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  #1   ^
Old Fri, May-26-06, 17:18
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is online now
Posts: 7,484
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 212/199/170 Female 5'6
BF:Too much!
Progress: 31%
Location: Rural Maine
Default Menopause Weight Gain: Can anything get the fat off again?

Ah, menopause. I swear, if it weren't for shoe shopping, I'd rather be a man.

Last summer I gained 20 pounds (probably 25 now) in a couple months with no change in diet or exercise. Well, maybe I was even MORE strict.

Nothing has taken it off. I'm on a ton of supplements, including DHEA and progesterone. Details in my journal. These were prescribed by the Women-to-Women Center here in Maine (nationally renowned center for women's health).

The Nurse Practioner there wants me to follow Schwarzbein and eat 90 carbs a day! After years of 20 grams, that's just way too much and I'll put on ANOTHER 20 pounds before leveling out.

So what's a girl to do?

Has anyone been through the weight gain at menopause and got it off again? How? Do supplements help? More exercise? Different exercise? More carbs? Fewer carbs? More fat? Less fat?

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  #2   ^
Old Fri, May-26-06, 21:09
MeBLady's Avatar
MeBLady MeBLady is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,296
 
Plan: Maintenance (PPLP)
Stats: 216/131/140 Female 5 feet, 5 inches
BF:48.79/21.19/23
Progress: 112%
Location: Southern California
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BawdyWench
Ah, menopause. I swear, if it weren't for shoe shopping, I'd rather be a man.

Last summer I gained 20 pounds (probably 25 now) in a couple months with no change in diet or exercise. Well, maybe I was even MORE strict.

Nothing has taken it off. I'm on a ton of supplements, including DHEA and progesterone. Details in my journal. These were prescribed by the Women-to-Women Center here in Maine (nationally renowned center for women's health).

The Nurse Practioner there wants me to follow Schwarzbein and eat 90 carbs a day! After years of 20 grams, that's just way too much and I'll put on ANOTHER 20 pounds before leveling out.

So what's a girl to do?

Has anyone been through the weight gain at menopause and got it off again? How? Do supplements help? More exercise? Different exercise? More carbs? Fewer carbs? More fat? Less fat?



Bawdy,

I've just started having some nasty symptoms of perimenopause myself and have been avidly reading the womentowomen website.....I like their approach and pretty much paralleling their "personal plan" for myself.

My impression, however, is that they are advocators of Schwarzbein, and while it is good that they are pro LC in treating your symptoms, I don't think you have to switch LC plans to receive maximum benefit from their care.

You've been LCing for a long time, IMO, eat at the carb level that works best for you, and stay away from foods that you know are bad and/or don't sit well with your body, make sure you get your 4-6 servings of veggies/fruit per day.

From reading your journal, it doesn't sound like that your hormones are under control -- and that is probably going to have to happen first before the battle with the weight gain will be more manageable.

Supplements will give you additional support...there is a list of vitamins/minerals the women to women clinic recommends right on their website.

As far as exercise, I abandoned my treadmil for a Rebounder -- extra benefits for those battling menopause with this specific form of exercise, including the increased weight gain.

I'm just beginning this darn trek of now cursing that I am a woman, so if I didn't provide anything helpful to you, at least know that I share your sympathy in that being hormonally imbalanced really does SUCK.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 04:01
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is online now
Posts: 7,484
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 212/199/170 Female 5'6
BF:Too much!
Progress: 31%
Location: Rural Maine
Default

Yea, isn't menopause fun.

I'm taking fistfulls of vitamins and supplements recommended by WtoW (specifics are in my journal). I've just finished my first round of progesterone, and will be starting my second round in about a week. I'm already at the max for the DHEA (5 drops morning and night), and don't feel any different. They say that some women need more than 5 drops. My next appointment there is Thursday, June 1.

They are definitely proponents of Schwarzbein. It's strange. If you look at one of the articles on their site about "fad diets" it strongly recommends AGAINST Atkins and Protein Power and describes them as low-fat plans. Huh? Says they cause metabolic problems.

My NP says that the body absolutely needs carbs. I don't believe that. I tried discussing it with her, and told her I do a lot of reading. She looked down her nose at me and asked what I read. I told her I've read books, scientific studies I get on the Internet, and that I've been reading about human paleontology and our evolution since college.

