Help for menopausal weight gain

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

Weight gain is a very common problem in women approaching menopause. Many women never had a problem with their weight, until they reached menopause, and then suddenly, the weight seems to pile on.

Most common culprits for menopausal weight gain –

  • Insulin resistance. This causes the liver to manufacture excess fat, which tends to accumulate inside the liver, and around the torso.
  • Poor liver health. The liver stops burning fat efficiently, and you may develop a fatty liver, which is infiltrated with unhealthy fat. Reversing the fatty liver is critical for achieving weight loss.
  • Underactivity of the thyroid gland, which causes a slowing down of the metabolic rate.
  • Inappropriate hormone replacement therapy with oral forms of potent hormones.
  • Excessive doses of HRT, especially testosterone.
  • Emotional eating to cope with anxiety, boredom and depression.
  • Lack of exercise.

Insulin resistance is the most common culprit

Insulin resistance means the body gradually becomes resistant to the effect of its own insulin. The body compensates for this, by producing more and more insulin, resulting in excess levels of insulin in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas to control the metabolism of sugar and fat in the body.

Excess insulin is a problem because –

  • Insulin encourages body fat deposition. It converts excess dietary carbohydrate into body fat.
  • Insulin suppresses the levels of the fat burning hormones in your body. That means it stops you from burning body fat for energy.
  • The high insulin levels make you very hungry – insulin stimulates the appetite, and makes you crave carbohydrates such as bread, biscuits, cakes, muffins, snack foods, pasta, noodles, rice, grains and cereals and sugar. The high levels of insulin will turn these carbohydrates into body fat.

High levels of insulin can result in other health problems such as:

  • High levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Low levels of the good HDL cholesterol.
  • High levels of the fat triglycerides, which raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Increased plaque formation in the arteries.
  • Fluid retention and elevated blood pressure.
  • Unstable blood sugar levels, which can progress to type 2 diabetes.

Dr Cabot’s book I Cant Lose Weight and I Don’t Know Why explains insulin resistance and provides a 12 week metabolic weight loss plan, complete with healthy, low carb recipes for you to enjoy. Using a good quality, low-carb protein powder such as Synd X Powder is beneficial for weight loss and balancing blood sugar levels. Fatty liver is commonly associated with insulin resistance and is becoming more and more prevalent, even in those who don’t drink alcohol and don’t appear very overweight. See the book Fatty Liver You Can Reverse It for a healthy eating guide to heal your liver.

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