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preimenioausal & fat - any advice?

(24 Posts)
justlliloleme Mon 07-Mar-16 13:29:42

Long post ..... sorry
I've been having hot night sweats for a while now & I've put 2.5 stone on in 2 years - despite trying to keep it down. I decided just before Xmas something needed to change, I wasn't losing weight despite trying so maybe I had been kidding myself! I do Pilates, yoga & barretoned & have packed in sugar completely & reduced my carb in take. Still no budge downwards on the scale & measurements aren't changing either.
I went to see the doc this morning thinking (hoping) she would say it sounds like a under active thyroid but no she thinks it's probably premenopause!! I'm 43!!!
Now I can cope with the night sweats & whatever else Mother Nature can throw at me but I've put so much effort into losing weight & it's just not budging.
I been on the edge of tears all day, I'm destined to be this fatty forever, I look in the mirror & I really don't want to be me anymore.
Any help would be truly appreciated.
P.S the doc is doing tests for thyroid anyway - she was lovely, I'm just feeling completely helpless 😔

Humphriescushion Mon 07-Mar-16 13:34:32

Sorry, no constructive advice but just to say you are not alone. I've been trying to lose weight for the last four months and it is not shifting at all! Sucks doesnt it?
I am definitely peri menopausal. Hopefully someone will come along soon with some advice.

FavadiCacao Mon 07-Mar-16 14:27:26

I'm on a ketogenic diet which is helping with weight (losing ~1/2-1lb/week); the hot flashes have completely disappeared; the mood swing/depression have vanished and the periods have returned to a 28 day cycle. smile

By ketogenic I mean: I'm eating 60-75% of my calories from good fats, normal protein (0.8-1.2g/kg of lean mass) and the rest is a pile of veg -I aim for at least 25g of fiber. I have the occasional bit of fruit and a square of 85-90% chocolate and I'm able to still enjoy a drink or two at the weekend.

It took me ages before I twigged how to go ketogenic without feeling ill: the trick for me has been to moderate the protein and really up the fats.

The real meal revolution lists are super easy to follow: green list=eat all you want; orange=be considerate and red=avoid.

PollyPerky Mon 07-Mar-16 16:53:36

I think you need to look really carefully at your diet . I don't know what a 'ketogenic' diet is, other than it sounds like a normal healthy diet, to me!

It sounds like a typical high protein, low carb diet.

You might want to follow something like My Fitness Pal where you can record everything you eat for a week and see exactly what you are eating in calories. Exercise alone won't shift weight unless you are really doing serious exercise and working off a thousand calories or more. Most people over estimate the exercise / calorie deficit.

I need to eat 900- 1000 cals a day to lose weight and it takes about a week to see a 1lb loss.

Have you thought of the 5:2 diet? Loads online with recipes etc- you have 2 days of 500 cals a day and the weight loss is around 1-2lbs a week. It might get you started so you see some good results then you can maintain it with healthy eating.

FavadiCacao Mon 07-Mar-16 17:48:25

PP, Ketogenic = less than 50g of carb/day. The one I follow it's not high protein but high fibre and high fat. 5:2 can be done alongside.

Eating gluten free and low carb meant I no longer suffered with asthma, eczema, hayfever, ulcer and painful joints but perimenopausal symptoms -hot flashes, irregular periods, mood swing and depression- stayed. By eating keto, I resolved the issues. Having got rid of 9 prescriptions through diet, it was wothwhile try to tweak it a little bit more.

As I mentioned on other threads, having suffered with endometriosis for most of my adult life, the last thing I would want to try is yet more hormonal treatments that failed me before.

From your posts, I perceive you enjoy science and medicine. Dr David Permutter, a neurologist, has written some very interesting books and blog posts and his interviews/lectures are fun to listen to. He puts into perspective the role of our gut microbiome and health.

Also Prof Simon Carding explain in this video the role of the gut microbiota in many pathologies -including mental health and obesity- and how our gut interacts with drugs. (first 5 mins a bit slow)

Dr Phinney and Prof Tim Noakes interviews and lectures explain a ketogenic diet very well. Dr Colin Champ's Ihmc lecture even explains the therapeutic use of keto diets (low protein, very low carb) in cancer.


