As frustrating as weight gain is during menopause, there are ways to maintain a healthy weight, vitality and energy during this inevitable transition. In my experience, I have not seen weight loss with hormone replacement alone. There are too many physiological changes occurring that require adjustments to diet and lifestyle.
A decline of female sex hormones may lead to weight gain, achy joints, fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood changes, decreased libido, and hot flashes. While bioidentical hormones can certainly relieve many of these symptoms, specific diet and exercise changes must be addressed. For example, women process alcohol much slower as we mature. And alcohol leads to more weight gain. Additionally, women become more insulin resistant, which results in more abdominal weight gain. We don’t process carbs and sugar as efficiently as in our 20s and 30s. Cortisol levels go up without the opposing sex hormones, so there may be an increase in anxiety or irritability.
So how do we maintain a healthy weight amidst all these changes? First and foremost is eating a healthy (and moderately low carb) whole food diet, with lots of veggies and lean, clean proteins. Something like the South Beach diet is a good example. This counters the weight gain effects of the increase in insulin resistance.
Exercise is the next most important factor in breezing through menopause. Consistent, low impact exercise that includes some strength training and cardio such as hiking, yoga, walking and Pilates. And two days per week is not enough! Shoot for 4 – 5 days per week for at least 20 minutes at a time. Mix it up, and make it a part of your every day, have fun with it!
Get your hormones checked regularly to determine if there are any imbalances or deficiencies. Hormones are a moving target and can change dramatically in a matter of months. The combination of hormone balancing, diet refinement, supplements/herbs and exercise can support you through your power years in peace and happiness. We can help you decide whether hormone therapy, Vitalia, or supplements and natural herbs are right for you. Your team at Sound Medical Weight Loss is here to guide you on your journey. Wondering where your hormones are? Call us to schedule an appointment today.