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ASERRUTO Posts: 40
5/23/12 10:09 P
I have not reached menopause yet, but after 45 I noticed that just exercising did not keep me from gaining weight. I have been at 125 most of my life, except for pregnancy, but slowly reached 130 in the last year. I have made some changes to my diet, reducing my consumption of chocolate, alcohol, bread and fats. It worked. I still enjoy them, but at a reduced rate.
We are all different, as an athlete, I never thought I would have to adjust to age, but weight and injuries have forced me to.
I turned 50 last month and have already gone through menopause.
I realize I might not be the best person to answer this but I thought I would put in my two cents, as well.
I have had weight problems most of my life. I have been on one diet or another for large portions of my life, sometimes with good results, sometimes not so good. I know I didn't do my body any favors by having eating disorders until I was almost 30, either. I was bulimic from the time I was 16 until I was around 28 or so. I also had periods of anorexia although not anorexia nervosa. I have hypothyroidism and have been on medication for it for 5-6yrs. At this time, I am slowly losing from an unexpected weight gain that started back in September and didn't stop going up until February. It is slow but it is coming off. I have learned it is important for me to focus on non weight victories over just weight or I would end up becoming discouraged.
I agree with the other posts about the articles and studies not telling the whole story. Many studies are somewhat slanted to give the results the people doing the study expect. They tend to have a rather narrow focus without enough variables introduced to allow for some other conclusion to take place other than what they are looking for at the time. An example of this would be taking groups of people, putting them on types of diets and collecting results. Unfortunately, they don't usually have a large group of comparable people, i.e. same sex, similar weight, similar age, similar health, similar activity levels, similar body fat/muscle ratio. When they put these test groups on diets, they offer limited variables such as low fat, low calorie, low carb, low protein type diets. They tend to not have these studies in a closed environment which means they have to take the people's words for what and how much they eat and what types of foods. They also have to accept what they are told about activity levels and more. When they get their information, they also tend to only look at certain factors they are wanting to see. Then, many will take that information and use it to conclude what they believe happened, which is usually based on a preconceived idea, opinion or belief.
We are the main reason whether we fail or not. We have to believe in ourselves before any real change can happen, no matter what our age. It sounds hokey sometimes but it's true. It has taken me many years to understand that. We do sometimes have conditions which can make weight itself be harder to lose but we have to focus on something more than the weight, especially when we have a huge amount to lose, like I do.
We each, as individuals, need to find the eating plan that is right for us. It may not be the same as those around us although a lower carb, higher healthy fat, whole food, minimally processed food eating plan generally is better for you. Some people are better able to handle eating certain types of foods than others. Its up to you to find what works for you and that can take a while sometimes. Cutting back on sugar, sweet foods and starchy foods is not a bad thing. I use stevia instead of sugar in almost everything even unsweetened koolaid for my kids.
I also agree strength training as we get older is pretty much mandatory. I started kettlebell training at the beginning of last month and I absolutely love it. I get strength training, stretching (flexibility) and cardio all in one workout. A good 10 minutes workout burns around 200 calories. I do it every other day for 10-20 minutes right now. Strength/weight training helps build lean muscle mass which helps raise your metabolism and weight training especially helps to build bone mass, as well, which is even more important as you grow older. Staying active as we get older also helps us to remain active as we age, which is yet another good benefit.
Once everything fits together and clicks, you would be surprised at how good you feel. More important than being thin is a good, strong, healthy body.
MDDLLAMA Posts: 97
5/22/12 9:10 P
Try a drizzle of honey to help with the sugar cravings. I started using that instead of sugar in my tea and oatmeal. You need a lot less honey to make something sweet. I would love to see more postings from my fellow menopause woman. I just got thrown into menopause after a full hysterectomy back in March. I am 40. My doctor told me that I really needed to get my butt in shape so I am taking her advice and doing so. It is very hard but I haven't found it impossible to lose weight. I am currently on week 3 of my new healthy eating and exercise plan. I could use continued support from my fellow Sparks!
SARAF81 Posts: 11
5/22/12 6:48 A
Thanks for all of the great information on menopause weight gain. Yes, I agree the weight training has helped. I try to eat low carb and more veges and fruits. I still have the cravings for the sugar. Any ideas? thanks, Sara
LKG9999 Posts: 1,557
4/18/12 1:10 P
I am 50, and definitely showing signs of menopause. In the past 4 weeks, I have lost 9 pounds by following a lot of the advice on this thread: daily cardio, weights 3x/week, eating a mostly sugar-free, low carb, lean diet. So no, I don't think losing weight is impossible.
One thing I have noticed however is that it feels like my body's "set point" - the weight that I can comfortably maintain - is a little higher than it was when I was 20. When I was younger I generally could maintain at around 150-155; in rare instances I would go below 150 but it was tough keeping it there. When I lost weight three years ago, it seemed like my body wanted to settle at about 160-165. But, I also didn't do a good job of keeping up the healthy habits that kept the weight off.
