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Is It Harder To Lose Weight In Menopause

Eat Less Sugar Lose More Weight

Why is it so hard to lose weight during menopause?

The study included about 500 overweight and obese postmenopausal women with waist sizes greater than 31.5 inches. None of the women had high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.

Half the women followed a weight loss plan that included regular meetings with nutritionists, exercise specialists, and psychologists. None of these options were available to the other women, but they were given the opportunity to attend seminars on general health.

The women were followed for four years. During this time those in the nutrition and exercise group lost an average of 8 pounds, compared to around half a pound among those in the general health group.

Behaviors associated with weight loss at six months in the combined groups included eating:

  • Less sugar
  • Fewer fried foods
  • Eating out in restaurants less often

After four years, behaviors linked to long-term diet success emerged:

  • Also eating fewer desserts and drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer meats and cheeses

The study appears in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How Can I Prevent Weight Gain In Post

Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle after menopause is an important goal as weight gain especially around the trunk is associated with an increased risk for all chronic degenerative diseases. Focusing on a proper exercise regime, nutrition, getting adequate sleep and following a balanced and biochemically identical hormonal replacement therapy program treatment can help you not only counteract postmenopausal weight gain but improve other menopausal symptoms as well.

So What Do I Need To Do To Lose Weight In The Menopause

Here are my top 5 tips you can work on to help you balance your hormones and adapt your diet and exercise regime as you move into menopause:

  • Moderate your intake of carbs: what your body could process and use up in your 20s and 30s, you might not be able to use now without putting on weight. Aim to have 1 meal per day without starchy carbs. At this meal have a good handful of protein (meat, eggs, fish, cottage cheese, beans, pulses, tofu combined with half a plate full of non-starchy veg or salad. The rest of the time focus on slow carbs no more than a handful per meal of sweet potato, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, wholewheat pasta or rye bread.
  • Make sure you manage your stress: as well as your exercise schedule, make time each day to do some deep breathing, stretching, yoga or mindfulness to help moderate the cortisol response. We can all manage 5 to 10 minutes per day.
  • Move, move move! If youre not much of an exerciser and have become increasingly sedentary, make sure youre moving on a daily basis. Avoid sitting for hours and hours at a time. Get up once an hour, work at a sit-stand desk, go for a walk at lunchtime or after supper. Aim to get 10,000 steps per day.
  • Increase your intake of healthy fats: youll need these to support healthy cholesterol balance, as well as getting your cells to listen to all your hormone messengers. Include 2 to 3 portions daily of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds , oily fish and olive oil.
  • Read Also: What Antidepressant Is Best For Menopause

    Get Checked Regularly And If On Bio

    Keep in mind that perimenopause in particular is a process, and your hormones and how you feel change every few months. Its normal and natural, so try not to get too frustrated when something was working and now it doesnt anymore. If youre gaining weight again or not feeling your best, I suggest seeing your doctor every 3 to 6 months to run hormonal tests .

    Menopause, and especially perimenopause, is unpredictable you might feel great all week, then all of a sudden, without having done anything differently, youre bloated and feel like getting out of bed is akin to running a marathon, on crutches!

    Your tolerance to stress can suddenly decrease, and things that you took in your stride can now cause anxiety or frustration. This can leave you wondering if youre going crazy. Thats par for the course, and is a sign that your hormones have started shifting again.

    Sometimes symptoms appear, last for a while, and then disappear, for no apparent reason. Thats why its important to monitor your hormones on a regular basis, and adjust the program.

    The Fix How To Make A Start On Improving Sleep For Weight Loss

    Easy tricks to Lose Weight after Menopause [Video]
    • Sleep in a dark room [get an Eye Mask. Works wonders. }
    • Use your bedroom only for sleeping [no TV, laptop etc}
    • Go to bed at a regular time
    • Use a magnesium spray to help with restless legs [}
    • Dont watch violent or stimulating TV before bed
    • Sleep in a cool well-ventilated room
    • Get earplugs if your other half snores.

    Recommended Reading: Light Headedness And Menopause

    Why Menopause Makes Weight Loss So Hard

    Menopause officially starts when a person hasnt had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Around this time, it may be very hard to lose weight.

    In fact, many people notice that they actually start putting on weight during perimenopause, which can begin a decade prior to menopause.

    Several factors play a role in weight gain around menopause, including:

    • Hormone fluctuations. Both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage .
    • Loss of muscle mass. This occurs due to age, hormonal changes, and decreased physical activity .
    • Inadequate sleep. Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain .
    • Increased insulin resistance. Women often become insulin resistant as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult (

    Whats more, fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to the abdomen during menopause. This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease .

