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Piling on the pounds after 50. Dreading doing 5:2 but I know it works!

(26 Posts)
muttrat Fri 07-Apr-17 12:30:36

I'm 50. Haven't had a period for 4 months and have piled on the weight. I've put on a stone in the last year. I feel awful about it.

I have dallied with the odd diet change here and there but my eating has got out of control. I ate a huge bag of chocs in the cinema and then a burger on the way home (was with dd). I don't seem to be able to ignore my hunger.

I've read the odd thing that says fasting doesn't have the same benefits for menopausal women and wondered if that was true? If so, I'm fucked sad

grannycake Fri 07-Apr-17 12:37:49

I have used 5:2 for the last 5 years and it has been the only thing that has allowed me to control my weight gain after the menopause (now 61) I now only fast one day a week and have maintained at my target weight for 2 years. I lost 18 lbs in total. I think the first 2 weeks are the hardest and then you get into the swing of it. If I am away or have special occasions I just add another fast day either before or after event

muttrat Fri 07-Apr-17 14:15:47

OK thank you that's helpful. Glad it worked. I can't believe how much weight I've put on! And so quickly! I've gone from a 12 in jeans to a 16!

grannycake Fri 07-Apr-17 14:58:48

I do have to watch the binge eating but it was my birthday last week and I ate a whole box of chocs. They were lovely and I haven't put anything on. I try to restrict treat type foods to the weekend

It does work. I've used 5:2 for a year now and I've taken some weight off and kept it off. I used calorie counter ready meals to start with but these days as long as I'm sensible and don't eat between lunch and breakfast the next day it seems to work. I do drink a lot of tea which keeps me going.

pixiebaby23 Fri 07-Apr-17 15:21:17

I've become mainly pescatarian (I might eat meat once in a blue moon), cut back on booze massively and do 5:2 now and again if I want to lose a few pounds. I also eat off smaller plates and try to eat mindfully. I have also massively upped the amount of veg I eat.

Boring, but it works.

JanetBrown2015 Sun 09-Apr-17 13:35:09

It does work. I have had one period in 2017 only (55) so menopause must be approaching. What seems to work for me when I can force myself is eating nothing until a late lunch, then just having some fish or meat with loads of veg usually in olive oil (high good fats) and then trying to eat as little as possbile after but usually a tin of sardines and mixed veg later. I don't always stick to it but it does work. I was supposedly going to walk for an hour a day but that's gone out of the window as it's too much effort.

I'd like to lose 7 pounds by our summer holiday in July if I can so am happy to keep posting on this thread about that if anyone else is trying. It woudl be nice when my last children go to university later this year that I could be the same weight as I was when the youngest one went but that would mean losing almost a stone and a half so not much chance of that in 6 months I suspect but you never know.

MaudesMum Tue 11-Apr-17 08:33:56

56 years old here, and went through the menopause a few years ago, and I feel your pain. Always had a tendency to tubbiness, and, yes its much easier to gain weight and much harder to lose it post-menopause. I was getting resigned to watching the scales and dress sizes slowly creep up. But, I got a bit of a health scare about 8 weeks ago, and have been trying to do the blood sugar diet ever since, so not fasting but keeping to 800 calories a day. I do slide at weekends, mainly because I like a drink or two, but have been remarkably good about low carbs, lots of veg and sensible portion sizes throughout. After a couple of weeks it got a lot easier as my stomach got used to smaller portion sizes, and eating enough full fat food meant I lost the sugar cravings much more easily than I expected to. I've lost 7lb since I started weighing myself (and that was a couple of weeks in as I was too scared to buy scales before then), and my too tight size 18 jeans are now wearable again.

But since I'm still size 18, its going to be a long haul! I'm going to see where I get to by mid-July when I'm off on holiday, and I'd like that to be a stone lighter - not sure how realistic that is.

