Weight gain during menopause

Many women find themselves gaining weight during menopause even if they haven’t changed their eating habits. Others notice their shape-changing, especially around the waist. Some lifestyle and diet changes plus the right homeopathic remedy can help with losing weight.

Why do we put on weight easier during menopause?

  • One of the reasons is hormonal changes and disbalance of the ratio between oestrogen and progesterone.
  • The metabolism often changes at perimenopause, and our bodies appear to hold on to fat until we discover the secrets of burning off fat through exercise and eating a healthy diet.
  • We may be stressed and producing excesses of the hormone cortisol which is associated with flight or fight responses. High cortisol levels often lead to gaining weight, especially around our waists.
  • We may comfort eat as we adjust to changes taking place around us: signs of ageing, inability to sleep, our changing roles in the lives of those close to us. Often it is a combination of a lot of things.
  • Another reason can be that we are less physically active than before. Muscles can waste when we don’t use it and fat can build up if our calory intake exceeds our output.

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How to lose weight during menopause

  • Stabilise blood sugar.

Diet high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread and rice, mashed potatoes, sugary drinks, alcohol, cakes, and biscuits, promote an immediate blood sugar rush. The pancreas is stimulated to secrete large amounts of insulin to regulate the blood sugar. Excess blood sugar over long periods of time eventually leads to insulin resistance.

In general insulin and blood sugar levels are better regulated by a diet of unrefined whole foods that include long-acting carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Complex or unrefined carbohydrates are processed slowly over a longer period of time and require a small amount of insulin for metabolism. A diet high in unrefined carbohydrates helps to balance hormones and alleviate many symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. More information about the topic you can find here.

Intermittent fasting (IF) has shown to be beneficial in stabilising blood sugar. Some people do it by eating only 8 hours during the day and fast 16 hours. More about this you can read here. Other people choose to fast for 2 days and eat normally for 5days. During the days of fust, most people have herbal teas, vegetable juices, and one light meal. There is plenty of information available to back up the benefits of intermittent fasting. This type of eating habits is beneficial for gut health as well and can help with constipation. I do realise that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it worth mention it for those who are willing to try. For me, most realistic is to do 8/16 type of IF, but still to eat healthy during the allowed period of 8 hours during the day. The 5/2 type of IF is to for people who have the motivation. Like most of the diets, they work only until you follow them. Making small changes to your everyday eating habits will be beneficial in the long term.

  • Exercise more

Take up a physical activity that you are interested in and will enjoy. This type of exercise will not feel like a chore i.e. join a hiking/running club in your area. Increase your daily exercise routine gently. Tweak what you are already doing to take account of the fact that you are more likely less active now than 10 or 20 years. Walking your dog, joining dance class, or anything else you may enjoy will be beneficial.

  • Be realistic about the weight you want to achieve and the time frame.

Bodi mass index (BMI) is often used to set standards for healthy weight. Keep in mind that we are all different and if you have been overweight all your life it is not very realistic to set a target of BMI 20-25. Regarding your expectations- it will take time. If you had weight issues for years it will be unrealistic to expect the problem to be solved overnight. It takes time for the hormones to rebalance. Lifestyle changes are not easy to implement and keep up. Remember that even the smallest movement in the right direction is better than no movement at all. Most of the diets don’t work because when we finish with being on a diet we go to our old eating habits. It is important that the changes you make are permanent, part of your way of life.

  • Reduce the stress

If it is impossible to completely avoid situations that stress us we can try to change our perspectives and stay calm. Meditation and mindfulness are useful for this.

Meditate to relieve stress
  • Eat less and eat the right foods

We need 200 fewer Calories per day in our 50s than in our 30s or 40s.

  1. Eat plenty of lean protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
  2. Focus on portion size. If you cup your two hands together this will show you the size of your stomach capacity. Limit your intake to no more than that at each meal.
  3. Avoid snacking.
  4. Eat protein with each meal. This means eating lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy or vegetarian alternatives. 
  5. Keep in mind which food can speed up your metabolism and try to include those in your diet. More about fat burning food you can find here.
  6. Add some fermented foods to your diet, like kefir, natural yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and sourkrout. They are beneficial for gut health and will help you with losing weight.
  7. Go organic as much as possible, avoid processed food.
  8. Avoid oestrogen stimulating foods like soya products. This is done to help the hormonal disbalance during menopause where the oestrogen production remains relatively high.
  9. Add foods to your diet that stimulate progesterone production. Those are beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, nuts, pumpkin, spinach, whole grains.

Some foods are also associated with lowering the amount of estrogen in the body, which could increase the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. These include bananas, cabbage, shellfish, walnuts. Incorporating these foods into your diet could help boost natural progesterone levels.

How homeopathy can help

Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine. When a homeopathic remedy fits the person’s symptoms, it will help to resolve a wide variety of symptoms including weight gain. The key is the remedy to be similar to the patients’ symptoms. The homeopath will choose the indicated treatment after 60 to 90 minutes of consultation. Some of the most often used remedies to help weight loss are- Calcarea carbonica, Graphites, Pulsatilla, Natrum muriaticum, Ignatia. Using Homeopathic Progesterone in low potency sometimes can be beneficial to balance this hormone.

For best results and an individualised treatment of your menopausal symptoms, I recommend that you consult a qualified homeopath. The homeopathic treatment is wholistic and will involve all your symptoms.

Interested to know more about homeopathy and how it can help to regulate your weight?

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Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.