PollyPerky Mon 07-Mar-16 18:52:35

Thanks for the input and links.
I've had a look at that diet since I posted. It seems quite complicated and some sites say don't do it with the advice of a dietitian because you have to work out your total protein needs etc on your body weight. Also the carbs are not just cereals but also includes some fruit and veg if I've read it correctly.

I've been gluten free for over 20 years due to various intolerances . Do you think you may have perhaps had undiagnosed coeliac or gluten intolerance and this is a way of correcting that, inadvertently perhaps?

I think all of this is quite controversial because although the research now seems to say that high fat diets do not = heart disease, there are some some people who say otherwise, including the British Heart Foundation.
How do you feel over that?

PollyPerky Mon 07-Mar-16 18:53:03

without a dietitian!

FavadiCacao Tue 08-Mar-16 08:21:55

It's not a complicated diet as illustrated by the lists I linked to earlier.

I am uncorfirmed but diagnosed celiac. The remission all my autoimmune conditions since removing gluten was enough for my GP to diagnose me as celiac. He also advised me to avoid all grains because of the gliadins.

In regards to eating fat and heart disease, Dr Aseem Maholtra, a leading British cardiologist, wrote a wonderful peer reviewed article in the British Medical Journal. And Dr Malcom Kendricks continues to write excellent articles in his blog. Even The Times wrote an article on ending the war on fat!

Our body needs cholesterol, so much so it produces 2000g/day of it. 25% of our brain is cholesterol; 50% of our cells' wall is cholesterol; so many hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone, are synthetised from cholesterol....
Cholesterol aside, some of the most fascinating results in the research of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are emerging from the study of our gut microbiome. Prof. M. Nieuwdorp and his team are just an example.

As someone with gluten sensitivity you may already be familiar with 'Leaky gut', here Prof Antonio Gasbarrini brings it to a different level.

More and more research is being published on how our gut microbiome affects our weight and health. The video I linked in my previous post is only the tip of a very large iceberg.

(P.S. If you need less 1000 cals to lose weight: have you had your thyroid checked? Are you taking any medication that might be impeding your metabolism?)

Readysteadyknit Tue 08-Mar-16 08:34:20

just - I am having really similar problems and don't have any solutions. 3 stone weight gain in the past few years sad and the diets I have tried have resulted in very limited weight loss (7lbs after 2 months on 5:2, 6lbs after sticking rigidly to Whole30). I eat more healthily than when I was slimmer and walk for 40 mins every day with my dogs- it seems unfair.

I have got an appointment later this month a NHS dietician and hope she will have a solution.

justlliloleme Tue 08-Mar-16 09:01:03

Readysteadyknit I really feel your frustration but glad I'm not on my own 😜
Fingers crossed the dietitian will find a solution xx

FavadiCacao Tue 08-Mar-16 09:46:05

Ready and Just, you're definetely not on your own.

I had always been slim until my mid-thirties, then I gained a colossal 40+kgs. I have done numerous diets and returned to my slim weight a few times but I have struggled with the last 10kg or so. This is the first time I feel in control.

As Just said, fingers crossed that the dietician finds a solution for you, Ready. Ds's one was fabulous. smile

Woodhill Tue 08-Mar-16 09:49:33

Yes I struggle too. In my late 40s and always slim till about 44. I just try to eat healthily and exercise a bit more. Then my joints ache. not easy.

Fizrim Tue 08-Mar-16 09:54:00

I am starting to pile weight on around my middle. OP, do you do any cardio or weight-bearing exercise? Although muscle weighs heavier than fat, it also burns more calories so I'm looking at introducing more cardio than stretching, if that makes sense. I need to build more fat-burning muscle!

PollyPerky Tue 08-Mar-16 11:07:12

Fava All I was saying is that what you are posting is controversial and not accepted by everyone in the medical profession. For all those who say fat is good, there are still some experts who say it's bad. I'm not disagreeing with you, but just saying that nothing is cut and dried and all the experts contradict each other!

I've read all of those articles you mentioned; the fact something is in The Times doesn't make it gospel.

I have nothing wrong with my thyroid. I've never weighed more than 8 stone in my life, have a small frame and a sedentary job.

I'm healthy and fit but know what I can eat.

Interestingly, my normal daily diet is pretty close to under 50gms of carbs a day. I try to only eat carbs once- either gluten free bread, or oats, rarely eat spuds and don't eat pasta.

