Dr. Caroline Cederquist joins Wellness for Life Radio to provide tips to the aging woman.
If you've ever wondered why with each passing year, you seem to gain an extra pound (or two), this segment is for you.
Learn how hormones, age and metabolism all play a part in your constant struggle with weight gain.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: June 5, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Caroline Cederquist, MD
You’re listening to RadioMD. She’s a chiropractic, holistic physician, best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur and talk show host. She’s Dr. Susanne Bennett. It’s time now for Wellness for Life radio. Here’s Dr. Susanne.
DR. SUSANNE: Why is it that it seems as each year passes on another pound is gained, especially around the belly and hips? It really doesn’t matter, I don’t think, whether it is a woman or a man. I think this has just been the norm here. It’s known as we all grow older our metabolism changes and it slows down. But don’t you really want to know why and how to fix it? My next guest certainly knows the answers. She has shared her weight management expertise on several popular television shows, including Dr. Phil. She is here today to share with you how to lose weight no matter what your age. Please welcome the author of The MD Factor, Dr. Caroline Cederquist. Thanks for being here. Now, why is it that it’s so difficult for men and women, but particularly women, to lose weight as we get older?
DR. CAROLINE: What happens is that people develop what I call metabolism dysfunction. That’s what the MD in MD Factor stands for. Metabolism dysfunction is a metabolic condition that increases in almost all of us as we get older, but for women, it really takes an increase in intensity around the time of hormone change. So, perimenopause or menopause which, for women is going to be in the later 40’s or early 50’s. When this metabolism dysfunction sets in, part of that is the deposition of belly fat which then changes your metabolism to make it easier to gain more fat.
DR. SUSANNE: Got it. What is exactly going on, though, as we get older to that perimenopausal age, even the late 30’s, early 40’s – what is specifically going on hormonally that’s causing the weight to center around our waist and hips?
DR. CAROLINE: Yes. What actually is changing is we are having a change in our receptors on our cells in terms of how we move glucose or sugar into our cells. Sugar is the primary fuel for our body and as we get older, the ability for sugar to move easily and normally into our cells declines. They’ve actually found that if you had a normal weight 30 year old and a normal weight 60 year old and they eat the same meal, the 60 year old is going to have a higher glucose level and a higher insulin level to respond to that meal. So, it’s not necessarily that testosterone levels are plummeting or estrogen or one particular hormone is decreasing, but our body is changing in terms of our metabolism of carbohydrates. If we are aware of that, we can adjust our diet and activity and prevent the kind of ten pounds per decade that almost everyone experiences.
DR. SUSANNE: Ten pounds per decade that is so true –
DR. CAROLINE: A pound a year.
DR. SUSANNE: It’s amazing. That is a lot of weight when you think about it and, particularly, it’s actually fat weight, not muscle weight, everyone. It’s fat weight, right? In my practice I talk a lot about sarcopenia, Dr. Cederquist. Sarcopenia is age related muscle loss. When that happens, you have a lower ability to get that glucose into the cell. Isn’t that correct?
DR. CAROLINE: That is absolutely correct. What we used to think--When I was preparing for this book, we actually discussed sarcopenia because it was thought you have sarcopenia and then you develop this metabolism issue because you have more fat. In fact, the changes at the receptor level of the cells are because of this metabolism dysfunction an make it less easy for your body to make muscle and more likely to break it down. So, even if somebody is not overweight but they are just getting a little older, most people will find that their pants are getting tighter, the waist line is increasing. We want to keep in check our carbohydrate intake relative to our protein intake so that we can avoid that happening. That way, we can maintain our lean tissue and not put on more fat.
DR. SUSANNE: That totally makes sense. When I talk about sarcopenia with my patients, I also talk about the biggest factor with sarcopenia is that we lose muscle mass, particularly our mitochondrial muscle mass, which is the actual energy powerhouse that burns fat and produces energy.
DR. CAROLINE: Yes.
DR. SUSANNE: That is metabolic rate right there, isn’t it?
DR. CAROLINE: Absolutely. Yes, and what happens when this MD factor – metabolic dysfunction-- is present is, there is a higher load of free radicals that ends up damaging the mitochondria. So many times people will say, “Oh, I’m just getting older.” And we accept this because if we look at our society, almost all men and women, as they get older, just gain weight and they lose some height and their bellies become the largest part of their bodies. But people who remain active and people who watch their diet and particularly are willing to give up that, “I used to be able to eat certain things and I want to do that now” and realize that “I’m changing – my diet has to change”.
DR. SUSANNE: Right, as you’re saying in your book, you go into the metabolic issues and how to keep that metabolism going. Right?
DR. CAROLINE: Yes.
DR. SUSANNE: Keep it going with the foods that we eat. You also mentioned that our body slows down this ability in the receptors. In my book, we talk a lot about environmental toxins that end up blocking these receptors. Do you talk about that much in your book?
DR. CAROLINE: I didn’t actually go into that part of it in the book, but you are absolutely right. We are finding that more and more all the time, but to be honest, for many people it can be so overwhelming. BPA--it’s in everything and what I find is there is most certainly a role for that. We want to try to eat clean, less processed, drink out of glass, use stainless steel instead of plastic. Probably the biggest thing that can reverse this insulin resistance is losing fat, but maintaining your muscle mass by making sure that you get adequate lean protein all day long and by spreading it out throughout the day. Not a large amount at once and then none for the rest of the day.
DR. SUSANNE: I love what you are saying, spreading it out. So, when you are saying lean protein, I’m assuming you’re talking about all types of protein. With vegetarians, what should we advise them?
DR. CAROLINE: Yes, with the vegetarian diet you absolutely can get adequate protein. But it is something to keep in mind that a typical vegetarian meal, let’s say beans and rice, will have about four times the amount of carbohydrate as the protein because of how it’s found whereas something like a chicken breast will have almost no carbohydrates and all of the protein that you need. So, sometimes if a vegetarian is willing to do egg, and maybe some type of dairy, it helps. If we have vegetarians who absolutely can’t do that for theoretical reasons or any concerns, then we probably have to rely on some really good quality protein powders that are low carbohydrate and working with soy.
DR. SUSANNE: Got it. You talk about metabolism a lot. How much does it actually change from – let’s say you’re 25 years old to let’s say a 50 year old? I’m 53. So, how much does it change in the last half of my life?
DR. CAROLINE: The average woman will gain 15 to 30 pounds in the years of menopause and perimenopause. Sometimes it’s fast or it’s just slow going. But my patients who are 70 now will look back and say, “Oh, yeah. I’ve gained this 30 pounds starting in my 50’s.” It doesn’t have to happen all at once although sometimes it can and it can be frightening because a woman can gain 30 pounds over night almost it seems. Again, it doesn’t have to be. Unfortunately, for women as we go through hormone change, the rate at which our bodies burn calories with exercise actually declines. So if it’s “Well, look. I’m still running three days a week” we may need to increase that.
DR. SUSANNE: Got it. You gave such great information, Dr. Cedarquist. Everyone take a look at her book, The MD Factor, or go to BistroMD.com for more information and you can also to my Wellness For Life show page on RadioMD.
Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Cedarquist. This is Dr. Susanne Bennett, sharing natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD. Until next time. Stay well.