The holiday season has officially come and gone, and if you’re one of the many women in their 40s or older who found themselves gaining extra weight despite your healthiest efforts to prevent it, don’t be alarmed. While clichéd advice about exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress is still all-important for weight management (not to mention overall well-being), there are a few things about post-holiday weight gain that may surprise you. Knowledge is power, and understanding what could be causing the dreaded weighing-scale increase can empower us to take actionable steps toward achieving our desired energy levels and a healthier body size. In this blog post, we will discuss the real causes behind perimenopausal weight gain and tangible solutions to help end the cycle of frustration!
I See What You’re Going Through
The transition to menopause can leave you feeling overwhelmed, like there’s no help in sight. But don’t give up hope just yet! With the right information and support system, perimenopausal symptoms won’t have to be something that you simply “have to deal with.”
I, too, am in this phase. So I understand a lot of the symptoms that come up as they come up for me as well. Even though I’m a practitioner with knowledge of the subject, I don’t always know exactly what I need to do with my plan.
One of the things that surely comes up, especially around this time of year after the holidays for many women, is weight gain. I would often listen to women say, “How do I do this?” or “How did this happen again?” or “I gained another 10 pounds, and I told myself I wouldn’t do it this year.”
I know you feel like you have been eating too much, and I feel the same way. We have not been perfect with our diets, and we need to start being more careful about what we eat.
It’s time to get back on track.
There is more to your weight gain story.
For women in their forties or beyond, sometimes this weight gain isn’t necessarily just related to the holidays. Most of the time, let’s face it, it isn’t. A metabolic process changing for women that probably has been happening for a few, if not many years, with this lead up to the holiday season.
Moreover, the holidays are almost just another trigger to perpetuate a process that’s already going on in the body. It does not just happen with a snap of the fingers. Eating more sugar and carbohydrates sets the stage for holiday weight gain long before the holidays begin.
To counter it, it will not be as simple as cutting out the sugar and doing a bit more exercise as you move into the new year. I know there are all these kinds of boot camps and all these different programs and things that you could potentially sign up for and do. But let’s face it. If you are a woman and you are having trouble gaining weight as you get older, there is probably more to the story. Unfortunately, this means that you will have to do more than just diet and exercise.
Our Metabolic Pathways
Now, this may not be exactly what you want to hear.
The truth is that our metabolic pathways—the way that we metabolize and burn our fat and maintain our fitness and health—change as we get older. There are aspects of these pathways that are more than meets the eye.We need to recognize that there are individual strategies that you’re going to need to implement to help you optimize your metabolism, regardless of whether it’s after the holidays or not.
For many people, a weight loss program is not just a temporary fix. It may not work at all. But even if it does work, it probably won’t last if you don’t understand why you’re gaining weight in the first place. As women get older, their hormone levels change, and they start to gain weight. So unless you understand the root cause of your weight gain, you won’t be able to keep the weight off.
The lowering and changing of those particular hormones alone start to slow down our metabolism, unfortunately.
The Other Body Systems are Out of Balance Too
You may be noticing things are getting a little tighter around the waistline; you may even be changing sizes with what you’re wearing, and you may not really like it. Oftentimes, it just doesn’t make us feel good. Often we don’t feel as energetic or as sharp, and we feel a bit sluggish. Our energy is just not as good as it once was when we have this extra weight gain.
This is a sign that other systems of the body are out of balance as well. Typically, those systems are the ones we need to work on rebalancing.
When we do, the weight will start to recalibrate on its own, so we don’t have to do caloric restriction, intermittent fasting, crazy boot camp-style exercise workouts, or programs after the holidays. It’s because, really, that person is looking for a quick fix. Six to eight weeks of doing these types of programs won’t last unless you really understand what’s going on underneath, which is your metabolism.
How do we understand what’s going on?
I’m a functional practitioner and a female healthcare professional. With more than two decades of experience in women’s health, I’m adamant that proper lab testing is the key to identifying and effectively treating conditions. But it takes more than your ordinary doctor’s visit—you need to delve deeper into specialized tests for optimal results.
Typically, we need to be able to look at what’s happening overall with your metabolic cycle through either urine testing, saliva testing, or even stool testing. To ensure your metabolism is running efficiently, a combination of strategies may be necessary to decode any imbalances. A tailored understanding can help you adjust and maintain the equilibrium that works best for you.
Hormones are a trigger that slows down the metabolism.
As estrogen and progesterone drop. In particular, estrogen slows down our motility in the gut a little bit. So we are going to be more prone to gaining weight if we don’t have the other systems in our bodies in balance that help to govern metabolism.
More About Proper Lab Testing
Therefore, we need to do the proper lab testing to learn what systems are out of balance for you and which are not. It’s going to be unique to you.
- Some women have imbalances in insulin levels and blood glucose—this is a common one, especially after the holidays. The levels are up and down, all from the alcohol and sweet treats, which can persist long beyond the holidays and even after them.
- Some women have imbalances in their thyroids without knowing it. We need to do more than just basic lab testing to assess the thyroid’s overall function.
- Some women have imbalances in their adrenals. Cortisol is our primary stress hormone.
- The main female sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone are decreasing.We need to determine how out of balance they are relative to each other, as this can also contribute to slowed metabolism.
- You may have imbalances in your gut. If you don’t have enough good bacteria in your gut, your metabolism slows down. This often happens after the holidays, when we eat more alcohol and sugary foods. These foods can create an imbalance in the types of bacteria in our gut. This imbalance can lead to a slower metabolism.
This is why fad diets and exercise routines don’t always work or last because they don’t always help you address some of the specific imbalances in your gut that may be slowing down your metabolism as well.
Work with Someone (Highly Recommended)
Even though it may sound complicated, it is not. This is why working with a professional is important. They will help you understand what is going on with your metabolism and do the right tests. They will also create a plan that is perfect for you so that you can be successful in optimizing your metabolism as your female sex hormones decrease as you age.
Everyone else may tell you it’s just going to slow down. “You’re going to gain weight. It happens to everyone,” they may say. But it doesn’t have to be.
There are many things you can do once you understand the root cause of your weight gain to help you get back to a healthy weight and maintain it throughout the menopause transition and beyond.
Women around the world are turning to healthier lifestyle habits that help them unlock their true metabolic potential, empowering themselves and refining daily routines for long-term positive change. It doesn’t take rocket science—just an understanding of what’s causing an unfavorable metabolism, followed by a plan tailored to YOU.
Take a deep breath. You are not alone in this, and together we can get to the root of the problem so you can heal your metabolism and lose weight for good. If you’re ready to learn more about what could be going on with your body and finally understand how to fix it, schedule a discovery call with me today. I will help guide you through a comprehensive understanding of what is happening in your body based on my years of experience helping women just like you. Let’s chat soon!
Are you still dealing with the aftermath of those holiday indulgences? Give yourself a chance to get relief, self-confidence, and back in shape. We provide you with an initial free discovery call. It’s like exploring whether we are compatible without any pressure. Make sure to have some questions ready as well – let’s make this journey together toward feeling better about ourselves.
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional