does. You can’t exercise the way you did even at 40. Make no mistake, you can look and feel as good (and often better – we’ve been beating ourselves up for a long time) as you did at 20, 30 or 40, as long as you don’t attempt to get there the way you did at 20, 30 or 40. For two reasons:

This is an integrated relationship and successful integration determines your success. At midlife and beyond the impact of hormones is amplified. [You’re not off the hook at 60 or just because you’ve gone through the other side.] You can’t outwork hormones and you can’t out-diet them; you can outsmart them.

To learn more about how to get fit after 50 if you have 20 or more pounds to lose, click here. Fit-U is designed for you. Fit-U starts now.weight loss program Early access materials are ready now. There’s never a convenience time to do anything worthwhile. Do you want support? If you do, and you want it to be me, let’s do this.

If you want to learn more about the difference between:

  1. Fat loss and weight loss
  2. Fat loss after 50

Watch this special master class. I’ve rounded up all the research about weight loss – that is FAT loss –  after 50 (because the last thing you want to do is lose muscle. Temporarily that will make you feel a false sense of success, but when the muscle goes so too does your metabolism. That my friend, is the vicious cycle that’s caught up with you. And yet, yes you can change it. Start watching. Then jump in right now.

Exercise in Hormone Balance: more than going for a walk

What’s the role of exercise in hormone balance, exactly? We know these facts. Exercise influences hormones. Hormones influence exercise. You, already know this. I’ve said it before here at Flipping 50. But you already know because there are days you don’t feel like exercising, or you feel like the mirror isn’t reflecting the consistent hard work you’ve done.

And it feels relative to hormone changes. Whether you knew you were in perimenopause or not– that period of time lasting up to 10 years for some women, you realize that other things were changing too.

Your skin seemed to be thinning, maybe showing more signs of wrinkles or more cellulite than you had before. You may deal with both breakouts and fine lines during this time. You notice more hair loss in the shower.

So is the answer hormone replacement? What if you are and you’re still not feeling 100%? It doesn’t do all the heavy lifting, or shouldn’t. And you’ve got a lot more control than we ever might have known. The foods you eat, or don’t, the sleep habits you have, or don’t, the way you handle stress or don’t, and exercise type and timing play a factor.

Exercise in hormone balance course: episode sponsor

This episode is sponsored by The After 50 Fitness Formula for Womencourse, it’s my signature course and companion to You Still Got It, Girl! the book. In it I teach you module by module how foods have an effect on hormones, how stress influences hormones, and sleep, and of course exercise.

One thing I know better than anything after 35 years in fitness primarily working with women over 40 from the very beginning? We want to know WHYand so we can connect the dots to why it’s important to do this in the HOWwe’re being taught so we understand the reason to commit to doing it.

What I Believe About You

There’s no lack of motivation or discipline. I just don’t buy into that. There’s usually a belief about what, how, and why something works that either propels you or stands in your way. Right now during this After 50 Fitness Formula course anniversary you get not just the 8 modules Plus a bonus module demonstrating examples of exercise, you get:

  • My Bone Health Mini course
  • Exclusive Adrenal Fatigue master class
  • And you’ve still got all the worksheets for every module to use for tracking your progress
  • Plus a private Facebook group

THEN I’ve created 5 bonusesyou get NOW… but it they go away Labor Day weekend so get in now!

  • A special “get started” recorded coaching master sessionwith me so that you can get the most value and the least overwhelm out of the course
  • A special floor-only strength trainingworkout (20 minutes) so that you can avoid up and down from the floor and make the most of your time
  • 3 strength training plans(one for different schedule needs) so that you’ve got a layout based on 7, or 9 days that includes intervals, strength and rest that is the glue to making results stick
  • A special master class on Fasting & Exercise After 50: Fit or Not Fit? So you can see if it sounds right for you and how hormone balance status plays into your decision
  • Me inside the Facebook group for a daily tip the 20th– Sept 15th!! You’re your personal coach nudging you along the way so you start strong.

These extras opened August 20th… join nowand get started to get them all…! The daily tips 20th-Sept 15th will help you get a strong start by working on your beliefs about exercise, hormones, and menopause.

***Bonuses will be available for a limited amount of time and not a part of the course long term. So you’ll have longer to watch them when you get in right away before they disappear September 15.  You can only get in if you start by LABOR DAY! 