FavadiCacao Tue 08-Mar-16 14:44:24

what you are posting is controversial and not accepted by everyone in the medical profession

Nutrigenomics might be in its infancy but it's hardly a controversial science! Hippocrates told us to 'let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'. Never truer words: ''You are what you eat''.
(Fecal transplant has ethical consequences)

The necessity of cholesterol for multiple bodily function (including bile salts to digest fat) is never being disputed and it's certainly not controversial.

That we need good fats, including satured fat (included even in the super low fat Scarsdale diet) is not disputed.
The quantity of dietary saturated fat remains an open discussion.

High fibre in one's diet is not controversial and universally accepted.

'Sugar is bad for you' is universally accepted but its toxicity is open for debate. Very interesting research is emerging about the role of glucose and fructose in angiogenesis of cancers.

Avoiding simple and refined carbohydrates as they raise insulin it's also widely accepted and not controversial.

Eating complex carbohydrates, especially in the form of vegetables is amply promoted. Grains, wheat in particular, are a hot topic but, with research advancing, their dietary role will become more defined. Research on Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity is advancing at quite a rapid rate: Dr Alessio Fasano explains. This is another interesting article on dietary grains in celiac. The discovery of zonulin (by Dr Alessio Fasano ) has opened a lot doors (!) in the field of autoimmune diseases, including mental health disorders. You never know we might one day discover that perimenopausal symptoms are an autoimmune response!

So the million dollar question has to be how much dietary fat and complex carbohydrates should we ingest? Maybe we should all contribute a sample of our microbiota to the British microbiome project. to investigate. grin

All said, I agree with you. The eat less, exercise more mantra is still the standard advice. However, the fecal transplant that made a patient obese has opened a lot eyes! Gut Reaction part1 and 2 introduces us to a lot of microbiome research projects from obesity to curing COPD and asthma. Well worth a watch.

PollyPerky Tue 08-Mar-16 19:46:49

I think you have misunderstood my post fava.
The only part I was saying was controversial was the part about substituting fats for carbs.

The quantity of dietary saturated fat remains an open discussion.


This is not my personal opinion but I made the point that this is still relatively new and there are some experts who'd disagree. Everyone knows or should do that good fats are essential, but as I said earlier, not all experts agree on the cholesterol factor or having a high fat diet.

FavadiCacao Wed 09-Mar-16 07:46:11

PP, I understood you from your first post, I played along with you because your insensitivity to the OP was shocking, to say the least!

You told her, or maybe it was directed at me, to look at her diet really carefully. Did you skip reading the part she already had?

The OP had already cut sugar out entirely and lowered her carbs, a path very familiar to me; the next step in that path would be low carb/high fat (ketogenic). [You told us is complicated without knowing anything about it, whilst admitting that recent research points to being healthy.]

You proceeded in telling us you need 900-1000 calories to lose weight. No matter how small your frame is, that would be deemed a Very Low Calorie Diet, which would require medical supervion and supplementation. After your VLCD comment, you then suggested doing 5:2 with 2 days at 500 calories!!!!

You then told us you never weighed more than 8st. Gee, thanks! Did you read any of the posts where we say we were slim until...? Are we supposed to eat the way you eat? Are you suggesting we gained weight because we didn't eat like you? I'm pleased you didn't gain weight but we did, despite eating less and exercing more! And, as we have been slim for most of our life, we are unlike to underestimate our exercise/calorie deficit!

If I were to put in front of any medical professional a slice of your gluten-free bread -highly processed and laden with simple carbohydrates- and a large bowl of spinach garnished with olive oil and spices, what do you think he/she would adivice me to choose?

Do you think we can return the thread to be supportive to the OP and anyone else who is demoralised about the weight gain? As Just said: I can cope with the night sweats & whatever else Mother Nature can throw at me but I've put so much effort into losing weight & it's just not budging.

PollyPerky Wed 09-Mar-16 08:02:05

There is no need to be so rude fava.

Sorry if my posts offended you but I felt you were making assumptions about me and what I knew based on nothing. I do know quite a lot about food and how the body reacts to it. In the early 1980s I was a patient of Prof Brostoff who is a prof of immunology and allergy, and who was one of the first specialists in the UK to link diet and immune responses.