Zazu44 Sat 15-Apr-17 06:54:58

Menopause weight gain for me too. I'm 53 and had no periods for 4 years. Have probably put on 2 stone in that time 😞. Used to be able to eat whatever I wanted but not now, really is crap how your body changes. I'm going to get back on my hypnosis app which really helps and carb restrict AND 5:2. Have given myself until middle of Aug - holiday time - to lose the weight ....... forgot to mention have rubbish staying power. Any help/support would be amazing 😋

Ariawyn Tue 25-Apr-17 07:24:08

How's this going after 2 weeks?

I'm about to start 5 2
I'm 46, and probably pre/peri menopausal

TalkinPeece Tue 25-Apr-17 07:26:46

I'm 52 and have been using 5:2 since August 2012
It works
Its not hard

fiftyplustwo Sun 30-Apr-17 04:32:07

Great thread, I must watch this section of 'mumsnet' for inspiration... :-)

BigChocFrenzy Mon 01-May-17 13:29:24

Several of us maintaining on 5:2 are going through the meno or, like me, are post-meno.
5:2 seems really effective at this challenging life stage.
A major reason is that intermittent fasting helps correct insulin metabolism, which usually worsens as the hormonal balance changes radically.

Janet I gather high fat / low carb worked well for you before perimenopause.
However, many women have found with the hormonal changes that they need to move from high fat to moderate fat.

I'd suggest you try replacing some fat with beans, lentils and peas to move towards Mosely's Low Carb Mediteranean regime - this is the same food as in his BSD,
The BSD also includes full fat Greek yoghurt, which I recommend particularly at meno, to boost bio-available Calcium and help gut bacteria

His 5:2 BSD could also be suitable: daily Low Carb Med with 2 x 800 cal FDs

BigChocFrenzy Mon 01-May-17 13:42:30

^*MENOPAUSE, Weight Gain & Control*^ (geeky stuff !)

H^ormon^al changes leading to weight gain:
+ High insulin levels tend to fat storage
+ Prolonged high cortisol tends to hinder fat-burning.

What counter acts these:
+ Estrogen is a hormone that counteracts insulin & cortisol.
+ Progesterone counterracts cortisol only.

Younger women have high levels of these 2 hormones; hence, weight control is easier.

At peri / menopause, when both hormones drop drastically, a woman typically:

1) has slower metabolism due to much lower estrogen.
Real TDEE drops and averages 200-400 below calculated value.

So, try lower calorie intake to new TDEE.
5:2 is a great help is cutting calories while keeping "normal" food the other 5 days
Tip: cut out all snacks between meals, FDs and NFDs. This change in itself can help insulin metabolism

2) is more sensitive to simple carbs, even fruit, due to increased insulin resistance.
Fat is likely to be added around abdomen, where it increases health risks.
So:
+ replace most simple carbs by complex ones.
+ Also reduce even these carb portions, e.g. bread to 2 wholegrain slices / 1 roll daily, pasta or rice to a fist-sized portion daily.
+ Reduce fruit to max 2 portions daily
+ Drastically reduce junk food, especially sweet junk, even home-cooked baking.

3) is more likely to have thyroid imbalance - low estrogen can slow thyroid function.

Anyone with a previously sluggish thyroid (women are more prone to this) will likely find pre-menopause worsens this considerably.
Consult your GP if you suspect thyroid issues, e.g. weight gain, skin problems, throat problems

4) Loss of muscle mass, which lowers metabolism and raises health risks.
Occurs from age 25 for all non-exercisers; it accelerates around menopause.

To retain / build muscle requires weight-bearing exercise, e.g. squats, pressups, lifting.
Cardio is NOT sufficient and may even increase muscle loss.

5) is more vulnerable to stress.
Anyone chronically stressed will have raised cortisol levels, tending to increased fat storage.

