Avoid The Menopause Weight Gain

January 21, 2023

Menopause officially starts when a woman has not had a period in her menstrual cycle for 12 months. This is a time where many women find it is easy to gain weight and difficult to lose it. It’s one of the common concerns from our clients during the perimenopause and menopause stage of life! In this episode, we’ll shed some light on how stress can be a big component to weight gain during and leading up to menopause, and some things you can do about it.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we have a very popular topic to share with you. Oftentimes, clients want to know how they can avoid gaining weight during menopause. Listeners, is this you? Some of these women have already started to gain weight and their pants are tighter, and they don't really feel like, hey, I, I'm out of control. My body's taking over. So how can we avoid menopausal weight gain?

I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and I've worked with many women in these perimenopause and menopause ages. And yes, weight gain is a common concern for so many. Today, Britni Vincent, who's also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, will take a deeper dive into looking at the reasons for that menopause weight gain, and we're also going to share some possible solutions. Right, Britni?

BRITNI: Yes, absolutely. Good morning. I think this will be a very popular topic because as you mentioned, we see a lot of clients concerned about this, and the fact is menstruating women, they store weight generally in your hips, your thighs, your butt. And during perimenopause weight gain in the midsection. And then during menopause, this weight gain in the midsection happens. And that's just a part of, of the hormone changes during that time. And after the age of 30, we lose on average, about a pound of lean body mass.

MELANIE: Wow. We, and we've sort of addressed this on some of the other radio shows about how critical it is to eat protein, a lot of protein.


MELANIE: And you've got to use your muscle. Muscle, if you don't use it, you lose it.

BRITNI: Yep. Yep. Muscle keeps you healthy.

MELANIE: It's a hormonal connection there is what you're saying.

BRITNI: Yes. Yeah. And you know, as many women have been told, menopause, you know, it officially starts when a woman has not had a menstrual cycle or a period for 12 months. And this is a time that a lot of women find it difficult to lose weight and just really easy to gain weight. And in fact, this period of life where it's easy to gain weight, it really often starts in the perimenopause stage of life. So for many women, perimenopause starts as, as much as 10 years before menopause.


BRITNI: And your doctor may say the cause of weight gain is a lack of certain hormones like estrogen. And at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we believe yes, those sex hormones are a piece of the puzzle, but it's also the stress hormone, cortisol and insulin that also contribute to weight gain at this stage of life.

MELANIE: You know, and I've heard and said many times, insulin is sort of our master hormone.


Cortisol is a stress hormone


MELANIE: Right? So, Britni, you mentioned a stress hormone. And that stress hormone is cortisol. And cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland. When women are stressed, excess cortisol is produced actually for any of us, men and women.

BRITNI: Yep. Yep.

MELANIE: And women often put on belly fat because that is the exact spot where women have more receptors for cortisol. Unfortunately, there are just more cell receptors for cortisol in the belly area. I remember a waitress when I was in my thirties talking to a table of friends. We were at a restaurant and her saying, “Wait till you guys hit 50. You’re just going to gain weight around your middle.” And I thought, oh, I'm not. Whoops.

BRITNI: You know, and if you are struggling with weight gain leading up during menopause, just take a step back, reflect where is your stress coming from? And this is a time of life where many women, their sandwiched between still taking care of their children at home, but also being caregivers to their parents, and there's just not enough hours in the day.

MELANIE: Lot of stress.

BRITNI: It's a lot.

MELANIE: It's a huge stress trying to fill in all those, those obligations.


Eat real food in balance to manage stress response


MELANIE: Some people, it's just their work environment is so stressful, or they're working with super long hours, and that's stressful on the body. So let's be real, Britni. You can't get rid of your own family and your job, and perhaps you're, you are the only caregiver for your parents. What can you do? Well, we want to talk about how you can eat to support your body so less cortisol is produced. A simple, simple answer is to eat more food and some of you are like, getting ready to turn off the radio.

But trust me. You may be thinking, if I eat more food, I'm going to gain more weight. Well, yes. If you eat processed carbohydrates, if you're nibbling on crackers, maybe you're having wine and cheese with your crackers, popcorn, cereal, cookies, you will begin to start gaining weight. But if you eat three to four ounces of meat or fish, one to two cups of vegetables, and 1-2 tablespoons of natural fat, at least three times a day, you will lose weight. I recently started really focusing on this again with myself. We're always in process. And I'm trying to get, you know, 13 ounces of animal protein in a day, 13 to 14, because I know the science.


