The Truth About Why It’s So Hard to Lose Weight in Menopause

May 22, 2024

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When it comes to your weight loss journey and navigating menopause with the right hormones and exercise, I'm always thinking about what you need and want to hear. I listen to other podcasts or conversations so that I can glean valuable insights to share with you. My goal is to provide you with the keys to success, whether it's achieving weight loss or managing menopause symptoms.


I often enjoy breaking down recent coaching experiences because they reflect how I coach and learn to make the best choices for my own health. The beauty of coaching lies in not just getting educated but in learning how to apply that knowledge effectively. 


By sharing my journey and those of my clients, I hope to offer practical tips that you can easily incorporate into your life.


Today, I want to talk about a topic many of us grapple with: why is it so hard to lose weight in menopause. Let's dive into this challenge together and explore actionable strategies to overcome it.

Managing Expectations for Successful Weight Loss in Menopause

I recently had a conversation with a client in my long-term coaching program. She's been with me for about two months and expressed frustration during our Zoom call because she wasn't losing weight as quickly as she had hoped. 


Many of us have experienced this feeling—whether you're paying for coaching or making changes on your own, the results aren’t coming as fast as they used to. If you're in your 40s and beyond, it’s essential to manage your expectations


This same issue happened to me in my 40s. Methods that once helped me drop a few pounds stopped working, and I even started gaining weight, developing a muffin top, and experiencing poor sleep.


The first step is to recognize progress in areas other than the scale


Although it may not be a scale victory, improvements in any part of your health journey are still victories. Look at what is better now; I guarantee there are positive changes. 


Our brains tend to focus on the negative, but continually fixating on what isn’t working can lead to discouragement and giving up. We need to shift our mindset to accept that this process will take time, likely longer than we initially expected.


Instead of committing to losing two pounds a week, commit to a healthier way of eating and living for the next six months. 


If the scale doesn’t move, that's okay because you are committed to yourself and your health. 


This mindset prevents frustration and the urge to quit. 


The scale is just one measure, and it may not show progress, especially if you are gaining muscle through adequate protein intake and exercise. 


Building muscle is crucial for fat loss for women over 40. So, let's change our expectations and commit to our health journey for the long haul.

Tips for Consistency and Healthier Choices When Menopausal Weight Loss is Hard 

If you don’t change anything else, aim to get three to four doses of protein, 20 to 30 grams each, throughout the day. 


Just try this for six weeks and see how your body starts to shift into fat-burning mode. 


Protein is thermogenic and has many benefits, so it's a great starting point. After adjusting your protein intake, take a look at your overall eating habits. 


One client of mine was eating off-plan three to four times a week, indulging in inflammatory foods like pretzels, tortilla chips, and M&Ms. 


To see real changes in weight, something has to change in your routine.


It's crucial to understand the importance of discipline, though I prefer to frame it as learning to manage urges and self-coaching to stay on plan. 


This means recognizing when you're tempted by unhealthy foods and choosing to opt for healthier alternatives. Small, consistent choices build momentum and lead to better results over time. It’s not about being perfect but about making healthier choices more often.


In midlife, losing weight isn't as simple as making a few slight changes. 


Declines in estrogen and other hormones increased insulin resistance, and a decrease in muscle and bone mass all contribute to a slower metabolism. Additionally, many of us aren't eating enough protein or maintaining a proper calorie balance. 


We need to stop making excuses like "this bite won't make a difference" or "I'll start on Monday." Instead, commit to making healthier choices within a shorter time frame, such as the next three hours, to stay on track. 


Planning off-plan treats ahead of time and ensuring they're balanced with protein can help manage cravings and keep you focused on your goals.

Weight Loss in Menopause is Hard, so Learn to Build Self-Trust and Enjoy Exercise 

Another essential aspect of your journey is building trust with yourself. If you commit to eating healthily all week and then don’t follow through, you create a disconnect between your intentions and actions. 


This lack of congruence undermines your self-trust. To build trust, your yes needs to mean yes, and your no needs to mean no. When you follow through on your commitments, you start making better choices consistently.


Start small to build this trust. Pick one thing to commit to and use tools to help you stay on track. When you face temptation, remind yourself of the truth: every choice counts and unhealthy options won’t make you feel good. Instead, find a healthy alternative and stick to it. 


This practice helps reinforce your commitment and builds trust in yourself.


Exercise can also be challenging, especially if it feels like a chore. One of my clients found her workouts unenjoyable because she lacked the necessary equipment, and her exercise app was confusing. We tackled these issues by looking for affordable equipment on Facebook Marketplace and preparing her workout space in advance. These small adjustments made a significant difference.


Now, let's make exercise fun. Challenge yourself to add enjoyment to your routine. This could mean getting new workout gear, listening to your favorite music, inviting a friend to join you, or rewarding yourself for meeting your goals. 


When you make your fitness journey enjoyable, you're more likely to stick with it. 


Fun activities release oxytocin, which helps counteract cortisol and reduces stress. Whether it's exercise, meal prep, or daily movement, find ways to infuse fun into your routine. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Starting and sticking with your weight loss and health journey during menopause can be challenging, but by managing your expectations, making consistent healthier choices, and finding joy in your routines, you can achieve your goals. 


Remember to build trust with yourself by sticking to your commitments and finding ways to make your workouts and meal plans enjoyable. These steps will not only help you see progress but also make the journey more fulfilling and sustainable.


If you're looking for more comprehensive guidance on navigating weight loss in menopause, download my free eBook HOW TO SHED BELLY FAT AFTER 40. It's packed with valuable insights and practical tips to support your weight loss journey. 


Click the link below to get your copy.

Download My Free HOW TO SHED BELLY FAT AFTER 40 eBook.



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