Going through menopause?
Many women find in the years leading up to and after their final menstrual period that along with other symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and sleep problems, their abdomens thicken and their weight increases. Some 40 million women in the US, 13 million in the UK, and many more millions around the world are estimated to be going through menopause, which usually occurs between age 49 and 52.
We have come up with nine other actions, along with intermittent fasting, that may help stop menopausal weight issues and to give a boost to weight loss if you are experiencing a plateau while low-carb keto eating.
Don’t eat too much protein
Women need less protein and can much more easily over-consume protein compared to men. If you and your husband are eating the same size steak, you are consuming too much. Too much protein interferes with ketosis and fat burning,
General advice from our group of experts is to eat between 0.5 to 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. A 70 kg (154 lbs) woman would therefore eat no more than 105 g of protein per day, and perhaps significantly less.
Don’t eat too much fat
Once fat adapted, cut back on extra fat: One of the great joys of low-carb keto eating is adding back fat into our bodies after denying them fat for so long. But a keto diet is not carte blanche to gorge yourself on fat, the experts note. If you want to lose weight, you have to burn your own fat stores for energy, not consume all the energy you need by eating fat. So stop the bulletproof coffee and fat bombs for now. You will know you are fat adapted because you can go a long time without eating.
Once you are fat-adapted, hunger pangs diminish and it is easy to go for longer periods without eating. Many people naturally stop eating breakfast — they just aren’t hungry when they wake up. The number one rule of low-carb eating is eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
So if you are not hungry, try fasting for 16 hours, and then eating just lunch and dinner in an 8-hour window, called a 16:8 fast. Or try eating dinner one night, than fasting until dinner the next night, doing a 24-hours fast.
Watch out for the carb creep
If you have been doing low-carb keto eating for a while, carbs can sneak back into your diet, particularly in the form of sauces, condiments, fruits and nut snacks. If weight loss has stalled, closely examine what you are eating and cut back to under 20 g of carbs again. Nut snacks like cashews, almonds, and pistachios are easy to overeat and can contain enough carbs to contribute to a weight-loss stall. A cup of pistachios, for example, has 34 g of carbs. Avoid carb cycling or cheat meals, too, for now.
Cut out alcohol
Cut out the alcohol for now: Many people love the fact that on a low-carb or keto diet you can have a glass of dry white or red wine from time to time. If you are experiencing a weight-loss plateau, or gaining weight, cut out all alcohol for now until weight loss starts again. Even a few drinks a week can cause a stall
If you have been including artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose in your low-carb or keto diet, our experts recommend you wean yourself off them.
Do weight training
The more muscle you add, the better your insulin sensitivity, so any sort of resistant strain you can add to your muscle is great for weight loss. The weight lifting doesn’t have to be a excessive — 90 seconds, twice a week can do it. It has to be a heavy enough weight that after about to 10 to 15 lifts (reps) you cannot do another rep. That is called lifting to muscle failure.
While you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, adding in weight lifting will build muscle and increase your metabolism.
Get enough sleep
A good night sleep reduces stress and cortisol, the stress hormone that when raised hangs onto abdominal fat.
Tips for better sleep include:
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Wear ear plugs and eye shades.
- Limit screen time and blue light before bed (or try the glasses that block blue light.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Stop drinking coffee by noon and limit caffeine consumption in all forms.
- Avoid alcohol before bed.
- Get exposure to natural daylight each day.
When we see people struggle and hit a plateau, or completely fall off the wagon, the number one cause is a life crisis of some sort. We all have life crises, men and women — all our lives are managed chaos.
We recommend people plan coping mechanisms to deal with stress such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques, relaxing walks or other pleasant diversions and hobbies. For a week eat slowly and mindfully, where you really pay attention to taste, textures, and hunger cues.
Some women are aiming for an arbitrary number on a scale… a number that has no real bearing or relationship to their actual health and wellness. It’s far better to enjoy whole food LCHF that results in great energy, focus, good GI tract and healthy muscles, skin and hair.
Age with grace and vitality.
Anne mullens published on Diet Doctor
Photo credit: Artem Bali, Unsplash