Question: I am reaching menopause and I am having more and more trouble maintaining my weight much less lose any weight and I am completely frustrated. Do you know how I can get my metabolism going again?
Answer: Pre-menopause and menopause can certainly wreck your metabolism, your energy and completely frustrate a woman. It can make you feel that no matter what you do in the gym or how well you eat it seems that you either can’t lose weight or you’re gaining weight. By making a couple of adjustments to your training and being willing to push yourself you can utilize your training to effectively jump-start your metabolism again.
If your training routine consists of doing one set, resting, chatting, doing another set or even it’s the tandem superset type of workout with frequent rest periods, you’re going to have to make a major change. Set up four or five exercises in a sequence but your rest time between sets is as quickly as you can move from one exercise to the next.
Here’s one sequence you can use:
- hip raises on a low incline for 20 reps,
- leg curls for 15 reps,
- walking lunges for 10 reps on each leg,
- squat press for 10 reps and
- pulldowns for 12 reps.
Each of these sets is done with only 10 to 15 seconds rest at the most between each set.
Now the killer part of the sequence is to go to the treadmill, set it on maximum incline and walk or jog at 3 to 5 miles per hour for two to three minutes. For variety, at Body Unlimited, you get to occasionally flip tires for a timed sequence.
After the cardio, whichever type you use, you’ll get to rest for up to 2 minutes then repeat the sequence two more times.
What all this intense activity does is to excite your metabolism and increase your body’s growth hormone output after your training. It does not mean you’ll grow massive muscles but it will make your muscles burn up more fuel on a daily basis. You’ll need to do this type of training at least two times a week to get the benefit from it. On days you aren’t training with weights you’ll do intense cardio for 30 minutes. That can be treadmill, bike, high intensity classes like Spinning but make it a high energy workout.
From a dietary standpoint, you’ll have to get cleaner than clean at least for a while to get the most benefit from your intensified training. Get the protein your muscles need to be properly fueled from fish and chicken sources primarily. If you do use a protein supplement, consider switching to a soy based protein from the more popular whey type protein. Shaklee Soy protein is the local favorite due to its taste, texture and the fact that it tends to mix exceptionally well. It can even be used in baking and cooking.
Another change in how you eat is to avoid starchy carbs and keep your carbs under 20 grams every 2 to 3 hours. Most of the carbohydrates you eat should be from low glycemic index foods and high in fiber.
As always, drink plenty of water avoiding foods with artificial sweeteners. It’s not the easiest workout or dietary regimen but the benefits are worth the effort.
God bless and keep training,