MELANIE: So if your life is highly stressful, you might need four meals daily to counteract the cortisol release, and you need to eat more of the correct foods to lose that weight. And when I started increasing the amount of protein, I did find my weight dropped a pound or two. I wasn't looking for that, but I thought, oh gosh, I guess the science does work.

BRITNI: Yeah. And you know, we, I talked about lean body mass earlier. We need that protein to build lean body mass.

MELANIE: You cannot make muscle from nothing.

BRITNI: Yep. Yep.

MELANIE: We have to supply the, we have to supply the ingredients to build the bricks. Right?

Various lifestyle habits affect cortisol


BRITNI: You know, another piece I want to mention here with cortisol and our body, how we respond to stress, stress is stress to the body. Whether that is stress from work, stress from not eating enough, stress from not sleeping, our body sees it all the same. So as you're reflecting and thinking about stress in your life just take a look at your lifestyle habits too, because it's not always the obvious stressors that are, that are making a difference in increasing that cortisol.

MELANIE: That's a really good point. Stress is stress.

BRITNI: And when we also think about what are some other stressful events or times in, in your life? You know, today a lot of women start that perimenopausal stage in their late thirties up to 40. Again, perimenopause; it seems that that time of life, you know, you might have a job change, maybe divorce, buying a new home; all of those events…

MELANIE: Empty nesting.

Excess cortisol causes weight gain in midsection


BRTINI: Yes. Yes. All of that is very stressful and going to cause your body to release more cortisol. And then that cortisol causes that weight gain in the midsection. And, and belly fat, also known as visceral fat; we're going to talk about more about that later. It has four times the number of cortisol receptors than that in other areas of the body.

MELANIE: Four times.

BRITNI: That's huge.

MELANIE: That's huge.


MELANIE: And so it's no wonder if you're stressed, you start seeing your midsection where your pants don't fit properly. And that's more stress, honestly.

BRITNI: Yep. Yep.

MELANIE: We, no one wants to run out and buy new clothes in the middle of their stressful life.


Cortisol and the stress connection


MELANIE: No. So how do you control cortisol weight gain? We're going to talk about that. One, we have to find ways to reduce stress, and eating nourishing real foods to manage stress and add in mindful meditation habits to manage stress. Everybody's got a different way of finding de-stressors. Sometimes it's escaping in a book or a comedy. Sometimes it's taking deep breaths. Sometimes it's yoga.

Well, some women need all the techniques. So as nutritionists, we help clients use food to manage stress. And we teach women to eat protein and vegetables and natural fats to help manage the stress that their body's experiencing. Because sugar, alcohol, processed carbs increase stress in the body, which leads to weight gain. We've had many clients really who started eating more sugar and junk food when they were going through a divorce or skipping meals, honestly. But that sugar and the junk food turns, it actually creates more stress in the body because it’s something they reach for fondly to remember. Because it's a comfort food.


MELANIE: And when they're committed to and followed through with the real food eating plan, their stress level is reduced, their energy level increases so they can handle their lives and they lose weight. It, it truly, truly is all about what you're eating. But we'll talk more when we come back from our break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. I'm in studio with Britney Vincent, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And if you've started to gain weight as you've gotten older and are frustrated and concerned, I suggest you stay tuned to, because we are going to address several reasons for weight gain during perimenopause and menopause. And we'll speak to the many reasons weight gain can occur and possible solutions. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. One possible reason you may experience weight gain is that you're experiencing too much stress and your adrenal glands are releasing that excess cortisol, and cortisol causes fat storage.


BRITNI: So, so is insulin. And insulin is our primary fat storage hormone. Too much estrogen causes weight gain as well. And during a nutrition consultation, the main focus may be to learn techniques that you can use to manage stressful life events. And actually what you eat for breakfast influences your stress response. I just taught a corporate class this week and I stressed that the first thing that you eat for breakfast or the first thing that you eat during the day, it affects the whole rest of your day.

MELANIE: Absolutely.

BRITNI: It makes such a huge, huge impact.

