Picture this: you're in your 40's and suddenly you're experiencing things you've never had to deal with before. You're getting hot when it's 62 degrees outside, your husband's chewing is suddenly making you irrationally angry, you're starting to see a tire forming around your midsection despite your daily barre class, and sleep comes in inconsistent waves that are driving you mad.
Yup, you've hit perimenopause and now you want to know what to do to slow down the clock (if not turn it back completely).
Here's the thing, you don't have control over the fact that you are aging and that there are inevitable changes that come with that.
However, you do have control over your mindset and your habits which both have the power to either exacerbate or minimize symptoms which is exactly what we're going to talk about today.
Just like any other body-related process, there isn't a complete and constant shift when it comes to menopause. Our hormones continue to ebb and flow as we age, but there is a steady decline in reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone as we get closer and closer to our golden years.
Because these reproductive hormones affect our mood, immune system, energy, muscle function, cognitive function, stress response, appetite, gut health, sleep, and recovery, when they downshift we can start to feel like we're inhabiting a body that doesn't feel like us anymore.
That being said, we have more power over our experience than we realize.
Our diet, relationships, history of pregnancy/breast feeding, sleep, activity level, environment, stress levels, alcohol/drug use, and medication all play an important role in how much we feel the impact of our hormonal shifts.
And I have a tough love answer you're probably not going to love... you need to do the same shit everybody else should be doing.
Now before you exit this page in exasperation, let me explain.
Most women who come to me in their 40's, 50's, and 60's looking for help with their weight say some version of this:
"When I was in my 20's and 30's, all I had to do to lean out was cut carbs for a week/do cardio every day/do the master cleanse/fill in the blank. Now I could eat like a bird for a month and I gain a pound! What the heck!"
"I've been able to eat whatever I wanted my whole life and never gained a pound. Now I look at a cookie and I have to go up a size!"
What's going on here is not that you were doing something 'right' before, and now that thing has stopped working and you need to find the next 'right' thing.
What's going on is your body was more resilient in the face of bad habits and it was more responsive to extreme measures when you were younger.
But now 40, 50, or 60 years in your body has had enough and now you're now paying the price.
Which is why the answer is not to follow some crazy starvation diet (and before you scream 'lower metabolism!', a new study just came out showing that our metabolism stays constant from 20-60 years old and only declines about 1% per year beyond that).
The answer is to do what we should have done from the get go... practice habits that support your hormones, your gut health, and your metabolism:
So many people say "I've tried everything" when they really mean "I've tried every diet."
So before you shrug off these basic guidelines and jump on the next fad diet, check in with yourself. Log your food, movement, sleep, and stress management every day for a week and see how many of those habits you can honestly and consistently check off.
Now with all that being said, there are some small things we can try to give ourselves a bit of a leg up when it comes to post-menopausal weight loss.
Need help holding yourself accountable to these habits and breaking out of the yoyo-dieting cycle that's keeping you stuck? Use the links below to either book a free consultation for 1:1 coaching or to join my Follow Your Gut Waitlist!
Ready to say goodbye to stubborn weight, uncontrollable cravings, emotional eating, and tummy 'fluff'? Click here to get on the waitlist for Follow Your Gut!!
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The information shared in this blog and podcast are intended for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions and you should always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.