So enough on that, let’s talk specifically about exercise and hormone balance.

So, you are more in control than you may have thought. And it’s less complicated than you think. So this episode is about really unraveling the hormones we’ve got changing most, what they do or did, and don’t without help as they decrease…and how exercise can help.

First let’s look at the role of sex hormones in the body. Then we’ll look at how exercise influences hormones.

ESTROGEN

1.Grows the lining in the uterus so that the fertilized egg can implant.

2.Increases collagen production in the entire body, most notably in the blood vessels, skin, vagina and bladder.

3.Maintains cardiovascular elasticity and blood flow.

4.Prevents the body from losing bone densityby inhibiting osteoclasts.

5.Increases vaginal lubrication and sex drive.

6.Augments sexual desire.

7.Fuels fat metabolism.

8.Facilitates mental health by increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

9.Stimulates the production of progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and more estrogen receptors.

10.Modulates adrenaline levels.

11.Is anti-inflammatory.

12.Modulates immune functions.

13.Increases melatonin levels.

PROGESTERONE

1.At its peak, stimulates apoptosis (cell death/anti-cancer).

2.Increases bone density.

3.Reduces anxiety.

4.Lowers blood pressure.

5.Reduces cramping.

6.Acts as a natural diuretic.

7.Improves insulin sensitivity.

8.Increases GABA secretion.

9.Is a precursor to cortisol, and all the steroid hormones.

10.Modulates immune functions.

TESTOSTERONE

1.Plays a role in healthy heart and blood.

2.Supports a body to makeless fat, more muscle.

3.Builds bone.

4.Improves verbal memory, spatial abilities and mathematical reasoning.

5.Improves libido& erectile function.

6.Improved mood.

With hormone decline, physical health may deteriorate, mental wellness decreases, and chronic diseases may creep in. At least this is what you’ve been taught and the correlation that has been true until now. Until this time when more of us have been exercising for decades or are starting now.

This is important: understand that the science that’s collected data up until now is looking at the past.It is notlooking at your future.

What if you chose not to believe it?

During the recession, about 14 years ago I heard a speaker get up and talk about just how much we were hearing how bad the economy was at the time. She began with, “what if we decided not to participate?”I challenge you to think the same.

What if you decided not to participate in what you were told is coming with menopause and with aging? What if you rejected it? Instead, what if you went on believing you could enjoy an even more vibrant life now because of your life experience and wisdom and personal insight into what makes you happy?

Physical changes may include:

1.Increased resting heart rate

2.Rise in blood pressure

3.Amplified immunoreactivity

4.Decrease in short term memory function

5.Changes in body fat distribution and composition

6.Thinning hair on head, arms, legs, and pubic area

7.Increased facial hair

8.Blood chemistry changes such as:

  • Raised cholesterol levels and elevated fasting insulin / glucose levels.
  • Increase in bone turnover markers
  • Positive ANA and increased inflammatory markers

How did that list make you feel?

Think about it?

If it makes you feel like you’re fighting a war, it should. It’s not much of a party, right?

I encourage you to reject the idea these things WILL happen, or that if they do they are permanent.

They are merely signs and symptoms. Signs that you indeed are having changing hormones. Changing hormonesisa part of the evolution of a woman’s life whether they occur at menopause or with surgery.

You can opt to change. Change exercise. Change nutrition. Change lifestyle habits and break old patterns that will no longer work for you (hint: they weren’t working for you… you were lucky).

What do I mean by lucky?

The science we had decades ago was the best we had. But if 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features females right now,imagine the low percent that featured females 30 years ago.

Exercise plays a role in balancing these hormones and their reactions IF we use an exercise prescription that is HORMONE BALANCING, and not all people all the time.

Bootcamps

Mass bootcamps with all ages and levels … is very attractive to gyms and trainers. Let’s pack them in and charge a nominal rate but with dozens in a session it’s still a huge win. The energy and excitement is contagious. Unfortunately, injury rates climbed. There is no modification when it’s one or two trainers to 2, 4, or 6 dozen attendees. When others are driven you are driven and yet, that isn’t what every hormone imbalance needs.

Group Fitness

Classes are no different. Groups of 25 or 30 adults coming together to do either a workout dictated by the instructor’s mood or energy, or a pre-scripted program may not be what any individual needs at the moment. Once you know how hard you need to work and what kind of workout you need, group may work well for you. You know you and then you can choose the best options – and frequency for yourself.

