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Old 04-28-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Harder to maintain now that I'm in menopause...

This shouldn't be any surprise, but it's still frustrating. After low-carbing for 7 years and maintaining within 5 lbs of my goal weight, menopause has hit. It's driving me crazy. I went on vivelle-dot (a bioidentical, transdermal estrogen--I've had a hysterectomy, so no need for progesterone). That was a year ago. I instantly gained 8 lbs, but sleeping again seemed worth it. For the past year, I've struggled to get that 8 lbs off. I'm really only 5 lbs over my new goals weight (135 lbs at 5'6"), but none of what I learned during 7 years of low-carbing seems to work anymore. I used to be able to lose any extra lbs by cutting out all cheese, and sticking to protein, fat, and a few cups of salad greens each day. Now I can't seem to lose even on that.

Carb creep is part of the problem: especially from coffee w/heavy cream, a shot of bourbon each night, salsa, cheese, etc.

So for 2 weeks, I'm trying strictest induction again: 3 moderate servings of protein each day (4 to 6 oz of salmon, chicken, or beef); 2 cups of salad greens, 2-3 ounces of hard cheese, 2 cups of coffee, a little added olive oil or coconut oil, no alcohol (hard for me). I'm in deep ketosis--by the sticks, and by my wired feeling and nausea. But losing is so much harder than it used to be before menopause. I exercise an hour a day--road cycling mostly, or hiking--and I'm worried that I'll need to struggle like this forever, or else give up the patch and have to deal with hot flashes again.

Sorry to whine. I loved low-carbing because for 7 years, I didn't have to work at it. I just ate whatever low carb food I wanted--meat, cheese, veggies, berries, nuts--without worrying about calories, and I stayed at the same weight because I exercised a lot and rarely cheated (I'm gluten intolerant and don't like grains, so not cheating was a lot easier for me. Sweets were the only temptation). Now that strategy doesn't work. Welcome to 50!

Cutting out my nightly bourbon or glass of wine will probably go a long way, as will measuring my meat servings, writing down every bite of food, and keeping the cheese to a minimum. Wish me luck!

Last edited by tiva; 04-28-2011 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
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I hear ya sister! I'm still technically in "perimenopause" - haven't gone 12 straight months w/o a visit from Aunt Tilly, I'm 48 - but, I find that this time around I have got to watch e v e r y calorie in addition to carbs.

On the upside, I believe LC has made a tremendous difference in the frequency of hot flashes/insomnia, I do not take any type of HRT or herbal supplement.

As far as being able to maintain, when I get there I'll find out, I'm sure I won't be able to eat nearly as much as I used to, but I absolutely refuse to turn 50 looking like a beached whale.

PS - I do work a few shots of Patron or Cuervo into the mix once in a while.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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that sounds rough, but it doesn't surprise me. you are only talking about a few pounds. maybe you need to relax a little about it? you know what "they" say about being too thin making an older woman look older. in any case, good luck.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
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Let us know how it works out ... Those of us that are nor quite there yet will be able to learn from you.
: )
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:41 AM   #5
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same here. lost loads on atkins and have maintained for years. now i am permi meno its so much harder.

before if i gained a few i could lose them pretty easy with a few days of meat and egg. now its almost meat and egg to just maintain

<sigh>
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:47 AM   #6
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I can relate. I'm now officially peri-menopausal.

See the thread, "Atkins -Women in their 40s."
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:47 AM   #7
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I lost all my weight post-menopausal, and it isn't easy!

During menopause, your metabolism naturally slows so that you need less food to maintain the same weight. That's why so many women gain during menopause; they continue to eat as they have while maintaining their weight, but as the metabolism slows, those 'additional' calories pack on pounds.

So in addition to losing those few pounds, you need to assess your food needs to maintain as you go forward. You may find that you need to make some adjustments.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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Yes, I can relate too!

Made the mistake of trying progesterone cream to help with insomnia and heavy/painful periods...but after 4 days I gained a good five pounds. I even noticed a roll of fat on my back...which I haven't had for years and years. I'd give anything to go back and not put that stuff on my body. So now not only struggle to maintain but work to get rid of the extra weight I put on. I didn't even get to eat anything sinful and delicious...lol!

Soooo...I am doubling up on exercise and have given up my nightly glass of wine. I'm also adding some minerals and herbs for healthy liver function. I'm also having a daily glass of "green food" and added sublingual vitamin b complex.

Ughhh...perimenopause/menopause sucks big time!
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:56 AM   #9
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I'm with you too! I'll be 55 this year and have officially been in post-menopause for over a year. I, too, have been on Atkins for 11 years and had no problems maintaining until last year. It's become a total struggle for me. Part of my problem is carb creep, alcohol (love my wine!) and less exercise than I really need I guess.

I can do Atkins 72 strictly and lose about 10 lbs. in two weeks so I know I'm capable of losing still. The problem is I don't want to live that way forever! I have also noticed in the past year my appetite has increased too.

It's really a balancing act between eating less, exercising more and giving up what you're able to give up I guess. I do find (which is strange) that I have MORE hot flashes with low carb than I do with low fat.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:50 AM   #10
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THanks for all the feedback and support! Relaxing about those few extra pounds is good advice, but I've already relaxed about the first 5 extra pounds (from 130 to 135), and I'm afraid I might end up like my sister, up near 300 lbs. (Yes, I know we have very different metabolisms, exercise habits, eating habits, etc--but I still worry that I could slide into first chubbiness, then obesity).

What I loved about low-carbing was that it took so little effort for so long--just stick to the acceptable foods, and don't worry about quantities.

On the good side, giving up a nightly glass of alcohol is going much more easily than I imagined. I substituted a bunch of nice (over-priced) herbal teas, and I'm guessing now that I was addicted to the ritual, not to the alcohol itself, which is a huge relief. And I'm sleeping better.

SO here's the plan:
1. 3 cups salad greens, 3 servings protein, 3 servings dairy, a little extra coconut oil or other fat each day
2. An hour of exercise, increasing to 2 hours each day as soon as I"m done teaching for the semester
3. No alcohol until I'm at goal weight (that should be a motivation to get to goal!)
4. try a month without the estradiol patch, to see if that helps with weight loss, and to see if my hot flashes stay away
4. and stop stressing about this!
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:13 AM   #11
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Good luck and let us know how you are doing!

I restarted Atkins post menopausal and had a year of average 1lb. loss per week and then came to a standstill for no apparent reason. I think hormones are *****es.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #12
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"I'm afraid I might end up like my sister, up near 300 lbs. (Yes, I know we have very different metabolisms, exercise habits, eating habits, etc--but I still worry that I could slide into first chubbiness, then obesity)."

I think because you are concerned enough to post on here that you are being vigilent enough to keep that from happening.

I can relate to your issues since I'm perimenopausal and now that I've recently restarted LC'ing I'm definately seeing that it is slower to lose.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
I lost all my weight post-menopausal, and it isn't easy!

During menopause, your metabolism naturally slows so that you need less food to maintain the same weight. That's why so many women gain during menopause; they continue to eat as they have while maintaining their weight, but as the metabolism slows, those 'additional' calories pack on pounds.

So in addition to losing those few pounds, you need to assess your food needs to maintain as you go forward. You may find that you need to make some adjustments.
THIS ^^^^ is by far the BEST explanation to date!!! Thanks Leo!
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #14
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Trying to lose the weight in the midst of post-surgery perimenopause...What a bear!! Wish I had done this 20 years ago so that I would need to stay instead of lose. thanks so much to the person that stated that even though it was hard, they lost the weight while struggling with menopause. I REALLY needed to hear that.
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