MELANIE: And I just want to say, I started my morning with one of the muffins off of our website.


MELANIE: Our banana muffins off of our website and it was a delicious way to start your day.

BRITNI: Those are great. So to avoid weight gain at menopause, it might be wise to set up several appointments for nutritional counseling and you know, we get to the bottom of what's going on with you individually.


BRITNI: Because let's face it, we're complicated. Our bodies are complicated.

MELANIE: We are. And there's hope no matter what you've got going on.

BRITNI: Absolutely. Yeah. So you can call us at (651) 699-3438 to get started or schedule online at weightandwellness.com.

Schedule Nutrition Counseling

Blood sugar dysregulation: a stressor on the body


So before break, we are talking a lot about stress and cortisol and all of the different situations or life events that could create a lot of stress. But you know, one of the more stressful situations for your body is blood sugar dysregulation. Or when you're just on that blood sugar roller coaster, you know, eating a donut for breakfast or even cereal for breakfast and then a granola bar. That is causing those big up and downs.

MELANIE: Yeah. Your sugar goes up.

BRITNI: That's stressful.

MELANIE: And then it crashes; very stressful.

BRITNI: So Melanie, you had mentioned earlier eating that real protein, real fat, some veggie to help reduce stress. Well, that's also what helps to balance your blood sugar out.


BRITNI: So it's helping you handle emotional stressors, but it's also helping to reduce stress from a biochemical standpoint as well.

MELANIE: It's very helpful. So like I mentioned, I had those muffins. It wasn't a sugary laden muffin with white flour.


MELANIE: It was an almond flour muffin, had protein powder in it, eggs in it.


MELANIE: You know, something to balance my blood sugar.

Mindfulness of exercise: too much is not the answer


BRITNI: Yeah. They’re yummy. And for some women, when they start to gain weight during perimenopause, they turn to increasing their exercise routine. They exercise longer with more intensity. And I hear this a lot. “I went back to what I used to do in my twenties.”


BRITNI: “I exercised two hours a day,” and after a few weeks, they're often disappointed because they just keep gaining weight. And I had a client just this past week, this is exactly what she did. She gained weight during menopause and so she started to increase her exercise.

MELANIE: It's what we did that worked for us in the past.


MELANIE: And so that's what we pull from our backpack of memory.

BRITNI: Yep. And she kept gaining weight so…

MELANIE: So frustrating.

BRITNI: She backed off and, you know, went to a less stressful exercise, but intense exercise creates more cortisol.


BRITNI: That's, that's the fact of the matter. And then it becomes easier to gain weight. Cause again, stress is stress. So it's just making more cortisol in the body. And yes, of course some exercise is beneficial

MELANIE: Of course.

BRTINI: But it's what you're doing and the duration that makes a big difference.

MELANIE: We can't pound our bodies and expect our bodies to respond like they did in their twenties.


What is your source of stress coming from?


MELANIE: We're, they're, we're different bodies now. So listeners ask yourself, what is your source of stress and your supply of cortisol coming from? Perhaps it is the processed carbs and sugar. Maybe you are stopping by your favorite coffee house for a high sugar coffee drink to start your day. And that can produce that stressful cortisol producing event in your body. A cup of coffee with real cream: very doable for your body. But a coffee drink with high fructose corn syrup, maybe artificial colors and ingredients is a cell stressor.

And cortisol is then released. I was really shocked when visiting a friend in a hospital and the nursing staff who have very stressful jobs are all drinking some high sugar stressful coffee drink. And I thought, oh ladies, you have a hard job.


MELANIE: Well, they are going into a really stressful environment and now they've got, so to speak, a high stressful beverage. And it's going to have them crashing in about two to three hours.


MELANIE: Hard on the body.

Lack of sleep causes stress on the body


BRITNI: Very hard on the body. What about sleep? You know, lack of sleep is very stressful. And most women who sleep less than seven and a half to eight hours a day, they gain more weight. And again, often that belly fat that we're talking about. And sleep is really complicated. We have many, many podcasts on sleep. But if you are only sleeping five to six hours a night, I'd suggest make an appointment with us. You know, we work with clients often on a daily basis for sleep. And so we have a lot of tools to help you with that.

MELANIE: And it's a really common problem, that sleep.