Let’s talk about weight training.

Why Weight Training Exercise for Hormone Balance

Weight training is one of the absolute best things you can do for your hormone balance. Specifically targeting growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol, and insulin, with strength training you can introduce exercise without a sweat if that’s something you can do without.

Though estrogen isn’t necessarily effected by weight training, it’s effects are addressed as bone density losses are slowed by weight training (and only weight training).

There’s more. Additional hormones positively influenced by strength training are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Though aerobic activity has always been associated with endorphins, don’t overlook strength training because the benefits seem to be equal. These hormones also bump cognitive performance long term. After a year of strength training women improved on executive planning abilities (problem solving and memory).  There’s also a reduction in anxiety and depression.

High volume lower-to-moderate intensity sets with short breaks works.

Low-volume, high intensity sets with longer rest intervals works better.

If you’re scared, just starting, opt for the high volume. Progress as you can (and assess on a joint by joint basis) to heavier weights for optimum hormone, bone, and muscle benefit.

STRONGER I is a moderate to heavier and STRONGER III is a lighter weight higher volume program for both beginners and for developing “cut” or definition. 

HIIT or S.I.T. (sprint interval training)

Focus on an aerobic (or higher intensity which is referred to as anaerobic when you can’t sustain for periods longer than 30 seconds) with intermittent recovery periods. The total sessions should last 20-30 minutes at most. Weekly total HIIT times should be 45 minutes or less. After that time injury rates increase and benefits decrease. The body needs recovery from hard work in order to reap benefits.

Prolonged endurance activity

Disruption of the endocrine system tends to occur at varying levels for individuals. It is more common however in women who focus uniquely on endurance exercise without weight training or HIIT, and or who only add rather than removing to find a balance between activity.

Time of day to exercise

Intense early and light late is the Flipping 50 guideline. Testosterone levels are naturally higher in the morning. Strength and HIIT sessions that occur early also work with natural healthy cortisol patterns.

Late day cortisol drops but your body is warm and loose. It’s the perfect time for “light late” activity like stretching and yoga or a light walk. If you need to accommodate your schedule, later in the day is fine for weight training. Optimal effects of exercise in hormone balance may not be available if you exercise of the wrong type at the wrong time.

Keep your exercise pre-dinner. Avoid any exercise within 4 hours of bedtime.

How hard when it’s high intensity?

The key to benefits from Interval Training is high enough intensity. There’s got to be metabolic demand sufficient enough to cause change. That is why Flipping 50 recommends always reaching fatigue when you’re focused on body composition, metabolism, and positive hormone influence of exercise.

The role of exercise in hormone balance can’t take the lead if you’re not using the right exercise.

Fatigue during strength training is getting to a repetition that truly is the last one you can do. During intervals that is breathless. If you’re not doing either of those, you’re not influencing your metabolic-driven hormones and won’t experience the beneficial changes.

Whether you want to boost libido, regain lost muscle tone, decrease fat, increase muscle mass to boost metabolism, or regulate blood sugar levels, proper intensity, in other words, training with purpose, not just random exercise is your goal.

Recap of Exercise in Hormone Balance

Testosterone slowly declines in women leading to menopause and then can drastically drop off. Bye bye libido and maybe your confidence at work. Increased testosterone can be induced by resistance training. Again, provided the stimulus is intense enough.

Growth hormone and testosterone have been examined for their role in boosting strength or muscle mass. Especially among body builders. The actual role of them is backward. Resistance training improves levels of growth hormone and testosterone, not the other way around.

Increases in growth hormone benefit collagen synthesis and fat burning. Testosterone as stated above supports better libido and energy. Both GH and testosterone support more muscle and lower fat.

Resistance training supports the fountain of youth.

If you’re looking for support and understanding the science behind what’s true and what’s just always been accepted.. I’d love to see you in the course.

Exercise in Hormone Balance Resources:

Kraemer W, Ratamess N. Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Med 2005;35(4):339-361.

Herbert P, Hayes L, Sculthorpe N, Grace F. HIIT produces increases in muscle power and free testosterone in male masters athletes. Endocr Connect 2017;6(7):430-436.