I think the only way to scientifically evaluate this is to enroll women in their 20s who are at a stable weight, have them have the same food intake and exercise for 30-40 years, and see if their weight increases. But I'm not sure where you'd find women who would sign up for 30 years of eating and exercising the same way!
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,007
4/18/12 11:27 A
From what I understand, Metabolic syndrome usually occurs when high blood pressure,high cholesterol and visereal fat (tunny fat) and elevated sugar levels are all present at the same time which can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps control the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. When you are insulin resistant your body converts every calorie it can into fat, even if you’re dieting.
And it won't let you burn fat when you exercise. I personaly was diagnosed with insulin resistant, which could have lead me down the path to full blown diabetes. I have lost 70 lbs, so no it is not impossible to lose weight when living with proeper nutrition.
I eat low carb, low glycemic now and will the rest of my life. High-carb diets also lead to cravings. It has nothing to do with willpower, more to do with inadequate nutrition. One of the reasons why carbohydrates lead to weight gain is they always leave you hungrier. Our bodies crave nutrients and vitamins.
Moderate exercise will help. WALK! Keep moving every 20 minutes, get up and do something. START eatring low glycemic now before other problems arise. Pear, peaches, apples, plum, kiwi, cherries, apples and all sorts of berries are low glycemic. Omit starchy food from your diet like such as bread, pizza crust, rice, potatoes, beets, peas, sweet corn, parsnips and pasta.
Add flax seed to your diet as it is very low in carbohydrates, for those who need to limit their intake of starches and sugars.Aim for 1 Teaspoon of flaxseed daily in your salad, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cereal. It also helps lower triglycerides
Eat more seeds and nuts. Cashew's lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol & increases the good kind.
Walnuts are a great source of omega 3's. Eating just 4 walnuts per day can keep your heart healthy. Start doing this today. Add to yogurt, salads, or just eat them plain.
Poppy Seeds are a good source of Omega 3's fatty acids.
Pumpkin Seeds are a natural source of carbohydrate, have amino acids, vitamins C, D, E, and K and most of the B vitamins
Seasame Seeds High in fiber, protein, calcium and magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. These little seeds also helps bone density. Add to veggies, salads, brown rice or make seasame seed chicken.
Almonds are believed to be the healthiest choice for nuts, they are low in saturated fat, reduce blood sugar levels and the risk of obesity.
Pine nuts are nature's only source of pinoleic acid, which stimulates hormones and helps diminish your appetite. Helps lower cholesterol.
Cannellini beans are loaded with nutrients your body needs. They help reduce cholesterol, prevent headaches and give you energy to spare.
Acorn Squash is a little ball of fire when it comes to potassium, omega 3's, vitamins A & C, and B complex.The taste is similiar to a sweet potato and is a good source of dietary Fiber. The squash prevents oxidation of cholesterol in the vessels and is low in carbs and reduces inflammation.
Asparagus is a good source for Vitamins A, C, K, Folic Acid.
Onions lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and is an antibacterial and an antifungal
Califlower High in Vitamin C and fiber, helps lower BP.
Celery may be low in vitamins but is rich in minerals and lower BP
1 cup of spinach, withK, A, B, calcium, folicacid and vitamin C and has other essential nutrients for overall good health
Cereals are high in sugar and sodium, so eat only shredded wheat, puffed rice or puffed wheat which has no sodium or salt or sugar, multi-grain cheerios or Kashi 7 whole grain puffs (organic section $2.89 per box and eat with skim milk and berries.
STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR ALCOHOLS which are in most sugar free foods, get no sugar added products instead.
Eat lots of greens, avocados, you may want to give up red meat which causes inflammation and see how much better you feel.
Good Luck. You can lose!
I wouldn't mind seeing some of those articles. I'm 48. So, not far off from 50. I'm gaining ground on you. LOL !
Okay, there is a lot of conflicting data on the internet. I know, I've read quite a bit of it myself. Every "study" that comes out is open to interpretation. So, a person has to take a grain of salt with the health articles they read because once again, there is a lot of conflicting data.
I will say that losing weight when a woman reaches those certain ages IS NOT impossible. I disagree with the statement that a menopausal woman is doomed to gain that 10-20 pounds as they get older.
Speaking for myself, I haven't gained those 10-20 pounds and I'm peri-menopausal. In fact, I am in better health today than I was when I was a teenager. The members at the gym who take my classes will tell you how fit I am. So, if an old lady like me can still teach aerobics and strength classes at 48, then those studies that say women are doomed to gain weight are BUNK !
