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.
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.
First of all, you might not even need to lose weight or even really want to. Being slim isn’t a requirement for being healthy, happy, or successful. It really isn’t.
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There are books and websites devoted to learning to being healthy and loving your body just as it is.
One of my favorite books is called Body Respect. Even if you are planning to lose weight, this is still an excellent read.
Yet, for many of you, you know you want to feel more comfortable in your clothes and maybe it would even be easier to move with a few pounds off.
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 and more importantly, keeping it off.
The good news is that it is possible.
The bad news is that you may not want to do what it takes.
I know this because I hear about all the things you refuse to quit eating or the changes you don’t want to make.
That’s what is different about us. I decided that it was okay to want to be slim at this time in my life.
I also want to remain healthy. Remember, slim doesn’t equal healthy. The right foods, exercise, and stress-reduction do that.
Choosing to be slim is simply an aesthetic that I enjoy. Much like I enjoy long hair.
I have given up eating a lot of traditional foods and have done my own research about what is best for my body.
I really enjoy being slim and for me it’s worth the effort.
Here’s a strange truth about it. Becoming slim and staying slim doesn’t just happen. Sometimes it feels like a fulltime job!
And as a lifestyle blogger who talks about nutrition and weight a lot, it kind of is.
It’s not something you can do for a few weeks and then call it good.
It’s a commitment. At times when my commitment waivers, say, because of work, or a new romance, or travel, I gain weight.
I don’t have a magic pill that makes me stay fit.
However, I do have a regular eating routine that day in and day out keeps my weight steady.
And I do have a magic trick that can help reverse a bad day or two.
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.
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.
But that all being said, I can also give you information that can help you lose weight and keep it off!
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.
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, nuts, avocado, coconut cream
Some people include beans and grains as real food. They can be and there are some that are better than others. In general, I don’t eat too many of these.
I realize in reading that, it probably sounds like an incredibly boring way to eat. It’s really not.
I’m kind of a boring cook and I don’t really care about having exciting meals.
However, there are lots of cookbooks and cooks out there that are doing AMAZING kinds of things with this type of eating.
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, about seven or eight hours up to about 10 hours.
During my day, this means that I don’t have my first meal until noon 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!
Fasting to Lose Weight in Menopause
Fasting is my secret weapon. Once every week or so, I do a 24-hour fast where I don’t have anything besides coffee, water, or bone broth.
This sounds way harder than it actually is.
I time my fast from dinner to dinner. So, when I have my last meal on one day, I don’t eat until dinner the next day.
Since I usually don’t eat until noon or one the next day, I only have to extend that fast for a few more hours.
Our bodies love fasting and they were designed to fast periodically.
Food was not always as readily available as it is now. Sometimes people had to go without food for a day or so.
Fasting gives your body a much-needed break.
- Your body can access your fat stores.
- It is a great way to become insulin sensitive.
- You even produce growth hormones during your fast.
Some research indicates that fasting may be the only way to correct insulin resistance and cure obesity.
When I’m fasting, I’ll remind myself that my body has plenty of fuel already stored. I have plenty on my hips, butt, and waist. This woman is not going to be malnourished!
While fasting might seem hard—it actually makes your day so EASY. No food to cook. No dishes to do.
Once you get the hang of fasting, you might actually look forward to and enjoy those days.
Don’t Eat 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.
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.
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.
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.
Changing your mindset and the way you eat for good, does.
Here are some other posts to help you get started.
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Hi, I'm Sara and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having.