Fat burning & weight loss are hot topics uniquely, and together, during menopause. For decades, the dogma has been that metabolism slows with age (proven not until about 60 very recently) and that menopause hormone changes make weight gain more likely, it’s easy to believe there may not be much you can do for your clients.
Not so fast. Look, the research I’ve shared for nearly a decade, and studies both older and newer show lifestyle habits – epigenetics have much greater influence on fat burning & weight loss than doing anything else.
The trick? Identifying not what you thought once supports fat burning & weight loss, but what really does for clients (or you) now in menopause. So, let’s break this down.
Blood Sugar and Fat Burning
Insulin causes the liver, or muscles, to remove sugar out of the bloodstream and store it in the form of glycogen. It releases a small amount regularly for all the organs that function continuously (heart, brain, nerves).
Hormones like stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine/adrenalin), sex hormones, growth hormones, and glucagon – can cause the liver to secrete glycogen back into the bloodstream.
Epinephrine and cortisol are released when your body needs a sudden influx of sugar for energy. (For example, exercise or need to sprint to avoid harm or spare someone else from harm).
As blood sugar goes up, unless clients are insulin resistant, (which often can happen to women in midlife) the increases are mild and short because insulin is released to bring it down. If however, clients are more insulin resistant (it takes more and more insulin to bring blood sugar down), your body is more frequently in a fat-storage state than a fat-burning state.
Blood Sugar and Fat Storage
Let’s talk about these 4 (not new to you) things that impact blood sugar for your clients. It’s not just dessert and popcorn. Your client’s fat burning & weight loss obstacles may be something you and they are overlooking.
Any form of stress, including thinking about a stressful situation, physical stress, will increase glycogen, and therefore insulin. Learning to deal with the emotional stressors so they’re less negatively affected, can decrease fat storage. Clients don’t necessarily think stress interferes with fat burning & weight loss. They’re more likely to think weight causes stress.
Sleep deprivation and or poor-quality sleep, even being off their optimal schedule (going to bed later than usual) can increase physical stress and the stress hormones. The day after having to rise at 3am for an airport run for a houseguest, my blood sugar levels were all higher throughout the day.
I attempted to keep the rest of my day low stress by observing the best hydration, regularly timed meals high in protein and fiber, and connecting by phone with family to keep stress lower. You increase your value with clients when you coach them to respond this way themselves.
When you’re going to do a workout with clients, as long as clients are not overtrained and they’re allowing for adequate recovery, muscles will release glycogen for energy. This is when they’re able to burn fat rather than store it. The glycogen and cortisol (responding to physical stress) both increase available energy to do the physical workout.
** It’s important to consume adequately high-quality protein during training, to be sure that carbohydrates then fuel the muscle with exercise and aren’t stored as fat.
Different foods and at different times of the day or in different sequences will have various effects uniquely on your client. While it makes sense that a piece of chocolate cake in the middle of the afternoon is going to spike blood sugar more than if enjoyed after a meal with protein, fat, and fiber, clients may be surprised something beef stew for dinner could spike blood sugar (happened to me).
In those situations, you’ll want to help clients identify whether it is an ingredient in the food, or if it’s one of the other influences from above.
For example, the same morning coffee drink in the morning when someone gets up at 3am to take someone to the airport, could spike your blood sugar usually different than having it at the wake up of 5am (also happened to me)!
The Fat Burning & Weight Loss Bottomline on Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is no BS (I couldn’t resist). Now that Continuous Glucose Monitors are easily accessible, and you can see immediate results of your clients’ lifestyle habits and nutrition, you may be able to experience much greater ease weight loss.
A great way to begin is to try it for yourself. Use your own experience as teachable moments for your clients. Share your results, and what you’re learning. Your clients’ successful fat burning & weight loss efforts are right around the corner with your help.
Want to try the one I’m using? You’ll save $25 on your first month with my link. CLICK HERE
Flipping 50 Menopause Fitness Specialist
NutriSense Glucose Monitor
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