We’re hitting menopause and we’re noticing some extra layers around our middle. Yuck, menopause weight gain! Who wants that on top of hot flashes, insomnia, crazy cycles, PMS that won’t quit, and partners who still want sex but we don’t care. Now, we have to fight what we’ve already fought for so long – getting heavier. Harsh!
I’m probably reinforcing some of what you know, but it’s inspiring to have clarity on what to do when you’re swimming through too much internet information and too many questions in your head. If you were the holistic health pro, you’d know what to do, but you’ve got a day job, so let me handle this for you.
#1 Eat Less
It’s a no-brainer solution to menopause weight gain, but here’s why. Like it or not, our metabolism begin to change at midlife. That means we don’t need as much food. It doesn’t mean resigning ourselves to getting heavier. Our metabolic needs are lessening, so we don’t need to keep eating like a teenager: growing brains, starring on the volleyball team, riding a drama roller coaster. That stuff takes energy! We’re naturally slowing down, so we need less calories to fuel our activities and lives.
Start putting less on your plate. Eat one plateful only at each meal. After you finish that plate, take a breather and see if you actually need more food before heading back for seconds. Eat the green stuff first. Fill up on the healthiest foods first. You don’t need as much potatoes or steak, but you can still have some. That way you don’t feel deprived. You still get the good stuff, just less. You’ll be satiated and your inner child won’t freak out because you’re on a starvation “no fun” diet.
#2 Eat Differently
I know I just said you don’t have to go on a “no fun” diet, but the truth is you do have to eat differently. You simply can’t get away with what you’ve been doing thus far. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You may already have been noticing this. Dairy didn’t used to be an issue, but now it gives you a stomachache. Pizza was a go to quick meal, but now you pay the price for a day… or two.
You’re going to have to find which foods work for you now and which foods don’t. Hint, it’s probably not going to be vegetables you need to eliminate. It’s usually stuff you’ve been secretly suspecting like sugar, wine, gluten, or even nuts. Which brings me to…
#3 Eat Whole
I recommend to my clients they take some time to really figure out which foods help and which ones are hurting them. We are all special snowflakes and so are our digestive systems and bodies. What worked for that super slim model on TV doesn’t necessarily work for us. We have to be our own body detectives. It’s easier than you think, if you’ve got someone helping you.
I highly suggest trying an elimination diet – temporarily. You don’t have to do this forever, so it’s not a big deal. A couple weeks to a month should do the trick.
There are lots of different ways to do it, but common foods to consider removing are: processed foods, sugar, alcohol, soy, corn, dairy, gluten, grains, nuts, chocolate, eggs, nightshades, coffee, nuts, and seeds. You don’t have to remove all of these from your diet. This is simply a list of the most common culprits causing inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a big factor in hormonal imbalances and weight gain. Taking time to reduce inflammatory foods goes a long way to helping you slim that belly bulge down and combat menopause weight gain.
Pick a few, say 5-7, of the foods you most suspect. They’ll be the ones that nag at you, making you feel freaked out to not eat them. The foods you just can’t go without are likely giving you the most problems. When we eat a food that stresses our bodies out, we get a nice brain chemistry pay off, like taking drugs. Sadly, those foods also cause inflammation, weight gain, and ultimately the drop in brain chemistry that makes us feel crappy about our lives, our waistlines, and make us want to reach for that bagel again. It’s a vicious loop.
Notice exercise harder didn’t make the list!
In menopause, our bodies are using their energy for menopause. Upping exercise doesn’t help. It can make us more tired. It can backfire, stressing our bodies out more and making our symptoms, including weight gain worse. Yes, we need to move, but it doesn’t have to be extreme. You’ll get way more benefit from the top 3 ways above. You can do this. You don’t have to settle for the midlife belly bulge.
For tips on how to get relief from your menopause symptoms Download my Free “Get Menopause Relief NOW!” Guide.