Hackney A, Aggon E. Chronic low testosterone levels in endurance trained men: the exercise-hypogonadal male condition. pii:103 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29882545

Copeland J, Consitt LA, Tremblay M. Hormonal responses to endurance and resistance exercise in females aged 19-69 years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2002;57(4):B158-B165.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058750

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20959702

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/415534

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps! 

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Think Weight Loss Success After 50 is Impossible? Think again!

If you’re in midlife and don’t love your weight, energy, or your life it’s never too late. My guest today is proof. She shares her own midlife weight loss success and how it spiraled into a new career path.

Beate Probst is the founder & CEO of Be-At-Ease Solutions and she helps women reverse their body’s aging process with the help of real nutrition, exercise, support, motivation, and accountability. She lives by her motto “Train in any mood, Lift at any age & Live to tell what happens”

Beate walked her talk. She lost 50 lbs. and kept it off for over a decade which she says has helped her develop tools to overcome stubborn weight gain especially during hormonal changes, that she is now passing on to her clients who are each crushing their weight loss journey.

In addition to being a Holistic Weigh Loss Expert and personal online trainer, she’s a mindset mentor. She empowers woman to embark on a journey of self-awareness and self-love recognizing that their weight loss is a side effect of an already beautiful woman.

Beate shared this with me:

This happened to me when I was 50 years old. I was a personal training client, discovering my own potential of maintaining my weigh loss success and learning new strategies to overcome hormonal stubborn weight gain. And that is where I realized so few woman have the confidence or the drive to do the same.

So it was then I started to change my career to be a health, fitness, and nutrition expert. It was after seeing so many woman around me feeling helpless and intimidated to start exercising and looking for answers, support, and validation that they are still able to increase their quality of life even though going through all the changes that their body is making.  

Questions we answer in this episode:

  • You’ve got a weight loss success story, spawned perhaps by a stinging remark by an ex-husband. That seems like a juicy way to get started.
  • What were your personal obstacles to optimal health and weight loss success?
  • In spite of that significant weight loss success you rode a hormone roller coaster that knocked you off track, tell us about that.
  • How do you think your recent personal journey influences your ability to support other women?
  • Are you specifically focused on weight loss for midlife women?
  • What’s your advice for weight loss success to women just starting?

Take Beate’s Real-Age Quiz  

Connect with Beate on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beate.probst.9

Please leave a rating in iTunes! It really helps!

  1. Visit Flipping 50 on iTunes
  2. Click listen in iTunes
  3. Click ratings and reviews
  4. Leave your 5 star rating (seriously I’d love it, but your authentic comments are what I need to grow and give you more of what you want and less of what you can leave!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate you doing this!

Do you have 20 or more pounds to lose? Weight loss, specifically fat loss after 50 (or peri-menopause is different!). Not impossible but if you’re trying to “eat less and exercise more” your body is stressed and holding every calorie.

There’s a better way. Watch this– it’s a master class I did to explain the rules (they’ve changed!) for fat loss after 50 and share details about my Fit-U program. You’ll know if it’s a fit. And you’ll know if it’s not.

What’s the connection between estrogen levels and exercise? Whether you assess estrogen levels by labs or messages your body sends you, estrogen status is an important consideration in your exercise plan. If you want to feel better, sleep better, and avoid fat deposits and find optimal weight, your exercise choices matter. This post will give you insight for making the best hormone balancing fitness plan.

 

 

Effects of Exercise on Estrogen

There are three types of estrogen to be familiar with:

Estradiol – most common in non-pregnant women

Estrone – post menopause

Estriol – major role in pregnancy

The role of estrogen in weight and fat

You need estrogen for weight loss. It helps regulate fat metabolism. When you’ve got adequate estrogen in cells there’s less chance for fat to move in. So let’s look at this!

Low Estrogen Levels & Exercise

Reducing the volume of exercise can help increase low estrogen levels, whereas extreme exercise can cause a decrease in estrogen. You’ve got to find your Goldilocks.

It’s important to consider your individual need and response to exercise. Yet, if you have low estrogen levels even if you love exercise, it’s wise to listen to the fact your body is telling you, “Not right now.”

Overtraining and Estrogen

If you can’t relax or enjoy yourself if you don’t exercise, if it gets in the way of you doing other things in your life or you do it at the expense of your health then exercise has become something other than a healthy part of life.