She dismissed that and said that she's been studying this for 25 years, and she knows what's right (implying that what I think is wrong).

Well, I've lived in this body for 51 years, and I know what works and, more to the point, what DOESN'T work for my body. If I eat 90 carbs a day, it will set off cravings and I'll gain weight immediately. Then I'll be in worse shape.

I just get the feeling she's patronizing me, and I don't like it.

She keeps telling me that she's going to have me do the Isogenix program later this summer. I finally looked it up on the Internet, and it's a cleanse program where you have to drink their shakes and do all their cleanses and buy all their products. I think you have one "regular" meal (according to their instructions) per day. And it's expensive. Almost $350 for a month.

Now that I've read about it, I'm going to tell her that I will not do it. It's expensive, for one thing. For another thing, I don't believe in cleanses. For another thing, I don't believe that eating a bunch of fake stuff is better than eating whole, unprocessed, natural foods.

So there! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

She also wanted me to drop the workouts down to almost nothing until my adrenals are healed. (I'm starting to question the whole adrenal thing, too.) I've now gained even more. I now have these lumps of fat on both hips that were never there before, even when I was at my highest weight.

This week I upped my exercise again, and that will be my plan. I will be doing 30 minutes of treadmill most days (shooting for 5 to 6), and weight training twice a week -- an intense upper-body routine on Wednesdays (the day I work from home) and an intense lower-body routine on Saturdays or Sundays.

Sorry this got so long.

Has anyone else experienced the weight gain and was able to get it off again?
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 06:35
ojoj's Avatar
ojoj ojoj is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,184
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 210/126/127 Female 5ft 7in
BF:
Progress: 101%
Location: South of England
Default

Due to my weight loss I hit a fairly early menopause 18 months ago. I initially was put on HRT, I gained 10lbs in a week, so I stopped taking em and lost the 10 lbs. I now take nothing and am letting nature take its course. Oddly enough my periods recently started up again and have been fairly regular and the hot flashes etc seemed to have stopped, so my doctor did a blood test and has now told me that I have normal FSH and estrogen again - more tests in a couple of months!?

My weight has now stabalised at 126lbs(ish), although I do feel that I have to keep a close eye on my food intake as my body does seem to want to put weight on. I sometimes feel I'm having quite a battle with it, but I'm winning!! BTW, I'm bone idle and dont do any real exercise - maybe thats the problem?????

Jo

Last edited by ojoj : Sat, May-27-06 at 06:42.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 07:17
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is online now
Posts: 7,484
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 212/199/170 Female 5'6
BF:Too much!
Progress: 31%
Location: Rural Maine
Default

Hi, Jo! I thought your username looked familiar, so I clicked your profile and saw your picture. I remember you from a while ago. You look great!

Did you pretty much follow Atkins the whole time? If you don't mind my asking, what and how much do you typically eat in a day? Have you always kept your carbs low, or did you gradually add more in? I see you've been LC now for around 3 years.

Gee, maybe I could not be so lazy and wander over to your journal. See ya!

Edited to add: Hey! You don't have a journal! I see you have a post in the Success section, so I'll go there.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 09:08
huntress's Avatar
huntress huntress is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 296
 
Plan: Meat&Egg
Stats: 243/209.6/143 Female 5 feet 6
BF:38/?/22
Progress: 33%
Location: winnipeg,manitoba, canada
Default

I hate those saddle bags, i'm losing everywhere but they won't budge. I think it is Kebaldwins thread in geneal health talking about saw palmetto
to normalize hormones. Going to try it after I talk to Dr next week. Side effect I might lose my beard.
Diane
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 09:09
ojoj's Avatar
ojoj ojoj is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,184
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 210/126/127 Female 5ft 7in
BF:
Progress: 101%
Location: South of England
Default

Hi Bawdywench!, feel free to ask what you like! I see you've read my success story - thanks for all the nice comments. I've stuck with Atkins for 3 years now and I have pretty much stayed with the induction all the way through, even to this day most of the time I eat the same stuff I did at the beginning. I do allow myself days where I'm more relaxed about it all - a low carb chocci bar (or three!!), a big meal out(always low carb though!), but on the whole I always retreat back to induction most of the time - its my way of balancing out the times when I do "relax" So I probably have around 20 - 30g of carbs a day. But I enjoy what I eat and I like having the control and knowing what I can and cant eat. I've never been good at these "everything in moderation" diets

What I found strange was that as I was nearing my target (originally 140lbs) I didnt really know how to add more carbs and was scared I'd lose control if I added too many, so I just kept going with what I was doing. I went passed my target and went down to 126lbs where the weightloss just stopped, that was 2 years ago! So I suppose I eat a typical induction menu most of the time - although I have a tendancy to skip brekki and usually have a mid morning brunch instead. I had bacon, eggs and mushrooms this morning (11ish), I've just had a bag of macadamias nuts (its just after 3pm here) and tonight I'm having a salmon steak with broccoli soaked in butter.

