Weight Loss after Menopause
Losing Weight during Menopause
There are several approaches for making weight loss after menopause faster and easier. These include choosing the right diet for you, speeding up your metabolism, reducing stress levels with herbs, balancing your hormones, correcting insulin resistance through diet and exercise, and controlling hunger and cravings.
Since choosing the right diet is the most critical, and can also address all the issues mentioned above,let us start there.
Weight Loss After Menopause - Choosing the Right Diet for You
This is one of the most critical factors to success for weight loss after menopause. Find a diet that has two parts to it, one part allows you to lose weight, the other is to maintain weight loss and should be one you can stay on for life.
Many women find that their metabolism is not ideally suited for losing weight, especially after menopause. This may be just the way a particular body is, or it may have been made worse after years of yo-yo dieting. Fortunately there are ways to work with these challenges through diet alone.
As a general rule, low-fat diets are not only not healthy, they are ineffective for weight loss for a couple of reasons. They increase cravings because your body is not getting critical nutrients that it needs. They tend to be high in carbohydrates which can strain your digestive system and contribute to insulin resistance, which is especially critical for women looking for weight loss after menopause.
You are much better off with a high-fat diet than a low-fat diet. If this information sounds shocking to you, do a little research. More and more doctors and nutritionists are agreeing that carbohydrate restriction is critical to weight loss, and low-fat diets aren't always healthy.
An excellent book that explains how we came to believe that low-fat is good for us and saturated fat is bad, in spite of scientific evidence to the contrary, is Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories.
Eat good fats. Avoid trans fats. I say this a lot, because it is so important. Good fats are cod liver oil, which gives you vitamins A and D, and the essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA, all of which are extremely low in modern diets. DHA and EPA are Omega 3 fats and help cells be less resistant to insulin.
GLA, from evening primrose oil, borage oil, or black current oil, is another essential fatty acid that is especially helpful for weight loss after menopause. For more about this, see Menopause Evening Primrose Oil.
Bad fats are trans fats (hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated), and most vegetable oils. Olive oil is an exception. If you eat a lot of convenience foods, you are getting bad fats in your diet. This will disturb many cell processes, and interfere with weight loss after menopause.
A New Dietary Approach for Weight Loss After Menopause or Anytime
Helps You Lose Weight, Rev Up Your Fat-Burning Capacity, and Get Healthy all at the Same Time
I recently (December 2008) discovered a new program for weight loss and health. I kept hearing these amazing testimonials, from men and women at all ages and health levels, losing weight more successfully than ever before, and gaining better health at the same time.
I am still struggling with weight loss after menopause, so I decided to enroll in the program and check it out. Even though I already know and practice many of principles in this new program, I am finding that the smallest things can make a difference. Like removing a few bites of fruit that you add to a shake every day can make the difference between losing weight or not losing weight. (This may or may not be true for you - it depends on your individual metabolism - which you will learn more about in this program).
My first week on the program, I doubled my weight loss, from between 1/2 to 1 pound a week to two pounds. My digestion is better, I'm sleeping better, and feeling good without hunger or cravings.
What I like best about it, after having tried many, many programs over the past thirty years, is that you only eat food that is good for you. There are no artificial ingredients, no low-fat foods, and nothing that isn't healthy for you in the long term.
So many times I've been on diets that have you eating foods that you wouldn't eat if you didn't have weight to lose. Then you spend all your time thinking about how you'll eat when you get off the diet. I have a different experience with this program, even though there are foods I love that I'm not eating right now. I don't have any hunger or real cravings, so while I may get a bit bored, I'm not dreaming of what I'm going to do when I get off the diet. And I feel better! I have more energy, less bloating and digestive issues, and I'm sleeping better, all without needing some of the herbs and other natural remedies I was taking before.
The program has telephone classes for five weeks, then forum participation on a monthly basis (optional) after that.
According to my doctor, the people who are the most successful losing weight have two things in common – they are part of a group and they exercise consistently. This program allows you to be part of a group without leaving home.
The program has two options for participation – one with weekly private consultations with Dr. Heidi – a nutritionist with years of clinical experience. During these sessions she will fine tune your diet to maximize your fat-burning metabolism. The other option, for those short on cash or those who don't feel the need for private consultations, is called the multi-media option.
