One of the most common concerns among women is how to prevent or lessen the impact of weight gain during perimenopause. It’s not uncommon to experience weight fluctuations during this phase. The luteal phase of our menstrual cycle, for example, can lead to increased energy usage due to higher progesterone levels and body temperature. However, if ovulation doesn’t occur – which becomes more frequent as perimenopause progresses – lower progesterone levels can result in decreased energy expenditure.
As oestrogen levels decline, the fat tends to accumulate around the abdomen instead of the hips and thighs, where it was once stored as a potential fuel source for breastfeeding.
Additionally, perimenopause often brings about increased insulin resistance, making it more challenging for our bodies to process carbohydrates effectively. Proper management of insulin and blood sugar becomes crucial for successful weight management.
There are strategies that can help mitigate weight gain during perimenopause:
Prioritize sufficient protein intake, as a protein-rich diet can aid in resetting insulin and supporting muscle mass.
Ensure an adequate intake of dietary fibre, as it contributes to hormone detoxification, gut microbiome health, and appetite regulation.
Incorporate healthy fats such as avocados, egg yolks, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. These fats play a pivotal role in hormonal balance, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are essential for hormone production and function.
Explore the benefits of using healing herbs and spices in your diet.
Addressing other lifestyle factors can also contribute to managing weight during perimenopause:
Engage in strength-building exercises to increase muscle mass, which in turn boosts energy expenditure.
Be mindful of portion sizes, as it’s easy to consume more than needed without realizing it.
Focus on improving sleep quality, as poor sleep is linked to weight gain.
Unfortunately, perimenopausal changes like decreasing progesterone levels can affect sleep patterns.
Implement stress reduction techniques, as high cortisol levels can slow down metabolism. Relaxing activities can also promote better sleep.
Limit alcohol consumption.
Minimize consumption of sugary and processed foods, as adopting a sugar-free approach can help reset appetite-regulating hormones and reduce cravings.
If you’re seeking more personalized guidance, consider exploring 1:1 consultations and different weight loss plans. These strategies can collectively contribute to better weight management and overall well-being during the perimenopausal phase.