Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone. It takes a lot of thought and effort to change your body composition. Losing weight for a perimenopausal or menopausal woman is even more challenging. Here’s why:
fat cells are empowered
With your ovaries’ power dwindling, your fat cells become a bigger player in the body. They are empowered because they are now the biggest source of estrogen. And your body doesn’t want to give them up. We need to force the body to give up fat cells to lose weight and diet and exercise play big roles in that effort.
wacky hormones all around
Puberty, pregnancy and perimenopause are the times in life that women are most likely to have thyroid issues. These are times that lots of internal changes are happening, and the thyroid sometimes gets sideways. It’s unfortunate for women trying to lose weight during perimenopause because the thyroid is the master endocrine gland and if it’s not happy and balanced, you won’t be able to lose weight. Before we even try to lose weight, I normally ask my perspective clients to talk with their docs and check their thyroid health.
If sugars are not in check, it’s very hard to lose weight. During weight loss, sugars naturally drop because we’re eating a complex carb-limited diet. But, if you’re starting from a very sugary place, it could make the journey a LOT harder.
lacking sex hormones
Sometimes estrogen and progesterone are not where they are supposed to be. Estrogens are high or low and progesterone is normally low or extra low. Sometimes testosterone is high or low. If these hormones are not where they should be, it makes the weight loss journey harder than normal.
Cortisol is a major stress hormone and also a fat promoter. If you’re in overdrive and very stressed, I’m sure you’ve noticed the muffin top that has formed around your midsection. In order to get rid of that, you MUST drop the levels of cortisol in your system, which takes diet and lifestyle modifications.
sleep is everything!
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you eventually go into overdrive…hello, cortisol. See stress info above.
portions aren’t what they used to be
Perhaps as your kids have grown you’re eating out more than you used to (or ordering more takeout). Restaurants put more on your plate than you do. This is very well researched and an important aspect of weight loss. What if it’s not WHAT you’re choosing but HOW MUCH you’re choosing?
As we age, we need to keep moving. Exercise is a BIG tool in the toolbox. We’ll need to figure it out for your body: how much cardio (aerobic vs. anaerobic), how much strength? How long? How many days per week? What kind of activity is right for you. Perhaps you’re just not exercising as efficiently as you could be.
Weight loss is tricky. It is like a puzzle and all the pieces need to be present and right for you. Are you struggling? Are you perimenopausal or menopausal? Is your weight stubborn? Maybe one of these puzzle pieces is a bit off.
At Healthy Nest Nutrition, we work with you and break down the puzzle pieces (even the stubborn ones) to get you going. Schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to see if our proven programs will work for you.