!8 months ago I started to get menopausal symptoms and after a blood test was told I was going through the menopause AAAAAGGGGHH - I was only 40! My waist seemed to get a bit thicker, from 25 - 28ins, but I was then put on HRT and 10lbs appeared from nowhere and I started to feel fat and sluggish, so I stopped the pills. The weight came off again, but my waist still seemed/seems a bit thicker 26ins. I cant complain though, I remember when it was 38ins.

I had a tummy tuck last October (4 kids and yo-yo dieting took their toll) which helped, but I still feel as though my body is trying to become fat again, I dont know if its in my mind or whether this menopause stuff is taking over!

i had a quick "google" at the schwarzbein thing and at a glance it looks like a media friendly version of Atkins. as for the hormone and HRT bit, well I dont know. What i do know is that if HRT makes us put on weight then I aint taking it!!

jo
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 09:39
huntress's Avatar
huntress huntress is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 296
 
Plan: Meat&Egg
Stats: 243/209.6/143 Female 5 feet 6
BF:38/?/22
Progress: 33%
Location: winnipeg,manitoba, canada
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sorry the thread is in nutrition and supplements
"Testosterone for men and women."

Diane
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 10:29
MeBLady's Avatar
MeBLady MeBLady is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,296
 
Plan: Maintenance (PPLP)
Stats: 216/131/140 Female 5 feet, 5 inches
BF:48.79/21.19/23
Progress: 112%
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BawdyWench
Yea, isn't menopause fun.

I'm taking fistfulls of vitamins and supplements recommended by WtoW (specifics are in my journal). I've just finished my first round of progesterone, and will be starting my second round in about a week. I'm already at the max for the DHEA (5 drops morning and night), and don't feel any different. They say that some women need more than 5 drops. My next appointment there is Thursday, June 1.


If you are comfortable with the holistic approach (this is my choice as well, synthetic hormones will be my last resort), I would be inclined to trust them in this area, at least for a little while to give these meds a chance to work.

Your levels are very, very low, and its probably going to take at least a few months to slowly bring you back up.

I would possibly question their vit/min supplements, if you are not following their exact WOE, as your needs may be different. IMO, you can probably evaluate this on your own too.....especially as a past PP follower.

The pot/mag/cal. combo is very important at the menopausal stage (ostereperosis)...but every source I have sought out gives the same reccommended dosage that is standard for a LCer.

Antioxidants are important due to the collegen in the skin decreasing in menopause....I personally take CoQ10, Vit. E, Vit C, and Alpha Liopic Acid. Vit. D is also important, but I take the Eades approach with this as well and get it naturally from the sun rather than pop a pill.


Quote:
They are definitely proponents of Schwarzbein. It's strange. If you look at one of the articles on their site about "fad diets" it strongly recommends AGAINST Atkins and Protein Power and describes them as low-fat plans. Huh? Says they cause metabolic problems.


I saw that too...but if you eliminate Atkins/PP out of that catagory and simply look at what they advocate to eat to give your body support, both of these plans really are in line with their opinion....at minimum, very close.

I had to email them recently regarding my progesterone dosage...told them what I was doing with nutrician/supplements in order to provide some history. They tried to sell me their products, of course, but did tell me I was doing the right things to provide my body with substantial support.

I believe that they are basing their nutricianal opinions soley off of Schwarzbein. However, if you consider the vast majority of medical professionals -- most of them are pro LC in the form of Schwarzbein or South Beach, which is the LC plans that best fit the mainstream mindset to include some grains/starches and the fear of saturated fats.

Other sources encourage eating soy....my own opinion is that this is beneficial only if you are low in estrogen, which again fits in with the LC mindset as soy flour is a common substitute for white flour. I personally had to back off soy, as all of my symptoms point to "estrogen dominance", and found I feel better without the soy -- started progesterone cream, soy doesn't bother me now.

