The weight gain is what upsets me most about menopause. I feel my clothes get tighter each and every day– it’s driving me crazy. I eat plenty of salads, fish, veg, rice and fruit. I eat no junk food. I exercise daily. Not only am I not losing weight, I keep gaining it. Why is this happening to me?
If I had just $10 dollars for each time a women has said a similar thing, I could retire in comfort.
Permanent menopause weight loss is achievable. I have helped hundreds of patients to achieve it.
Weight loss during menopause is unlike weight loss during any other time in your life. There are 2 unique factors present during menopause … that affect weight loss … that are not present during any other time in your life. They need to be understood and addressed to achieve menopause weight loss.
You may not be as aware of these two factors, as you are of the other factors involved in achieving menopause weight loss.
There are 5 factors that must be addressed to achieve menopause weight loss. Each of the 5 factors must be addressed. Most women address just 2 of the 5 factors …. maybe 3. Therefor they do not lose weight. Some women even continue to gain weight.
The 5 pillars of menopause weight loss
- You must re-balance your hormones to lose weight during menopause.
This is first and foremost. If this is not done, it is probable that you will not lose weight. It is not done by a majority of women trying to lose weight during menopause.
Menopause is a time of the biggest hormonal changes in your body. It results in hormonal imbalance.
It is the cause of all menopause symptoms.
It is the biggest cause of weight gain during menopause.
Your body functions like a full sized symphony orchestra. In such an orchestra, all players are finely attuned to one another. The various parts of your body are like the musicians and your hormones are like the conductor of the orchestra.
Prior to perimenopause, your hormones work in harmony by co-existing with one another in a certain ratio. They are said to be in balance. This keeps your body healthy and functioning.
With the onset of perimenopause, the ratios of your hormones change. This creates imbalance between them. The changing ratios are kick started by the a change in the ratio between estrogen and progesterone. This is the trigger that causes menopause weight gain …. and all the other perimenopause symptoms.
Estrogen becomes dominant and stays dominant throughout perimenopause. It creates a condition in which your body does not have enough progesterone to balance out estrogen levels. Your body has
- too much estrogen
- not enough progesterone
Estrogen dominance disturbs the balance between all the other hormones in your body. As your hormones collectively control all of the processes in your body, the processes behave erratically. This causes menopause weight gain and the other symptoms that you are experiencing.
The changing levels of these hormones also prevent weight loss. This is the reason why you can follow a stringent diet and exercise regularly and not lose weight.
To learn which hormones prevent menopause weight loss, as a result of estrogen dominance, click here.
- You must do a stress reduction technique regularly to lose weight during menopause. High levels of stress prevents menopause weight loss.
During menopause, stress levels are particularly high … especially for women who experience moderate to severe menopause symptoms. The hormonal imbalance brings with it, mental, emotional and physical stress.
When you are under stress, your body produces cortisol ….known as the stress hormone. Protracted stress results in high levels of cortisol in your body. High levels of cortisol in your body causes your body to store more fat. It also prevents your body from burning fat.
In the presence of high levels of cortisol, regular exercise will not burn fat and following a healthy diet will not result in weight loss.
Do yoga, meditation, relaxation therapy or some other stress reduction technique regularly if you want to achieve menopause weight loss
- Speed up your metabolism – This is the most difficult pillar to confront … and do something about. To speed up your metabolism, you need to do regular strength training. Most women do not do this.
Your metabolism slows down as you get older. Your metabolism determines the rate your body uses calories from the food that you eat.
By metabolism, I am referring to your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the rate your body burns calories just to keep your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and your organs functioning.
Your basal metabolism accounts for between 60 percent and 75 percent of the total calories you use daily, and there’s no physical activity required for this.
BMR is determined by the muscle mass in your body. Muscle mass burns calories.
Your body begin to lose muscle mass in your 30s. You continue to lose muscle mass for the rest of your life, unless you take steps to increase your muscle mass. Strength training is the only way you can build muscle mass and increase your BMR
- Your diet must consist of eating real food in order to lose weight during menopause. Real food does not need labels – ie – unprocessed meat, fish, milk, eggs, legumes, fruits, grains and vegetables.
To achieve menopause weight loss you must stay away from processed food and junk food. These foods contain added sugars, which will cause you to gain weight.
You also need to reduce the size of the portions you eat at each meal, especially if you do not engage in strength training to speed up your metabolism
- You need to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise/physical activity every day.
While BMR accounts for the majority of the calories your body uses in a day, aerobic activities still uses a significant number of calories.
If you do not do strength training, it is particularly important to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise/physical activity every day….probably more than 30 minutes will be required