Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510

    Menopausal Weight Gain

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    I have managed to keep my weight/fat levels at a healthy range. Enter - menopause.

    B.M. (before menopause) I was able to exercise/diet away a 5-10 pound increase. Now - nothing works. I swear, I'm eating the same way & exercising the same amount. I cut calories (sensibly, not protein but extraneous carbs) and upped my aerobics. Nothing.

    I've read that excessive exercise & strict dieting can inhibit fat loss. Apparently cortisol is a culprit as well as leptin regulation. I really don't think I fall into that category but I do work out almost every day and have for over 20 years. I take a day or two as easy days - walking the dog only or light weight lifting - each week. I'm not over-trained. I don't eat junk food at all.

    Has anybody else had this problem? Any solutions?
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmama View Post
    I have managed to keep my weight/fat levels at a healthy range. Enter - menopause.

    B.M. (before menopause) I was able to exercise/diet away a 5-10 pound increase. Now - nothing works. I swear, I'm eating the same way & exercising the same amount. I cut calories (sensibly, not protein but extraneous carbs) and upped my aerobics. Nothing.

    I've read that excessive exercise & strict dieting can inhibit fat loss. Apparently cortisol is a culprit as well as leptin regulation. I really don't think I fall into that category but I do work out almost every day and have for over 20 years. I take a day or two as easy days - walking the dog only or light weight lifting - each week. I'm not over-trained. I don't eat junk food at all.

    Has anybody else had this problem? Any solutions?
    YES! same experience and from what fellow older women triathlete friends rant about it is a common woman experience ......
    Solutions?.....I have found I can maintain my high school weight if I eat flawlessly (high nutrition density/amazon discipline) ...but also post 50 I have found that if I really want a glass of wine or piece of Italian bread (that is the only "junk" I ever indulge in)...then I have it (: Life is short...and actually if you read the "blue zone" longevity studies,...none of those folks are rail thin. To a degree the pursuit of superb health and energy and the ideal female physique (as defined at this moment in history) are a bit in conflict.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Cross Fit Bootcamp just became my salvation. I will be 57 the end of this month. Despite being really active, I packed on ten pounds over the last two years. Started cross fit the end of July and have dropped the ten pounds and over 5% of body fat and gotten some of my curves back. Now I go 2x's a week and then get in 3 days of cardio - walking/hiking or biking. I think my body needs the "oh, we are doing what today" as my crossfit is something different every time with complete routine changes every 4 weeks so the body never gets complacent. My body is used to hiking/biking so that only no longer cuts it.
    Like you, I have also decreased the carbs and increased the protein. Do my best to limit my beer intake but life is short so am not giving it up.
    I track my diet and exercise on myfitnesspal.com I was taking an adrenal stimulator prescribed by my naturopath but it was causing some digestive issues so I stopped.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    Cross Fit Bootcamp just became my salvation. I will be 57 the end of this month. Despite being really active, I packed on ten pounds over the last two years. Started cross fit the end of July and have dropped the ten pounds and over 5% of body fat and gotten some of my curves back. Now I go 2x's a week and then get in 3 days of cardio - walking/hiking or biking. I think my body needs the "oh, we are doing what today" as my crossfit is something different every time with complete routine changes every 4 weeks so the body never gets complacent. My body is used to hiking/biking so that only no longer cuts it.
    Like you, I have also decreased the carbs and increased the protein. Do my best to limit my beer intake but life is short so am not giving it up.
    I track my diet and exercise on myfitnesspal.com I was taking an adrenal stimulator prescribed by my naturopath but it was causing some digestive issues so I stopped.


    ditto on the crossfit- I don't do that- but do TRX and plyometrics- not so much for the weight control as the balance and strength work very much help with post 50 mt biking (:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I started gaining at 45 or so and that's when I started riding. I am ten years past menopause, and at 59 (on Sunday), probably in the best shape of my life. Not too skinny and not fat, either. When it started getting harder for me to maintain, I added in boot camp type classes 2x a week, in addition to the cardio stuff I do (riding, nordic skiing, snow shoeing). I hate being inside, but it's made a huge difference. I've ridden less this year, but I guess it's a trade off. I also am really strict about bread and upped my protein. I still have a glass of wine almost every day and am a bit lax over the weekends, but no junk food, ever.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    I have put on about 3-4 lbs in the past year, but more notably, my weight distribution has changed some, with more flab in my tummy and love handles ("muffin top" area) and less in my legs than when I was younger.