MELANIE: And I have women who are in really busy jobs say, I function really well on five to six hours. Well, here's the thing. You may think you're functioning for five to six hours, but your body is a human body, like the next person next to you who requires scientifically, biologically that seven and a half to eight hours of sleep. And it is doing some detriment.

BRITNI: Absolutely. And those individuals that say that, I always think or tell them, well, you've probably been sleep deprived for so long, you have no idea how much better you could actually feel once you've got that seven and a half to eight hours.

MELANIE: Yes. Women are tough.


MELANIE: They are strong individuals.

BRITNI: We do what we got to do.


BRITNI: You know one of my clients this week, she has struggled with sleep. And she said, “If I don't drink enough water and if I don't go to bed by a certain time, I wake up more throughout the night.”

MELANIE: That's exactly, I feel the same way.


MELANIE: I, I notice the same thing. I'll lay there, have a little bit of thirst, and by the time you're thirsty, you're dehydrated.


MELANIE: And I think what do I do for a living? I know this and I'm not sleeping. So often when women cannot sleep, they'll turn to a sleep medication. Well, Dr. Matthew Walker in his book, Why We Sleep, explained that sleep from a medication is not a truly restful sleep and is not a stress reducing sleep. As a dietitian, I usually recommend drinking sufficient water, like Britni mentioned, eating a bedtime snack, which could be something simple like a half a cup of berries, maybe some, a tablespoon of nut butter or two, and taking two to six tablets of Magnesium Glycinate, a really good form. And magnesium is a relaxing mineral. It's not sedative. And it helps us get into that deeper restorative sleep. I love it.

BRITNI: Yeah. It's already time for our second break.

MELANIE: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let's talk more about how you can learn what you need to learn to get through menopause happily and in good health. Way back before the pandemic, we offered weekend Menopause Survival Seminars and then the pandemic restrictions closed our in-person classes, but women still wanted that information.

So we spent hours and hours recording all the information. And now we have a six-hour Menopause Solution Seminar you can watch in your pajamas, the comfort of your home. A description of the Menopause Solutions video presentations is described on our website, weightandwellness.com. We'll be right back.

Sign Up for Menopause Solutions - Online


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. In the Menopause Solution six-hour seminar, we have many topics all taught by Melanie and our cohost today, and Kara Carper, a very experienced and licensed nutritionist. We also asked Cassie Weness, our gluten and celiac disease expert to lead us and host each class. We covered lots of topics near and dear to our clients, such as hot flashes, sleep, anxiety, weight gain, cravings, mood swings, and a whole lot more. So for your reference, we included a menopause reference e-book that is 79 pages long. That's a lot of material.

MELANIE: That's a lot of material.

BRITNI: That you get to keep; and six hours of classes taught by experts plus the guidebook all for only $279.

MELANIE: That's kind of a screaming deal.

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm. Yeah, it is. So before break we were talking about sleep and how stressful lack of sleep is. And you know, you had mentioned magnesium as helping to promote a more restful sleep. And in our Ongoing Support and Education classes, we do a, a quick mineral check to see if you have signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency.

Signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency


So I want to share some of these with you. I crave chocolate: that's a sign of low magnesium. I have muscle cramps or spasms: also a sign of low magnesium. I have trouble sleeping throughout the night, a sign of low magnesium. And there are many, many other reasons our body and brain need magnesium cause it, it's involved in over 300 different processes in the body.

So we need magnesium to also help serotonin, our calming neurotransmitter to get delivered to those receiving cells. And then we reap the benefits of serotonin and feel calm and happy and having adequate serotonin, you know, it's critical to get a good night's sleep.

MELANIE: Yes. And I, I do want to mention listeners, you don't want to run out and just buy any magnesium. Some of them will cause diarrhea.


MELANIE: And then that's a stressful event.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah.

MELANIE: So really you want to get a good magnesium glycinate that's chelated and we have them on our website. These are the brands we know the research behind on our website. So be careful with that.

BRITNI: Yeah. Such a good point. Yeah.

MELANIE: Well I found that after, after cancer treatment, many women have trouble sleeping and it often takes some time to to establish a good, you know, plan that works specifically for their needs. And we need to find the correct combination of food, water, supplements, exercise, relaxation habits to rebalance the body and the brain. It's a lot of trial and error to find what works the perfect formula because we can't unzip a client and look inside. But I think it's worth the effort and the time that it takes. And yeah, so rebalancing hormones and is something I know you're sort of an expert on Britni.