To find out more, you can watch the video about the program (it's a bit long), or listen to Kathleen's story about weight loss after menopause – just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Desperate Deb gets her man back with her new bod". Then scroll down to the fourth video.
To see a list of program features, options and your FREE bonus for enrolling (with or without listening to the video), click ADD to CART. Extreme Regime Fat Burn Formula
Other Diets I would recommend for weight loss after menopause or losing weight during menopause are described in the following books: Eat Fat, Lose Fat, The Carbohydrate Addicts Lifespan Program, Dr. Mercola's Total Health Cookbook and Program, and The Schwarzbein Principle. These are all low to moderate carbohydrate diets.
Eat Fat, Lose Fat is a highly satisfying and nutritious diet based on the dietary principles of Dr. Weston Price. It has moderate carbohydrates in the weight loss section, but also contains health recovery and maintenance plans that are moderate in carbohydrates. If you are sensitive to carbohydrates or find it especially difficult to lose weight, this may not work for you.
The Carbohydrate Addicts Lifespan Program is the one I was using until I found the ER program. If you have a hard time avoiding sugar and other carbohydrates, and the idea of eliminating them sounds impossible, this may be the diet for you. It will also help you recognize the effects of insulin on your body and learn to control insulin, which also reduces hunger and cravings. While this diet can help you lose weight, it is easy to slip into eating less healthy foods instead of beginning to lose weight as the natural consequence of eating healthy.
Dr. Mercola's is grain-free and based on the dietary principles of The Metabolic Typing Diet, which says that different body types need different amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
The Schwarzbein Principle includes carbohydrates in specific quantities and at specific times throughout the day, which helps control your moods and cravings. I tried this for awhile and found it did stabilize my energy and moods, but I had a difficult time not overeating carbohydrates after awhile.
Note: I recently heard from my doctor that the people who are most successful keeping their weight off do two things: they are part of a group, and they exercise consistently.
For group options, one that doesn't cost any money is Overeaters Anonymous. They have groups all over the country, so you may find one in your area. The ER Fat Burn Formula program, mentioned above, also has on online group format, with the option to continue after the program is over.
Increasing weight loss after menopause
Speed up your metabolism
Reduce stress, balance hormones
Rev up your metabolism. To do this you may need to work with your stress level, nourish thyroid and adrenal glands, and reduce hormone imbalance.
For metabolism support, add coconut oil and other coconut products to your diet. Coconut oil is also very nourishing to your thyroid gland, and one of the good fats.
A supplement that is extremely effective for upping your metabolism is L-carnitine. You can take it in doses ranging from 500mg to 4000mg. It is expensive, so don't take more than you need. Start with 500mg twenty minutes before eating, and add 500mg per day until you start to feel an optimal energy level. Divide your doses between morning and before lunch (if you take it at night it may keep you awake). It works best when you limit carbohydrates.
CoQ10 also supports metabolism and is very good for your heart. Take 30 – 100mg per day. Chromium is essential for effective carbohydrate processing and also supports metabolism. You need 200mcg per day. GTF chromium or chromium picolinate are good sources.
Avoid soy products. Soy interferes with thyroid hormone, which will interfere with weight loss after menopause. In addition, unfermented soy products have substances that interfere with mineral absorption. You need more minerals at menopause, not less.
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Correcting Insulin Resistance
If you were already overweight before menopause, chances are you may have insulin resistance. Many people that have weight problems are also insulin resistant. Finding out more about this is critical to your health as well as critical to losing weight during menopause. For more information, see Reduce Insulin Resistance.
Controlling hunger and cravings
Controlling hunger and cravings is one of the most effective strategies for increasing weight loss after menopause. This is crucial for weight loss. 5-HTP is an amino acid that will boost serotonin and can help with afternoon or evening cravings. Take 50-100mg between meals, midmorning and/or mid-afternoon and before bedtime. 5-HTP will also help you sleep. For sugar and carbohydrate cravings in general, L-glutamine can help. Take 500mg capsules, 1-3 at a time between meals, before breakfast, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
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Menopause and Weight Gain
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Natural Remedies for Menopause