For example, Jamie was extremely obsessed with food and exercise for much of her life. After a diagnosis of low bone density in her late 30’s she was under treatment yet still running miles though told not to due to risk of fracture.

Overtraining is linked to low estrogen levels that contribute to bone loss. Overtraining and under recovery both are to blame. That is, you may be doing too much too soon for your body and or you can be getting too little sleep, rest, and nutrition to support your workouts. That’s as common among weight loss seekers as it is athletes.

Assess Your Estrogen Levels

Begin with the signs and symptoms your body is sending you. If you haven’t done “labs”you can still learn much from your body. If you have done labs, you still want that intel from your body combined with labs.

You may have low estrogen levels if you respond “yes” to several of those.

You may have high estrogen levels if you respond “yes” to several of those.

For low estrogen levels:

For high or “estrogen dominance”:

Remember, It’s Relative

“High estrogen” often seems a little confounding when you’re in menopause. You’re losing estrogen and it’s why you’re in menopause, after all! So what’s up with that?

It’s the relationship between your hormones that give way to the term “hormone balance.”

So, if you liken it to cholesterol, which we readily accept as both numbers and most importantly the ratio of good: total cholesterol. It’s about that relationship, even if your total number may be a little higher than ideal. So it is with hormones.

If your estrogen and progesterone levels aren’t in balance with each other, typically it’s due to high cortisol. Cortisol blocks progesterone. That contributes to more angst, less calm, and mood swings. But you’re also more likely to deposit fat in your belly when estrogen is “low” (compared to progesterone”) and cortisol is high.

Like when you have aging parents, kids still at home or in college, career or relationship changes happening. And you, possibly are a woman who does too much. For everyone else. Or ruminates about doing too much for everyone else. And you exercise to negate stress. Too much. Or ruminate about exercising and don’t. At all.

Hello, midlife.

Move Right for You Right Now

Make the move to move right. Enough, but not too much. Not for your friend, your spouse, or younger you. The right exercise at the right time supports your hormone balance naturally. Whether you choose to do hormone supplementation or you don’t, your exercise and other lifestyle habits optimize or sabotage your hormone balance.

If you’ve “got this,” and you’re feeling great in the second half congrats!

And if you’d like support, there are some ways I can help.  Grab my “checklist of successful Flipping 50 habits” and see how you’re doing.

And if you’re really serious about getting long lasting support one of these is the perfect start:

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903887
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22614972
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30071893
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23652373

You might also like:

Hormone Balancing Fitness Plan

The Hormone-Exercise Connection to Lose Weight and Boost Energy

8 Crazy Truths About Healthy Weight Loss and Hormones

Your healthy weight may not be the number in your head. If you’ve been attached to a number on the scale, been attached to the scale period, you’re potential for self-sabotage is high.

This post is all about how the days of “eat less, exercise more” have caught up to you and how your metabolism has suffered. I’ll share the common mistakes, the how to restart your metabolism, with a lifestyle that doesn’t include over exercise or undereating.

This episode is brought to you by Flipping 50’s Fit-U, dedicated to women over 50 with 20 or more pounds to lose. Weight loss and particularly, fat loss, after 50 is different. Not impossible, just different.

I use only research featuring women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond to create programming. I also employ 30+ years of experience as a coach, personal trainer, who has worked with midlife women to know what works, what questions to answer – before you may know to ask them.

You’ll identify your “stinking thinking” from science that’s decades old  – that’s been replaced – but that’s hard to grasp as an over abundance of information is coming at you today.

The Scale Lies.

Checking your weight is not enough. It doesn’t tell you body composition. You can buy one that does. It doesn’t tell you if you’re dehydrated, you’re going to appear fatter since you store water in your muscle.

It doesn’t tell you if you’re retaining water weight since you had potentially higher in sodium or sugary foods you’re not used to. It doesn’t tell you that you have inflammation from any cause – eating foods that aren’t ideal for you, or from too much exercise. It doesn’t tell you that you may be constipated and may just be used to that feeling not even questioning it.

Calories counting is a myth.

The truth is you can eat about 300 kcals more a day if you’re consuming quality calories than if they’re poor in nutrient density. The volume of food you can consume can increase, stay the same, or be less depending on the meal. You can choose avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds. You can consume plates of vegetables.

