Can You Lose Weight After Menopause
Can you lose weight after menopause? The answer is YES and here are my research-based tips to get you started losing weight after menopause.
June 2023 Update: I can’t believe it’s been three years since I wrote this! I truly am through menopause now at 61. In addition, I have a great post that is more current that I recommend everyone check out since it has my weight loss process in detail, 10 Steps to Lose Weight.
It’s not difficult in terms of what to do. What tends to be difficult, is getting into the mindset that will allow you to lose weight and keep it off.
As a weight loss and life coach for women over 50, I’m at expert at helping you use your MIND to get the results you want in your body and in your life!
I’m an active woman and grandmother and I depend on my body to take me on adventures and allow me to play with my grandchildren for hours!
I don’t eat the way I do just to be thin. I eat this way because it’s good for me and the people I love.
Losing Weight During Menopause
I was a size 14 through most of my 40’s. It wasn’t until I was into my fifties and starting perimenopause that I finally cracked the code to losing weight for myself and more importantly, keeping it off.
The good news is that it is possible.
When I first wrote this post, I knew it was true for me. In the three years since, I have seen it is possible for other women.
But what worked when we were younger doesn’t work at some point. And that can cause a lot of confusion and frustration.
I hear you!
Even though you may remember a diet that worked once, you may discover that you just can’t get yourself to stick to it.
On top of all that, years of eating processed foods have probably taken a toll on your body and the hormones that run your digestion and metabolism may be out of whack.
So in this new time of your life, you will need to do new thing!
But the good news is that I don’t recommend dieting or depriving yourself.
Just a reminder. This is not intended as medical advice, it is meant to be informative and an example of what I do and why. This may not be the right thing for you right now because of health reasons. I also use simplified descriptions of body functions at times to make this easier to understand.
This isn’t something you can do for a few weeks and then call it good.
This is a commitment. At times when my commitment waivers, say, because of work, or a new romance, or travel, I gain weight. Over the holidays, I had too many cookies and treats.
Overall though, I walk this walk, day in and day out. Not just to be thin, but because I believe that getting the right kind of food is good for me!
I don’t have a magic pill that makes me stay fit either. Walking, stretching, and light weights help me stay toned.
Do You Want to Lose Weight After Menopause?
That’s a serious question.
I hear from so many women that SAY they want to lose weight. Yet, because it is a challenge in the beginning, when you are building new habits, many women give up before they can get their results.
There are some of you that will tell me that it’s just not worth it to you to eat healthy foods. You want to eat what you want, when you want.
You are a grown up and you get to eat what you want. But look around. Look at what the food people are eating is doing to them.
It takes time to change habits. It takes time to reverse the physical damage in your body. It takes time to heal your gut.
And it takes time to get your hormones working correctly again.
None of this happens in a week or two. You have to really want this to stick with it while your body is healing.
You have to be willing to stick with it even if you aren’t losing weight or during weeks when you don’t see a change on the scale.
Why You Might Want to Lose Weight After Menopause
I don’t care about your size.
I do care that many of you are primarily eating foods that aren’t actually foods.
I care that you are still following low-fat diets that have not only been proven to be ineffective, they are inherently dangerous. We need to eat healthy fats!
I care that the foods you eat and how often you eat them are causing non-stop inflammation. The inflammation that causes weight gain also causes disease.
The dietary changes you make to lose weight can also help you have a healthier body. That is what inspires me to eat real food. It really is the best.
The Mindset to Lose Weight After Menopause
You won’t be able to eat like you always have and get different results. So, you may not want to do what it takes to lose weight after menopause.
There is room for lots of variety but in general, you can’t eat the way you did when you were a teenager or in your twenties.
Some foods that you always thought were okay, just aren’t. They never were and they aren’t going to come back into style.
Eating in a way that supports and nourishes your body is not a fad. It’s not a diet. It is essential though if you want to be as healthy as you can be for as long as you can be.
You have to develop a whole different mindset to be a person that is thin after menopause.
Take a moment and imagine her. She doesn’t eat like you do or think like you do.
She is you though and you are her. Yet there is another you. The you who is ten pounds heavier in a couple of years.
You get to decide which you, you will become.
How to Get Started Losing Weight
If you decide to do this, remember, you don’t have to do everything all at once. In fact, when I work with clients, I don’t have them do anything except record what they are currently eating for a week or two.
Remember all those diets that failed? We’re not doing that anymore! This is for the rest of your life.
Take a week or two to see what, when, and how you are actually eating. This is so important.
This is where you begin to understand why you got to where you are. This is where you discover the trouble areas.
Your food journal will be your best friend.
I’m going to share all the things I do and that I believe are helpful. But I don’t expect you to do them all at once.
After a couple of weeks, look at your food journal and pick one thing to work on. It could be eliminating evening snacks. It could be making all your lunches from real food. It could be cutting out one piece of bread a day.
It doesn’t matter. Pick one thing at a time to work on and do that, until it feels like normal. Then do another thing. Keep writing in your journal.
Eat Real Food for Weight Loss
What is real food?
Real food is food that is as close to natural form as possible.
- Proteins: all meat, fish, seafood, eggs
- Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, coconut cream
- Extras: rice, beans, nuts, olives
I limit anything made of flour and grains and especially sugar!
You can look for Whole30 and Paleo recipes and find lots of inspiration on Pinterest or Google.
I even rounded up 20 recipes for you here:
Remember, there are so many different proteins out there. You aren’t limited to chicken breast or a lean piece of beef. You can have ANY cut of meat, eggs, fish, or seafood.
