You keep putting on weight in menopause but you still eat the same foods. In fact, your repertoire is so boring the kids joke about being able to predict what is for dinner. I always swore I would be different to my mum and have variety but you know, life gets in the way. You would never have believed that when you were sixteen.
You don’t binge on junk. In fact, junk hasn’t been part of your menu for a long time.
If anything you eat less. Who has time to snack, right?
It’s okay. You are NOT crazy! Well as far as noticing what the scales say you’re not, but I can’t comment on anything other than that!
I’ve written about the fact that the “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight loss.
There’s far more to the story than what you eat.
How your body sheds, stores or makes fat comes mostly down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things such as your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and what you eat.
But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be putting on weight in menopause
Really annoying things start to happen to you as you age. You commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains. It is a total crapper but let’s mitigate the damage as best we can.
Ageing can result in hormonal changes. And these changes can contribute to the loss of lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.
Solution: keep your muscle by lifting weights. It is more important for FAT loss than aerobic exercise because the extra muscle will burn fat and gives you shape. You may not see the change on the scale immediately as muscle will weigh heavier but you will look amazing.
Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain. There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.
When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down. And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight. Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.
Solution: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested. Things you can eat to improve your thyroid function are:
Cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens, Eat them raw or cooked
Brazil nuts. These are the richest dietary source of selenium, which is essential in converting thyroxine to its active form. Do not go crazy on these, too many can be toxic. I have two every morning as I head out for my walk.
NO soy protein isolate.
There is plenty of research to show the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.
And as we age it can be more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.
Solution: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. The best place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine. Head to bed with time to read or journal. Turn off electronics an hour before turning out the light.
A difficult one! There are so many things that can trigger stress responses in your body. Especially if you are a mother of teenagers!
And stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight?
While you can’t necessarily change your stressors, you can adjust your response to them.
Pro Tip: Try meditation or yoga. Or even mindful eating. Find an activity that helps you to be present and not in your head.
There are many factors that can affect you putting on weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have. Ageing, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected and can all contribute to weight gain. As we age it is important to keep up with our changing bodies and make changes to suit.
Don’t be too concerned that you are not sure what is happening.
If you have any age-related questions let me know in the comments or head over to my Facebook page and post a comment there. I would be happy to try to answer them for you.