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Surviving Menopause...and becoming fitter than ever!

June 26, 2013

Here is what I found out from Jillian Michaels, Everyday Health Life and Fitness Coach, about overcoming the health challenges associated with menopause. I especially like the fact she tells us we "CAN get healthy and turn things around at any point". Here is what she said:

Many blame the weight changes their body goes through with age as menopause when it’s really the manifestation of years of neglect.

Here is the good news, you CAN get healthy and turn things around at any point. The answer is simple: healthy diet, exercise, and clean living. While it’s true you can’t continue to burn the candle at both ends like you did when you were younger, you can reclaim your health in every way if you work at it.

Many think that the solution to “their” weight loss dilemma is unique. They say things like “how do I lose the baby weight?” or “How do I lose the weight gained during menopause” as though these supposed reasons require a special solution. The good and bad news is that there is only one answer to weight loss: diet and exercise. Here are a few simple tips to get your body back on track:

1. Count calories.I have said this many times — and I’m certainly not changing my tune now. Remember, no matter who you are or what your circumstance, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. A pound is 3,500 calories so in order to lose two pounds a week you must burn an additional 7,000 calories than you eat. My suggestion is to set your calorie intake at 1,200 a day — with the only exception being that you can eat as many raw, grilled, or steamed green vegetables as you want.

2. Workout. Hard. Exercise releases many anti-aging, fat-burning hormones. And the harder you workout, the better your results will be. Many think that because they’re older they’re fragile and weak. Absolutely not so. In fact, I believe it’s quite the opposite. When I used to have the time to personal train clients, I always noticed that the moms in their 50s were often stronger than their daughters in their 20s. (I have a theory on this, although it’s not science based. I believe that we manifest the mental strength we’ve built over the years to overcome struggles and adversity into our physical strength, enhancing our fitness capabilities.) Obviously talk to your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen and get proper advice on fitness form, etc., but don’t be afraid to push yourself. Lift weights and I don’t mean 2 pounds. Start running, not power walking. Take a kickboxing class, not Curves®. You get the idea.

3. Eliminate chemicals from your life. While it’s true that for your metabolism to function optimally you must balance your hormones, the best way to do this is with clean living. Toxins in our food, water, cosmetics, cleaning products, and so on are filled with chemicals that throw our weight and overall health into a state of havoc. The simple solution is to go natural. Use baking soda or lemon water to clean your counter tops. Use olive oil as a moisturizer instead of the expensive face cream loaded with chemicals. Eat as clean as you can and go organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics in foods.

While I know this probably isn’t the advice you wanted, it’s the advice that will work for you over time. I’ve found that hormone supplementation is a dangerous thing. Studies have linked it to different types of cancers, stroke, blood clots, gallstones, dementia and the list goes on. You should do your own research, too. In my experience, the natural solution is always the right one.

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