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Premenopausal- is anyone else just gaining and gaining weight?

(61 Posts)
hooliodancer Sat 17-Oct-15 15:00:14

I started being premenopausal 3 years ago I think- that was when my periods started to go a bit weird anyway. This coincided with an extremely stressful time in my life, and also giving up nicotine replacement. Anyway, I put on 1 and a half stone and went from a size 10 to a 12. I am only 5 foot 2, so any weight gain shows.

I have lost the weight 3 times now, by doing my fitness pal. The thing is, every time I stop restricting what I eat the weight just piles back on- with even more on top.

So I am now a size 14. I have a load of size 10 and 12 clothes up in the loft. I look like a blimp.

I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week and really go for it- I do fat burn, aerobics, zumba, I practically live in the sodding gym.I injured my leg and couldn't go for 3 weeks, now most of my size14 clothes are really tight. I have been really careful with food during that time, although I eat very healthily anyway. I just can't put my size 14s in the loft too...

I just feel my body won't stop gaining weight. Is this because of the perimenopause? Has anyone else experienced this?

The thought of restricting my diet for ever is just shit. I love food and cooking is my hobby. I have been doing lots of diet recipes in the last few weeks, Jamie's Superfood etc. I just can't face my fitness pal again, as I know over Christmas it will all go on again as it did last year, even though I didn't go mad.

I'm SO pissed off, can you tell?

SisterNancySinatra Sat 17-Oct-15 15:07:41

Yep, I now see a future of only 1250 Cals a day or obesity and looking like a frump . A holiday once a year and a few meals out over the year is the only time I can drop the regime. My worry is becoming an OAP ( some years to go still). And looking so frumpy and fat I no longer look female , just a dough ball.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 15:11:04

This is not a reply that will cheer you up I suspect but I've realised that my calorie requirements have diminished significantly. I think I could get by on 1400 a day. sad Those labels that say that a woman can have 1800 a day. That applies to a taller, younger, more genetically blessed woman.

So I have been restricting myself to 1000 calories every second day so that I don't have to feel like I'm dieting every day. It's not just the restriction (and the resisting) it's the logging on myfitnesspal. I'm 44 and my periods seem to be every 3 weeks.

At the moment this is working for me because. I hear you. It is grim realisation I think.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 15:14:33

PS, wrt exercise, I used to do jillian michaels five times a week and go out running. Now I realise that my clothes size (whatever else, leaving aside how toned I am or cardio vascular fitness for a minnute) is down to what I eat. Or what I don't eat.
So now, I'm aiming for just 2 maybe three good workouts a week on the days that I am eating normally.

hooliodancer Sat 17-Oct-15 15:17:55

Oh shit. That's just so miserable. For ever? So all those slim 50 plus women are basically having to starve themselves?

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 15:22:49

Ps2, I only say this because I really hear you, but I think acceptance has helped me. I now realise that I'm never going to be a woman who can just not think about what she eats and be slim. I've a slim friend who believes that if I don't think about what I eat, I'll be fine! The very opposite is true. If I don't think about it and watch it, I'm clearly eating about 1.15 times as many calories as I need. This is not horribly greedy but it does mean that I weigh about 1.15 times as much as I need.
My friend tells me that I 'just' need to forget about food. But I tell her that she's fortunate that her level of hunger exactly matches her calorie requirement. For me there is and always will be a slight mismatch. If I stop watching the intake, it creeps up to match my hunger. They are out of alignment by about ten per cent. My hunger being 10% (or 15%) in excess of my calorie requirements.

I have been processing this very harsh truth for the last six months or so. But I am size ten at the moment (and your height). It's certainly not from just ''forgetting'' about food though, it's certainly not as a result of ''just'' eating only when I'm hungry. It's down to accepting that feeling hungry sometimes is something that is the flip side of feeling satiated most of the time.

I hope I'm not depressing you more. I feel OK at the moment. I'm very accepting of this right now but I know it could make me rage at some point in the future.

