Winter weight loss goals are often the impetus for the usual New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions made in January are often frequently forgotten only to be re-inspired by the bathing suit panic of an approaching summer. For many, especially when we hit 40 and beyond, the body manifests a stubborn refusal to conform to its younger efficiency of reshaping itself when stimulated by a more optimal diet and exercise program.
While your maturing body can exhibit a frustrating metabolic sluggishness, we need not abandon all hope and throw in the towel. The problems are often hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, increased stress and less physical activity. While hormones over the years get blamed on a lot of problems, their inevitable decline in middle age years (for both genders) will often lead to a slower metabolism and gradual, or accelerated, weight gain.
Additionally, if metabolism issues were not frustrating enough, the list of symptoms associated with declining hormone levels expands to include: decreased energy, cloudy thinking, or “brain fog,” poor muscle tone, endurance, melancholic mood, diminished enthusiasm, poor libido, aches and pains, poor strength and an overall low life ‘zest’.
The biological contribution to your “40 something” reality can often be defined by simple blood tests to measure levels of your metabolism regulating hormones such as Testosterone, DHEA, Thyroid and Growth Hormone. When deficiency or imbalance exists, using Bio-Identical or Natural Hormone Therapy (as described in Suzanne Somer’s “The Sexy Years”) can be, in my experience with patients, life restorative for overall health and appearance.
Another contributor to hormone balance is the necessity of maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels. Studies have shown that nearly 80% of individuals living in the northern latitudes will become Vitamin D deficient during the winter months. Vitamin D functions to stabilize hormone balance and also supports the immune system and regulates inflammation. I have been impressed that a single shot of Vitamin D (which we do in the fall for our patients) has been extraordinarily effective in the prevention of cold and flu problems during the winter. It also helps manage optimal body composition. The bottom line is to be sure to have your Vitamin D levels checked.
HCG can also be helpful for helping jump start your body’s fat burning metabolism. This tends to be very helpful during the holidays when caloric excess can become more tempting. For those who need enhanced ‘calorie control’ due to cravings, temporary use of weight loss medications such as Phentermine can be adjunctively helpful. ‘Carb’ craving is a special consideration, and most individuals will notice a particularly notable improvement with Chromium supplements and Lipoic Acid. Both of these compounds can be effective in supporting insulin function.
In essence, you have a lot more options with your weight loss and metabolic goals than what you may have assumed. Often, just paying attention to the sublime contributors of your metabolic efficiency can make a tremendous, and welcome, improvement with your overall energy, wellbeing and weight loss success.