Healthy weight loss doesn’t occur at a controlled speed. You may have noticed! A piece of chocolate cake is not the same as a piece of salmon. They have very different effects on the body. Even though the calories might be the same.

One will spike blood sugar, and therefore insulin. Fat storage starts and fat metabolism halts. Game over.

The same will happen if you have fruit on an empty stomach. It may seem more logical that the same is true of wine on empty, which is most often when you drink it. You will tend to – if you love your wine – look for someone who will give you the answer you want about drinking wine. That’s been my experience. If you’re ready to change you will, if you’re not you’ll ignore the steps you can take to improve your chance for fat burning (and for sleep).

You don’t exchange a glass of wine for other calories during the day and make it “okay.” This, friends is a myth. 

Eating less signals your body to burn less.

Dieting is stress. When you are eating too little, your body is stressed. A stressed body holds onto every calorie. It’s a form of self-protection. Meanwhile, in old school thinking you believe you’re being “good.”

You’ve learned if you’re hungry and grumpy that’s part of the diet process. Because (totally illogically), you think if you feel like crap you’ll eventually feel great. How wrong is that?

Makes no sense when you think about it. Keep doing what never worked – permanently – and in fact do MORE of it and you’ll get better results?

No.

That’s pretty close to insanity.

The more times in your life you’ve fallen for eating less and losing weight from restriction, then gained it back, or gained dozens, or hundreds of pounds, the more damage to your hormones that regulate weight you’ve done.

It’s time to reset and restore. Start nurturing instead of starving. We all know a 20-something woman is now or has (maybe she was you) dieted and restricted and lost weight.. only to gain it back, get exhausted, not sleep, have gut issues. She may have thinning hair and when she does “eat”? She eats garbage. She likes to bake and cook. All of course under the premise of taking care of her health, and giving.


She may share this passion with others. Unfortunately, for her, it’s not healthy. It could have been you. It may still be you. Yet now, you’re the adult in the kitchen to care and prep for someone else. And because you haven’t made peace with food, it’s all you think about.

Exercising more can put you into stress mode.

Some women are just more likely to dial up the exercise. More is better, right?

Wrong. Again it’s a stress signal for your body. Cortisol will – especially if you are eating less – come back with a vengeance. You are putting one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator. How well does that work?

You’ll forfeit any growth hormone and testosterone benefits when you eat less and exercise more because cortisol is king, queen, prince and princess of the mountain. You cannot get fit without adequate calories and protein. Most importantly, without rest & recovery you’ll limit that supply of endorphins and serotonin that could help you too. Burnt out, your body won’t give you those any more during exercise.

Relying on “diets” creates a co-dependency that leaves you without a life plan.

No liquid diet, three-day reset, or 28-day magic (my program included) will support a lifetime of freedom around food if you don’t start with a healthy diet and relationship with food. Healthy weight loss is not a temporary thing. You get there with a long game.

You have to stop identifying as someone heavy. You have to lose the idea of someone who can’t experience healthy weight loss. You have to in short, start living. You’re going to have to stop the ways that never led to healthy weight loss sustained for a long time in order to attain healthy weight loss that lasts forever.

Women in their 50s and 60s and 70s have done it. Stop believing you can’t. It’s different, yes. Because the right way was always different. You’ve now exhausted the don’t-work ways. Now you can get on with a healthy approach.

A rigid eating plan creates physical and psychological reactions that make you want to eat.

Every signal from your brain to your gut to the rest of your body is going to tell you to eat. It’s the nature of the game. Your hormones jump into action when they aren’t being nourished. They’ll do everything they can to protect you.

Then when you do eat, they revert to the way cavemen feasted and fasted when they found food and then went long periods without it. But you’ve got more going on during menopause and beyond.

Your changes in estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone are going to set you up for more fat storage and a lot less fat burning. Until you ditch the thoughts around food and fat as your enemy, and begin to identify food that’s good, taking pleasure in it, your body may not support your mind’s effort.

A binge-purge cycle occurs – whether small or full-blown when you go “off” anything. 

If you don’t have a good relationship with food in the first place a diet is not going to improve it. You won’t start having a good relationship with food because you’ve lost weight. You’ll begin to better your relationship with food – likely eating more than you’re used to – and then begin to experience healthy weight loss.

