Why Your Body Fights Weight Loss After Menopause

May 17, 2018

Do you believe your body does everything in it’s power to fight your weight loss efforts where managing your weight used to be achievable but these days, nothing seems to work for you?  Does excess weight automatically choose to sit on around your belly area? Do negative inner voices criticise your ability to stay in control around food, around exercise, or other desired good habits?  

Today, many women over 45 years, are losing their ability to control their weight. They feel inadequate, vulnerable and disgusted within themselves that maintaining their appearance, shape, strength and energy, has become a full time struggle. “With the amount of information I have read about weight loss, and with my own personal experience of losing weight, time and time again for the last 25 years, I should know what to do to manage my weight” reports Bernadette, a 57 year old woman who has yo-yo dieted since she was a teenager. Women are gradually experiencing emotional, mental and physical changes on a week to week basis, with their most concerning change being added weight or a thickening around their waistline, so dieting is the first thing they resort to in their quest to lose weight.

Women need to understand that from the age of around 35, their oestrogen and progesterone hormones begin to reduce and this reduction rate is accelerated from peri-menopause, usually experienced in their mid to late 40’s, which causes fat tissue to “move in” around the belly area. Much like puberty when our bodies gradually changed and adjusted to prepare our organs, cells and hormones, for the ability to have a child, menopause is the next major time in life when women’s hormones dramatically change, which results in a system restructure.

As a society, women have been automatically conditioned to reach for a diet when they feel or see a few kilo’s sitting on their body. They go to war with themselves mentally, physically and emotionally during their desperate weeks to shed their recognised excess kilo’s and, like all diets which work for the short term when certain foods or beverages are taken out of their daily food plan, the subcutaneous and visceral fat continues to accumulate and excess body fat returns when their usual eating pattern return to normal.

One thing is certain: women over the age of 50 years need to create a sensible self- management plan to look after their health as they age – gracefully. No longer should the focus be on fitting into a certain size of clothing or needing to morph into an expected body image for one’s age. From the age of 50 years onwards, women need to focus on overall health for:

  • strength
  • endurance
  • stability
  • self confidence
  • mental clarity
  • overall wellness toward longevity

Women over 50  (and men over 55 years) need to actually work harder on their health than they did in their twenties and thirties, with the focus being on improving their wellbeing from the inside first and foremost. That is through nutrition, movement, self-awareness, inner peace and personal confidence.  

These new found understandings will not only keep their weight in check, but also improve their:

  • energy levels
  • immune system
  • mental clarity
  • muscle strength and flexibility
  • posture and balance
  • hormone balance

From pre (peri) and the years after, a women’s oestrogen and progesterone are depleting – rapidly, leaving their body less protected from disease, inflammation, and visceral fat accumulation.  It’s also the age where many women have convinced themselves that they have “done the hard yards”, it’s time they should be able to let their guard down and enjoy the finer things in life, travelling, socialising, and shopping and because we are a society conditioned toward rewards and pleasure being food based, this becomes the natural “turn to” for women.

Aging women no longer need to focus on appearance for vanity. The health risks associated with letting one’s guard down and disregarding an extra layer or two around the belly region is far greater than too many recognise.  It’s time to create a plan to wellness.

My suggestions are to;

  • Start the day positively and find three things to be grateful for (about you)
  • Stretch major muscles for 5 minutes every morning before the day starts
  • Plan and follow through eating three nutritionally balanced meals each day that are a sensible serve size
  • Build a minimum 30 minutes of consistent, purposeful movement and balance into each day
  • Snack (if necessary) once a day on food that contains very little sugar and foods that are not highly processed

These tips will help regulate your hormones, reduce toxicity and possible inflammation, and provide energy and mental sharpness. Your body will no longer fight menopause, but work in synchronisation with it. Focus on improving your health from the inside – mental, physical, nutritional, emotional, and the results to speak for themselves.

Louise Skeen