Insulin’s connection to menopausal weight gain


BRITNI: Well, I, I don't know about that, but you know, there's another hormone that's involved in menopausal weight gain and that hormone is insulin. Yes, insulin is a hormone and every time we eat carbohydrates, our pancreas produces insulin. And when we're eating large amount of carbohydrates and sugar, we are, our pancreas produces excess insulin to try to compensate, and too much of the sugar damages our nerve cells.

MELANIE: Say that again because that is a really good point.

BRITNI: Yeah. Too much sugar damages our nerve cells. It can, you know, lead to neuropathy.

MELANIE: And that is neuropathy is a horrible, horrible condition. And so I caution my clients that you don't have to have diabetes to get neuropathy.


MELANIE: Too much sugar can lead to it so that if you’re starting to have tingle in your hands and your feet, it's a warning sign for you.

BRITNI: Yeah. Really good point. And at, you know, at first sugar in those processed carbohydrates that turn into sugar will damage those little nerves in your ears, your eyes. The nerves in your feet can become damaged. And so it, it happens systemically and your pancreas, the guard of your nerves, releases insulin to prevent that damage.

But again, excess insulin makes people gain weight. And you know, we've established that during perimenopause and menopause, women gain weight in their midsection, and that belly fat or visceral fat, also known as, actually produces more insulin. So for these reasons, it makes it really easy to become insulin resistant at this, at this stage of life.

MELANIE: Very easy. And that's where you see your blood sugars, your fasting blood sugars start tipping towards that 100 or maybe over 100. Maybe your A1C is rising and your doctor says, we have to watch this. That's a clue for you. And many researchers and authors describe the hormone insulin as the fat storage hormone. We store fat on our hips and our legs and all over thanks to that insulin increase.

Well, as we age, especially if we've eaten too many of those processed carbohydrates for too long, we develop a, that condition called insulin resistance, and then less and less glucose or sugar gives us energy and more of the sugar carbs turn into body fat. So maybe at age 20 your body could tolerate more carbohydrates. But now with the buildup of insulin resistance, these same carbohydrates get turned into body fat.

So according to the women's, a healthy women's study, the average weight gain in perimenopausal women was about five pounds. However, 20% of the population they studied gained 10 pounds or more. Not only is the weight increase from a reduction in the estrogen, but it's also due to a decrease in overall movement. Some women may notice an overall weight gain, while others may not see a difference on the scale, but may notice, again that waist is, their waist is thicker. And many times women are really frustrated and they say they really haven't changed their eating habits and I believe them

BRITNI: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And we're going to talk about, you know, coming up how to switch up your eating to then start to see results. But you know, estrogen plays a vital role in fat storage and placement on your bodies. Prior to perimenopause, estrogen deposits fat in your thighs, hips, buttocks, and during and after menopause that drop in estrogen leads to an overall increase in total body fat. But now more so in that midsection.

Visceral fat linked to increase in inflammatory diseases


And studies have consistently shown that this waistline increase is different from when you were younger. So it is this visceral abdominal fat that increases as we enter menopause. And visceral fat is inside your abdomen and surrounds your organs. This is more disease provoking than an increase in subcutaneous fat, which is found on places like your thighs, buttocks, and outer abdomen. This visceral fat or interior fat inside the body is thought to have a more negative effect on your body. It's actually metabolically active. This fat is producing chemicals and hormones. I mentioned earlier, it produces insulin and increases inflammation. So an increase in visceral fat is linked to an increase in insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases.

MELANIE: That's some scary stuff going on inside that we can't really see.

BRITNI: Yeah. And Dr. Mark Hyman, he's a functional medicine physician with the Cleveland Clinic. He puts it in really stark terms. If you have belly fat, it is a risk factor for every single age related disease period.

MELANIE: Yeah. He really states it like he means it.

BRITNI: Yeah. And you know, there this is really interesting: a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine discussed this woman who had 20 pounds of fat removed from her abdomen via liposuction. So 10 to 20 or 10 to 12 weeks later, they retested all of her labs because they were expecting…

MELANIE: Interesting.