Physical breakdown that leads to injury and or illness is likely.

If you’ve had years of skimping or dieting and of “treating” or eating junk your micronutrient levels may be so low that injuries and illnesses occur frequently.

Even things like plantar fasciitis are more than just wearing high heels and carrying extra weight. Breakdown of muscle as well as bone is in part hormones, but also a lack of a diet sufficient in micronutrients.

A healthy weight loss is not about creating lack in the body but rather abundance. An abundance of micronutrient dense foods can support estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone balance. Cortisol, insulin and ghrelin and leptin levels improve so that you can leave cravings that sabotage behind.

More than you need to know a specific heart rate zone for fat burning, you need to know and read the clues your body is sending you about hormone balance.

Healthy weight loss happens after 50. It just won’t happen without a change in the way you think about healthy weight loss.

Need support? Consider Fit-U – it’s an online DIY program dedicated to fat loss for women over 50. And though it’s DIY, you get:

  • A pre-program coaching session sent to you right away so you can get your mind right
  • Weekly Exercise videos – created for you if you’ve got 20 or more pounds to lose
  • A coaching video for the mindset you need to replace old thoughts
  • A fully fleshed out journal and resource guide to use during and long after
  • Live coaching in your private Facebook group

Right now it’s 50% off and we’re open for enrollment. It ends the first week of May. Make May and June your months to reset.

Was this episode helpful? Please leave a rating in iTunes!

  1. Visit Flipping 50
  2. Click “listen in iTunes”
  3. Click Ratings and Reviews
  4. Make your 5-star review (no matter what you think we want the real review!)
  5. Know how much I appreciate this!

Calories burned from exercise don’t make you fit. They don’t make you thinner or happier. Especially after 50 movement and physical activity is important. However, the decades of conditioning you’ve had for counting calories in vs. calories out could backfire on your desire to be fit.

Do you need to exercise to get fit? Yes of course! For health and wellness, mentally, cognitively, and physically you need it. It’s not optional. If you want to thrive you need it. Never before has exercise been more important. Our contemporary lives make it necessary.

Yet, never before midlife have you potentially had more reason to flip the emphasis you place on exercise to something other than piling up minutes, miles, or counting calories.

Strength, stamina, muscular and lean legs and arms that we all undeniably envy don’t come from calorie counting. Not from what you take in and not from what you burn.

Why don’t calories burned from exercise matter? For several reasons:

1) Its hard to accurately count calories burned from exercise.

It’s impossibly inaccurate to predict simply based on your weight and your speed how many calories you burned.

Two women who weigh the same could both be exercising at 4.5 mph. For one that’s jogging and for the other that’s only a mildly paced walk. Are they exercising at the same intensity? No. You can imagine they’re breathing differently, right?

They are using different amounts of oxygen. Calorie burning is about use of oxygen. It’s a simple equation. For every 1 liter of oxygen consumed 5 kcals are burned. That’s only simple if we can measure it though.

Unless we actually put in you in a lab hook you up so we can measure the amount of oxygen in the air you breath in minus the air you expel we really can’t predict how much oxygen you’re consuming. Trust me, there is nothing simply about that, or comfortable.

In fact, as you dream about yourself svelte and sleek and fit, you actually drool and expel mucous into the mask as you sweat uncomfortably like a pig. Welcome to my lab. For years I taught undergraduate students how to perform this test. Recently to begin my “fittest year” I sat on the bike behind the mask – something I hadn’t done for a couple decades. It wasn’t pretty.

Fitness trackers aren’t great for everything

A prediction is pretty inaccurate. Fitness trackers get highest points for Heart Rate accuracy (But unless you know where it should be? That is not helpful! Psstt: It’s not based on your age!!!)

Fitness trackers fail pretty miserably for the most popular exercise: walking, and for those with greater body mass. Seven trackers tested (including FitBit Surge and Apple Watch) were off anywhere from 27% to 93%. So if you’ve got that tracker to tell you how many calories you’re burning so you can lose weight? It’s false information.

Might it help motivate you and see you did more in your week 4 than you could in your week 1? Yes. That’s an appropriate use. But if you are at all tempted to think calories out can be used to adjust calories in, you’re heading the wrong way. Make a u-turn.

2) Hormones, not calories determine fat burn and fat storage.

