During menopause, many women report that the challenge of weight loss becomes even more difficult. The need to lose weight haunts women most of the time, and now more men are reporting the same struggle. When women hit menopause, weight gathers around the waist and hips; despite our best efforts to diet and exercise.
What we know is that this additional body fat is linked to your hormones. Most women follow a conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with lots of processed foods. Eventually this diet creates a condition known as insulin resistance; see Dr. Schwarzbein’s book on the book list. When you are insulin resistant, your body converts calories into fat even when you are dieting. Menopause feels like a losing battle, but it doesn’t have to be.
When you are stressed, as the body typically is during menopause, stress hormones block weight loss. Despite adequate food, the body acts as if it’s in a famine and stores all spare calories as fat.
This leads to a metabolic disorder called adrenal fatigue.
Many women combine a high-stress life with a low-fat, high-carb diet which creates a powerful hormonal imbalance which causes us to gain weight. Yo-yo dieting exacerbates the problem.
Also, when a woman is on a high-carb diet she is often barraged with a craving for sweets. The body can’t maintain optimal blood sugar and serotonin levels, so you snack and drink caffeine to feel better. That makes your insulin resistance worse and the vicious cycle of gaining weight is accelerated.
During perimenopause, women lose estrogen which is an added factor to this problem. As estrogen decreases, the body needs extra fat resources. Other factors that play into this problem, are unresolved emotional issues, food sensitivities, digestive issues such as yeast, and even heavy metal toxicity.
So what do we do?
The most important step is to GET HEALTHY!
Follow an eating plan like the one in the Schwarzbein Principle or the Zone Diet
You need protein at every meal, low carbs, very little to no processed food, and lots of fruit and vegetables
Drink plenty of water
Take nutritional supplements
Try Supplements Designed for Menopause
Stop weighing yourself, use your clothes as a gauge (focus on your health not your weight)
Start exercising – walk 4-5 times a week for 30 minute (it boosts metabolism)
Get help for emotional eating – you have to face your fears to get through them
Reduce the stress in your life, make time for fun and relaxation – strive for BALANCE
Learn to love yourself during menopause and accept who you are and at what stage in life you find yourself
Menopause can make weight loss even more challenging for both women and men. But with the right knowledge and some hard work, it can be done.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.