    I am still peri-menopausal at 51, but periods are starting to get farther and farther apart, so I expect I'm within a year or two of actual menopause.

    I don't eat junk food, but I do drink a little and eat more carbs than is ideal, since I live in Belize and it is far too expensive to eat lower carb here. I also don't get quite as much exercise as I did in the US since I can't do road riding here, and it's usually too hot to run. I do yoga and utility bike rides and am car-free, but I still spend a lot of time on the computer (i.e,. sitting on my butt). I am webmaster for the local humane society and spend a lot of time on social media since I'm kind of lonely here, so Facebook is my lifeline at times. I also read a lot. There are many things I could do to lose those few lbs, in other words. But I still think the fat distribution shift is more hormonally based and may not be possible to change. It happened to my mother and grandmothers too around this same time of life.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    462
    You wrote my story. I am 52, had been a skinny-mini my whole life, and suddenly blew up, though I'm strong and fit. I also did CrossFit for a year, and loved it. Sadly, my arthritic ankle (joint no longer fits in the socket) was making it too difficult for me to do the exercises, even with mods. I now cycle about 100-200 miles weekly (will be cutting back after two 100+ rides in the next month), and have only dropped six pounds. I had my resting metabolism tested (with the mask on my face, etc.) and it came out to 1023 calories a day (that was depressing). I've had all the doc tests as well, and I'm perfectly healthy in every other way. I also weight train three days a week, am fairly strong, but just can't drop the 20 I need to/want to lose. Once my two charity rides are over, I'm going to work with a nutritionist to just put me on a seriously regimented diet (tell me what to eat every meal). I've been a healthy eater, calorie conscious person for years. Along with the constant night sweats and waking up every few hours, which can't be helping, this is just soooo frustrating. I'm not giving up, but....damn.
    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
    2001 Calfee Tetra Pro/Selle Anatomica
    1984 Raleigh Sport/Brooks B66

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by murielalex View Post
    You wrote my story. I am 52, had been a skinny-mini my whole life, and suddenly blew up, though I'm strong and fit. I also did CrossFit for a year, and loved it. Sadly, my arthritic ankle (joint no longer fits in the socket) was making it too difficult for me to do the exercises, even with mods. I now cycle about 100-200 miles weekly (will be cutting back after two 100+ rides in the next month), and have only dropped six pounds. I had my resting metabolism tested (with the mask on my face, etc.) and it came out to 1023 calories a day (that was depressing). I've had all the doc tests as well, and I'm perfectly healthy in every other way. I also weight train three days a week, am fairly strong, but just can't drop the 20 I need to/want to lose. Once my two charity rides are over, I'm going to work with a nutritionist to just put me on a seriously regimented diet (tell me what to eat every meal). I've been a healthy eater, calorie conscious person for years. Along with the constant night sweats and waking up every few hours, which can't be helping, this is just soooo frustrating. I'm not giving up, but....damn.


    Ditto on the waking up! so frustrating........and totally messes with your metabolic rate to be sleep deprived......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by tealtreak View Post
    Ditto on the waking up! so frustrating........and totally messes with your metabolic rate to be sleep deprived......
    I went to a general info. session 6 months ago, about the importance of sleep at different stages of our lives and link to health. As we know babies need lots of sleep..because they are growing.literally so fast.

    Teenagers tend to need alot of sleep because their bodies are growing and maturing. (Guess it's a matter how much sleep.)

    The speaker ran a sleep rehab. clinic. He did treat some folks who in addition to resolving their sleep apena problem, they lost several lbs. simply after sleeping longer and more deeply for several months.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1991337/

    Anyway, I doubt dearie wants to read more of this since he's had a sleep disorder his whole adult life..and he and I both know his metabolism is naturally slower than mine because he can't figure out why I can eat same amount as he and yet it will take longer for me to gain the weight.

