It’s no secret that losing weight during perimenopause and menopause is often even more difficult than during childbearing age. In this post, I am going to share my intermittent fasting success story so you know exactly how you can do it too.
Why Is It Hard To Lose Weight During Perimenopause?
A multitude of factors can contribute to making weight loss during perimenopause and menopause more difficult:
- Hormonal changes: Women experience greater hormone fluctuations during perimenopause as their body is entering a new phase of life and getting ready to end their menstrual cycles. Both high and low levels of estrogen can cause weight gain.
- Loss of muscle mass: As we age, hormonal changes make it harder to maintain muscle mass. Moreover, it is pretty common for women to be less physically active as they age. Muscles burn more energy than fat, that’s why strength training helps lose fat.
- Increased insulin resistance: As we age, we tend to become more insulin resistant, and this is where intermittent fasting comes into play. Besides naturally decreasing your calorie intake, intermittent fasting helps improve insulin sensitivity.
- Poor sleep: Hormonal changes often make sleep elusive for perimenopausal and menopausal women. This only compounds the weight gain issue because the lack of sleep contributes to overeating. Intermittent fasting can also help improve your sleep.
Now that you have a general idea of why women gain weight and find it even more difficult to lose weight during perimenopause and menopause, let’s get into my intermittent fasting success story.
My Intermittent Fasting Success Story
My intermittent fasting success story didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took me months to lose the extra 15-20 lbs I had been stuck with for years. Let me share the steps I I took that I feel were essential to my success.
1. Implementing a Modified Fast
Modified fasting was crucial for me because it helped me get used to fasting, heal my body, and achieve ketosis without eating keto. You may have never heard of modified fasting before, so let me give you a brief overview. The concept of modified fasting is based on the Fasting Mimicking Diet by Dr. Valter Longo. The idea is to gain the benefits of a prolonged fast without having to go without food.
Modified Fasting Approaches
Both modified fasting approaches I use have similarities:
- They reduce your calorie consumption by 40-50%.
- They use a vegan, low protein meal plan (around 10%).
- The meal plan includes around 45% healthy fats and 45% carbs.
One of the approaches is 5 days long and allows fewer calories each day (around 800 calories) as per Dr. Valter Longo’s Fasting Mimicking Diet. The other approach is a 10-day meal plan that allows you to eat 1,000 calories. The 10-day meal plan is best for those who have no experience with fasting and don’t to well when feeling hungry. The 5-day meal plan is an better option for those who have a hard time sticking to anything long term.
2. Experimenting With Intermittent Fasting
Chances are that you will need more than one modified fast to truly start noticing that fasting gets easier. I did the 5-day meal plan every month for 4 months. In between, I experimented with intermittent fasting. At first, my favorite approaches were the Eat Stop Eat Method and the 5:2 Method.
You will have to experiment as well to find the approach that works for you. I wrote a post that will help you do just that, it’s called How to Decide Which Intermittent Fasting Method Is Best for You.
3. Settling on a Method That You Can Sustain Long Term
As you experiment with intermittent fasting, you will notice that some methods suit your lifestyle better, make you feel better and give you better results. Settle on your favorite method and keep it up! If you are anything like me, weight loss will take time. Some weeks, you might not lose any weight and the week after, you may lose two pounds! You may notice you even gain weight at time (usually during the second phase of your menstrual cycle). Don’t let it discourage you. Keep practicing the method you have chosen and remember that there are other benefits aside from weight loss. Decide to make it a lifestyle. It shouldn’t be something you just give up on once you reach your goal weight.
4. Always Listening to Your Body
Even though you are making a commitment to yourself to make intermittent fasting a lifestyle as opposed to a weight-loss tool, it’s important that you learn to listen to your body and stop ignoring the signals it sends you. Some days, you may feel hungry to fast. Some days, you may feel great and want to fast longer. Your chosen intermittent fasting method may become ineffective and start making you feel too deprived. Always leave room for change.
Perimenopause Weight Loss Success Story Video
My intermittent fasting success story is that I was able to achieve greater results than I ever thought possible. I am now back to my prepregnancy weight and I feel better than ever before. For many years, I had to follow a strict paleo diet because my health was declining. Intermittent fasting not only helped me lose weight, but it has given me true food freedom. I no longer have to follow strict food rules. I am at peace with food, I don’t feel guilty when I treat myself. That’s what you can experience too!