Women of those certain ages can lose weight. The problem (as I see it) is that as we age, we lose lean muscle. that's the worst thing that can happen to a woman. that lean muscle we had when we were younger is what drives our metabolism. However, as we get older, we're told to slow down. We're not as active because we have families to take care of, jobs to go to, etc... Well, when a woman isn't active, she loses lean muscle. that loss of lean muscle is one reason women pack on weight in later life.
And I've seen this happen in my own female relatives who don't exercise. They have packed on weight around their middle because one, they don't exercise and two, they aren't eating right. Most people don't realize how important what we eat is to our weight. As we age, I've seen a lot of people who don't eat right. As a result of the lack of exercise and poor eating habits, people pack on the pounds.
As I teased a cousin of mine who complained about his expanding middle,"that's why they call it middle age, because it starts in the middle !" LOL !!!
My point, IF you were to engage in a good strength training program to increase your lean muscle and IF you eat a healthy diet that nourished your body, you would lose weight. Will the weight come off as quickly as when you were a teen ? Nope and part of that has to do with lean muscle. When we were teens we were much more active and as a result, had more lean muscle.
I've been strength training for the last 4-5 years. I can not rave enough about what it has done to change my body. I think another problem is that women think that adding lean muscle will cause them to look like men. This is a total misconception. Women do not pack on lean muscle the same way men do. However, we both benefit from the increased lean muscle.
What many of these so called articles don't talk about is lean muscle. But once again, it comes down to the issue that "experts" think that as we age, we should be slowing down. I once again disagree, I do think it's important to stay active in some way our entire life or we will pack on the pounds.
So, no you are not doomed to gain weight ! You can lose if you're reading to engage in some regular exercise (that includes strength training) and eating right.
If you'd like to read more about women, strength training and menopause, you can start with these great Spark articles....
I'll be 50 this year and it's around the corner for me, too (periods not always monthly now).
Don't believe all the hype! Like the previous posters said, we're all individuals and there's indeed a wide range of normal.
For what it's worth, I recently lost apprx 50 lbs and if I knew it would have been this relatively easy, I would have done this long ago!! In my case, I always exercised (not crazily, but did walks & weight lifting) but just didn't watch my eating like I should have. It's true: you can't out-exercise a poor diet (more so as we age) and once I "got" this and seriously ramped up the veggie consumption, ate more "clean" & cut out the nightly pinot noirs & got more sleep, everything clicked for me.
It's been better than I ever could have imagined. I feel beyond blessed. I, too, had been worried that if I didn't "take care of this now," it'd only get harder. You know what? It was easier this time than the past 2 x's when I was younger & gained it back! I am approaching my tenth month now and I never stuck to something so long - let alone feel like I could continue it for a lifestyle.
No more fad stuff more me; just good old-fashion common sense stuff.
I am 5'10" and back to a size 8. Yee-Freaking-Haw!!!
My only regret is not starting this sane & rational approach waaaay sooner.
Oh well! Guess it's true what they say: with age comes wisdom!
Good luck to you!
MISSRUTH Posts: 3,981
4/16/12 8:12 P
Well, I'm no expert. And I did not read any of those articles. I can tell you that I gained weight when I went through menopause, but I don't think it was menopause that did it-- I think it was a total lack of exercise, coupled with stuffing my face with desserts and high-calorie meals, and a lot of junk food. During the same period of time, my DH had colorectal cancer and then I had breast cancer. Loads of stress and a lot of eating. I don't think cancer caused my weight gain either. Well.... not directly, anyway.
I've lost weight and gotten in pretty good shape, using SparkPeople. I am 56, totally done with menopause (and cancer-free). I also take thyroid medication. So my personal opinion is, forget the articles. We are each "an experiment of one", and if you want it, you can do it.
I take studies and research with a grain of salt and the reason is that some of these studies and reports to do not share the whole story. That being said, I have not quite yet entered menopause, but it's just around the corner and so far I have been able to keep the weight off. I think what is most important is that women need to strength train (to put on the all-important muscle--the metabolically active tissue) as well as do some form of cardio 5-6 days a week which allows us to expend calories and keeping our bodies healthy.
I wish you well!
PEAJAY50 Posts: 1,617
4/16/12 4:24 P
What started this post: I was reading an old article that stated women in menopause should just forget about loosing weight, because they will never loose it. And then another article claimed that the weight gain was minimal 10-20 pounds, so no big deal. Yet another claimed that the weight gain stems from a metabolic disorder. As I verified such statements, beliefs, I uncovered more articles as current as 2011 that were like-minded with the previous statements.
Are these articles truthful?
A 10-20 pound weight gain for all of the menopausal period cannot be the “norm” – or can it?
Then another thought springs forth… because the hormones “settle, calmed” after menopause (post menopause) then won’t the weight come off easily then? Especially with maintaining a healthy lifestyle prior to and during.
With a metabolic disorder can this system be healed, corrected, etc, through nutrition and exercise? Or is it damaged permanently? Especially after long term ( 2 decades) starvation dieting