As well as final career surge, caring for elderly parents, teenagers, uni students.
So make time for yourself too, to relax, e.g. meditation, foot massage, spa day. Even just time alone with music, a book, soaking in a warm bath

Colette Tue 02-May-17 15:35:46

Thank you Bigchoc, really useful info.have been following 5:2 for a few months .I'm 52 and not sure where I am menopause wise due to Mirena,and sleeping badly for ages anyway.
I don't have much to lose but it is definitely around my middle hmm.this is inspiring me to get back to exercise as well.

cafenoirbiscuit Wed 19-Jul-17 11:19:07

Glad to see this thread. I've just been away with a gorgeous friend, and am so despondent having seen myself on photos - I am huger than I have ever been. None of my clothes fit. I've had an underactive thyroid for 17 years, and am defo going through menopause (49).
I started my diet yesterday, and had lots of salad, a bean burger, whizzed up lots of fruit in the nutribullet. Any tips would be appreciated.
Those of you who've done this before, how long does it take before seeing a change ? I[m hoping to be in this for the long haul (don't dare get on the scales) but I find I'm motivated once my clothes start to feel looser!
TIA

Crispsheets Wed 19-Jul-17 11:22:45

Very interesting reading.
I'm 57, presumably post menopause and on HRT. I have put on a stone and a half in 2 years and am appalled at the way I look.
Am waiting for thyroid results but suspect I need to exercise more. My diet is reasonable....Don't eat sweet stuff or bread but do like gin.

QueenLaBeefah Wed 19-Jul-17 11:24:51

Just place marking. 45 and going through the menopause - need to watch my weight like never before.

juliecran123 Thu 27-Jul-17 19:59:05

I started 5:2 two weeks ago. I find it easier to do on work days. I'm also finding that my hunger is not so great on the 2 days after fasting days (I do my fasting days together...For me that works better). My work trousers are already feeling more comfortable. I'm 51 and have gained almost a stone in the last year. I'm determined to get it off! I'm also cutting out bread and refined sugar as much as possible.

neveradullmoment99 Sat 05-Aug-17 20:27:25

I am 49 and am in perimenopause. Thought it had stopped but it came back a couple of weeks ago! I feel as if i have particularly put on weight on my tummy. I am have been doing the 5:2 but currently doing the 18:6 while off work over the summer holidays and have recently started to cut out refined sugar. I am eating mainly fruit and nuts to help me get through any sugar cravings but tbh, i have lost all appetite!!!!

neveradullmoment99 Sat 05-Aug-17 20:28:36

I have been doing the 5:2 for over a year and have lost loads but its not been budging lately so am trying to cut out sugary snacks.

Hi everyone, great to read everyone else's posts, Nic to know I'm not alone, I'm 40 been peri - menopausal for 18months and have suddenly gone from a size 10 to a six 14 in about 3/4 months. I have had twins 11 years ago, my stomach bloats around me period but now its seems to be as my periods are more erratic I bloat 2 weeks out of every four. Starting today, will update. I'm a veggie, if that makes any difference. Good luck everyone.

pfrench Wed 23-Aug-17 10:14:25

I'm 43 and pretty much done regards periods (I think). Since the end of May my fat seems to have shifted - not sure if that's a 'thing', but I haven't put on weight and have exercised all along, and weirdly have a roll of new fat around my waist. I'm doing the BSD for 8 weeks, then think I'll go on to 5:2. Lots of my older relatives do it permanently, and it keeps them reasonably slim. I think it's something I'll be able to do long term as well.

The BSD issue is that on 800 cals I struggle to do decent exercise, so I need a few days a week where I can eat enough to fuel decent runs.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 28-Aug-17 19:54:28

You could try the 5:2 version of the BSD, i.e. the same daily low carb Mediteranean, but only 2 days @800, or however many days suits your exercise plan.

drigon Fri 01-Sep-17 23:14:22

Coming up to 50 in a few months. I've just started the 800 cals/BSD/5:2 diet, using shakes, which went surprising well. Going to eat proper food for my 2nd day on Sunday, from the book's recipes. I weigh exactly 200 lbs/14.4 and need to lose 4 or 5 stone.Had a hysterectomy/ ovary radiation due to cancer in early 40s, so many years period-free here. No oestrogen either after meds.

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