    But maybe not anymore. I can't speak accurately about my situation since I cut back 90% intake of white rice, white bread and heavier pastas 5 years ago. I was in menopause for over 2 years with very mild symptoms of short hot flashes only couple times per month, some uneven periods. That's all. And now I guess I am post-menopause since no period for last 18 months. I will be 54 in 3 months. I've been cycling alot less probably 30% less than what I used to annually, simply because I live now in a region with icier/snowier and longer winters. My weight has been ok but I do have to be alert.

    One difference for me is that now I seem to naturally have more for breakfast even though I cycle less. 20 years ago I used to jump onto the bike with only a glass of milk and do my 16 km. work commute.

    Now I have cornflakes with milk, tea and fruit. It's just a natural evolution for me. I may be eating little less for supper now. I'm not sure. I haven't kept a food diary yet. Yes, I still eat some no-no foods --pastry or biscotti. That's probably one area I have to watch myself. Other than that, I eat junk food or glass of wine maybe 1-2 times per month or less. I've never liked pop, not even as a child ...of any type, my whole life so far.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I've definitely seen some redistribution of fat around my belly, but in my case, menopause and distance running have coincided. It's been the case throughout my life that my body composition is best when I'm doing high volume with most of it at low(er) intensity. I've read quite a bit about how high intensity work becomes more important as we age, and as I recover from my injuries I'm certainly intending to reintroduce speedwork and higher resistance. But there's a point at which intensity and volume have to balance each other ... obviously no one can run 15 miles at their 5K pace, just for example. I always drop a couple of pounds in the later weeks of marathon training.

    Cortisol issues are more likely to arise as the intensity goes up. And as we age, recovery times get longer, meaning we're more likely to be overtrained if we do high-intensity work too often. So I guess I'd save the speedwork and heavy weights for a couple of days a week, and do at least one and preferably two lower-intensity rides/runs of three hours or more.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I have found the same thing as Oak. Of course, I am not training for any marathons, but I notice how my body seems to be finely tuned to amount, duration, and intensity in a way that it wasn't before. I do intervals a lot more in any of the sports I do; luckily for me, this occurs naturally, as in big hills.
    I also eat a much bigger breakfast than before. More than Shooting Star. As long as I don't add the bread, I'm fine. And, I would last about 5 minutes on a bowl of cereal and fruit. I'll have a whole wheat bagel or waffles once during the weekend. But, protein is the key for me.
    My abs are not as defined as they were; I have a very skinny waist (even when I was heavy), and they look flat, but the whole area is just softer. I can live with that, as long as it doesn't progress and I keep doing planks and sit ups. But, my abs even went right back down after I had kids, so that's not my real problem area. It's always been my hips and thighs. My thighs are fine; cycling thighs, but my hips, while they look fine in pants, are not firm and neither is my azz. I have to be careful about how my tops and pants fit together, or it can look ugly. The only time my rear was firm was when I weighed 92 pounds and was teaching 7 fitness classes a week. Then, I looked scary.
    My really bad peri-menopause coincided right when I started cycling. I had my last period about the time I'd been riding 1.5 years. I started having symptoms at about age 36 and my last period was at 48. I didn't have the flashes and stuff until I was about 45-46 and I just dealt with it. Drank cool water all day long, which helped. I've never been a sound sleeper, so my sleep wasn't disrupted any more than usual!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    462
    Well, my trainer echos the cortisol/high intensity/and/or endurance connection. Just for example, I rode 80 miles this morning. I actually gained three pounds, and though I hydrated and fueled up (200 cal per hour), three pounds is a lot, but I know my body at this point, and it will also hold on to that three pounds for at least a few days if not longer. When I cycle about 30-40 miles with same hydration and calories, I don't put that on.
    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
    2001 Calfee Tetra Pro/Selle Anatomica
    1984 Raleigh Sport/Brooks B66

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •