Dieting with Obstacles - weight and menopause




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mtiger
08-03-2013, 10:09 AM
I am not finding it out there..a thread about losing weight during menopause. I am certain there are many women struggling with this issue. Let me know what you are trying.


newleaf123
08-03-2013, 10:15 AM
For me personally, menopause hasn't affected my ability to lose weight. I've been eating healthy food, watching portion size, and exercising. When I was losing my big chunk of weight, this routine was yielding a 5 pound per month loss for me. I was in full blown menopause for 2 years when I started.

Tuscany
08-03-2013, 11:10 AM
I'm post-menopause. TOM ended over a year ago. I find the weight comes off a bit more slowly these days and requires a bit more work...but that's about it.

When I was pre-menopause, I could eat 1,400-1,500 calories per day and exercise about 30-45 minutes a day...and that would net me an average loss of about 2 lbs per week.

Nowadays, I stick to 1,200-1,300 calories per day and exercise at least 90 minutes per day...and my average loss is about 1.5 lbs per week (for the past 4 months). I'm not on any special diet. I too just eat healthy and watch my portion sizes. I also try to eat a fair bit of protein and I don't eat any bread, baked goods, pasta or other refined carbs.


mtiger
08-03-2013, 11:47 AM
I am gaining weight and nothing seems to stop it. I work out, eat right and still gain. One of you mentioned 1500 calories and another said more like 1200. I have tried both and neither one is working. I am getting so frustrated.

My husband has been telling me my boobs are bigger. So today I measured. He is right. 2 inches, also 2 on my waist and hips. Man this is not fun. I feel like all my hard work is going down the train and I can't stop it. Then I cry and beat myself up about it. Guess I need to count diligently and continue those workouts ...no matter what.

ReNew Me
08-03-2013, 12:15 PM
I am gaining weight and nothing seems to stop it. I work out, eat right and still gain. One of you mentioned 1500 calories and another said more like 1200. I have tried both and neither one is working. I am getting so frustrated.

My husband has been telling me my boobs are bigger. So today I measured. He is right. 2 inches, also 2 on my waist and hips. Man this is not fun. I feel like all my hard work is going down the train and I can't stop it. Then I cry and beat myself up about it. Guess I need to count diligently and continue those workouts ...no matter what.Have you considered bio-HRT?

I just started what I consider "active" perimenopause in February (started getting hot flashes and skipped my TOM for the first time in decades). I guess I've been perimenopausal for years now but had learned to live with the other day to day symptoms so I didn't think anything about them (in particular, menopause "arthritis" and zero libido). Oh, and my already slow weight loss (barely 1 lb a week on 1500 calories) reversed.

Anyway, when things started getting bad in February/March it was unbearable for me, horrific hot flashes (I'm talking up to five an hour), zero sleep, joint pain amped up, horrible memory problems and I was kind of uh, crazy, either in a depression so deep I couldn't drag myself out of bed or on an emotional hair trigger. I had a doctor lined up from ages ago and got my blood work, he put me on bioidentical progesterone and bioidentical testosterone and the difference is night and day. I've only been on the therapy since mid June so my hormones are just beginning to stabilize but I feel WORLDS better and he's confident that when things are more stable I'll have no problem losing more weight. As far as weight, so far everything I've gained and then some since I first started getting hot flashes has come off.

tastetheskinny
08-03-2013, 12:50 PM
Everyone is different and metabolizes differently. At 33, I was able to lose the weight with eating low fat, processed food, and lots of exercise. Dropped 40 pounds in 12 weeks. Slowly regained 13 pounds, kept within 2 pounds of that weight for 7 years by counting calories and regular workouts. When I hit 40, everything changed. I'd already gone into peri menopause in my mid 30's, with night hot flashes. Was able to control that by not drinking decaf coffee before bed. Decaf coffee gives me hot flashes.

I changed our diet to whole foods and no processed food at 40 yo. Continued to keep the weight off by counting calories and workouts 3-4 times a week. By the time I was 42, I felt terrible. Was then traumatized by criminal activity where we live and went into adrenal fatigue, quit exercising. Was in fight or flight mode too long. Gained 30 pounds in my 42nd year emotional eating good foods, little to no exercise.

Now I think I've got it figured out for me. Hormone changes cause me not to have the drive that I used to have plus the herniated discs cause me to fatigue easily. So here I am, yo-yo'ing the same 5-8 pounds, 30 pounds over my normal weight.

I'm fortunate to know that I will not have too much difficulty during menopause, good genes. Although TOM will be changing and sometimes difficult.

My plan is this:

1. not counting calories anymore. I do occasionally punch in what I'm eating to see how many calories and nutritional value of my diet but not doing it everyday like I used to. I basically stick to the same diet lifestyle so there is no need for counting.

2. eat lots of lean protein, lean skirt steak, whole egg combined with up to 4 egg whites, sardines, wild fish, sock eye salmon when I can get it, shrimp, chicken breast.

3. good fats, extra virgin olive oil(2-4 TBS a day), blanched almonds(3-6), walnuts(3-6 halves), 1 TBS pine nuts, avocado, little virgin coconut oil for popcorn(1 TBS coconut oil per 1/3 cup popcorn for stove top. I eat 2-4 cups of popcorn with sea salt), *homemade almond milk for coffee

4. LOTS of fresh vegetables. Green salads topped with a homemade garlic basil balsamic vinaigrette & steamed veggies(very filling) topped with a little fresh parmesan.

5. little fruit, try to limit fruit and even avoid...very difficult for me.

6. drink 1/2 my body weight in oz of water.

7. homemade licorice root tea 1-2 cups a day to stimulate adrenal glands.

8. limit caffeine(1-2 cups a day)

9. 1 TBS chai seeds

10. smoothie, natural unsweetened yogurt, fresh frozen berries, sweetened with raw honey

11. juice: 1/2 beet, 2 carrots, beet greens & 1 small apple(my daily iron)

12. no breads or pasta

*homemade almond milk: sometimes I add a TBS vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt, and sweeten with dried figs. It varies to my mood.

I just limit how much I'm eating. Been processed food free for 4 years and got fat eating healthy, which no one online talks about. Try to eat high protein, low carbs. This is how I live. I'm learning that the high protein will stay with me and keep me from craving. When I do crave sweets, I grab a banana or a few almonds.

Biggest change in my diet will be no breads or pasta, little to no fruit and high protein.

Exercise: 1-2 hours on the stationary recumbent bike, some working out with free weights, water therapy some walking and that's it. I gained weight by not exercising and eating too much homemade bread, pasta and homemade ice cream hehe

REST: I'm using melatonin capsules during this time to get to bed earlier. I DO notice a HUGE difference and weight loss happening when I get enough good rest. To bed sleeping by 11 p.m. and trying to sleep till 8 a.m. I notice a difference in the scale every time!

My mornings are full. Wake, take the sublingual vit B12, drink my fresh juice, wait 20 min, drink my coffee, eat breakfast high in protein, hop on the bike with some free hand weights, shower then lunch, rest(may or may not sleep for 1/2-hour), afternoon smoothy, eat dinner between 4-5 p.m. early evening therapy swim, may ride the recumbent bike another hour while watching evening tv. The time I crave and want to eat the most is between 6-9 p.m. must have more protein during that time to keep me from craving and emotional eating.

I'm hoping to get this 30 pounds finally off and don't expect to look like I did in my 30's but at least I'll be smaller and less back pain.

For the most part, the only known physical problems I have are herniated discs and my hormones are changing. I do have low production of hydro choleric acid and take a sublingual vitamin B12 in the a.m. other than that, no thyroid no other problems. I'm really very healthy but 30 pounds overweight, which fatigues me terribly.

Tuscany
08-03-2013, 01:12 PM
I am gaining weight and nothing seems to stop it. I work out, eat right and still gain. One of you mentioned 1500 calories and another said more like 1200. I have tried both and neither one is working. I am getting so frustrated.

My husband has been telling me my boobs are bigger. So today I measured. He is right. 2 inches, also 2 on my waist and hips. Man this is not fun. I feel like all my hard work is going down the train and I can't stop it. Then I cry and beat myself up about it. Guess I need to count diligently and continue those workouts ...no matter what.

If you've actually been eating 1200-1500 calories (as in logging/measuring everything you eat and not just guessing, which typically results in underestimating your calories), plus you've been working out, and you've been gaining weight by doing all that...then I too would suggest a visit to your doctor. Perhaps you might benefit from some hormone supplements or similar. I wish you luck!

patns
08-03-2013, 02:39 PM
I am in my mid 60's now and this just gets worse as you get older. I think it has as much to do with muscle loss as well as hormones. I was still able to lose well if I ate very carefully in my 40s and early 50s but it was much more difficult as time went on.
What helps is that I eat much the same as taste the skinny outlined. I don't exercise nearly that much though. I haven't eaten grains except for oats for a long time. I recently had to admit to myself if I can't handle fruit anymore. That is so difficult be I just can have small amounts as part of low carb recipes.

If I had been able to see doctor that was knowable about this area ReNew Me described I think it would have made a world of difference. I would really try to check that out if you can.

We had a reunion this year for all of us who went to High School together in our small town and were turning 65 this year. I was overweight from childhood and quite heavy when we gradated. Nearly all of my classmates were slim and trim.
Now I am smaller than most of them although still trying to lose. The physical ailments many of them have are shocking. It really pointed out to me how weight creep hits even people who have never been overweight and how important it is to continue with my unexciting food plan. It gets more and more about health as you get older and you are very smart to look for info reight at the start of this happening.

mtiger
08-04-2013, 08:15 PM
i suppose checking with my doctors would be a logical step. I have the BRCA gene mutation so hormones are a tricky thing for me. I do see a cancer doctor and maybe she would be helpful. Thank You for all of your ideas.

newleaf123
08-04-2013, 10:23 PM
Mtiger, I can't take hormones either. Sent you a PM.

geoblewis
08-05-2013, 01:26 AM
I'm in the middle of this right now. My last period was at least three months ago, and the one before that was another three months previous. I hit a wall with my weight loss about five years ago, which was about the time of my divorce and other emotional stressors. My sleep pattern has not been right ever since. (I started an insomniac's thread on 3FC.) If I don't get at least eight hours of sleep every night, I definitely experience a cascade failure with the weight loss efforts.

Through trial and error I have developed a protocol for myself just to hang on to what I've achieved. Still trying to move forward, and I have achieved progress on multiple fronts.


Build muscle - I do a weight training and Pilates workout five days a week. Been putting on a lot of muscle (underneath my fat layers), and with the muscle comes bone density. I now have the bone density of a 20-year old athlete. I had a DEXA scan done recently, my second one. It showed me how well I was doing. The doctor said that as long as I keep up with the weight training and my diet, the real fat loss will kick in very soon. I did not lose any weight in the last four months, but I did lose fat and I gained muscle and bone. That's something a regular bathroom scale wasn't telling me.
Control blood sugar levels - I have type 2 diabetes. I control it with diet and exercise only. Not perfectly, but I am getting better and better at it. As long as I keep my blood sugar below 100, I can lose weight.
Clean up diet - This helps with the diabetes, but I also have food sensitivities, so no processed food for me. And I hardly ever go out to restaurants any more, except to ones where I know what they're cooking. (Yes, I talk to the chefs.) I keep carbs very low, under 50 gm per day. I eat a lot of organic, non-starchy vegetables. A LOT. I eat enough protein to build muscle, but not too much. Eating too much protein also causes blood sugar to rise. All my protein is from grass-fed or wild-caught sources. And about 60% of my calories comes from healthy fats. This is a ketogenic formula. Since I know my lean body mass from the DEXA results, I could calculate more accurately how much to eat. I don't ever eat less than BMR for my lean mass. So right now, that's around 1900+ calories.
Create effective support system - I walked away from as many destructive, non-supportive relationships as I could, and I keep the rest of them to a minimum. I developed and maintained all the healthy ones. There were people in my life that wanted me to remain unbalanced and unhealthy, or to enable their unhealthy life. I don't think so! There are now people in my life that encourage and enable me to make the best choices for myself.
Move past stress and other emotional issues - I have a great therapist and I practice emotional brain training (ebt.org) to get past a lot of old issues. I experienced some trauma in the past and this helped me A LOT.
Have more fun - Every day, I find the joy in life. I laugh. I dance. I am silly! I don't take myself seriously any more. I don't spend time taking pictures because I tend to miss out on what's actually happening. And I keep my daily life as simple and uncomplicated as possible.


So, while I really don't want to weigh 300+ lbs. any longer, and I'm ever so slowly shedding excess fat (maybe a pound or two a month if I do everything right), I am feeling MUCH better about my life. I feel vibrant, joyful and free. I don't ever "feel fat" any more. I am active. I am happy. I joke about hitting menopause. I don't mind not ever having a period again! What am I going to do with my stockpile of tampons?!

ReNew Me
08-10-2013, 01:21 PM
Actually if you find the right doctor you'll be fine. You don't have to be on estrogen and it appears that testosterone actually may BLOCK cancer, they're doing studies right now. Like I said, I'm only on progesterone and testosterone. That (HIGHLY FLAWED) women's study really only looked at estrogen.

The big thing is if your body is out of balance then your immune system isn't working at it's full potential, period.

mtiger
08-10-2013, 10:24 PM
Guess it is time to revisit the cancer doc and see what can be done.

Shannon1976
09-05-2013, 06:34 PM
I am 37 and I'm post menopausal. I had surgery 4 weeks ago to remove my uterus, cervix, tubes and ovaries. I am using a 0.1mg estrogen patch and that has taken care of most of my symptoms. I'm still exhausted all the time. Some of that may just be from having major surgery and being out of my normal routine. I am just starting my weight loss journey, although I cannot start exercising for at least another 2 weeks. My Dr. is very strict about no exercise and no work for a minimum of 6 weeks. I'm very concerned I will gain a ton of weight now that I am in menopause. I have already noticed the scale creeping up on me.

ReNew Me
09-06-2013, 05:03 PM
I am 37 and I'm post menopausal. I had surgery 4 weeks ago to remove my uterus, cervix, tubes and ovaries. I am using a 0.1mg estrogen patch and that has taken care of most of my symptoms. I'm still exhausted all the time. Some of that may just be from having major surgery and being out of my normal routine. I am just starting my weight loss journey, although I cannot start exercising for at least another 2 weeks. My Dr. is very strict about no exercise and no work for a minimum of 6 weeks. I'm very concerned I will gain a ton of weight now that I am in menopause. I have already noticed the scale creeping up on me.The exhaustion can be recovery from surgery but lack of testosterone is going to cause a huge lack of stamina. A woman needs more than just estrogen. Unopposed estrogen is actually more likely to cause cancer problems than progesterone or testosterone.

Shannon1976
09-08-2013, 01:07 PM
The only studies that I have read speak of upopposed estrogen in women who still have a uterus. Unopposed estrogen in women with a uterus does have an increased risk of uterine and endometrial cancers. My Dr. has said that estrogen and progesterone replacement is only for women with a uterus but that a woman without a uterus needs estrogen. I will speak to him at my next check up about testosterone. I don't know if my exhaustion will resolve on it's own or not. My other symptoms are resolved and my libido is totally normal.

newleaf123
09-08-2013, 05:47 PM
I'm very concerned I will gain a ton of weight now that I am in menopause. I have already noticed the scale creeping up on me.

Shannon1976, I had the same surgery as you, when I was 45. Honestly, I did gain weight afterwards, but it was because I was in so much emotional turmoil that I decided to soothe myself with food. After another major surgery 2 years later, I decided that the soothing with food had to stop, and I lost all the weight I had put on (50+ pounds). I do believe that it is possible to not gain weight (although it does take some caloric adjustment downwards) and I am proof that it is possible to lose weight post-menopause. Good luck to you!

Shannon1976
09-09-2013, 02:29 PM
Shannon1976, I had the same surgery as you, when I was 45. Honestly, I did gain weight afterwards, but it was because I was in so much emotional turmoil that I decided to soothe myself with food. After another major surgery 2 years later, I decided that the soothing with food had to stop, and I lost all the weight I had put on (50+ pounds). I do believe that it is possible to not gain weight (although it does take some caloric adjustment downwards) and I am proof that it is possible to lose weight post-menopause. Good luck to you!

Thank you for the encouragement! Congratulations on meeting your goal! I know I have been eating too much here at home, it's been a long 4 boring weeks. I just started knitting to distract myself from eating all day long. I also stopped drinking soda. I'm hoping a few little changes will help me lose some weight and that will help keep me motivated. My partner and I are having a wedding next September so I'd also like to be happier about my appearance for the wedding.

freelancemomma
09-10-2013, 09:53 AM
Perhaps I'm one of the luckier ones, but I didn't find it substantially more difficult to lose 50 pounds at age 54 than I did at 16. I lost a bit more slowly, but I ate 1,500 cals per day and didn't limit any foods, including bread and other carbs. I'm now 56 and maintain on a high-carb, 2,000-calorie diet. I suppose I must in perimenopause (but have no symptoms), though I'm still getting periods.

F.

onthedietagain
09-22-2013, 10:12 AM
I am in menopause for 2 years (surgery) , I am 38 now, no HRT. I was very worried about gaining weight and completely avoided carbs right after surgery. I went to surgery at 133 lb and 6 month after I was 120. Did not counted calories at all. In Jan 2013 I have decided that I can try to have carbs again. Well, I am at 134lb this morning and all the fat is on my belly...so I am back on low carb and will give up my wine for a month as well, I also practice IF (black coffee only until noon).

For me, its is carbs 100% what makes me gain weight.

Crimzon
09-30-2013, 02:49 PM
It's good to hear from some that have lost weight during and post menopause. I really feel defeated. I haven't had a period in over two years and have put on so much weight in that time. Now I'm at my all time highest. It's unhealthy and I don't feel like myself anymore. I have thyroid issues as well. Depressing.

I'm with onthedietagain - carbs are evil.

65X65
10-07-2013, 08:45 AM
It's good to hear from some that have lost weight during and post menopause. I really feel defeated. I haven't had a period in over two years and have put on so much weight in that time. Now I'm at my all time highest. It's unhealthy and I don't feel like myself anymore. I have thyroid issues as well. Depressing.

I'm with onthedietagain - carbs are evil.
Hi.. I'm not new to 3 FCs but haven't done much reading or posting on the general and main forums.

Your comment about carbs being evil grabbed me. I too have a problem metabolizing carbs. You may want to look at a fat burning, protein sparing protocol that uses carbs that are real low on the glycemic index (and provide a source of high fiber). I've lost most of what I was trying to lose, and know that adding only a moderate amount carbs to my diet, and mostly those that come from veggies will be key in maintaining my loss. Lucky for me ( sort of) is that I am Gluten intolerant ...so that leaves a lot of things off my plate and has for years. Now I'll do a modified paleo which uses almond flour ( instead if rice flour which is in most GF substitutes.) and other flours that are low glycemic to make my own bread. Wheat is outrageously high anyway...) I don' t miss cereal and cookies much anymore so I'm not adding that back in unless it's a rare treat and made flourless or with low a GI flour. GF oatmeal occasionally ..maybe. There are other GF grains/cereals I'm exploring, but no wheat, oats, rye or barley. Ever. It's a lifestyle change. But I've lost over 70 lbs since the holidays last year...and "Never goin back!" --(-Al Rokers' book. Which is personal and painfully tells his weightless journey. We all have demons... No one has the identical story). The right diet for you is the one that works.

I've learned I'm carb sensitive in addition to gluten intolerant and that is critical in how I eat now and forever. It does matter where my calories come from. I convert carbs to fat ...easily and quickly, and lost belly fat first and fast on a fat burning protein sparing diet. My dr gave it her blessing in March after I'd lost over 20 lbs, and monitored all blood work this year. She was going to put her own husband on it after she saw me almost 6 months later in August! Good luck finding what helps you. I'm 65 and was trying to lose 65 before my B-day ... And did it.

Polnuds
10-07-2013, 06:39 PM
I had the same surgery in March and find the hardest thing is the tiredness. I thought I would be past it by now. I have learned that getting your feet up for twenty minutes when you are really tired seems to recharge the batteries whereas if I try keep going, it can take a lot longer to get back. I found that once I hit the 6 - 8 weeks after the surgery, I was much better and back walking and cycling (although again in moderation) Take care and look after yourself.

eroica27
01-02-2014, 04:42 PM
I had my ovaries& uterus removed a year ago-just five months after my mastectomy. I have gained all of the weight i lost back. Now that I am able to work out again, the biggest mental block i have is dealing with the physical strength i've lost. its also harder to loose weight now that I'm menopausal, so i'm currently trying a higher protein diet. we'll see how it goes

delmarva
01-02-2014, 07:51 PM
I lost my weight while going through menopause. Two periods spaced about 6 months apart. Suspect there won't be any more periods, hurrah.

The only difference I found was weight loss was probably just a little slower than when I was younger, but not appreciably so. What was more important is that I HAD to exercise. Which is good for me anyways. My improvements in strength, stamina, balance, etc are amazing. I love to travel and need those skills. I exercise 90 minutes a day, 5-6 days per week. Probably 60/40 cardio/strength.

What was interesting was how the weight I carried in the late 40s before I lost was so different. Previously I had gained weight all over, when I gained at all. The weight gained in the 40s went only to my waist and face. It was that weight that skyrocketed by triglycerides, and when I lost the weight by bloodwork was better than it had ever been (exercise helped there too I am sure). My resting heart rate is lower than in my 20s

So - yeah - you can get a LOT better through menopause!

MenopauseMary
01-23-2014, 09:48 PM
Hello, everyone. I just joined. I went through menopause about 18 months ago. The hot flashes were brutal and last about 4 months, then ended - why, I don't know. Now I have this belly fat that just sits there no matter what. I'll be checking in for ideas on this journey. Thank you and keep up the slow hard work!

onthedietagain
02-23-2014, 10:09 AM
Hi ladies,

How is everyone doing? Since my last post I am still straggling and go on and off low carb, then count calories without any success, then go low carb again...its just crazy and Canadian long winter doesn't help:dizzy:.

Today I am going on low carb again and will do my best to stay on the plan. I am going on vacation in 3 weeks and need to lose few pounds , especially this fat around my belly.

How is everyone managing ?

shcirerf
02-28-2014, 11:03 PM
I did surgical menopause at age 31. A long family history of endometriosis, and fibroid tumors, and ovaries that like get fossilized!

I had one successful pregnancy, at 20 years old, that resulted in twins, at full term and after that, one miscarriage, at 21. After that no birth control until my hysterectomy, never got pregnant again!

I was sicker and crazier than crap for about a year, before my total hysterectomy. Hormones raging, periods out of whack, grumpy, GRR!

I am so thankful, that my Dh, hung in there with me, and I found a great gyno!

My Dr. was great!

I did do some HRT for awhile, and did wean off of it.

As far as the weight issue, once I got straightened out, what works for me is higher protein and lower carbs. As far as exercise, I power walk, my knees don't like running, I'm 54! But I also strength train! Love that!

I have noticed in the last few months, I'm again, having some menopausal issues, warm flashes, grumpy, etc.

So, I called my Dr. I did all this menopause thing, at 30, I'm 54, what gives? I have no ovaries, no crib, etc. Just a play pen!

Well, it turns out, my body now that it is older, seems to think, I need to do this whole menopause thing again. Thankfully in a milder form.

So, in a nutshell. Lots of lean protein, lots of veggies, (me and fruit don't work) I do eat a baked potato now and then, keep calcium in mind, and continue my power walking and weight lifting. Lifting is a good thing. It builds muscle, and is great for dodging the bullet of osteoperosis!

It did take me awhile to find a balance, but if you stick with it, menopause, while a trial, (deep sigh) can be managed.

I feel for all of you who are struggling with this. :hug:

Hang in there, get a good Dr. and take a breath, it can be managed, just takes some time!:D:hug:

JoggerGirl03
07-14-2014, 12:22 AM
Check out webMD. Lots of research has been done into the metabolism boosting qualities in green tea. Also soy products, like tofu, soy milk, etc. are known to soothe the less pleasant effects of menopause.