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 By Jeanne Novas, MD 

Menopause can be a great time in life - be sure to get good health care and advice on treatments of menopausal symptoms from your OBGYN.  Our office also can guide you in weight loss during this time.  Both are complex issues that are better treated by your doctor.

Women tend to gain 1-2 pounds per year as they approach and go through menopause.  Both weight problems and menopause are a hormonal issue.  Insulin resistance, adrenalin release from stress and lack of sleep and frequent sugar/carbohydrate intake seem to be the culprits. There are many diets and theories, and we gain and lose and gain back weight - nothing seems to work.  Here are some points that may help:

  • Refined sugars and refined carbohydrates cause increases in insulin and we have no satiety from them - they will make you gain weight.  Artificial sweeteners stimulate your body to release insulin, making you take in more carbs than "natural" sweets like fruits.
  • Processed foods have sugar and vegetable oils that stimulate insulin and cause you to gain weight.  That includes "diet" shakes and bars.  Think natural: nuts, vegetables, fruits, full fat dairy (not skim milk), meats, preferably non-farm raised fish and beef.  Protein makes you feel full, but don't overdo it.  Good fat is important.  Consider making "bone broth".  Prepackaged broths have additives and lack the natural nutrients.
  • Green teas, coffee and various herbs can cut your appetite and are rich in antioxidants.
  • Fasting with proper hydration can be done healthfully without feeling "tired", and can lower your insulin levels.  Don't snack all day.  Skip breakfast.   Fasting can actually increase your metabolism.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours per night is very important.  Stress reduction is very important. Adrenaline increases your insulin levels and can cause weight gain.  
  • Exercise is important for mobility, range of motion, feeling of well-being, metabolism and reduction of stress.  Not a calorie counting workout.
  • Look at supplements and naturally occurring protective vitamins and minerals.
  • Consider increased fiber and vinegar (watch the heartburn).

Always best to see us regarding your menopause and weight issues.  We can help guide you safely with medications, herbs, supplements, along with our dietician Stephanie, who is available via virtual appointment.

Jeanne Novas, MD, FACOG