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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Can menopausal problems affect weight loss?

Can anyone answer this question please. I am in my late forties and my periods have started being very irregular (they were always every 4 weeks until 2 years ago). I started well on this diet, eating healthily and losing 1-2 pounds every week. However, my period was 6 weeks late and I had started putting on weight, gaining 2 pounds in total and then remaining the same for 2 weeks. My period has now started, should my weight loss resume and should I expect this sort of thing each time I am awaiting menstruation? I did not falter from the diet but it was a bit disheartening to stick rigidly to the regime and not lose anything. Any other women in this situation? I am 47 and the doctor said this irregularity can last for several years. (boo-hoo). Karen

A.

Our expert says...

Hi Karen

The menopause can do funny things to your body, and what you could be experiencing could easily be due to hormones, water retention and just the (rather unfortunate)  fact that as we get older our metabolism slows down due to loss of lean muscle tissue. You could also be just going through a plateau.

In short a combination of factors is likely to be at play. But try to look at the positives, although you have gained a little weight you are still lighter than when you started out  - the trend is still in the right direction!  As your period has just started, I would also expect for you to start losing what you gained.

It’s great that you did not falter from the diet, and I’m hoping you’ll soon see some loss again to keep you motivated.  If you find your current calorie level easy to stick with and the problem continues you could reduce by a 100 or 200 calories more. But don’t get hungry, as hunger is the hardest thing to deal with.

Some resistance exercises that tone muscles - like press ups, lunches and squats - are also a good idea to to retain lean muscle mass.

I wish you luck through this period, and stick with it, you’re doing everything you can!

Angela

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