Strategies for Perimenopause Weight Loss
When it comes to my clients in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s, I don’t like to focus on weight loss.
However, for my clients weight loss is often a welcomed side effect of addressing hormone imbalances, calming the nervous system, and regulating the body’s processes.
I believe there are far more important things to worry about than weight loss when it comes to our health and frankly, our lives. Ohhh if I could only have the time back that I wasted all those years counting calories and macros. 🙏 What I could have accomplished!
However, around age forty, for some women even in their late 30s, the 10-15 year period of perimenopause begins, and then women transition into menopause.
So, WHAT IS PERIMENOPAUSE?
Perimenopause is the 10+ years when menstrual periods become irregular as menopause approaches. While symptoms usually begin in the forties, it’s not unusual for perimenopausal symptoms to start in the thirties.
Perimenopausal women often have difficulty with weight loss and it can affect their health, both mental and physical. Here’s what’s typically happening in this phase of life:
In stage one you start to have lower progesterone levels. Progesterone is like nature's valium, so low levels make many women in this age category feel like they're going nuts. When your progesterone is lower than it was five or ten years ago, you feel more stressed. It's tough to relax. In short, you may feel hyperaroused, which is not a good thing.
Hyperarousal results from the disruption of specific hormones including progesterone, cortisol, and even insulin-leading to poor food choices, sleep debt, and mood problems. Over time, cortisol keeps going up, blood sugar spikes, and then you desperately need a glass of wine to unwind at night. It's a vicious cycle that creates even higher cortisol, lower progesterone, and higher insulin.
The symptoms of estrogen dominance can start here because even though estrogen levels are naturally declining, estrogen remains dominant with the more rapidly declining progesterone levels.
In stage 2, usually between ages 45-55, both progesterone and estrogen (specifically, estradiol) are lower. Testosterone drops too, leading to less muscle mass and rising fat mass, a dreaded combination that accelerates aging.
Low estrogen may cause mood and libido to tank and makes the vagina less moist, joints less flexible, and mental state less focused and alive. Low testosterone may cause fatigue, disrupted sleep, decreased libido, and weight gain.
This hormonal roller coaster has major metabolic consequences and costs to your healthspan.
I prefer to focus on supporting my client’s heart, hormone, bone, and brain health. As well as their mental focus, energy, enthusiasm, sex drive, strength, power, and joy. Often when we focus on these things, weight loss is a welcome side effect.
In fact, one of our clients just lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks. The weight loss was not her goal, it was just a side effect of regaining her morning energy, having decreased pain, and improving her gut health. All benefits of having balanced hormones. Best of all she felt back in control of her health and her energy after feeling like she was brain fogged and low energy for years. Weight is just one small factor when women decide to improve their health.
What to do to optimize perimenopausal health and get the side effects of perimenopausal weight loss?
Recognize that weight loss resistance is a warning signal for a deeper hormonal imbalance. From there, we implement lifestyle strategies that increase estrogen, improve insulin sensitivity, and stabilize blood sugar are key to abdominal fat loss in perimenopause.
If you’re ready to uncover what’s going on in your body, learn the keys to hormonal balance, and implement effective strategies and tools to allow you to feel more at home in your body, click here to learn more about our hormones course or here to learn about our upcoming 7-Day Grounding Wellness Reset!