A New Way to Manage Your Waistline and Metabolism
If you have a busy life, you probably also care about your health, appearance, and ability to take action to get results. That’s me for sure. As a business owner over 60, the health part now plays a bigger role than it did when I started my business in my 40’s. That’s why I’m constantly reading the latest studies on aging, exercise, and women’s health. My latest ah-has might help you too.
I’ve always been curious about belly fat. When I first started my coaching practice in 2005, my most popular group program, “Winning at Waist Management ” was designed to help women succeed by putting intentional focus on shrinking the waistline. It’s well documented that a growing waistline can be a serious warning of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, cardiac and Alzheimer’s risk. Even with daily exercise and a healthy diet, that growing belly, particularly for menopausal women, is worthy of attention.
Winning at Waist Management combined my work as a coach with my expertise in Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as EFT or tapping, a simple therapeutic process based on the principles of acupuncture that gently calms the brain and nervous system. EFT involves tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on a craving, fear, or unpleasant emotion. Over 300 research studies support EFT as effective for treating all kinds of challenges such as food cravings, PTSD, anxiety, physical pain, and depression. As one of the world’s experts, my clients and I have benefitted by using it to manage weight, health, work stress, relationships and sleep.
Fast forward to 2022 and two decades using common sense, a clean diet and EFT to keep my waistline in check. It seemed that what used to work so well for me before menopause, didn’t work anymore.
I initially blamed it on menopause and COVID lockdown frustration. When I finally went for a physical in January 2022 I was stunned when my doctor told me my fasting glucose was too high. I had gained 5 pounds and those pounds were around my middle. When she suggested I exercise more and watch my diet, I restrained my urge to punch her, yet I was very angry. I was doing all the right things – working out a full hour or more every single day (on top of multiple walks with my dogs) and eating a healthy diet. I frankly didn’t have time for more exercise. I wasn’t diabetic, yet wanted to get this under control.
I sought the help of a registered dietician and made recommended dietary changes. Unfortunately, my belly fat remained most of the year. I even tried intermittent fasting from 7 PM – 11 AM, week after week on her recommendation. That plan works for many women, but it didn’t for me.
It was only after I invested in wearing a continuous glucose monitor (at my own expense from www.levelshealth.com) for 30 days that I finally began to understand what was going on. While wearing the CGM, my dietitian urged me to try a 24 hour fast and helped me do it safely. That 24 fast changed something and the waistline started gradually melting as my glucose stabilized at a healthy level for the rest of the week. It was the breakthrough I’d been seeking at last.
Was fasting hard? I expected it would be, but with mindful preparation, it was surprisingly easy. A clear mental focus and high productivity on my fasting days came as a bonus. I continued with one 24 hour fasting day each week and it’s a sustainable habit. I usually choose a busy workday for fasting and eliminate my cardio workouts on that day.
Wearing the glucose monitor has also shown me that it’s not just sugar that causes glucose spikes.
- Refined carbs, potatoes, oatmeal and some fruits send my glucose rocketing. Protein shakes (without added sugar) and lean protein and vegetables rarely cause a spike.
- Eating or having a glass of wine after 7 will also make my glucose spike multiple times during the middle of the night and can interrupt my sleep.
- A short 10-15 minute walk usually restores my glucose to a healthy baseline.
- Starting any meal with protein and vegetables seems to help to avoid spikes, even if consuming refined carbs later in the same meal. Starting a meal with bread and a glass of wine (like most of us do when dining out) results in a high glucose level that lasts for hours.
- Healthy fats like olive oils, almonds, walnuts and pepitas are a staple for me now, helping me feel satisfied and content for hours after a meal.
- A delightful surprise has been that dark chocolate with almonds rarely causes a glucose spike so long as the portions are reasonable.
I continue to use EFT tapping when I have occasional cravings and it works like a charm.
The pleasant side effects that I’m enjoying thanks to that CGM, weekly fasting and making metabolically healthy changes in my diet have included:
- Deeper more restful sleep
- stronger workouts
- leaner body and slimmer middle
- a clear mind for work
I’m still getting older, but making these changes are working well for me. I’m considering a reboot of my Waist Management group series this summer, so reach out if you have interest in joining a group with me on Zoom or in person. It’s never too late to shrink that waistline and enjoy better health as a result.
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before pursuing extended fasting periods.
Betsy Muller, MBA is an internationally accredited Master Trainer of Emotional Freedom Techniques. Betsy’s programs feature an effective assortment of mind-body practices for peak performance, balance, and health. With decades of experience working in business and healthcare settings, she serves private clients as well as businesses, schools and community service groups. She is the Amazon bestselling author of Energy Makeover (2012) and The Comeback (2019), the true story of EFT and her husband’s miraculous recovery following cardiac arrest and brain injury. www.createandconnectbrilliantly.com