    Therefore, strategies that promote the loss of abdominal fat are particularly important at this stage of life.

    Summary

    Menopause may lead to hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass, poor sleep, and insulin resistance. These effects may, in turn, increase the risk of weight gain.

    Why Is It Easier For Men In The Same Age Bracket To Lose Weight

    The metabolism also slows down in men as they age. They also lose their muscles. But their bodies do not undergo any hormonal changes as the women’s bodies undergo. Also, men tend to naturally hold only more muscle mass than women do . That being said, men who live an unhealthy lifestyle will also experience weight gain as they age.

    Read Also: Can Woman Produce Milk After Menopause

    Why Menopause And Weight Gain Go Hand In Hand

    Most women will gain about five pounds during the menopausal transition, Pinkerton says. While it might not seem like a lot, these five pounds may be compounded by a future weight gain or previous weight gain you’ve been trying to lose.

    However, most of these causes are related to aging, not menopause. It just so happens these events all occur at the same time. That’s why menopause often gets the blame.

    Here are some factors that contribute to weight gain during midlife and menopause.

    Help Im Heading For The Menopause And I Cant Control My Weight

    Why it’s so hard to lose weight in menopause

    This article has been written by Sally Norton, a UK-based medical doctor and weight-loss consultant.

    With two-thirds of us overweight or obese, and all of us ladies facing the menopause at some stage, the double whammy of weight-loss struggles and menopausal woes is going to face a lot of us. Many women feel that their weight gets harder and harder to manage the older they getand yet, several scientific studies show no convincing link between weight gain and the menopause itself.

    After 15 years as an NHS weight loss surgeon, managing hundreds of women who were really struggling with their weight. I noticed a pattern. Many of them were women in their 40s, starting to run into trouble sleeping, thinking straight, multitasking, or generally just coping with life. And they were increasingly depressed with their weight loss struggles after years and years of failed diets.

    A fair number had been started on anti-depressants but these were women who just couldnt understand why they were losing their normal joy in life, their superwoman ability to manage everything that family, work and life in general was throwing at them and they put it down to their weight.

    I thought there was more to it than just their weight and general low mood, so I started investigating the link between weight, hormones and the peri-menopause.

  • There is some evidence that lower levels of fat-burning brown fat may contribute to the middle-age spread too.an area being heavily researched at the moment.
  • Read Also: Which Of The Following Statements About Menopause Is True

    Weight Loss At Skyterra

    At Skyterra we specialize in creating custom weight-loss programs tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual. When you come for a visit, well assess every aspect of your life, from your age to your goals to your medical history to your lifestyle, then together come up with a plan that works for you. Well make sure you can apply the plan when you get back home. Come to us with your goals, and well work with you to create a health and wellness plan thats practical and leads you to the life you want to live. And if that means losing weight after menopause, then come see us here in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina.

    We cant wait to meet you.

    Working With A Weight Loss Doctor

    In her late 40s, Connecticut business owner Jamie Cohen was feeling very good about her health. I had done an elimination diet where I figured out a bunch of foods I had sensitivities to, says the mom of two high school students. If I stayed away from those foods, I did well. I had dropped weight and was sleeping well and feeling great.

    Then, right as she turned 50, Cohen was hit with a number of stressors at once: family health problems, school difficulties for one of her children, and the onset of menopause. Soon, she found that her weight had crept up to 225 pounds. I was going through every single menopause symptom, and I was also having a lot of digestive problems, says the 56 Cohen. I went to a gastroenterologist who sent me to a medical weight loss program.

    The programs doctor recommended a specific number of calories per day or per week for Cohens weight and activity level. I thought I wasnt eating that much, but I soon realized I was letting a lot more refined carbs and sugar sneak back into my diet, she says. It was a lot of little things, like putting more milk and sugar into my tea. Then as I gained weight, Id look in the mirror and not recognize myself, Id feel bad and have another cup of tea with lots of milk and sugar.

    Continued

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    How To Lose Weight In Menopause

    Instead of dieting harder, its time to get smarter. We show you the best ways to lose weight in menopause

    ByClaire Fox2020-10-18T02:02:57Z

    If youre struggling to lose weight in menopause, let us assure you: its not all down to overeating.

    Hormonal changes, broken sleep, stress and reduced muscle mass can all play into menopausal weight gain. So to lose weight in menopause you need more than just a diet you need to understand your body.

