An increase in fat around the waistline during our 40's is common even if there has been no change in your diet or lifestyle and can lead you to feeling frustrated that your previously successful weight-loss tactics are no longer effective.
However the good news is that our bodies undergo changes in hormone levels, muscle mass, etc. that require us to rethink our relationship with our diet, lifestyle, exercise and levels of stress.
Why does this happen in women?
Oestrogen and Insulin
Why does this happen in men?
The impact of poor sleep
Research also shows that lack of sleep, will increase appetite and hunger hormones alter, making us more hungry and prone to cravings.
Loss of muscle mass
Here are our tips to help you tame unwanted weight gain:
- Blood-sugar control is key (check out our book recommendations below to help you). Aim to reduce the amount of carbs you consume, especially rice, pasta, bread, cakes, alcohol and sugary foods. These peak sugar and encourage a sugar roller coaster.
- Include protein with every meal and essential fatty acids (omega 3s).
- Fasting overnight (12-14 hours) be aware of underlying health conditions that may mean fasting is not a safe option for you.
- Regular and consistent exercise, especially resistance training to build muscle mass, resistance bands for example are portable and easy to use. Regular exercise snacks are better than weekly exercise bingeing!
- Be aware of your stress levels as this will effect how your body metabolises food and nutrients, daily de-stressing activities could be a 10 minute walk outside, 5 minutes of breathing, journalling, regular 2 minute cold showers.
Can Supplements help?
SAFFROSUN CALM– has been proven to promote restful sleep, balance the stress response and enhance energy levels.
SAFFROSUN ENERGY - includes all the benefits of Saffron if your thyroid is sluggish, or are suffering from brain fog with added iodine, vitamin D3 and will provide you with balanced energy.
METABOLIC GOLD – can help in your weight loss journey by binding to bad fats in the gut and prevent them being used in the body. Studies show that it can substantially reduce belly fat when taken for 3 months.
Books you may wish to read to support your weight loss journey:
MenuPause by Dr Anna Cabeca – gives 5 unique menu plans to break through menopause weight loss resistance
Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspe – a great reference book on blood sugar control (check out @glucosegoddess on Instagram)
I only appreciated the full value of sleep after my son was born and we experienced regular interrupted nights. After a few weeks my mind started playing tricks and my wife would often find items in our food cupboards which were obviously not supposed to be there!
It took us several months to resolve my son’s regular wake up calls - we mixed bananas with his formula which sustained nutrition beyond 2 hours. By that time, I felt I was functioning at 30% of my usual capacity. However, I then found it difficult to restore my sleep pattern back to the pre-parenthood 7-8 hours. My body and its sleep hormones had adapted to the new regime.
Sleep research demonstrates how long term sleep problems impact health. The health impact data for sleep problems is a wake up call in itself! Long term effects include a decline in cognitive function, increase in mental health problems, chronic fatigue, and lack of concentration / irritability.
Every person is unique. However, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults should sleep, on average, between seven and nine hours a night.
How to reset the sleep pattern with natural solutions.
Sleep disturbances can be caused mainly by lifestyle, environmental and health factors.
Understanding and treating the primary cause, should usually resolve the issue and improve the quality of sleep.
I concluded from this experience, that I should never underestimate the power of food or drink to affect my health including sleep. To reset my system, I cut out all products containing caffeine and sugar for 2 weeks and then reintroduced them carefully avoiding caffeine in the afternoon or evenings. I love a glass of red wine in the evenings but I noticed even one glass affected the quality of my sleep making me wake up during the night so I reduced my week day alcohol intake too.
I’m not a smoker but the data shows that nicotine is a brain stimulant so, while it is advisable to quit smoking altogether, it is important to avoid smoking just before bedtime.
Daily exercise is fundamental for physical and psychological health; however, exercising just before bedtime will increase the body’s adrenaline production and raise body temperature, making it more difficult to switch off. So, exercise earlier in the day and try to avoid more intense exercise 2 hours before bedtime if possible.
The influence of daylight on the body’s sleep hormone melatonin is well documented. Exercising in daylight helps to restore melatonin levels in the evening. However, a glance at a mobile phone or laptop screen at night will quickly reduce the levels of this sleep hormone. Even opening a fridge door at night can have a negative effect.
Problems such as headaches, migraines or chronic pain will stop you from getting a good night sleep. Speak to your GP or Pharmacist about the appropriate medication or natural remedy to treat the relevant symptoms in order to resolve the issue.
Stress and mental health problems like anxiety and depression contribute to a high percentage of sleep difficulties. In this case, a combined approach of psychological support, lifestyle changes and use of medication/natural remedies, tailored to the severity of symptoms, is often very helpful and can restore emotional balance and promote restful sleep. Also, relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness can help you to relax and unwind.
Furthermore, sleep difficulties can be related to hormone imbalances; fluctuations in the levels of testosterone, thyroxin, cortisol, progesterone and melatonin (sleep hormone) can all disturb your sleep pattern.
The production of melatonin naturally increases especially with evening darkness and it is a central part of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin are very important to induce and maintain sleep. Synthetic melatonin can be taken for the relief from short term sleep disturbances and can help adjust the body's internal clock. Consult your GP before starting melatonin therapy which is available on NHS prescription.
