We would like to know what is causing extra weight, when you do not change eating habits, but you are still gaining weight. What is the secret behind the screen? We all would like to know. Could we easily improve on our health? The answer is here with Mary-Lou Harris who is our nutritionist.
According to Mary-Lou Harris (FdSc, Dip ION, ITEC) the senior nutritionist and Life Coach at the New You Boot Camp, finds that, in menopausal women, there is often an unacknowledged or undiagnosed adrenal implication. Not only are the adrenal glands involved in putting weight on (especially around the middle) where there has been stress or erratic sugary foods in clients’ diets, but they also take over oestrogen production from the ovaries in menopause, and if the client has had a history of stress, then the adrenal glands are ‘tired’ and not able to perform this role adequately. The repercussion in often into the thyroid gland, which exacerbates the problem by slowing down metabolism. Unfortunately, ‘sub-clinical’ hypothyroidism is often not picked up on the NHS tests. This is only diagnosed when it becomes hypothyroidism.
What is the best way to prevent or stop this disease?
As the Life Skills Coach and Nutritionist at the New You Boot camp, Mary-Lou encourages lifestyle and nutritional intervention through looking at enjoyable ways to increase quality of life and life management tools to reduce stress responses. She also creates individual personalized nutritional food and supplement programmes to recreate balance in the adrenal and thyroid glands.
How can you help with your weight loss?
Mary-Lou works on improving blood sugar regulation by eating quality protein and carbs at each meal, and intermittent fasting (No snacking…and ensuring that your meals keep you going for between 4 and 6 hours before the next food time.
She also suggests eating :
- Quality oily fish at least 4 times a week (omega 3s have scientifically shown improvements in hormone health, and supports mood and stress management).
- 2 organic eggs per day (they have natural tranquiliser properties)
- a handful of pumpkin seeds in your meals somewhere through the day as they have magnesium, which is known as ‘Nature’s Relaxing Mineral’) and reducing stimulants (tea, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes).
Reducing wheat and dairy are also helpful to weight management in the menopause as they adversely affect digestive function, which is where oestrogens are recycled.
How can dietary supplements help with this condition?
Mary-Lou uses Adrenal and thyroid glandular supplements (Nutri West) to support the restoration of the gland tissue. She also recommends a quality high dose B vitamin complex with magnesium (Biocare) to manage stress and the conversion of essential fatty acids to the appropriate hormones.
Because digestion is vital to both endocrine and hormone health, it is imperative to assess and correct imbalances in stomach acid (most people are too low…especially if there is heartburn or indigestion present!) Without sufficient stomach acid, you cannot properly assimilate minerals and B vitamins that are critical to menopausal health. At boot camp, Mary-Lou asses everyone’s digestive health as it is such a core factor to all health concerns.
Menomelt is an appetite suppressant, which Mary-Lou does not use in her practice. Instead, she aspires to stabilize her clients’ blood sugars and satiety (feeling of satisfaction after eating) level through educating them and balancing biochemistry. This is usually with the support of quality fibre and protein and fat at each meal, and blood sugar stabilizing foods like oat cakes and cinnamon and turmeric. Intermittent fasting (no snacking) is also a successful way that she helps to create body system balance.
Hormone Replacement Therapy can be a solution but does it really help or just make it worst?
Mary-Lou finds that HRT causes her clients to gain weight, and instead, supports adrenal glands, thyroid and blood sugars to help reduce menopausal symptoms.
What are the most simple strategies to lose weight?
At New You Boot Camp Mary-Lou teaches clients to eat at between 4 and 6 hourly intervals, in order not to snack, as they feel satisfied from the previous meal.
This helps to balance blood sugars, leading to weight loss around the belly area, and supports the adrenal glands and digestion, and the liver, which are all essential for hormonal balance and weight loss on hips and thighs.
She suggests oily fish at least 4 times per week, as this supports both menopausal health and weight loss by improving the body’s ability to let go of fat stores.
She encourages her clients to assess their Candida and stomach acid status as the Candida yeast overgrowth can lead to hormonal imbalance and subsequent weight gain, or inability to lose weight. Stomach acid is essential to assimilate the minerals and protein that is vital for menopausal health.
Mary-Lou strongly advises against alcohol, and tea and coffee as they can so easily bring on hot flushes and negatively impact weight, due to adrenal stress.
We can use menopause as a time of life to stop worrying about weight gain and bring out the best in oneself.
This is the time when you can take up new sports or hobbies that you never had time to think about before…whether it be horse riding, tennis, salsa dancing, a walking or running club, etc. Explore your sensuality…it is surprising how many women rediscover themselves and even embark on new relationships when they have been single through choice, or divorce or widowed. This the time of your life when you have Life Experience behind you, and usually take less nonsense and make more sensible choices, leading to a more fulfilled life, fuelled by greater self-awareness..