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 15:24:40

I'm post menopause and have to work really hard to maintain my weight as it is. I am short too and went from an 8-10 to almost a 12 round my waist which was far too much for me. I'm afraid eating less is the only answer! It's not just peri but middle age! Men get bellies too if they don't cut back.
I eat sparingly, I'd say, and avoid all the 'rubbish' 90% of the time. That means no cakes, biscuits, sweets, alcohol, sugar, refined carbs of any kind etc and smaller portions of most things. From a health point of view, it's your waist size that's critical. Weight on hips and thighs is less of an issue for women's health. Waist size is supposed to be getting into high risk levels for cardio and diabetes if it's over 31.5 inches. Mine's about 29 so I have to work very hard to keep it that way. Exercise alone won't make much difference if you are packing away the calories as well!

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 15:26:19

hoolio, I could be self-pitying here, but I feel that they are luckier than I am. You know, genetically, with a higher metabolism.

I will say one thing though, I'm finding the days where I restrict myself to 1000 calories easier now. The first few were the toughest. I find it ok now. I go against ALL sensible advice on the days where I restrict to 1000c and I don't have breakfast until I feel hungry. That way, I have a late breakfast and an early 'dinner' and get by on two meals. Herbal tea, so as not to waste calories on milk in my tea. yes it's that strict!

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 15:27:32

OP- you can learn to ignore hunger you know. You won't die from a few tummy rumbles! Maybe learn some distraction techniques so you quit snacking and focus on 3 healthy high-protein, low carb, low sugar meals?

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 15:32:57

YES this is actually very true. Now I do hate the continued deprivation of a never ending diet, but now, on the days that I'm restricting, I do realised that in the past I over-reacted massively to hunger. It's not an extreme medical condition.

I am finding it tolerable to be hungry because I know that "tomorrow is a normal day".

I didn't cope well with having to calorie count every day though. So I recommend trying this OP. If you have ever done the 5:2 you will find sticking to just under 1000 a day very easy. It isn't as extreme as the 5:2 (which allows only 500 on fast days) so it seems easy in comparison.

I usually do mon,wed and fri or tues, thurs and sat, depending on what I have on. But if I have to miss a day I don't stress because I guess this is for the rest of my life............................................... {thud thud THUD } soundtrack.

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 15:49:44

1000 cals a day is actually quite generous compared to the 5:2 if you are living a relatively sedentary life. 300 cals x 3 a day gives loads of options: 2 eggs for breakfast with 1 piece toast or oatcakes, small bowl of porridge, some type of lean protein for lunch (salmon,white fish, chicken, seafood, cottage cheese, etc) with a huge leafy salad, same for dinner with hot veg and maybe some Greek yoghurt.

hooliodancer Sat 17-Oct-15 16:10:09

I don't actually snack so can't 'quit' that, Anyoldusername.The point I am making is despite eating healthily, no processed foods, no snacks, exercising a lot I am still gaining weight, and that's what's so frustrating!

I think Bean, that you are right andit is acceptance that is the problem for me. I know I am going to have to restrict myself for ever, which feels grim. So I suppose I need to make peace with it somehow.

If I need to restrict my calories to, say,1250 a day just to maintain, how many will I need to actually lose anything do you think? I just can't go up to a 16, and I really am heading that way, despite eating practically only vegetables and porridge for the last 3 weeks!

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 16:17:34

Okay- sorry for assuming you snacked but it was when you said you were hungrier than other people and I assumed you were nibbling. You might well be eating healthily but you are still taking in too much compared to output. Even healthy foods- especially fruit which can be high in sugar - can cause weight gain if we eat too much of it. ie a large bunch of grapes can be the same calories as a few chocolates - it's about quantities.
You are supposed to consume 500 cals fewer per day, for a week, than you need to lose one pound. So if you normally eat 2000 cals that would be 1500 clas for a week for a 1 pound weight loss. The 500 deficit can come from 250 in food and 250 expended on exercise.
I suspect that it might be portion size that your downfall, or underestimating the number of calories in foods you think are 'healthy'.
Do you feel able to list a typical day's meals so we can see?

hooliodancer Sat 17-Oct-15 16:32:12

Yes, in the last week I have limited myself to 1500 calories a day as I haven't been able to exercise. And I have gained weight! So clearly I need to eat less than that to stay the same. And less than that to actually lose anything.

