If you've been blaming your belly fat on the fact that you're growing older, now's the time to stop believing that weight gain is an inevitable part of aging! Yes, as we get older our hormone balance shifts in ways that encourage weight gain. For example, testosterone and DHEA levels decline in men, and women's insulin-regulating hormones become less effective. These changes can decrease muscle mass and energy while increasing belly fat and insulin resistance. But there's no reason we can't stay healthy and keep our hormones balanced as we age. Ongoing research suggests that age-related muscle decline is largely under our control. The more we eat clean, live clean, and work out, the better our hormone balance will be, and the healthier our metabolisms will remain.
I can't tell you how many people just let exercise slide as they get older; then they turn around and blame their lagging metabolism on their hormones. I'll be honest — I don't like to exercise. But the reality is, we have to do it. Your body needs exercise the way it needs oxygen and water. It's crucial to maintain muscle mass as you age: A pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat does, and muscles scoop up blood sugar and enhance your body's insulin sensitivity.
As for optimizing your hormone balance, the best way to do it is naturally. Nature has provided us with the cure for a lagging metabolism — we just neglect it! We have amazing whole foods that not only help us balance our hormones but also fight cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. So what do we do? We spray them with pesticides and other chemicals, turning our natural medicine into poison. We have to reclaim these whole foods and fight back against the many ways our hormones are under assault every day. Don't wait until you're blowing out 50 or 60 candles on your birthday cake — fight for that healthier lifestyle now!