Weight loss during menopause: yes, it is totally doable
Weight loss can be frustrating at any time of your life. Especially during or after the menopause, it can be downright stressful. Here you are, trying your hardest and what are the results on the bathroom scales? Seemingly nothing. But is that really so? Maybe the weight is just coming off at a much slower pace than ‘BM’ (Before Menopause). Why would that be? Let’s find out more about weight loss during menopause.
There are several reasons why this happens once we reach a certain age.
- The female hormonal system is playing a cruel joke on us. Both high or low oestrogen levels can make us gain weight or slow weight loss. As we age the oestrogen levels diminish and thus fat storage increases.
- Over the years, unless we were careful (meaning eating healthy and not gaining weight) our insulin becomes less effective in pushing carbs into cells for energy, and instead becomes very effective in creating body fat.
This is called insulin resistance which can lead to ‘metabolic syndrome’ unless you put your foot down and start doing something about a healthier diet and some exercise.
- As we age, our muscle mass reduces naturally and this causes a metabolic slowdown. For example, whereas a few years ago you could eat 1800 calories a day without gaining then as you age you may only be able to eat 1600 calories without gaining. A solution to this would be to work at retaining/building your muscles as muscle can increase your metabolic rate.
- If you’ve been ‘yo-yo dieting’ too often on very low-calorie plans during your youth, you’ll have created a problem for later. Have patience with your body, eat the correct sources of food for your current situation with a safe and sensibler calorie deficit. Most importantly, accept that weight loss will be slower. Giving up because fat loss is too slow will definitely not help. The end result will simply be that you will gain weight, perhaps even without eating more. Stick with a healthy plan that suits and you’ll get there. You can find plenty of plant-based recipes on our site to start you off.
- Due to hormonal interference, menopausal women will have trouble with their sleep quality. Please work on fixing this problem. If not, you will experience carb cravings and fat layering around your waistline and abdomen.
- Don’t eat late at night because it’s shown that for most of us this can cause disturbed sleep [see #5] That can interfere with digestion and cause fat layering. Try eating most of your calories earlier in the day and reduce your food intake as the day progresses and fast for 12-14 hours overnight.
In closing, there’s no single solution anyone can offer to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
And if anyone promises this to you, they aren’t being truthful.
Be positive and don’t stress yourself out over this slower weight loss [stress can create excess cortisol and which also activates body fat layering around the abdomen.}
Work with what you’ve got instead of punishing your body. It’s trying to do its best already.