I am having solid success in creating lean muscle and reducing menopause fat. In this post I am sharing an important part of how I’m doing it. From peri-menopause through menopause and now almost post menopause I gained around 14 lbs (6.3 kilos). Most of this weight has been fat and most of it around my middle and breasts which is typical of menopause fat gain. The good news is I’m starting to loose the unwanted fat and regaining a healthier body.
As our estrogen drops in peri menopause, menopause and post menopause we become more sensitive to carbohydrates and at the same time more sensitive to cortisol rising. Both of these contribute to unwanted weight gain. Also, at the same time if we do not eat enough we can gain unhealthy fat during this time.
Before menopause I was not taking in enough daily. I was at approximately 1,300 calories a day which is REALLY low. I should have been getting in around 1,900. a day at least. So when menopause hit I felt it and saw it! I have had to adjust my nutrition tremendously during these last few years and that has included eating a lot more but eating different things too! However, right now I’m going to talk about how I had to adjust my training nutrition which has made a significant positive difference.
Athletes going through menopause benefit greatly from learning what works for them. It’s not exactly the same as regular menopause because we are adding the stress on the body of training which demands more nutrition and different kinds.
If you find you are gaining weight when you train more during menopause, like I was, below I share the reason why this happens and what I have done to reverse it.
When we do not give our body the carbohydrates it needs in training after our estrogen has begun dropping ~ our body will then store more fat in order to go into survival mode. When we were menstruating regularly before peri menopause not eating enough would cause hormone disruptions but not always fat gain. So, if you don’t fuel enough during your sessions the body gains unhealthy fat. I know this is counter intuitive but it’s real! I have experienced this first hand.
Also, our body needs protein immediately after training in order to stop the cortisol levels from rising. Cortisol is known as the belly fat hormone.
Here is my training nutrition and what has been working very well for me (which also lines up well with the science shared by Dr. Stacy Sims in her Menopause athlete class)
My bike training as an example:
We need to get in 1.3 -1.6 food calories per pound per hour. For me this is around 220 Cal.
This translates to 2.5 of my homemade Goddess Bites an hour. *see my video on my Goddess Bites
Before my ride I get in 10 grams of protein powder with 1/4 cup of organic brown rice milk and after a harder or longer ride I get in 40 grams of protein with a cup of brown rice milk. These doses of protein are key to muscle strength as well as recovery in keeping down our cortisol levels.
I experimented with all kinds of scenarios and the above has made the most positive difference so much so that I saw and felt the difference within a day! There is great science out there now on what we should be trying in order to adjust our training nutrition in menopause and post menopause in order to thrive.
Any questions or comments feel free to send me a message personally I would love to hear from you!
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