How to Reverse Menopausal Weight Gain and Health Issues with Diet and Exercise
Menopause doesn’t have to signal the end of our health and wellness. In fact, menopause can be just the opposite. But for so many women, the years leading up to this change of life can be devastating with weight gain, gastrointestinal distress and other metabolic changes that make menopause something to fear.
Lia is no different than many of my clients in that she was not prepared for how her body would react during this change of life. You see menopause doesn’t have to make you gain weight and lose your health. What is really happening is that your body is just not going to tolerate some of the same habits as it did in the past. Check out Lia’s story to understand more.
At the end of June, Lia came to me frustrated over her recent weight gain. Since hitting menopause, Lia had gained 30 lbs. in a little over a year. She hadn’t changed her diet but her body had changed significantly. She also complained of developing IBS during the pre-menopausal period. She worked long hours and found it hard to exercise. She wasn’t taking anything natural for her IBS but instead was using medication to treat symptoms.
The first thing we did was look at her current diet. She started her day with artificial creamer (full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners), chocolate cereal and conventional dairy. She included “white” carbs with her meals, used drinks made with artificial sweeteners, drank sweet Sangria and ate chips in the evenings and ate out several times a week at restaurants.
Now it may seem to Lia that she suddenly gained weight and developed IBS but in reality she was slowly gaining weight and wrecking havoc on her liver and digestive tract for many years. Menopause just pushed her over the edge, as our body will not handle this load as well as the hormones decrease.
Lia was not exercising during the school year when she taught for long hours but she was finding time in the summer. I encouraged her to work out a system to get some daily steps in during the school year too.
Right away I could see that how Lia had been eating was no longer going to work. As our hormones change, your body begins to change how it handles the sugar, chemicals and artificial foods. The good thing about Lia was that she loved all the right foods and it was just a matter of getting her back in the kitchen cooking some real food again.
Lia first started out with BodyDesigns Two-Week Detox Plan. She stuck to it 100% and lost 6 lbs. She challenged dairy and gluten and realized she felt much better without either of them in her diet. She changed from lactose free conventional milk to an unsweetened coconut milk. Loving to cook, she began experimenting with different recipes and came up with some great staples.
Lia has now been following her customized Lifestyle Diet Plan and having me monitor her for accountability for the past 6 months. She continues to slowly drop the weight and has lost a total of 20 lbs. She now finds time to walk at school during the day in the building and can get her 10,000 steps when she puts her mind to it. She no longer has to take medications for her gastrointestinal issues as her new lifestyle diet keeps her healthy and full of energy.
When I asked Lia to tell me her thoughts about the program she said:
1. Learning about food composition and what was happening in my body when I ate certain foods was eye opening. It was easier to make changes after I was educated about what was going on in my body.
2. The Detox program got rid of all my cravings for sweets and made it so easy to follow a healthy diet when it was over.
3. Learning that certain foods affected my gut was key to feeling better which helped me to continue to eat healthier.
4. I love all the easy recipes Mary shared and she helped me with my own recipes that I wanted to add by making small changes where needed.
5. Logging my food and being accountable to Mary was so critical. It kept me on track long enough to make this a lifestyle and not just a diet.
Congratulations! Lia on making the change and finding your health again. Looking forward to follow up with you and see how you continue to progress with your weight loss.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!