Say you’re exercising “hard” every day or just long every day. You’re potentially increasing your cortisol levels. A body under stress holds on to fat – in spite of a calorie deficit – and will not lose weight.

You may be logging lots of calories burned on your tracker but it has no way of measuring your hormone balance. You could be driving yourself into fat storage rather than fat burning if you’re increasing cortisol.

All exercise is stress. We’re made for some stress. It’s necessary for life. But fitness is about finding your goldilocks of stress, from all sources and managing that together with exercise. If you’re stress hormone levels are out of balance (too high when they should be low, too low when they should be high) you’re probably frustrated. Exercise isn’t working as you think it should.

That said, exercises that relax you, (not necessarily the same exercise that someone else will find relaxing) and support optimal cortisol levels can increase fitness by first enhancing your wellness and hormone balance. Yoga, a hike outdoors, digging in your garden… might be the jam for you. Though not notorious on the calories burned from exercise charts they may be your ticket for fitness.

3) Tracking Calories Burned and Consumed Gives a False “Freedom”

Measure calories burned from exercise and calories consumed from food and you’re in control, right? Not so fast.

Actually, this feels more like a jail. It’s as if you put yourself between these two eat less and exercise more parameters and you’ll be free. The truth is you’re bound to obsessive counting, tracking, measuring and … exhaustion. You never truly relax.

In 35 years of experience where I’ve worked with adults both through a university exercise clinic and in private settings where I oversaw over 250,000 personal training sessions in 6 years, the common theme for customers who sought and achieved weight loss, was fear.

They feared regaining the weight. Every shift of the needle by a pound or two pounds sent them to caloric restriction and exercise increase. The mythological destination of weight loss, the when-I-get-here-I’ll-be-happy NEVER happened.

Further, those who continued to eat less and exercise more often ended up with some chronic fatigue, weight regain, or return to habits that put weight on in the first place. The body will do everything it can to signal you to eat more if you’re starving it.

Starving it, that is of micronutrients. Your body’s cravings are a sign of micronutrient deficiency. When you start exercising more… you deplete micronutrients further. When you eat less, you have fewer micronutrients coming in.

That’s no conditions for fitness improvement. 

Why We Count

We do like control. So counting seems a very intuitive way to control what’s happening. Unfortunately, it’s a formula that just doesn’t work. Particularly for women with hormones wildly up and down.

Your hormones work thanks to micronutrients. You need to balance that, count the goodness going in, being absorbed and digested, along with finding an exercise and rest ratio that improves you doesn’t break you down.

Tracking calories alone (in or out) completely ignores the state of sleep deprivation, stress, or recovery your body is in. There’s no telling how ready you are for exercise or how well you’ve fueled your body to adapt positively.

There are numbers that matter. But you’re unique and no estimate at this point in time is very accurate for measuring energy expenditure (calories burned). The bigger message: knowing that still doesn’t give you the results you want.

If you’re stressed you can exercise all day and eat next to nothing (totally the WRONG approach but the one you learned years ago) and you will not improve fitness. You might just increase fatness and fatigue.

Replace your calorie counting with an emphasis on quality. Quality calories. Quality exercise. Do less exercise and eat more food. Quality matters oh, so much more than actual numbers – which are nearly impossible to know anyway.

If you can’t completely stop – or you’ve been a calorie counter for decades and it’s automatic – be mindful of the type of calories you consume and let go of thinking you’re an in/out equation.

In terms of calories expended from exercise:

A short bout of strength training won’t burn a lot of calories, but it does more to balance hormones than an hour of treadmill walking or an hour of strength training for that matter.

That old idea that you don’t have time is true if you think it takes an hour. It doesn’t. Equate an hour of slogging through exercise to a donut. Ten or twenty minutes of quality exercise could be far better for you. Equate that to a yummy piece of salmon or black bean burger topped with avocado. Calories may not be that different. But the results will be.

References:
http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4426/7/2/3
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19246357
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Larsen%2C+T.M.%2C+et+al.%2C+Diets+with+high+or+low+protein+content+and+glycemic+index+for+weight-loss+maintenance.+N+Engl+J+Med%2C+2010.+363%2822%29%3A+p.+2102-13

You might also like:

Long Workouts Don’t Work

Why This Trainer Tells Clients to Exercise Less

10 Limiting Beliefs to Dump Before Starting an Exercise Program

 

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