Menopause and Weight Loss

Menopause can be a real kick in the butt when it comes to weight gain. It certainly was to me and adds insult to injury for those women who have always carried more weight than they wanted (or that the culture thought was pretty) prior to going through menopause.  

I think my story is reflective of the stories of some other women in this predicament.  Prior to menopause, I was not unhappy with my weight until I slowly started gaining when I went through “the change” and gained 25 pounds.  In general, I ate well and have for over 20 years. My definition of eating well is organic with a minimum of reduced sugar, flour, grains and dairy. I don’t count calories. I eat as much healthy fat as I want.  I drink moderately.  But after a year of exercising a 2-4 times a week I still didn’t lose weight.  Even after the impulsive parts of me that wanted to binge on a box of cookies or a bag of chips relaxed and didn’t overeat, I didn’t lose a pound.

What I didn’t know is that fat cells produce estrogen. An increase in fat during menopause is the body’s natural resistance to estrogen loss.  So it’s natural, normal and even healthly good to gain some weight. It was the 25 pounds that had me baffled.

This is where I believe biology and chemistry come into play. I decided to work with a holistic wellness coach who prescribed supplements targeted to specific organs of my body that needed support. After a month I dropped a couple of pounds. After 5 months I’d lost 15 pounds. My desire for sweets almost disappeared as did my feelings of deprivation.  I could easily pass up the cookies at work. My need for caffeine also diminished. It appears that my body needed nutritional support to cleanse, repair, feel satisfied and energized. As I cleansed the toxins, I was able to shed the weight with a great amount of ease.  So what I’m saying is that even when we are …

  • no longer trying to rigidly control what we eat,
  • not yelling at ourselves for eating too much,
  • able to eat mindfully; eat when hungry and stop when full
  • feel nutured by our food, friends and family
  • and still not lose weight …

there may be a bio-chemical issue that needs attention that healthy food choices alone can’t address. This is why, at some point in my work with clients, I recommend they work with a holistic nutritionist. I work with the emotional and psychologicial issues. The nutritionist works with the food.  It’s proven to be a highly effective combination of support.