Menopause Fat? Go Paleo

Belly Fat 3DAs you know, I have said for years that the best way to get rid of belly fat is with a high protein, lowish carb diet as per my Belly Fat book. In essence, that is akin to a Paleo diet – one with lots of fish, meat, nuts, veg and fruit. In fact, I have been Paleo myself – and quite a bit beyond for the past 6 months- and I am now a size 8-10. In my late-ish 40s now (how the heck can that be?!!), I wanted to take action before menopause hit as we all know what hormones can do for both men and women’s girths at menopause/andropause time! (NB. More on andropause for male readers at the end…)

Anyway, saw this report today where researchers followed seventy post-menopausal women classed as obese (a rising tide of us!) and watched how they did on a Paleo type diet. More weight came off and it stayed off – as long as they maintained their protein intake which, actually, quite a few apparently failed to do:

A PD has greater beneficial effects vs an NNR diet regarding fat mass, abdominal obesity and triglyceride levels in obese postmenopausal women; effects not sustained for anthropometric measurements at 24 months. Adherence to protein intake was poor in the PD group.

In other words, the diet works IF you do it and don’t yoyo. This has borne out over the years with people doing the Belly Fat Plan too – I nag them to stop returning to the carbs, which inevitably leads to a drop in protein consumption!

Read the research abstract here:

Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial.

And here is the report:

Palaeolithic-type diet healthier than current dietary advice

Recent research provides further evidence to confirm that a Palaeolithic-type diet is better for health than a diet based on current nutritional standards. This also marks the first time that effects on health have been measured over a protracted period.

 

Seventy obese post-menopausal women were followed for two years. Half of them followed a Palaeolithic-type diet, consisting of lean meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts and berries. Off limits were dairy produce and cereals, added fats, salt and sugar. It was not necessary to count calories. The control group followed the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. These Scandinavian dietary standards focus on limiting intake of fat and increasing intake of fibre from cereals. No restrictions were imposed on the control group in terms of calorific intake either.

 

A reduction in fat mass was measured in both groups, with the Palaeolithic-type diet having the greatest impact once 6 months had elapsed (-6.5 kg as opposed to -2.6 kg). The weight loss remained significant after 24 months (-4.6 kg as opposed to -2.9 kg). In the case of the Palaeolithic-type diet there was a considerably greater reduction in terms of girth and quantity of abdominal fat.

 

Blood triglyceride levels also showed a much more dramatic fall. Lower blood triglyceride levels translate into a correspondingly lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Finally, the Palaeolithic-type diet produced better nutritional status. In comparison with current dietary advice, a Palaeolithic-type diet is lower in carbohydrates, has a better proportion of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids and is lower in cholesterol.

 

It proved tricky for the women on the Palaeolithic-type diet to structurally maintain their protein intake at the desired level. This may have diminished the positive effect of the Palaeolithic-type diet in the long run.

 

Sources

  1. Mellberg C, Sandberg S, Ryberg M, et al. Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;68(3):350-7.
  2. Council, N., Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 – Part 1 2013: Copenhagen.

Source: Bonusan Practitioner News July 14

For Men Only…

A quick note on andropause for you men before I leave this subject as we don’t hear so much about that. Recently, I have been doing a lot of Male Hormone testing and am finding many men over about forty with low DHEA and consequently low testosterone as you make the latter from DHEA, which is known as the anti-ageing hormone.

In other words, it’s not just women’s hormones which drop; it’s men’s too. Check and correct – quite simple when you know how and I do not mean take testosterone, which is just male HRT! Most men only have that option because they only measure testosterone levels, which tells you diddly-squat about the cause. If you test the DHEA as well as testosterone, you will be able to see the relationship between them and if the drop in DHEA is behind the testosterone reduction, then you can pull both up. And, whilst I’m nagging about HRT, I do not mean take straight DHEA either, which is just another form of male HRT. If yours turn out to be low, I will point you to a more natural, sustained way of doing that.

 

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