The bedroom should be somewhere that we associate with sleep. It is better to remove distractions from your bedroom and watch TV, play computer games and eat in another room. This will allow you to relax and unwind.
Also the ‘blue light’ generated by computers, phones and tablets displays suppresses the production of melatonin, hence causing sleep disruption. It is recommended not using these devices at least two hours before you go to sleep in order to reduce the impact on the quality of your night rest.
Other common factors that can affect sleep are light, temperature and noise. You should be able to control the intensity of light and noise in the room by using blackout curtains/ eye mask and ear plugs respectively. The temperature of the room is also very important; feeling too cold or hot can disrupt your sleep so always make sure you work out the best sleep environment for you. Keeping a sleep diary can be useful to record the conditions that helped you get a good night sleep.
How can Nature help?
At the Naked Pharmacy we believe in a holistic approach to health.
While addressing the root cause of sleep difficulties should be the first point of action, the use of natural remedies can support the process leading to a better quality and quantity of sleep.
How will Saffrosun help me?
At The Naked Pharmacy, we ensure that all of our supplements are made with effective strength bioactives and are scientifically supported by clinical trials. You can read more about our research here.
Pure Marine Magnesium is a natural remedy which helps to support optimum nerve and muscle function, while promoting relaxation. It is sourced from sea algae and is one of the seven essential minerals we need for our bodies to function healthily. Magnesium helps relax muscles and induce sleep.
You can read more about clinical trials on the effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia here.
It is recommended to consult your Pharmacist or GP before taking any new supplement to make sure it is suitable for you, do call us on 01483 685 630.
After the birth of my son I realised why sleep is a vital component of overall health and well-being to help my body repair and re-set, ready for a new day. Taking a step by step approach to treat my sleep disturbance eventually resolved the issue. Eventually, I realised that my pre-bed routines and environment had a significant influence on the quality of my sleep. Small, incremental changes made a big difference.
Natural remedies proved effective for me and still form part of my approach, whenever I am troubled with poor sleep. At The Naked Pharmacy, we are always very happy when we help solve customer sleep problems because we know how much this will improve overall health and happiness.
Insulin resistance causes fat storage
Insulin is known as “the fat storer” hormone and is strongly influenced by carbohydrate intake and overconsumption of food, causing a detrimental increase in your blood sugar.
When insulin resistance occurs, sugar can’t get into your cells the way it normally would and the result is that this sugar gets stored as fat.
How can you reduce insulin resistance?
- Diet (Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting)
- Increased physical activity such as HIT
- Supplement regularly with Metabolic Gold
How can Metabolic Gold help with insulin resistance?
Metabolic Gold is a unique, safe and effective natural supplement that contains the highest strength bergamot fruit extract and artichoke leaf extract to improve sugar metabolism, balance blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance.
Poor metabolic health affects one in four UK adults in the UK and is the leading cause of an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
The risk factors for poor metabolic health are:
- high sugar levels
- Insulin resistance
- abnormal cholesterol levels
- excess fat around the waistline
- fatty liver
- elevated blood pressure
Most of the conditions associated with metabolic health don't have obvious signs or symptoms and require a blood test to determine (such as cholesterol levels). However, a large waist circumference is something that you would visibly notice and if your sugar levels are high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes — such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Preventing or reversing poor metabolic health
The risk factors listed above are all modifiable with adopting a healthy lifestyle which should include:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains (brown rice), proteins (pulses such as lentil) and avoiding over processed and refined foods such as microwave meals and sugary treats is key.
- Exercising regularly. Undertaking a minimum of 30 mins of physical activity a day 5 days a week.
- Cutting back on alcohol and smoking can be a really effective way to improve your metabolic health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money.
How can Metabolic Gold help?
Metabolic Gold contains Bergamot fruit extract and Artichoke leaf extract. It is the perfect blend of naturally sourced, high strength ingredients that work together synergistically to help reduce sugar levels, improve insulin resistance, balance cholesterol, reduce fat around the waistline and improve fatty liver.
In a recent trial of 60 patients who were overweight and had high cholesterol, subjects were treated with a combination of bergamot extract and artichoke leaf extract for 2 months and compared to a group that received a placebo for the same amount of time. The results showed a significant decrease in total and LDL cholesterol as well as a significant reduction in waist circumference.
When combined with lifestyle efforts focusing on diet, exercise, sleep and stress, the combination of bergamot fruit and artichoke leaf extracts can provide significant health benefits.
We recommend this supplement is taken for at least 3-4 months at a dose of one capsule twice a day after food
Introducing our new formula containing pharmaceutical strength bergamot and artichoke extracts. Metabolic Gold has been over two years in research and developement.
Bergamot may sound familiar as the peel of this unique citrus fruit is used for teas, perfumes and essential oils.
However, we only utilise the fruit sourced from trees found in the coastal areas of Calabria, Southern Italy as it's unique combination of five polyphenol bioactives reduce the levels of unhealthy fats in a similar manner to statin medications, without the side effects.