I don't have to justify my calories to you! At a very old age I've worked out what I can eat and 1000 cals is not a very low calorie diet to lose weight. I have never eaten the 'average' 2000 cals a day in my life, so dropping around 500 cals a day to lose a few pounds is perfect.

The 5:2 diet is based on 2 days at 500 calories. I didn't invent it so go and complain to those who did smile

Kummerspeck Wed 09-Mar-16 08:06:38

Don't set too much store by dieticians, they have to toe the line of official NHS advice which is still low fat processed shit with loads of pasta and wholemeal stuff. The NHS advice has not moved with the evidence

I have a friend who is a dietician and says she would be struck off if she gave people the dietary advice she believes to be healthy as it includes butter and healthy fats, more protein and fewer carbs

lljkk Wed 09-Mar-16 08:31:35

Fava has a 28 day cycle... doesn't sound periomenopausal.
How can someone be unconfirmed but diagnosed coeliac?
Why should OP think she's coeliac?
So many people in the world have so many special conditions... or do they.

PollyPerky Wed 09-Mar-16 09:42:03

It's a shame the OP hasn't come back to say what she thinks of some of the ideas.

Basically, in your 40s, metabolism slows down. If you read the Menopause Matters forum there are plenty of women in their 60s who say they eat roughly 50% now of what they could eat in their 20s, in order to remain a healthy weight. Obviously this varies, but we are maybe more sedentary in mid life. I'm not burning off anything like the amount of calories I did now as I have a desk job, compared to when I was working and walking miles of corridors daily, or when I was running around after my toddlers.

Quality of food is important as are good fats, and I eat walnuts, almond butter, real butter, avocados and oily fish almost daily. The only carbs I have are perhaps 1 slice (17 grams) of gluten free bread a day, or oat cakes, or porridge.

Works for me!

FavadiCacao Wed 09-Mar-16 10:27:02

lljk, I was diagnosed peri by my gynae consultant 4 years ago. smile My symptoms started very early at 37 with erratic periods and flooding, hot flashes galore and low mood. Having tried all sorts of hormonal treatments, I was finally referred to a gynae at 42. He performed an endometrial ablation ''to see me through'', which solved the flooding problem and took the insane pain I was experiencing away but the other symptoms were still there and my periods were still random -either very close together or skipped. Since going ketogenic my symptoms have vanished, my periods have returned to a 28 day cycle and I'm happily losing weight again. I'd like to re-iterate that this diet has worked for me and it was my personal choice. I no longer need to keep an eye on calories or carbs and I have finally returned to having a good relationship with food, like I used to.

How can someone be unconfirmed but diagnosed coeliac? As I said earlier, my GP was happy to diagnose me coeliac because all my autoimmune disorders (asthma, eczema, hayfever, painful joints), plus my ulcer and anaemia, went into remission. I no longer need the 9 prescriptions I used to have and no longer require iron or painkillers. smile The parameters of Celiac disease have changed a lot: CD is an autoimmune disease manifesting itself in a wide range of symptoms.

Why should OP think she's coeliac? I don't think I'd ever suggested the OP should think she's coeliac! I'm coeliac! As Prof Alessio Fasani says: you can have the full set of genes linked to CD and never develop it, however you can develop it at any time. He is currently working on the role of dysbiosis in regards to the onset and progression of celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders.
As can be seen in the first video I linked to, pioneering research is beginning to show that the microbiota might be responsible for a variety of ailments, including obesity. Further still, the microbiota could be regulating our metabolism.

I have a friend who is a dietician and says she would be struck off if she gave people the dietary advice she believes to be healthy So sad , Kummerspeck!

Eliza22 Sat 12-Mar-16 19:25:59

I'm not more sedentary. I'm 53 and walk up to 1 and a 1/2 hrs daily, with my golden retriever. Yet, my weight just sits there. I've never been skinny but have always been fined and fit. Now, even my tone is going and my waist has disappeared.

I despair!

SauvignonPlonker Sat 12-Mar-16 20:10:25

Yep, me too! Really struggling to control my weight. I used to be able to get away with snacks, treats, alcohol. The weight seems to go on so easily & it's a battle for every pound of weight loss.

5:2 seems to work best for me. I really need to increase my activity level; not easy with a toddler & a partner working long hours/away.

I'm only mid-40's & not even through the menopause yet. God knows what it will be like in my 50's & 60's.

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