How To Help Minimize Perimenopause Weight Gain
Listen sis, it’s not uncommon for women in midlife, you know those approaching menopause or just at the start of perimenopause, to experience unexplained weight gain, or to see changes in how their body distributes fat (unfortunately more around the midsection during this point in their life then the thighs or hips).
Now while I say it’s normal by no means am I saying you have to just sit back and let it happen to you.
So yes, you’ll hear from books, media, your friends, and even your doctors that an extra 10–20 pounds is simply a ‘rite of passage’ at this time . . . a part of the natural aging process. Midlife/menopause weight gain is one of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients.
I promise there is no reason that you should just accept it as part of your journey.
I’ll be real honest with you because I too have been struggling with this issue myself. It’s not going to be easy - perimenopause, menopause, hormonal fluctuations, and changes in thyroid function do make things a little more complicated. But that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it.
Weight gain during midlife can challenge your self-esteem. Affect your already low desire to be intimate. It can increase significant health risks and create problems for your overall health and wellness, so yes the sooner you start working to minimizing the weight gain the better it is for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
Now I know it’s super frustrating to add one more thing to the “What Midlife Throws At Me” list, but it’s important we are looking at why you may be experiencing this sudden weight gain.
So before we can put strategies into place we must first learn the WHY . . . why are you experiencing this problem besides being over 40?
Could it be a more sedentary lifestyle that is causing the problem?
Could there be a higher consumption of processed foods?
Could it be an imbalance in your hormones throwing off your appetite, metabolism, heat regulation, digestion and detoxification which can create a whole host of additional menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and food cravings.
Are you noticing a change in the fat distribution on your body? One of estrogen’s actions in women is to deposit fat around the hips, rather than the waist. When your ovaries stop producing estrogen in menopause, this effect stops as well. The result is a redistribution of fat from the hips to the belly. Once ‘pear-shaped,’ we may now find ourselves becoming more ‘apple-shaped,’ even if we haven’t necessarily gained extra pounds. Abdominal obesity increases dramatically during the menopausal years. This is why it’s so important that you begin to work with your body as early as possible.
Could your increased belly fat be an issue of insulin resistance? When this happens you are more at risk for developing type 2 Diabetes.
Could it be a low functioning thyroid problem? One of estrogen’s actions is to help your immune system tolerate your body’s own cells, including the thyroid. As estrogen decreases, thyroid autoimmunity can develop, causing thyroid function to become imbalanced. Low thyroid activity results in a lower metabolism and easier weight gain (along with a host of other symptoms).
Other reasons may include: a loss of lean body mass, chronic stress, and inadequate sleep.
The links between hormonal balance, insulin resistance, inflammation, toxicity, and body fat aren’t the only factors that cause both menopausal and perimenopausal weight gain.
You must also think about unresolved emotional issues such as less than desirable eating habits like emotional eating or stress eating.
I’d love to tell you it all comes down to will power or the old idea of calories in/calories out but that doesn’t work when you’re dealing with so many other factors right now. (*If you struggle with Emotional Eating, I encourage you to download my free 7 Simple Strategies to Reducing Emotional Eating eBook as a great place to start)
First, we must start with focusing on improving our health then we can worry about pounds and inches to lose. Starting with the list above, we can establish a baseline. Then we can create a plan for your particular situation.
Just because you are experiencing menopausal weight gain doesn’t mean you are out of the game, actually this is the BEST time to start (or continue) building a strong foundation.
This is the time in your life to discover the best in yourself, including your power to finally deal with the core issues that may be affecting your weight loss efforts.
Book a free call so can get you started on the right path today!!