    Below we talk you through some of the root causes of menopausal weight gain, along with the best diet and exercise approaches, so can you start to work with your body instead of against it.

    The Best Way To Lose Weight During Menopause

    Pin on Diet &  Weight Loss In Menopause

    The onset of menopause, the point when a woman hasnt had a period for the past 12 months, and the bodily changes that occur in the years leading up to it can trigger a number of symptoms, including weight gain. During perimenopause or the menopausal transition, production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone shift, which causes a redistribution of fat to your belly. Weight gain and an expanding waistline are common complaints during this period, according to Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian and co-author with Hillary Wright of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness.

    Aging reduces your calorie-burning capacity and a reduction in estrogen often results in extra belly fat, Ward told TODAY. She also cautioned that the shift in estrogen levels can also have consequences for bone and heart health. So, even if your main goal in dieting during menopause or perimenopause is to lose weight, there are other factors to consider.

    Read Also: What Causes Vaginal Odor After Menopause

    How Long Will I Stay On Hormones

    Studies show that when the women stopped bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the benefits of the hormonal treatment stopped too, making it imperative for postmenopausal women to consider taking bioidentical hormones throughout their lifetime.

    Natural hormones are an opportunity to replace what your body originally had in its ideal state when your hormone levels were most optimal and your body was disease free and youthful. These are the hormones that your body is able to recognize and utilize most effectively. Women prefer natural bio-identical hormones because of better results, greater quality of life and minimal side effects when taking them throughout their lifetime after menopause occurs . It makes sense to replace and balance your hormones only with what nature originally gave you for a long and healthy life.

    Other Tips To Lose Weight During Perimenopauese

    Other valuable tips are:

    • Eating foods that are high in soluble fiber
    • Drinking green tea
    • Trying out mindful eating
    • Increasing protein intake

    And that would be it. The rest is up to you. After sticking with these tips for a while you will definitely notice some results. Note that they might not come as soon as you think. Good things take time so keep up with it. Persistence is one thing I didnt mention earlier, but it may be the biggest reason why you failed or succeeded in this.

    Recommended Reading: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells

    Reason : Your Stress Response

    Now, the other thing that can happen in the menopause, and this is mainly to do with fat around the middle. So for those of you that find that your waistline has actually started to disappear, this is a very specific response to stress. Now, I know that maybe some of you there are going, But I am not really stressed. Just remember that the menopause itself, so thats the hormonal changes that are going on in your body, will stress your nervous system, even if your day to day life is okay. But for a lot of us, well have this internal stress going on, and we will also have all that day-to-day stress as well.

    Now, Im sure youve all heard of the flight or fight. What happens when you get stressed is that the nervous system starts to overrun. It starts to produce adrenaline, and in that response, your digestion will shut down, and the body will go to itself, I have used a lot of energy in this emergency, if you like, and I need to make up all the energy thats been lost. So first of all, it makes you more hungry, and it will make you crave sweet foods.

    Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

    Why does it seem like women in menopause have a harder time losing weight?

    In a four-year study, researchers found that women who ate more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweetened drinks and desserts lost more weight than women who didn’t make those dietary changes.

    “After the age of 50, our need for energy-calories-decreases, but we still need the vitamins, minerals and fibers from foods,” Upton says. “Make your choices count by selecting nutrient-rich foods.”

    Case in point: a recent study found that eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

    Related: How to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

    You May Like: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

    Adjust Your Coping Strategies And Address Your Stress Levels To Help Reduce Weight Gain

    If your fat is making you feel stressed or vice versa for that matter dont disregard that link. There is a stress-fat connection, Peeke says. If you walk around completely stressed all the time, your cortisol levels will increase, and that will make it easy for you to deposit fat deep inside the belly.

    Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, stimulates the liver to increase production and release of blood sugar and helps the body convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into usable energy. As part of the bodys fight or flight response, cortisol is released during stressful times to give your body a natural energy boost, but when cortisol levels are constantly high because of chronic stress, these same effects may result in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

    To reduce stress and belly fat, employ quick and simple techniques to help calm you down.

    So How Is Losing Weight Post Menopause Different Than What Used To Be

    Besides hormonal fluctuation, multiple other factors such as age, micronutrient intake and overall mental health need to be taken into consideration. If you have not been physically active all your life, your strength and stamina are likely going to be low. Choosing an exercise plan that keeps the following in mind is crucial. Besides this, a meal plan that is packed in micronutrients and volume is important. Avoid too much caloric restriction, as this might further slow the liver down. Losing weight during menopause is difficult but not impossible.

    Read Also: Early Menopause After Tubal Ligation

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