Remember what your own LC knowledge tells you -- how would any of these extra foods, knowing what they do/don't do for your body, provide more support for someone in menopause? If anything, I think extra fats would be more beneficial, because your body is in a battle and would NEED the extra health support! Grains/starches, IMO, could be a bigger problem, especially if your symptoms include digestive issues.

Quote:
My NP says that the body absolutely needs carbs. I don't believe that. I tried discussing it with her, and told her I do a lot of reading. She looked down her nose at me and asked what I read. I told her I've read books, scientific studies I get on the Internet, and that I've been reading about human paleontology and our evolution since college.

She dismissed that and said that she's been studying this for 25 years, and she knows what's right (implying that what I think is wrong).

Well, I've lived in this body for 51 years, and I know what works and, more to the point, what DOESN'T work for my body. If I eat 90 carbs a day, it will set off cravings and I'll gain weight immediately. Then I'll be in worse shape.

I just get the feeling she's patronizing me, and I don't like it.


Based on experimenting with my own body, I do share the opinion that "some" carbs are necessary.....and in menopause, the nutricianal aspects are giving the body maximum support through a healthy diet, with a few extras here and there to help counteract symptoms we have now that we didn't have when we were younger.

Like you, tho, I know only what works, and doesn't work, for MY body....and I NEED some carbs in order to feel good.

IMO, YOU are going to know more about what works for you than your NP, as she is not living in your body.

Trust your own knowledge, make sure you get information about menopausal nutrician from varied sources in order to help you make your own decision if you need to add/delete certain things.

Quote:
She keeps telling me that she's going to have me do the Isogenix program later this summer. I finally looked it up on the Internet, and it's a cleanse program where you have to drink their shakes and do all their cleanses and buy all their products. I think you have one "regular" meal (according to their instructions) per day. And it's expensive. Almost $350 for a month.

Now that I've read about it, I'm going to tell her that I will not do it. It's expensive, for one thing. For another thing, I don't believe in cleanses. For another thing, I don't believe that eating a bunch of fake stuff is better than eating whole, unprocessed, natural foods.

So there! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


I would question this one too, for the same reasons you state.

This one sounds more like a sales pitch to me....they want to sell a product, and I can't say I blame them. Hard for them to advise someone unless that individual is using their products that THEY know and that they specialize in.

Quote:
She also wanted me to drop the workouts down to almost nothing until my adrenals are healed. (I'm starting to question the whole adrenal thing, too.) I've now gained even more. I now have these lumps of fat on both hips that were never there before, even when I was at my highest weight.

This week I upped my exercise again, and that will be my plan. I will be doing 30 minutes of treadmill most days (shooting for 5 to 6), and weight training twice a week -- an intense upper-body routine on Wednesdays (the day I work from home) and an intense lower-body routine on Saturdays or Sundays.

Sorry this got so long.


Hard to see where 30 min. on a treadmill and weight training only two days a week would hurt you....it isn't heavy cardio or strenuous. I would think, tho, with an adrenal problem, you would have to watch overexhausting yourself, and making sure you get plenty of sleep.

Still recommend looking into Rebounding tho -- you can google it to see if the health benefits fit more into your NP's diagnosis (not necessarily her treatment, but diagnosis, LOL).

Overall, it sounds like you are feeling out of control with your body....and I can really relate to that. I worked so hard to get to know my body and use that to control my health/weight, and got slammed unexpectedly my first month in maintenance with these "new" hormonal symptoms, some of which are very close to my pre LCing concerns.

Fine, so the scenery has changed.....you've gotten control of your body before, and you can do so again, this time with a bunch of info and history behind you, it will just take time :-)

I haven't had the problem with putting any weight back on <yet>, with the exception of some extra bloating mid cycle. At this point, I think I may have caught this before my levels went too low....however, I have noticed since I started the prog. cream that I am releasing ALOT of water.

