Help! I Eat Well and Move, But I'm Gaining Weight: A Perimenopausal Woman's Journey
Are you a woman over 40 and noticing changes?
If you're reading this, chances are you've been scratching your head, wondering why the scale seems to be playing a cruel joke on you.
We've all been there – diligently eating our greens, hitting the gym, and still watching those numbers on the scale go in the wrong direction. But fear not! Today, we're diving into the perplexing world of weight gain during perimenopause, and we have some insights that might just shed some light on this frustrating phenomenon.
First things first, let's acknowledge the fact that perimenopause is like the rebellious teenager of menopause. Hormones are doing the cha-cha, metabolism is throwing a tantrum, and our bodies are seemingly on a mission to keep us guessing. So, why the weight gain despite your valiant efforts to eat well and move?
Weight Gain in Perimenopause: Just One Sec.....
Before we get into it, we'd like to take a pause here.
As women we've been subject to a relentless barrage of messaging our whole lives that we have to look a certain way and we have to be a certain weight to be of any value. UGH! Super damaging for so many.
As we move through mid-life, it presents us with an opportunity to surrender to the inevitable changes that come our way and some of those are really hard.
We know too well how weight gain during perimenopause causes so many women so much distress (and there's no wonder given said relentless barrage mentioned earlier).
Whilst we have some solid lifestyle tips below, we'd also invite you to look at your body a little differently than simply what the scales are telling you.
Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
Oh, the hormonal dance! As we sail through perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels are doing the tango, causing our metabolism to tap out. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone, along with ageing in general, triggers metabolic changes in the body.
One form of estrogen, called estradiol, decreases, this hormone helps to regulate metabolism and body weight. It's like Mother Nature decided to play a cosmic joke on us!
Metabolism: The Slumbering Beast
As you get older, you naturally lose muscle mass because of the ageing process and lowering estrogen levels.
So you're more likely to develop a slower metabolism during perimenopause and after you reach menopause. With a slower metabolism, you don't need as many calories to maintain the same weight.
Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, so when you lose muscle, your metabolism can take a hit (and why you need extra protein daily in perimenopause).
The perimenopause protein rule: your need for protein increases from approximately 1g per kg of body weight to approximately 1.2g per body weight daily. What your protein needs might look like in a day.
Our Peri Protein POWders not only give you enough protein per serve they also support your body AND brain through perimenopause. They also help ease stress, sugar cravings and broken sleep.
Stress: The Silent Culprit
In the hustle and bustle of life, stress becomes an uninvited guest. But did you know it could be silently sabotaging your weight loss efforts? Stress triggers the release of cortisol, the infamous stress hormone, which not only revs up your appetite but also encourages your body to store fat, particularly around the midsection. It's like a double whammy for perimenopausal women!
Reducing stress is king! You might not think you are stressed or outwardly show it. Just being in the perimenopausal transition is a stressful time for your body along with the hustle and bustle of a busy life, it can be a lot. Make sure you take him for you and do the things you enjoy. Focus on things that reduce your load. It’s OK to step over the housework and take a yoga class or a long walk. Also think about the exercise choices you are making. For some women high intensity exercise can actually make them put on weight as it makes them and their body stresses.
If you're looking to reduce the way stress plays out in your body, we recommend two cups of our magnesium loaded superlattes a day and one Peri Protein POWder with KSM-66 Ashwagandha.
Sleep, Sweet Sleep
Who knew that something as innocent as sleep could be linked to weight gain? Lack of quality sleep disrupts the delicate balance of hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, making you more susceptible to those late-night snack attacks. Combine this with the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause, and you've got a recipe for weight gain disaster.
For better sleep, try our magnesium loaded super lattes. Take two cups a day consistently.
Muscle Mass Matters
As the candles on our birthday cakes multiply, so does the importance of preserving muscle mass. Unfortunately, perimenopause has a knack for causing muscle loss, which can slow down your metabolism even further. That's why strength training becomes your secret weapon – lifting weights can help you maintain and build muscle, keeping your metabolism fired up.
What Can You Do About Weight Gain in Perimenopause?
Now that we've unpacked the why, let's talk about the how and it’s important to note that as we age our bodies are changing so there also needs to be an element of acceptance along with doing the things we need to, to support our beautiful bodies.
Staying within a healthy weight range is about good health and helps how we feel.
- Adapt Your Exercise Routine: Mix up your workouts with a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training.
Mindful Eating: Pay attention to what's on your plate. Choose nutrient-dense foods, and be mindful of portion sizes. Snacking on whole, unprocessed foods can help keep those hunger pangs in check and support your body well. Our Peri Hot Choccy is an amazing mid afternoon treat that will help keep cravings at bay and help you get a good night sleep.
Stress Management: Incorporate stress-busting activities into your routine, whether it's yoga, meditation, or a leisurely walk. Your body and mind will thank you, and so will your waistline.
- Prioritise Sleep: Make sleep a non-negotiable part of your routine. Create a sleep-friendly environment and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to ensure you're getting the quality rest your body needs. How to get a good sleep in perimenopause.
Start and finish your day with a Peri Superlatte: Helping supercharge YOU through perimenopause. Our Peri Superlattes will help you reduce stress, improve sleep, improve insulin resistance and much much more. Find out more here.
- Compassionate Acceptance: your body is changing and she's done alot for you in your lifetime. What can she do now? We encourage a focus shift from 'How do I look?' to 'How do I feel?', 'What are the amazing things my body has allowed me to do both in the past and now?'. We have so much to thank our bodies for. Much like puberty when we were young and we noticed big changes and came to accept them, the same applies to now. Your body is changing because this is where we're at in life so let's celebrate what she's done/does for us and focus on nourishing that beautiful body to help us get through these years of perimenopause.
- Connect with Your Tribe: Share your experiences with friends or join a support group. Knowing you're not alone in this journey can be incredibly empowering and provide a much-needed boost to your mental well-being. Join our Peri-Sister community here.
So, there you have it – the mystery of gaining weight despite eating well and moving during perimenopause.
It’s a time when your body is changing and adapting for the next chapter. Arm yourself with knowledge and focus on prioritising you and your health.
Remember, you're not alone, and you've got the strength to embrace this journey! Cheers to the fabulous perimenopausal you!