BRITNI: …everything to improve. And what they found is her blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, none of that improved.

MELANIE: Oh. Because they took the, the liposuction is the exterior fat and not that visceral interior fat.

BRITNI: Exactly. Right. And then she didn't make the diet changes.

MELANIE: Yeah. So, so key.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. I found that really interesting.

MELANIE: Well, Britni, how do you avoid menopausal weight gain?

BRITNI: Yeah, that is the great question. Right?

MELANIE: Let's talk about that.

How to avoid menopausal weight gain


BRITNI: So yeah, insulin resistance, it makes us hungrier, but it makes us harder, harder to lose weight. And because it is easier to become insulin resistant at this age, following a low carb diet will help to prevent or get rid of that belly fat. And what that means is eliminating those processed carbohydrates. Ask yourself, how do you start your day? You're starting with cereal or toast. And at one time we were told that those are healthy breakfast options. I mean, believe me, ate that many, many mornings of my life.


BRITNI: But now more and more people are realizing a breakfast like that contributes to more weight gain versus a meal consisting of eggs and veggies helps you to lose weight.

MELANIE: I think that's really important. The avocado toast may need to go by the wayside. Maybe it's avocado with your eggs and some vegetables. Right?


MELANIE: Well we're ready for our third break and you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. The topic in the Menopause Solution video seminar I like the most was complete coverage and understanding about bone density. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. We talk about osteopenia and osteoporosis. It is shocking to learn that more women die of a bone fracture each year than breast and uterine cancer combined. It is so important for women to maintain strong bones. We need that sufficient animal protein, lots of vegetables, good fats to build and maintain strong bones. Ladies, bones are protein. So good foods build bone. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. When the air clears of Covid and other challenging viruses, we hope to do an in-person Menopause Solution Seminar. But until then we, until we all feel safe, I encourage you to take the video presentation version so you can manage menopause in a healthy, happy way. I think a lot of women that haven't gone through it yet are afraid because…

MELANIE: Really?

BRITNI: Afraid to go through menopause because you hear of all of these symptoms that can happen, but it doesn't have to be like that.

MELANIE: Absolutely not. No.

BRITNI: Yeah. So to sign up, go to weightandwellness.com, click on classes and find the Menopause Solution Seminar. It will give you the answers you are looking for.

Sign Up for Menopause Solutions - Online

MELANIE: It was fun. It was really fun to make. We had a good time. I think there's so much great information in there for women. It's things that they don't want to talk about.


MELANIE: We talk about all of it.

BRITNI: Yep. Yep. There's not no such thing as too much information with us.

MELANIE: No, we get, we get in there because I mean every system of your body is important. And we want to be able to feel like women can talk to us, and men, can talk to us about what is happening in their body.


MELANIE: The things you're afraid to mention.


MELANIE: You can talk to us about, because we may have a good solution for you.

BRITNI: For sure. You know, I wanted to share a client story. We're talking a lot about insulin resistance. So I was working with a client and she is menopausal and she had her fasting insulin level checked and it was 25 and it should optimally be five or below. So we knew she was very insulin resistant. We made some changes to her diet, tweaked her supplements a little bit. In two to three months her insulin dropped to 15.

MELANIE: Wow. Two to three months.

BRITNI: Yeah. Not that long.

MELANIE: Not that long.

BRITNI: And guess what? Her waist started to decrease. I mean we know that with that drastic reduction in her insulin, her visceral fat is reducing as well.

MELANIE: That must have been a great comfort for her. How did she get her insulin drawn? Did she go to her regular doctor?

BRITNI: She did. Yep. Yep. So that is another lab you could request. And because sometimes, you know blood sugar is just one little snapshot in time and so getting a fasting insulin checked can just give us better information if you're insulin resistant and then how insulin resistant you are because there's a large spectrum. So that is something you could request. Again, optimally you want it to be five or below. And then I'm a huge fan of data. So seeing…

MELANIE: The science.

BRITNI: Yeah. The science. And then for her, she just was so thrilled to get the lab redone and see that reduction and knowing…

MELANIE: All her work.


MELANIE: All of her work, her commitment to what you were telling her paying off.

BRITNI: And knowing internally there's a whole lot of improvement going on.

MELANIE: I love that so much. Do you remember what her fasting blood sugars were running?

