Average weight gain during the two years after a woman’s final period? 5-8% of her baseline body weight.
For example, I weighed around 140 lbs when I had my final period in October of 2020. Which means, that if I made NO changes to my nutrition, movement, or rest, I would gain anywhere from 5-11 lbs, due to the hormonal changes that occur during menopause.
HRT helps with so many of the symptoms of menopause, including weight gain, but even with this, I saw my scale at 156 lbs in April of 2022. (ever the overachiever)
Now, to be fair, I was eating more ultra-processed foods than I had pre-pandemic. So, I made two shifts that slowly brought my weight back to the 140 area, AND, just make me feel better physically, mentally, and, even spiritually.
I began practicing intermittent fasting, specifically following the science laid out in Gin Stephen’s, “Fast, Feast, Repeat”.
I also returned to a primarily whole-food, plant-based way of eating, with special focus on consuming a diversity of plants: 30 or more per week. See Dan Buettner’s “Blue Zones” and “Fiber Fueled”, by Will Bulsiewicz, MD MSCI, (a.k.a. Dr. B) if you want the reasoning and science for choosing this life-style.
I share these resources for several reasons.
- I was uninformed. The calories in calories out model of health and wellness management is Just. Plain. Wrong. Hormones control every system in the body, and weight is no exception. These three books give hope and SOLID research-based insights into this emotionally charged and overwhelming landscape.
- I have a lot of people reach out to me privately, asking for help and advice around weight and wellness. After spending years of my life reading and trying everything in the wellness space, these are three resources I can recommend to everyone. The research is solid, and my personal experience bears the research out.
- What and how we move and eat is so very very personal. I in no way mean to impose my path upon others. I simply offer the information and resources and suggest a curious mindset.
My path is just that, MINE. I will never say there is ONLY one way. But if you are hurting, struggling, and frustrated, I gently offer the above as a possible solution.