Bergamot fruit polyphenols have been scientifically proven to improve levels of good cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel elasticity.
Bergamot fruit extract
Bergamot polyphenols improve the way fats are processed in the liver thereby balancing cholesterol and protecting cardiovascular health.
Artichoke leaf extract
It boosts your liver’s production of bile. Bile is a natural compound that digests and uses fats so they don’t accumulate in your liver or in your body.
How do you take Metabolic Gold?
A randomized placebo-controlled study with 60 overweight adults showed that supplementing with 600mg bergamot and 100mg artichoke leaf resulted in a reduction in LDL cholesterol, significant reduction in waist circumference and visceral adipose tissue in 2 months – even in participants who did not follow a low-calorie diet.
Concerned about side effects?
The natural formulation of Metabolic Gold means that you can take it alongside most medications, however we recommend that you take a few minutes to call us, or write to us and get some friendly pharmacist advice if you have any questions about your current regime.
"Metabolic Gold is effective because of the botanical sources, strength of the bioactives, scientific research and pharmaceutical quality of the formulation. The unique combination of the artichoke plus bergamot extracts will help so many people who have a sluggish metabolism, fatty liver alongside problems of sugar and cholesterol balance."
Whether you are a novice or competitive athlete, when you undertake any exercise, you want to take preventative measures to reduce muscle damage.
During exercise the two leading causes of muscle damage are inflammation and oxidative stress.
The natural bioactive polyphenols of the spice turmeric called curcuminoids have been shown to counteract both inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise.
Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) leads to the onset of an inflammatory response that is associated with a decrease in the ability to generate muscle strength, decreased range of motion, localised swelling, delayed onset muscle soreness and increased muscle proteins in the blood (such as creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase and myoglobin).
Inflammatory responses are always linked to oxidative stress and both are directly involved in EIMD.
The Science Bit
A 2020 review showed that supplementing with turmeric extract at a dose between 150mg – 1500mg per day before and during exercise and up to 72 hrs post exercise improved performance by reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and reducing inflammation caused by physical activity. Read PubMed Article
Another review showed that participants who supplemented with a turmeric extract demonstrated reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, decreased pain and muscle damage, superior recovery and muscle performance and improved gastrointestinal function. The review concluded that curcumin supplementation appears to be safe and beneficial for sport and exercise in humans. Read Review
Our supplement Natruflex Turmeric contains 800mg turmeric extract (curcuminoids) per 2 capsules.
It is combined with black pepper for better absorption and naturally sourced marine magnesium, which further supports nerve function.
Taking curcumin is much gentler on the body than taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, which can cause adverse effects such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.
If you’re looking to further enhance your stamina and exercise performance:
- Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet. These tiny seeds are super packed with protein, omega 3 and omega 6 oils, calcium, iron, zinc and rich in antioxidants. When mixed with water and allowed to soak, these seeds release a form of gelled water that hydrates more slowly and effectively than just drinking liquid alone.
The Aztecs so treasured chia that they used to gift it to their king in homage and Aztec runners used to chew on the seeds as they went into battle.
Chris McDougall’s book “Born to Run” describes how the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons – known to be ultra-runners, running hundreds of miles without rest and enjoying every mile of it, fuelled themselves with a beverage containing chia seeds called ‘Iskiate’ and you can add a Natruflex Turmeric opened capsule an you have the perfect natural drink for recovery and fuel.
Accumulation of belly fat is something that can creep up over the years and catch us by surprise. It is suggested that on average adults gain ~1.5kg annually and never shed that weight. Why is that?
The answer is often our lifestyle. Reducing calorie intake and supporting gut health by increasing your vegetable intake will support weight loss but shifting belly fat can be more troublesome. Coupled with this is the effect this fat is having internally - on our blood vessels and heart for example.
One of the biggest culprits driving stubborn belly fat is sugar intake
Hidden sugars in many foods and drinks will increase the accumulation of fat in the tissues and blood vessels. Look at the sugar contents of many cereals, breads, fizzy drinks etc and try to cut them out completely. Every improvement you make by increasing exercise or supplementing can be completely counteracted by your sugary intakes.
One clinically tested solution for bad fats is Metabolic Gold, a natural food supplement made from Italian bergamot fruits. Studies have shown that 2 capsules daily with food for a period of 4 months can help manage weight and cholesterol alongside a healthy eating and exercise routine. How does it do this? Each tablet is packed full of active ‘power house’ polyphenols at 35% effective strength. These polyphenols bind to bad fats from our diets in our gut and tissues. They also help to balance cholesterol in the liver. Double whammy!
When it comes to protecting our heart we can further help by supplementing our diet with daily Aged Black Garlic. This has been shown to help relax our blood vessels, allowing for more efficient circulation of blood to our tissues. How does it do this?...Our Black Garlic is selected due to its naturally high concentrations of the chemical allicin. A six month aging and fermentation process converts allicin to active S-allyl cysteine (S-AC). This high strength, premium grade S-AC provides the protection for our cardiovascular system. Aged Black Garlic and Metabolic Gold are a perfect combination, working in harmony with each other on separate cardiovascular systems.