There are hundreds of vegetables to choose from. Some like corn and peas aren’t recommended but in general you can have all you want of non-starchy vegetables.
You can have smaller amounts of starchy vegetables such as potatoes and winter squash.
Seriously, once you get comfortable with eating plenty of healthy fats, your food is going to taste amazing.
You might also hear this called intermittent fasting. I think time-restricted eating is a more accurate term.
This means that you limit your eating to a period of time during the day. For example, I usually have all my food between 11 am and 7pm.
During my day, this means that I don’t have my first meal until 11 am and I eat my last one by seven. I will have coffee and bone broth in the morning.
Then at noon I have a meal with vegetables, healthy fats, and a little protein.
Sometimes I have it in the form of a green smoothie, sometimes a salad, and sometimes just a normal looking plate of food comprised of protein/vegetable/healthy fats.
For dinner, I’ll either do a salad with a protein and healthy fats or another protein/vegetable/healthy fats meal.
To round out these meals, I will add nuts, avocado, fruit, seasonings, fresh herbs.
Let me give you an example of one of my favorite salads.
I’ll fill a big bowl with greens. Then I’ll add some chopped chicken, ham, or salmon. I’ll add cut up peppers. Some olives. Some toasted nuts. A chopped avocado.
Other great additions are chopped cucumber, tomato, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower.
To top it off, I drizzle on aged Balsamic vinegar and lots of olive oil. This salad is never boring!
Exercise for Weight Loss after Menopause
Certain kinds of exercise help me lose weight.
Walking is number one for me. I think that it does two things. It reduces stress and it promotes fat-burning. The secret is to keep a steady pace and walk for 40 to 60 minutes four to five times a week.
I love outside walking but I also love to do walking videos. Here is a link that shows you two free walking videos to try.
In addition to walking I enjoy exercise like Barre, yoga, and fusion types of exercises. I also do push-ups a couple of times a week.
The best exercise is one that you stick with. This post goes through all my favorites that I’ve used to help lose weight and maintain that loss.
While you might be able to lose weight without exercise, exercise gives you definition. In addition, it helps with your posture and self-confidence.
It helps you look better way beyond just losing weight!
Don’t Snack Around the Clock
Even if you aren’t ready to fast or do time-restricted eating, you will probably benefit from not snacking.
Growing up, I ate three meals a day. We didn’t snack because it just wasn’t a thing.
At some point, probably when we were being starved by low-calorie foods, snacking became a thing.
All of the sudden, we needed six meals a day?
This is not good for most people. Most of the snacks people eat will raise insulin. This means your body never gets a break.
Your body never gets ahead. It is always trying to keep up.
And if you keep food in your body all the time, your body never accesses your fat stores.
In fact, not only does it not get a chance to access its fat stores, it usually has to add to those fat stores to get that sugar out of the blood.
Eat Healthy Fats
I don’t promote eating huge amounts of fat or fatty foods. While diets such as Adkins or Keto demonstrate that we can eat lots of fatty food and lose weight, it doesn’t mean we have to.
It’s important to eat healthy fats in amounts that are good for your body and that keep you satiated.
I usually aim for a couple of tablespoons of fat per meal.
For example, I might cook my food with some coconut oil or butter and then add some to dress it after it’s done.
Fat makes food taste delicious! And it is what keeps us full.
Fat does not make you gain fat. Sugar and foods that act like sugar cause weight gain.
It’s time to accept that fat is a critical nutrient that our bodies need.
Some fats are not good for us and should be avoided. This includes vegetable oils, canola oil, margarine.
Here are the fats that you can add to your diet: olive oil, olives, avocado oil, avocados, nuts, coconut oil, butter, and ghee. You can even have the fat from grass-fed beef and pastured animals.
Your body will let you know how much fat you need.
Eat to Satisfy Your Hunger
One of the hardest things to get used to as I’ve gotten older is that I simply don’t need to eat as much.
However, my brain hasn’t quite accepted that yet.
One of the best tips I can give you is to not eat until you feel hungry. If you are eating real food with plenty of fat, your hunger will come on gradually and not feel unpleasant at all.
Then when you feel that nice hungry feeling, that is your body telling you it is time to eat.
If you wait to eat until you are hungry; it is much easier to know when you are full.
Start paying attention to how you feel while you are eating. Note when you start to feel full. I often feel full well before my brain wants me to stop eating.
This is probably one the of the most difficult aspects; learning to accept that we just don’t need as much food as we did when we were younger.
That’s why it is even more important to eat nutritionally dense foods. If you aren’t eating a lot, you need to eat food that is really good for you!
Can YOU Lose Weight After Menopause?
I know that I did and I’ve connected with other women who have and are doing it now. There is a revolution going on with women over 50 losing weight and living lives they love.
While losing weight might seem like a mystery, it really isn’t anymore. There is solid research that has been around for a long time that shows what affect certain kinds of food have on our body.
Even though the calorie-counting low-fat diets are still being promoted, these have been proven to be ineffective and not healthy.
Eating around the clock, keeps your body pumping out insulin and can result in inflammation.
Most people eat way more than they actually need to. Modern processed food is designed to keep us hungry and craving more.
Real food does not do this to your body.
I really want to give you hope and motivation with this post that it is possible to lose weight even after menopause.
Traditional low-fat or low-calorie diets may work in the very short-term but they do not lead to long-term results.
This is about loving your body and taking care of it so that you can enjoy it for a long time.
Keep showing up my friends,
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.