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 the disbalance of the ratio between oestrogen and progesterone.
⦁ The metabolism often changes at perimenopause. 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 produce excesses of the hormone cortisol, associated with flight or fight responses. High cortisol levels often lead to gaining weight, especially around our waist.
⦁ We may comfort eat as we adjust to changes 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 them, 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.
1) Diets 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 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 balance hormones and alleviate many symptoms of menopause and perimenopause— more information about the topic you can find here.
2) 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 habit is beneficial for gut health as well and can help with constipation. I realise that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is worth mentioning it for those willing to try. For me, the 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 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 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 consider 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 BMI of 20-25. Regarding your expectations- it will take time. If you have had weight issues for years, it will be unrealistic to expect it to be solved overnight. It takes time for the hormones to rebalance. Lifestyle changes are not easy to implement and keep up with. Remember that even the smallest movement in the right direction is better than no movement at all. Most diets don’t work because we go to our old eating habits when we finish being on a diet. The changes you make must be permanent, part of your way of life.
- Reduce the stress
If it is impossible to avoid situations that stress us completely, we can 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.
– Eat plenty of lean protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
– 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.
– Avoid snacking.
– Eat protein with each meal. This means eating lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy or vegetarian alternatives.
– Keep in mind which food can speed up your metabolism, and try to include those in your diet.
– Add some fermented foods to your diet, like kefir, natural yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. They are beneficial for gut health and will help you with losing weight.
– Go organic as much as possible, avoid processed food.
– Avoid oestrogen stimulating foods like soya products. This is done to help the hormonal disbalance during menopause, where oestrogen production remains relatively high.
– 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 can homeopathy help?
Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine. When a homeopathic remedy fits the person’s symptoms, it will help 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. During the consultation, all your symptoms and your health history will be discussed. Some of the most often used remedies to help weight loss are listed below.
1. Calcarea Carbonica is mainly indicated for people who have a slow metabolism, look chubby, and have excess fat in the abdominal area. These people usually suffer from constipation due to sluggish metabolic activity. Also, they tend to sweat a lot, especially over the head and are very sensitive to cold weather.
2. Lycopodium is indicated in people who tend to gain weight on the lower body parts like thighs and buttocks. Also, these people always complain of gastric troubles like flatulence, bloating in the abdomen, and constipation. They also have excessive hunger and a great tendency to eat far beyond their capacity, causing bloating immediately after eating food. Emotionally, they are very irritated people who tend to get angry over small issues.
3. Natrum Muriaticum is indicated in people who accumulate fat in the lower body parts like buttocks and thighs. This remedy is mainly for people who have a ravenous hunger, craving for salt, and a tendency towards headaches and migraines. These people tend to gain weight after heartbreak or during the phase of depression. Natrum Mur is prescribed to those overweight patients who weep a lot in depression and have an increased appetite.
4. Natrum Phosphoricum mainly acts in people suffering from an excess of acidity, causing sour eructations (belching) and a sour taste in the mouth. This remedy is a pH balancer in the body and acts as a natural antacid. Natrum Phos 6X twice a day before meals help reduce weight and indigestion and a burning sensation in the stomach.
5. Phytolacca mainly acts by regulating the hunger pattern and aiding the proper digestion of food. It also balances the hormones and metabolic processes of the body.
6. Fucus Vesiculosus is indicated when the weight gain or obesity is mainly due to hypothyroidism. Like any other remedies, Fucus also helps to maintain digestion and provides relief from constipation and flatulence. This remedy is usually given in the form of a mother tincture or low potency.
7. Nux Vomica is recommended for persons who have gained excess weight due to sedentary habits. The first important symptom in persons requiring this remedy is chronic sufferers of the most obstinate constipation. Another symptom is intolerance to cold air. The third most important symptom is the eating habit – a person in need of Nux Vomica for losing weight likes spicy food, fatty food, and stimulants like coffee or alcoholic drinks. Mentally, the person is extremely sensitive to external impressions and gets angry to an extreme degree very easily.
8. Ignatia works effectively to decrease the weight in an overweight person when depression is the cause of weight gain. The persons requiring Ignatia usually eat to a great extent due to sadness and consequently gain weight. They have a very fickle mood that changes from sadness to happiness and from laughter to tears.
9. Graphites is an excellent remedy for weight gain during menopause. It mainly suits women who remain sad, cannot tolerate cold air and suffer from chronic constipation.
10. Sepia suits women who are irritable and indifferent in behaviour towards their family. These women may also complain of hot flushes. A prominent feature that serves as a clear indicator that Sepia is required for treatment is bearing down sensations in the pelvic organs.
11. Ammonium Carb and Antimonium Crudum for overweight persons having excess fat in the upper body compared to legs that are usually thin.
Antimonium carb works well for obese persons who are sluggish and always feel tired and weak. These people usually have a sedentary lifestyle. They also show marked sensitivity to cold air.
Antimonium Crudum suits people with a habit of eating far beyond their capacity. They usually suffer from gastric troubles. Alternate loose stool and constipated stool are often their commons complaints. A thickly white coated tongue is a prominent symptom in persons who need Antimonium Crudum.
For best results and individualised treatment of your menopausal symptoms, I recommend that you consult a qualified homeopath. The homeopathic treatment is holistic 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.