Its not necessarily your fault youre fat after 40
Stores of fat around the middle are a reality for most of us once we hit 40, even if we diet and exercise, a new study has found.
But your willpower or diet might not be to blame, says American gynaecologist and pharmacist, Dr C W Randolph.
He explains that middle-aged spread in both men and women is the result of hormonal imbalance, specifically too little progesterone and too much oestrogen. And the problem with too much oestrogen is that the hormone acts like a ‘fat magnet’ locking it in around your middle.
As Dr Randolph explains, in a healthy person there is a finely tuned balance between the three sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. But as we age, that balance changes. As a woman reaches her mid-30s, her levels of progesterone – which is produced in the ovaries and is essential for fertility – start to decline. The result is an oestrogen ‘dominance’.
Dr Randolph believes this problem of oestrogen dominance is intensified by the raised levels of oestrogen in our food, water and environment. ‘I believe that this oestrogen “dominance” is an epidemic in western societies,’ says Dr Randolph in the Daily Mail.
Scientists generally agree that too much oestrogen leads to increased body fat around the abdomen. This fatty tissue itself produces oestrogen, which in turn makes the body ‘better’ at storing fat. It is a vicious circle.
‘The result is extra weight that won’t go away even with more exercise or less eating,’ says Dr Randolph. To combat this, Randolph recommends a diet overhaul to avoid oestrogen-stimulating foods such as caffeine, alcohol, bacon, sausages, ham, chips, crisps, butter, biscuits, pastries. In their place he recommends boosting your intake of foods that shift excess oestrogen out of your system such as citrus fruits, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, Brussel sprouts, celery, beetroot, kale, cabbage, radish and turnip.