I have run across several women that have been able to successfully maintain a healthy weight after they achieved, or got control, of their hormone imbalances.....its certainly possible for you to get your weight back down, but IMO, the hormone balance is the main key in getting back your edge in the battle.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 10:45
black57 black57 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,822
 
Plan: atkins/intermit. fasting
Stats: 166/136/135 Female 5'3''
BF:
Progress: 97%
Location: Orange, California
Default

Bawdy, I was just thinking of you this morning. I gained 10-13 lbs ( I am going to have to change my stats I guess ), last year after I began using chromium. I had hope that things would level out after the 6th week of using it but they didn't. I quit taking chromium and the weight gain stopped. It has even gone down a little, but just a little. My weight will take a nice dip when I add coconut oil to my diet. So I am trying to begin to be more habitual with that. Fortunately my weight and odd periods have been the only symptom of peri-menopause...no mood swings, hot flashes etc. I have not discussed any dietary changes with my nurse practitioner. I have also made it my goal to run 5ks by November, hoping that will shake things up a bit.
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 10:48
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is online now
Posts: 7,484
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 212/199/170 Female 5'6
BF:Too much!
Progress: 31%
Location: Rural Maine
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeBLady
... its certainly possible for you to get your weight back down, but IMO, the hormone balance is the main key in getting back your edge in the battle.

This is what I think, too, which is why I'm going to continue going to WtoW, except that we're just going to have to agree to disagree on some things. I've only been on the DHEA for not even a month, and only one 2-week cycle of the progresterone. That's not long enough to see results, not in hormones.
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  #12   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 12:01
Jonahsafta Jonahsafta is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,304
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 248/149.2/148 Female 69 inches
BF:
Progress: 99%
Location: Las Vegas
Default

Hey Bawdy!!!!

I gained 25 lbs in 6 months......its like my metabolism stopped.
Part of the problem was I was very loose with my eating.
The good news is low carb took it back off....I do have abdominal fat that I NEVER had before....and it is very resistent to reducing....the only time its come off was when I was at my very lowest weight...too low for the rest of my body.
I do not take hormones...my symptoms are mild and prozac has been phenominal in reducing the mood symptoms....hot flashes are infrequent now.....sleep difficulties are abating as well.
I am 51.....also I have had to pick up my activity level which seems to help EVERYTHING>
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  #13   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 20:03
chelles's Avatar
chelles chelles is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 387
 
Plan: Old School Atkins
Stats: 000/000/170 Female 67 inches
BF:
Progress: 0%
Default

I'm 34; I can only hope that by the time I hit menopause they'll have a better concensus on what we should do.

I'm glad HRT's side effects were exposed early - maybe there will be studies regarding HGH or testosterone for menopausal women by then.
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 20:03
Yes I Will Yes I Will is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 153
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 223/186.2/150 Female 5'4"
BF:45%/40%/25%
Progress: 50%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

This menopausal thing SUCKS. No period for almost a year and a half. Then WAM it is back. Go to DR they do tests and I seem to be one of the few that start back up after a year for no reason. No other problems.

A month after starting back up again I start LC. I lost 25 lb in two months. Next month no period but my weight loss stopped dead in it tracks. After losing 3 lb a week NOTHING. Four weeks later here is the damn period again. 12 days later it is still here. Only good thing is after 8 days I started to drop a half pound a day.

Tuesday it is back to the DR to find out what is going on now.
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  #15   ^
Old Sat, May-27-06, 21:58
MeBLady's Avatar
MeBLady MeBLady is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,296
 
Plan: Maintenance (PPLP)
Stats: 216/131/140 Female 5 feet, 5 inches
BF:48.79/21.19/23
Progress: 112%
Location: Southern California
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelles
I'm 34; I can only hope that by the time I hit menopause they'll have a better concensus on what we should do.

I'm glad HRT's side effects were exposed early - maybe there will be studies regarding HGH or testosterone for menopausal women by then.


Chelles, I'm only a few years older than you....I turn 40 in Dec. and my symptoms first hit me right around my 39th birthday. Thought I was too young to be perimenopausal until my mom informed me her symptoms started at my exact age....she turned to premarin/provera (synthetic) at 46, completed her change at 51 and still takes her same meds.

Bioidentical hormones seem to be standing out as the better and safer option, but they don't work for every woman.

The information out there is really conflicting, and with menopause being so individual, its really hard to say if treatment options will improve any time soon.

I do think that as LCers, we have an edge, due to the nutricianal support and being able to know our bodies so well. Its the best foundation we can have.

Bawdy, I'll be peeking in your journal to see how things go for you....I'm interested in seeing how well these meds end up working for you and how long it takes for you to obtain some balance.
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