Entering perimenopause can feel like stepping into a whirlwind of bodily changes.

From mood swings to hot flashes, women experience a myriad of symptoms as their bodies transition toward menopause. Among these changes lies the often misunderstood aspect of metabolism. Metabolism, often depicted as a mysterious force governing weight management, is deeply intertwined with hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause.

Let's delve into what metabolism is, how perimenopause affects it, and what strategies can help navigate this transitional phase with greater ease.

What is Metabolism?

Firstly, what is metabolism? At its core, metabolism encompasses all the biochemical processes that occur within the body to sustain life. It includes the conversion of food into energy, the utilisation of nutrients for cellular repair and growth, and the elimination of waste products. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the energy expended at rest to maintain essential bodily functions, is a key component of metabolism. Hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, play pivotal roles in regulating metabolic processes.

How Does Perimenopause Affect Metabolism?

How does perimenopause influence metabolism? Perimenopause marks the gradual decline in ovarian function and the onset of hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in estrogen levels. This hormonal shift can disrupt metabolic equilibrium in several ways:

  • Sluggish Metabolism: Estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining metabolic rate by influencing BMR. As estrogen levels decline, BMR may decrease, leading to a sluggish metabolism. This can result in weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.

  • Insulin Sensitivity: Estrogen also affects insulin sensitivity, the body's ability to respond to and regulate blood sugar levels. Reduced estrogen levels can lead to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of developing metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

  • Muscle Mass Reduction: Declining estrogen levels contribute to muscle loss, which further slows down metabolism. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue. Therefore, a decrease in muscle mass can decrease overall calorie expenditure.

  • Fat Redistribution: Perimenopause often brings about changes in fat distribution, with more fat accumulation around the midsection. This visceral fat is metabolically active and increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

What Can I Do To Boost my Metabolism in Perimenopause?

Given these challenges, what can be done to support metabolism during perimenopause?

  • Prioritise Nutrition: Focus on a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats. Adequate protein intake is essential for preserving muscle mass and supporting metabolic function. That’s why we developed our Peri Protein POWders, packed with protein and Ashwagandha to help reduce stress, food cravings caused by stress and improve sleep.

  • Stay Active: Regular exercise, including both cardiovascular and strength training activities, can help mitigate the effects of a slowing metabolism. Strength training is particularly important for preserving muscle mass and boosting BMR.

  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can disrupt hormonal balance and contribute to metabolic dysfunction. Incorporate stress-reducing practices such as mindfulness, yoga, or meditation into your daily routine.

  • Prioritise Sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for metabolic health. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support hormone regulation and metabolic function. Our Superlatte range has been created specifically for perimenopausal women and packed with nutrients and supplements to help improve your sleep, explore the range here.

  • Consider Hormone Therapy: For some women, menopausal replacement therapy (MHT previously referred to as HRT) may be an option to alleviate symptoms of perimenopause, including metabolic changes. However, it's essential to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare provider.

  • Monitor Metabolic Health: Regular check-ups with healthcare providers can help monitor metabolic health and address any emerging issues promptly. Blood tests can assess glucose levels, lipid profiles, and other metabolic markers.

Navigating metabolism during perimenopause requires a multifaceted approach that addresses hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and overall health. By adopting healthy habits and seeking appropriate support, women can navigate this transitional phase with greater resilience and vitality. Remember, each woman's journey through perimenopause is unique, so it's essential to listen to your body and prioritise self-care along the way.



March 21, 2024 — Angela Greely

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