Is Excess Weight Getting You Down?
Has another winter gone by where you swore you would get in shape in time for summer? Well, the winter solstice has been and gone and Spring is just around the corner, which means Summer isn’t far away. Don’t panic there is still time to make changes and see the improvements you dream of, but it will take commitment beginning with being honest about expectations of yourself.
Ageing is inevitable, and with it we experience and accept some of the privileges that comes with having lived, like fine lines and softening curves, but what many women have the most difficulty with is the excess weight gain that pays us a visit and never wants to leave.
WHAT CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN?
Weight gain can be caused by several factors including a highly processed diet, lack of exercise, overindulgence in alcohol, side effects from medication, poor digestive health, irregular bowels, and hormonal changes.
Hormone imbalances can be a large contributing factor for women entering perimenopause and menopause. It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of our changing years especially when nothing else hasn’t changed and our metabolism has decided to take a permanent holiday.
Food imbalance can be a culprit with many women not consuming enough protein which is crucial for building and maintaining muscle tone. Protein also boosts your metabolism and your body’s ability to use fat for fuel.
The other key issue that has a big impact on weight gain is blood sugar imbalances caused by refined sugars and white flours that make you hungry and cause you to eat more. Sugar is hidden in many processed foods like bread, pasta, soda, cereal bars, salad dressings, fast food, and snacks, but the amount of sugar in our food is making us fat, diabetic and miserable.
The answer is not as simple as just cutting out complete food groups and starving either. Increasing your metabolic potential and maintaining a healthy weight means consuming natural foods that your body can’t process quickly; you feel full longer and your body will need to burn fat stores for fuel.
HOW DO I MOVE STUBBORN BELLY FAT?
If you are struggling with weight gain, you need to make sure that the majority of the food you eat is non-processed, free of refined sugar and white flour. Watching your sugar intake is not a diet, it’s returning to natural foods that our bodies can process in the healthiest way, especially if you want to avoid chronic disease.
There is an easy rule to remind us of what to eat every day ‘’If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it comes from a manufacturing plant, don’t!’
- Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants
- Increase fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans
- Increase hydration from water, herbal teas, smoothies, fresh juices and broths
- Increase protein from red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, tofu and cottage cheese
- Learn to love ‘superfoods’ like hemp, maca, collagen, green tea, berries and seaweed
- Consume pre and probiotics to improve digestion and bowel regularity
- Include fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir and yogurt
- Mix up your daily exercise, walk, run, cycle, swim, dance, but do it every day
- Shop at local farmers markets for fresh, seasonal produce
- Fall in love with cooking
Our bodies are not what they once were so be gentle with yourself and grateful for everything your body has provided, nourish yourself with food and movement that will help you to thrive and be around long enough to annoy the grandkids!
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.