Enjoy Your Menopause!

June 15, 2009

Getting Rid of Belly Fat

Here we go again.  Someone else has written a book about dieting.  But unlike many of these diet books, this one seems to offer more of an explanation as to why so many of us have bulging bellies and how we can strategically work to get rid of it.

Dr. Louis Aronne explains in his new book, “THE SKINNY: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry” (Broadway Books), written with Alisa Bowman, that the key is your body’s chemistry, not willpower. His solution: teaching your body to stop craving food and feel full sooner.

A leading authority on weight loss and obesity, Dr. Aronne is director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, a multidisciplinary obesity research and treatment center that he developed and founded in 1986. He is clinical professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

According to Dr. Aronne, our bodies are programmed to resist weight loss that goes beyond roughly 7 percent of total body weight. That means that if you weigh 200 pounds, you may be able to lose fewer than 14 pounds before the going gets tough. The reason, he explains, is that the body’s metabolism and weight-regulating hormones — like insulin and leptin — drop faster than your body loses fat, making your brain think your weight is near normal even though you’re still overweight. This leaves dieters hungry, even after they’ve eaten all the calories they need.

To overcome this obstacle, he teaches readers to use the latest advances in the science of appetite and body weight regulation to flip off an internal biological switch that is driving them to eat. Rather than using willpower to force themselves to stop eating, readers use “fill-power”:

Among his specific tips:

* Eat a Protein Breakfast. People who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight because it helps control appetite and cravings throughout the day. High-protein, low-starch foods like a vegetable frittata are best. Avoid juices that pass through the body too quickly. Eat grapefruit or melon instead.
* Exercise in the morning. Putting off your gym visit until later in the day increases the chances that something will come up to derail your plans. And don’t think of making up for it with a longer weekend session. How often you exercise is more important than the length of each exercise session.
* Eat your salad and vegetables first. Dig into the leafy greens before you start the main course. This will curb your appetite by making you feel full. Other foods to keep you feeling sated include soups and spicy foods.
* Watch less television. By turning off the boob tube you will automatically be more active.
* Look for hidden causes of weight gain. Sleep disorders and medications can cause weight gain. Appropriate management can help with weight loss.

Dr. Aronne says his plan is easy to follow, and can help many people to lose between 10 percent and 20 percent of their weight, and most can lose 7 percent or more. However, he cautions that the weight loss won’t be immediate, and may take several months. The payoff, he writes: “You will know what it feels like to fill up on a normal amount of food. You will eventually be able to stop obsessing about food. You’ll be able to stop forcing yourself to eat less because you’ll eat less automatically.”

Now that sounds like a plan.

March 18, 2009

Good Sleep Equals Good Health

Good sleep equals good health.  That’s the diagnosis from experts at the Comprehensive Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders Center at Baylor Regional Medical Center in California.  Unfortunately, more than half of women report problems with insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “women’s lack of sleep affects nearly every aspect of their time-pressed lives, leaving them late for work, stressed out, tired and with little time for friends.” What’s going on? There are several factors, and all relate to poor sleep hygiene.

1. Too much java
Coffee consumption has jumped dramatically. It’s like a vicious cycle. People drink coffee at night and stay up late watching TV or surfing the Internet. Then they need a jolt at 6 a.m. to get started for the day. Eventually, that takes a toll on the body. Caffeine is a stimulant and it is advised that you refrain from drinking it at least six hours before bed.

2. Stressed out
Are you someone known as a “worry wart?”  Night time is the time some of us start thinking about what we forgot to do, about the kids, work deadlines, unpaid bills, and the economy.  That makes it hard to relax but once your head, your only duty is to sleep.

3. Stay cool
Body temperature lowers about one degree during sleep. Working out too close to bedtime or having an alcoholic night cap is counterproductive—it will take three hours to cool down enough for sleep to take place.  Tossing and turning also has an impact on your body temperature.  Every small amount of exertion consumes energy, which raises the body’s temperature, further delaying sleep.

4. The bottom line
Developing good sleep hygiene can help you avoid relying on medication.  Experts suggest you try the following:

1)  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

2)  Have bedtime ritual.  Thirty minutes before bed turn off loud music, make the atmosphere calm, dim the lights, take a warm (not hot) shower.

3) Read in bed for a maximum of 15 minutes, turn off the lights, close your eyes and relax.

February 11, 2009

Perrie Meno-Pudge Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon_2/2/09fix

January 28, 2009

Perrie Meno-Pudge Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon 1/27/2009

January 27, 2009

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is one of the symptoms of menopause but did you also know if can also manifest as a result of diabetes?  Vaginal dryness can also be caused by a chemical allergy to certain soaps, hygiene products, perfume and dyes.

As we age, it becomes even more important to take care of our genitals to help guard against further irritation or complications from the initial dryness. Here are some helpful tips on how to manage vaginal dryness:

Use mild materials when washing
As what has been mentioned above, the most commonly reported cause of vaginal dryness is the use of harsh vaginal wash. If this is the exact reason for your genital dryness, changing to a milder wash can help relieve the dryness. Using plain, warm water can also help restore moisture.

Use water-based lubricants
If vaginal dryness is interfering with your sex life, using water-based lubricants can increase vaginal comfort. It is important to note that you need to make sure that the lubricant is water-based, water-soluble, and contains just the right pH balance that is equal to that of normal body fluid. Note that the pH balance helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms such as yeast.

Use moisturizing creams
Although mild vaginal wash helps keep the vagina clean and lubricants help during intercourse, using a mild, formulated vaginal moisturizing cream will help improve the health of vaginal tissues and moisturize the vagina for a longer time. Some formulas help replenish declining estrogen levels in menopausal women. These creams are applied two to three times a week at equally spaced intervals.  According to my good friend Pam Archer, Vitamin E creams work very well.

Vaginal dryness can be a serious issue if not addressed openly and honestly with your partner.

June 26, 2008

How Does Menopause Affect Your Sex Drive?

Filed under: menopause,Uncategorized — Beverly Mahone @ 6:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

The loss of estrogen following menopause can lead to changes in a woman’s sexual functioning. Menopausal and postmenopausal women may notice that they are not as easily aroused, and may be less sensitive to touching and stroking — which can result in decreased interest in sex.

In addition, lower levels of estrogen can cause a decrease in blood supply to the vagina. This decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse.

Do All Menopausal Women Experience a Decrease In Sexual Desire?

No. In fact, some post-menopausal women report an increase in sexual satisfaction. This may be due to decreased anxiety associated with a fear of pregnancy. In addition, many post-menopausal women often have fewer child-rearing responsibilities, allowing them to relax and enjoy intimacy with their partners.

Stay cool. Keep a damp cloth or a bucket of water nearby to cool yourself quickly if you wake up feeling hot and sweaty.

Lighten up. Avoid heavy bedding. Choose breathable nightclothes: light cottons, sheer materials.

Consult your doctor. If you have difficulty sleeping after age 35 because of hot flashes, night sweats, or other symptoms of perimenopause, ask about the possibility of taking a low-dose birth control pill to stabilize estrogen fluctuations. Your doctor may also consider short-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help relieve menopause-related symptoms. Note that HRT is not for everyone; ask your doctor if it’s right for you. To see if your sleep improves, your doctor may also suggest a prescription sleeping pill for a short period of time.

Ban the family pets: Your pet’s movements — or your allergies to animals — could be disturbing your sleep. Animals can also give off a tremendous amount of heat.

If you have trouble sleeping for more than a few weeks, or if sleep problems interfere with your daily life, speak with your doctor or contact a board-certified sleep specialist.