There are two key hormones that dominate a woman’s life. Estrogen and Progesterone

These hormones are produced primarily in the ovaries, though can also be found to produce in the adrenal glands and fat cells, beginning at puberty and continuing, in the case of Estrogen, for the rest of a woman’s life.

The two hormones exist in a delicate balance, and variations in that balance can have a dramatic effect on one’s health.

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Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle and is largely responsible for the development of secondary female characteristics during puberty, including the growth and development of the breast and pubic hair.

Estrogen therefore affects all female sexual organs, including the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, vagina, and breast. As a general rule, Estrogen promotes cell growth.

Progesterone is the precursor for both Estrogen and Testosterone, as well as all other natural steroid hormones. As its name implies, progesterone is a pro-gestation hormone.

In other words, it favours the growth and well-being of the foetus. Without a proper amount of progesterone, there can be no successful pregnancy. It protects us against the “growth effect” of Estrogen.

While Estrogen and progesterone decline with age gradually, there is a drastic change in the rate of decline during the peri-menopausal and menopausal years for women in these two hormones as.

From age 35 to 50, there is a 75% reduction in production of progesterone in the body. Estrogen, during the same period, only declines about 35%. By menopause, the total amount of progesterone made is extremely low, while Estrogen is still present in the body at about half its pre-menopausal level.

So when it comes to weight loss during Menopause, it’s the balance between Estrogen and Progesterone that can become vital in maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the dreaded symptoms of Menopause.

See, we are led to believe that we will naturally gain weight as we get older and it’s just part of ageing, though research is now confirming what non-western cultures have known for decades, this is not true.

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Here are my guidelines to maintaining a healthy weight during menopause.

1. Estrogen is a stress hormone and has been shown to increase in men and women when stress levels rise. So look to include daily and weekly stress reducing activities such as meditation, yoga and tai-chi to you routine to balance this out.

2. Eat a balanced seasonal diet based on your ancestral lineage.

We are currently in winter, so eating ‘healthy’ food such as salads does not fit in with the natural cycles of our hormonal system which is attuned to the seasons and natural cycles of the mother earth. If you were born in a climate that is currently going through its summer such as in Australia, then salads are more relevant and are more in accordance with your natural cycles.

3. Balance exercise with a variety of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Too much aerobic exercise can be stressful to the body. Keep workouts to a 30-40 minute time frame.

4. Our Hormonal system is governed by the sun and moon, so sleeping between 10pm and 2am is essential to this and going to bed and rising at the same time will also help this process. Getting up at the same time every morning has a positive effect on our stress hormones.

5. Speak to an Holistic Doctor if you feel you need to have your hormone levels checked.

Also check out these 10 effective ways to quickly start losing weight after menopause

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