BRITNI: Not that high.

MELANIE: Not that high. So that's some good information that that blood sugar is not the only picture.

BRITNI: Yep. I mean it was over a hundred. But maybe between 101 and 110. So nothing that, I don't even know that her doctors had really talked to her about her elevated blood sugar.



MELANIE: So, and we like to see that fasting blood sugar under a hundred certainly.

BRITNI: Yeah. Closer to, you know, 90 or below is ideal.

MELANIE: 90 below is optimal.



Eat a lower carb diet to reduce visceral fat/insulin resistance


BRITNI: You know, another question is what are you drinking throughout the day? I think that beverages we're maybe less aware cause we're kind of mindlessly drinking things.

MELANIE: We think we're hydrating.

BRITNI: Yes. Yep. But there is sugar found in so many of the beverages out there and those fancy coffee drinks easily could have, you know, 15, 20 teaspoons of sugar in it. And if that's how you're starting your day, then you're just setting yourself up for a very stressful day.

MELANIE: So here's the challenge listeners. When you are going to your favorite coffee house and you have before you the option to do black coffee or coffee with some cream or you can do the sugary drink, what I want you to think about is feeding that visceral fat.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. That that thought alone might lead you to say no, thank you. So how, you know, I mentioned earlier to reduce this visceral fat, this belly fat, to reduce your insulin resistance, following a low carb diet. So not only does that mean reducing your total carbohydrates: those processed carbohydrates.


BRITNI: But really. But you're going to need to add more of that healthy fat on board. That heals your cells, that stabilizes your blood sugar. It tastes delicious.

MELANIE: Helps you be full.

BRITNI: Yeah. So, you know, avocado, butter, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds. The list goes on. And then lots of fiber is really helpful as well.

MELANIE: We forget about fiber.


MELANIE: And fiber is so key for that satiety, satisfaction, blood sugar. And that's in your vegetables.

BRITNI: Exactly. Yep. Those non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, greens.

MELANIE: It's really the vegetables that grow above the earth.


MELANIE: Except for corn.

Moderate exercise helps reduce insulin resistance and promotes growth/maintenance


BRITNI: Great way to look at it. Really great way. And then what about exercise?

MELANIE: Of course.


MELANIE: We've got to move our bodies. We've got to move our bodies. We have to keep our muscle tone because that's a key piece for our metabolism, our health, our bones, our bone structure when we keep our muscles strong. We've got to do more than just a little bit of walking. We have to challenge the muscle, fatigue the muscle, and that's how the muscle responds, gets stronger. That affects our metabolism.

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm.  

MELANIE: Our overall health. Remember your heart is muscle.


MELANIE: So it's, all of that is really important. I think how to avoid menopausal weight gain, I think that was a really great subject for us. There are many reasons and many solutions. I hope you guys out there listening understand. And I would suggest if you're still struggling, make an appointment with one of us. You can set up a few in a row to get that great support. You could listen to the wonderful six hour Menopause Seminar.

But if you want to tackle that menopause weight gain or maybe set up, maybe set up several appointments with us if you need that personal touch and we'll work on that metabolism together because it's, you are important, and I tell my ladies who come into me and they're in menopause it's your time. If not now when?


MELANIE: This is when the rubber meets the road. We either continue to deteriorate as we age or we take some control back and say, oh my goodness, I didn't realize I can control some of these factors that feel like doomsday is headed my way. And it's not.

BRITNI: No, it's not.

MELANIE: This is your “golden years”. And so we want, we want women to feel strong. We want them to live with happiness and comfort and joy and energy so they can get about life.

BRITNI: Yeah. That's all possible.

MELNIE: It's all possible. It is not, it's not the end of the road just because you went through menopause.


MELANIE: Your body is, you still have control.

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm.  

MELANIE: The body is not the boss of you.

BRITNI: No. Not at all.

MELANIE: Well, this was a really fun topic with you, Britni.

BRITNI: Yes, it was.

MELANIE: I enjoyed it. And I know you're far from menopause, but you have so much information. You're going to be…

BRITNI: I love working with, with women this age and helping them balance their hormones.

MELANIE: I do too. And the, the glimmer in their eyes come back. It's fantastic.


MELANIE: Well, our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining us today.

BRITNI: Thank you.

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