Weight gain, hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, loss of libido, hating everyone and everything are just a few symptoms we experience when going through menopause.
The worst symptom of menopause, of course, is the weight gain.
The weight gain is stubborn and happens suddenly. It’s concentrated around the middle part of our body which gives us that dreaded apple shape we never though WE would have…
To make matters worse, losing weight during menopause feels like mission impossible.
It is extremely frustrating and upsetting and it affects our self confidence more than any other symptom.
Menopause and weight gain tend to go hand in hand. When you go through menopause it is not just a matter of your periods stopping but rather your body going through hormonal changes that affect the way it processes food and stores fat. This is why you need to change the way you eat and the way you exercise if you want to alleviate symptoms and feel better about yourself.
If you are struggling to lose weight, it is probably because you are making one of the following common mistakes
YOU ARE SKIPPING BREAKFAST
In an attempt to eat less, many women think that skipping breakfast is a good idea. Skipping meals signals to your body that it needs to conserve and store the energy which leads to a slower metabolism. This in turn, leads to mistake number two.
If you want to know what meal is right for breakfast, then read more about it here.
UNDER-EATING IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE DAY AN OVER-EATING IN THE SECOND
Eating after 7pm is a NO NO! If you really need to eat something, go for a really small and light digestible snack. Eating your biggest meal at night, which is often a “binge” or “out of control” meal, is not right because it creates a vicious circle. The lack of caloric intake during the day leads to waking up without an appetite and skipping breakfast, to then eating little throughout the day and binging at night.
EATING TOO LITTLE PROTEIN AND GOOD FATS
Research shows that a diet consisting of 30% protein, 40% “good” unsaturated fats and 30% whole carbohydrates can promote weight loss in menopausal women. WebMD
THINKING LOW-FAT OR FAT-FREE IS THE WAY TO GO
It is a common mistake to think that low-fat or fat-free products are the right foods to eat in order to lose weight. Fat does not make you fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates do! Besides, in many foods that are advertised as low-fat or fat-free, the fat is replaced with sugar in order to maintain the flavor.
Not eating carbohydrates
It is important to eat carbs but you need to chose complex or “slow” carbs such as quinoa, brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread and beans as they also provide you with fiber, which make the body digest them slowly without spiking your insulin levels.
Unless you decided to practice intermittent fasting, eating meals too far apart from each other is counterproductive for weight loss. Instead, you may want to consider breaking up your meals into smaller portions and eating those throughout the day spread evenly apart.
Forgetting to hydrate
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Make sure you drink the recommended 8-10 glasses of water daily. Your skin will thank you for this and even your vaginal dryness will improve.
Did you know that many of your symptoms can be attributed to dehydration and not necessarily to menopause? I encourage you to learn more about here.
Not lifting weights
Want to kick menopause weight? Women going through menopause should try lifting weights and doing other strength training exercises. Weight lifting not only increases strength in the upper and lower body, it also increases muscle mass contributing to an increased metabolic rate. You look good and you feel good, what’s there not to love about weight training?
Not getting enough sleep
Did you know that people who sleep too little have higher levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin and reduced levels of the “saturation hormone” leptin which leads to overeating? Insomnia is a common symptom of menopause, read here about strategies to get your ZZs naturally.
Not keeping a food diary
Keeping a food diary has many benefits, it encourages weight loss and improves nutrition because you are able to pinpoint unhealthy habits, and gives you control and clarity over your eating habits.
Which of these mistakes are stopping YOU from losing weight?
LAURA PEISCHL, BA, INHC
Laura is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Holistic Menopause Health Specialist and Certified Hormone Health and Wellness Practitioner. She is the founder and owner of Feel Good Menopause™️.