Book Now

Weight Gain in Menopause

menopause May 30, 2022

Have you ever started a diet at the same time as your male partner, brother or friend? Did they see results a lot faster than you, even though you were diligent as hell? The same goes for when you start a diet at the same time as your daughter who is in her twenties and you in your 50’s. Even if we do the same things, how we respond compared to others is going to change, because you’re changing. 

Females And Males

From puberty through to menopause females, have always had a natural need to have a higher percentage body fat compared to males. With Females having a healthy 20-25% body fat and males 10-15%. Males also tend to be leaner because they usually have more muscle mass due to higher levels of testosterone, this also helps to boost metabolism. 

Females on the other hand have higher amounts of oestrogen, this causes higher sensitivity to insulin which moves sugar from the blood and stores it as fat. Even when eating a diet high in healthy carbs, women tend to burn through these extra carbs right away, where as men will store them in their muscles as glycogen. 

Menopause Changes Effect Your Weight

When we enter menopause our oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone all decrease (albeit at different rates). This results in 2 main changes; your metabolism slows down and your insulin goes a little ‘wonky’. 

Oestrogen acts like a magnet for sugar and helps to produce energy in the brain. When oestrogen drops, so does the energy in the brain, this leads to a dis-regulation in how the body regulates and distributes adipose tissue, leading to more fat around the waist line. 

In peri-menopause and post menopause our brains and bodies demand an increase in calories and nutrients. This is why many females struggle to shed the additional weight. So what do you do?…

How Do I Balance My Weight?

The key to balancing your weight when your hormones and body are going through a major change is to focus on boosting your metabolism. You can do this by: 

  • Focus on muscle and bone health. Do this by increasing your protein intake to 50g per day and doing strength based exercise 45 minutes 3 times a week.
  • Eating for your metabolism means having 5 balanced meals a day (3 main + 2 snacks) and making sure to eat within 1 hour of waking and no longer than 3 hours between meals/snacks.
  • Decreasing your stress (We recommend taking a look at SD Protocol for an in-depth guide to conquering your stress)
  • Having your thyroid checked to ensure you aren’t lacking any appropriate function.
  • Talking to your doctor about the need for hormone replacement therapy. (This has been shown to have peak efficacy 5 years either side of menopause) or incorporate phyto-oestrogens into your diet. (Check out our Girl-powder recipe)

References

Fritz, M. and Speroff, L., 2010. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology And Infertility. 8th ed. Lipponcott Wilkins & Williams.

Harlow, B. L., & Signorello, L. B. (2000). Factors associated with early menopause. Maturitas, 35(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-5122(00)00092-x

Northrup, C. 2020. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. 5th ed. Batman House, Penguin Random House Books. 

Sims, S. 2016. Roar. Rodale Inc. 

Urasopon, N., Hamada, Y., Cherdshewasart, W., & Malaivijitnond, S. (2008). Preventive effects of Pueraria mirifica on bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Maturitas, 59(2), 137–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2008.01.001

Lost in the space between?

Join the membership that gives women lost in the space between everything their body needs. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.