What to Eat to Beat Perimenopause Sudden Weight Gain
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Ladies, have you noticed that somewhere after your 40th birthday you started slowly gaining weight? Maybe you had the thought that you should add in another workout, or take it up a notch. You probably even thought that you should trim a few snacks or invest some time in a new diet plan.
Maybe it hasn't been that simple. For a large number of women, middle age weight gain comes with a number of problems like diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. These might get classified as "lifestyle diseases" but there is little about lifestyle that triggers the frustrating process of decreased metabolism leading to weight gain after 40 for women.
of all, it isn't your fault. Nothing that you are doing is wrong, or causing this sudden shift in your weight. In fact, many women experience a steady increase of 10-15 pounds without any significant changes to exercise or food intakes in the years between 40 and 50. As you probably guessed, the main culprit at work are hormones.
Hormones and Diet
Your hormones may be responsible for your weight gain, but that doesn't mean that you need to accept it without a fight. It is possible to shed those unwanted pounds without spending hours in the gym and cutting back to 3 lettuce leaves and an ice cube for dinner.
Balancing your hormones is the key to weight loss after 40. There are a number of hormones of interest during this time, I am going to walk you through the basic hormones as they are related to food. Sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) are also playing a role in metabolism and changes you are experiencing. A discussion with your medical doctor is a valuable tool that I highly recommend. For the sake of simplicity, I am speaking about hormones as they relate to food and metabolism.
Tap into hunger signals: learn to eat when you are hungry and avoid snacking to fill emotional needs or boredom. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and fat storage and rises each time you eat foods that contain glucose.
Don't eat stressed: cortisol is also a hormone, and it can contribute to the belly weight that happens naturally as women age. If you are always eating under stressful conditions or in front of screens this hormone is on the rise. Leading to stubborn belly fat.
Eat balanced: another way to keep the insulin in check is to eat meals that contain lean proteins and healthy fats. This keeps insulin from spiking after eating limiting fat storage.
Detox: fiber is a natural way to flush out excess insulin, cortisol, and blood sugar. Eating high fiber meals helps you to stay lean by limiting how much you are absorbing and storing of excess nutrients from food. Fiber also is not digested and promotes digestive health and fullness. Meaning fewer calories coming in to be stored.
Diet Plans for Women Over 40
No two women are the same, and there are a number of ways to combat the weight gain that comes with mid-life. In general, balancing lots of fresh and organic fruits and veggies with lean proteins and healthy fats is the best way to stay trim, however sometimes you need more structured and targeted plans to get started.
Intermittent fasting is a method that works for some women- and it's just as it sounds. Limiting meals to windows of time during the day (usually less than 12 hours) and fasting for the rest of the time. This can be helpful for reducing insulin. This plan doesn't work in all cases, and can be tough to follow in some circumstances.
Keto or Ketogenic diets are also known to be successful for some women. This diet is complex and largely based on reducing carb intakes. It isn't advised to reduce carbs without the guidance of a dietitian to ensure overall balance important to maintaining metabolism. If you go this route then absolutely seek help.
Whatever method you choose, it's important to make sure that you have all of the facts before beginning so that you can stay healthy and avoid further complications.
Any diet changes should be discussed with your physician or dietitian to help you make informed choices moving forward.
In my 6-week program: "What the Actual Fork: Demystifying Mid-Life Nutrition" I walk you through the steps to create your own plan for weight loss success. Covering topics such as self-care, fitness, and stress management I teach you how to navigate the unique challenges of perimenopause and menopause.
If you are done with the struggles of mid life and want to feel confident again, then this is the program for you! During the 6-week program I guide participants through selecting and creating an eating plan, adjusting fitness to be more efficient and effective, and using mindfulness techniques for stress management.
Say buh-bye to long cardio workouts and hello to food that you actually like to eat! Because in 6 weeks you are going to be rocking mid-life like a boss!