So as an example, yesterday
Porridge with linseed
Butternut squash, tomato and mushroom stew thing, slice of wholemeal bread. A peach.
Canellini bean,leek and artichoke wholemeal pasta. 1 piece dark chocolate.

That was 1500, and pretty typical of the last few weeks.

Bullettoothtony Sat 17-Oct-15 16:56:53

Watching this thread with interest. I'm getting fatter and fatter. I fond the thought of restricting for ever, very miserable

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 17:22:56

hooliodancer, you sound like me sad I need so few calories. People might assume that I can just cut out x, y and z but I eat less than anybody else I know.

Can't speak for OP but I'm definitely not underestimating the calorie content of the foods I eat. I'm like a scientist, examining labels in close detail, with electronic weighing scales and calculator on the counter.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 17:24:21

That was in response to anyoldusername. I guarantee that I'm not underestimating the calories in foods.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 17:26:29

Anyoldusername I think you're preaching to the converted here. I used to be a ymca fitness trainer and I've been a health and fitness fanatic for years. I did their nutrition module years ago and I was like a grandma sucking eggs. There's very little I don't know about food. SOrry if that sounds snippy, it's not meant to, it's just that the problem is not a lack of knowledge.

ouryve Sat 17-Oct-15 17:30:14

I've found that my fat has moved. I was heavier about 13-14 years ago, but it was largely on my hips. Now I look like a weeble on stilts. That change started when I had DS1 in my mid 30s - my arse just disappeared - but I've gained a few pounds in the past couple of years and it's all gone onto my middle.

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:31:38

Are you a vegetarian?

It's not a bad day BUT you are quite heavy on the carbs- oats, bread and then more carbs in the stew (pulses) and pasta as well.
If you dropped the bread at lunchtime and got rid of the pasta then that might help.

My typical day is a boiled egg and 1 piece toast,or a small bowl of porridge, lunch is half a carton of fresh soup, or a salad with lean protein, or a small avocado with small tin tuna, then dinner is fish or chicken with vegetables. Pudding is always full fat Greek yoghurt, snacks are apples, walnuts.

Anyoldusername1 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:32:12

Bean- I was actually talking to the OP.

Lizzylou Sat 17-Oct-15 17:33:02

I completely understand, though I am tall. At the moment I am mostly looking like a moody, spotty, over sensitive pantomime dame.
I have also given up the weed recently, I am cutting back on food and trying to exercise more.
I have had success following a diet plan that is low carbs/lowish fats but actually eating more than I normally do, pm if you want details. An ex MNer set it up. It just takes a bit of food prepping which I struggle with but the plan works very well.
I am more bothered by having 3 periods in a month, spots everywhere and constantly feeling weepy. I am so oversensitive and just crying constantly.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 17:36:44

Me or the OP?

I'm largely but not totally pescatarian, eg, I will eat a roast if I@m at my parents' house. But the rest of the time, either veg or fish. But I don't use creams etc. Honestly, you could go through my diet forensically and you're not going to find the REASON why I'm finding it hard to stay slim/be slimmer.

I have a BMI of 23.5 at the moment. So I'm not getting it totally wrong. It's just that, I am consciously restricting. I would prefer not to have to do this..... I guess I eat about 9,000 calories a week and I'd prefer to eat about 10,000-10,500. But it's not something that needs to be figured out imo.

Humans are physiologically suited to working harder for their food and that's not the world we live in now.

BeanIontach Sat 17-Oct-15 17:38:01

Apologies anyoldusername brew <---- peppermint tea

hooliodancer Sat 17-Oct-15 17:41:46

Christ, I couldn't survive without carbs! They were very small portions too. Jamie Oliver in his new bookmarks about how carbs are essential, I guess there is no definitive answer. This is my point- if I am going to have to survive on just vegetables and a bit of chicken or fish for the rest of my life then I find that a bit depressing! Your diet is great of course, but I just find the thought of eating like that no fun, which is the struggle!

I don't underestimate calories either, I have spent too long watching what I eat for that!

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