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From Belly Fat to Belly Flat – A Book Review

Posted Nov 22 2009 10:01pm

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I’ve been meaning to get around to posting about this book for quite some time now.  But, there’s no time like the present, so here I am.

I’m not sure where I ran across it, but  From Belly Fat to Belly Flat: How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waist and Subtracting Years from Your Life by C.W. Randolph, M.D. is in my view, one of the best when it comes to understanding the the hormone/weight gain connection for women during perimenopause.

Women have long known when they the menopause years that what used to be called a waistline is now nothing short of our own built-in flotation device.  No matter how much or little we eat, it seems, weight continues to find its way to our mid-section and becomes best buddies with our waistline for life.

Certainly, for me, the change in my body shape was dramatic , considering that I had fought being underweight for most of my life.  I guess I just didn’t know how good I had it, because once I hit my forties and my perimenopause began, those days were over.  Remarkably, I found I only had to breath deep around food and it would show up around my middle.

Dr. Randolph addresses this mid-life-mid-section-weight-gain phenomenon in his book and ties it directly to estrogen dominance.  As if we don’t have enough problems dealing with estrogen gone wild, we can now add flabby bellies to the list.

But, take heart dear ladies of the menopause order,  in From Belly Fat to Belly Flat, Dr. Randolph not only details the hormone connection to our weight gain, but he offers solutions as well – food.  It doesn’t get any better than that, now does it?

But, it’s not just any food ladies, so put down that jelly donut and wipe the powdered sugar off your lips.  If you’re serious about mid-life weight loss, it may take a few changes.

Nothing is more satisfying, I know, when in the middle of one of those notorious menopause mood swings than a raspberry filled Krispy Kreme donut or a succulent piece of Ghirardelli chocolate as it slides slowly and sensuously down the back of your throat, but those mood enhancing choices come with a price – more belly fat.  Not to mention they don’t do much for your mood swings either when you factor in blood sugar spikes and the subsequent fall back down to the pit of menopausal hell.

Dr. Randolph points out how our food choices can actually help decrease our body’s estrogen load (and thus many of our symptoms) through a diet that is:

“……moderately high in calories, that allows for protein and healthy fats at every meal”

According to Dr. Randolph, there are certain food groups that have been scientifically shown to reduce estrogen dominance and in some cases, as with lignans, actually act as an estrogen binder to our body’s estrogen receptors, and reduce estrogen activity on a cellular level.

In an estrogen balancing diet, Dr. Randolph says that we should have a:

“Non-Negotiable Food List: Foods that reduce estrogen dominance”

And those foods should be but are not limited to:

  • Ciferous Vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, Brussel sprouts, celery, beet root, kale, cabbage, parsley root, radish, turnip, collard greens and mustard greens)
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, limes and tangelos)
  • Insoluble Fiber (whole grains, barley, couscous, brown rice, whole-grain cereal, and wheat brain.  Seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery and tomatoes fall in this category as well. )
  • Lignans (flax seed, sesame seeds and flax seed oil)

Dr. Randolph breaks down the belly-fat-blasting diet with a list of daily foods, beverages and vitamin/minerals we should consume and helps even further with a wonderful section of recipes that incorporate all of his suggestions. If you want someone to hold your hand, you can also find daily menus laid out for you over a 30-day period as well.

The great thing about the recipes and food suggestions is that there is nothing there that you cannot find in any grocery store or whole foods store.  With more and more of your major grocery chains carrying a variety of food choices and providing organic and whole foods as well, there is really no need to go out of your way to get these foods in your cabinets.

Diet changes are not easy, especially if you’ve been placating your perimenopausal misery with comfort foods and sugar.  But, once the cycle is broken it is possible to actually like many of these food choices and to prefer them.  I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine that one would choose a piece of cauliflower over Ghirardelli chocolate, but trust me on this one, ladies, it can happen.

I’ve begun a new page which you can find in my tabs above, entitled The Recipe Collection. I will post (eventually) all of the recipes Dr. Randolph has listed in his book for your easy reference.  If you wish to purchase the book yourself you can find it here.

I will add to the page as I find other recipes from other sources as well.  Until then, please help yourself and happy eating!

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