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Finally a weight loss method that works for me during meno..

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Mariav
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Wed May 29, 2013 7:16 am      Reply with quote
Honestly, since the onset of menopause no matter what eating plan I tried - low carb, high protein, weight watchers, Zone, SouthBeach... etc... losing weight during menopause has been one of the most difficult things ever. I did step up my exercise and maybe that's contributing to some of the positives I'm seeing now, but still my favorite thing to do is walk... I'm just being a bit more brisk - kind of wogging (walk/jog) now (sort of like a C25K approach).

Anyway - what's FINALLY working for me is adopting the 5:2 program. - I'm still eating very healthy on my "5" days but I don't worry so much about it if I have something that's a little less healthy on those days - on my "2" days I have a half a cup of coffee in the morning with Stevia and almond milk then wait to eat until 1-ish...if I'm really hungry then I'll have a box of raisins, or walnuts, or a handful of grapes...then I'll have a delicious salad for lunch and a protein/veggie for dinner to get in my 500 calories for the day. After taking nearly 6 months to lose just FIVE POUNDS (that I kept gaining back...) I have managed to lose 4 pounds in two weeks. At first I didn't think I could "fast" for two days a week - but if I stretch my 500 calories out during the day and drink a lot of water, and go to bed early (I tend to graze if I'm sitting in front of the telly at night) - it's really not that bad. I can't even believe it myself because I've honestly tried everything. I find I have more energy, my skin looks better... Some may not think this is a sound or healthy way of eating, but as I said I AM eating healthy every day - it's just for two days I'm calorie restricted. I am hoping I can finally get these 15 lbs off that I gained during meno...I'm just thrilled that after two years of trying and failing at so many eating plans I think I'm on to one that works for me.

xo

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Maria, early 50's, post meno, normal to dry skin, more dry in winter, some sun damage...
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Thu May 30, 2013 9:45 pm      Reply with quote
I'm glad you're having success. I don't think I could survive on just 500 calories a day--not even one day a week! Do you exercise on the "fast" days?

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Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:03 pm      Reply with quote
Thank you Mariav for your post.
I've been reading quite a bit about intermittent fasting recently but in a far more drastic way, like the one where you only eat during certain hours of the day -can't remember the name to that one.
Found interesting that once you've lost the weight in the Dukan Method he recommends for maintenance a one day a week only on protein, which would be maybe a kind of fasting in a way -no carbs, sugars.
Then on the Four hour diet it's kind of eating little during six days and gorge once a week to prevent the body going into the starvation mode.
This only eating less two days a week seems easy in comparison to other "diets" which are restrictive every day for a long time. I hadn't heard of it, and doing a little search it sounds quite interesting and easy, so thanks for posting about it!! Very Happy
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Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:08 am      Reply with quote
ATester - I hear ya - I was looking at all sorts of books and different plans that might work after trying so many that just didn't. Then a woman at the gym was telling my sister that this one worked, so I thought "the hell, I'll try ONE more!" I'm still working out my 500 calorie days - for instance yesterday was a fasting day and at day's end my arm started to look a little appetizing.. Wink but for the most part - totally doable.... especially b/c it's just two days and that's what I keep telling myself. Since my original post I'm down another 1.5 (though it fluctuates between the 1 and 1.5) so I'm going to continue on.....it's slow going but so far has showed me some positives, so I'm going to try to stick with it for the summer.

Cool

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:34 pm      Reply with quote
This sounds healthier and more doable than doing it daily for a long period. I've heard of people who practice calorie restriction as a lifestyle because there are health benefits associated with it, but they often look quite emaciated, this sounds like a more balanced approach of doing it. I've heard fasting one day a week, or one weekend a month is good for you, and fasting doesn't necessarily mean a total avoidance of food.
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Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:20 pm      Reply with quote
Good for you Mariav... Menopause is such a challenge. Many give up so I love the EDS mentality of never say die. You sound like you've really found something workable.

As I read this my mind considers variables that you could do - Lemon in the water you drink - (A full lemon during these days)... very alkalinizing without calories.. A green smoothie type - spinach, celery, cucumber and an apple and/or berries - with a touch of Stevia if needed: Fiber to fill the tummy and provide nutrients without the calories associated.

I'm not certain I could do the 5:2 every week of my life but maybe in a more maintenance way 6:1 might work.

Please let us know how it works for you MariaV. Thank you.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:06 pm      Reply with quote
Wow, thanks for sharing!

Mariav wrote:
Honestly, since the onset of menopause no matter what eating plan I tried - low carb, high protein, weight watchers, Zone, SouthBeach... etc... losing weight during menopause has been one of the most difficult things ever. I did step up my exercise and maybe that's contributing to some of the positives I'm seeing now, but still my favorite thing to do is walk... I'm just being a bit more brisk - kind of wogging (walk/jog) now (sort of like a C25K approach).

Anyway - what's FINALLY working for me is adopting the 5:2 program. - I'm still eating very healthy on my "5" days but I don't worry so much about it if I have something that's a little less healthy on those days - on my "2" days I have a half a cup of coffee in the morning with Stevia and almond milk then wait to eat until 1-ish...if I'm really hungry then I'll have a box of raisins, or walnuts, or a handful of grapes...then I'll have a delicious salad for lunch and a protein/veggie for dinner to get in my 500 calories for the day. After taking nearly 6 months to lose just FIVE POUNDS (that I kept gaining back...) I have managed to lose 4 pounds in two weeks. At first I didn't think I could "fast" for two days a week - but if I stretch my 500 calories out during the day and drink a lot of water, and go to bed early (I tend to graze if I'm sitting in front of the telly at night) - it's really not that bad. I can't even believe it myself because I've honestly tried everything. I find I have more energy, my skin looks better... Some may not think this is a sound or healthy way of eating, but as I said I AM eating healthy every day - it's just for two days I'm calorie restricted. I am hoping I can finally get these 15 lbs off that I gained during meno...I'm just thrilled that after two years of trying and failing at so many eating plans I think I'm on to one that works for me.

xo
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Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:52 pm      Reply with quote
Mariav- I had exactly the same experience as you...after 15 lbs of menopause fat and 2 years of trying to lose it I'm finally losing it...I lost 8 lbs so far. I fast 2-3 days a week, on off days I don't eat after 6:00pm. Green tea in the morning then salad for lunch. I decided to go back to my eating habits when I was a teen....I was lean then...it worked when nothing else would. btw I exercise 7 days a week - cardio/weight lifting/running/bicycling. I've been working out hard for the last 5 years with no weight loss! This diet method is working for me.

Hope this continues to work..at 57 I still plan on wearing a bikini this summer!

Good luck!
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Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:43 am      Reply with quote
I remember people talking about weight issues in menopause and this seemed foreign to me until the last couple of years which has been my time in menopause. Years ago I dieted to stay very thin and then I gave it up only to discover balanced eating kept me trim and very healthy. For me exercise keeps me toned but has had little to do with weight loss....for me to lose weight I have to be changing the way I eat. Anyway I was merrily going along at a good weight and didn't ever get on the scales except for the yearly visit to the doctor. Once my cycle stopped at 55 interesting things started to happen and weight creeping up was one thing. I have been active with exercising, zumba and pilates but still the weight was beginning to appear. In Dec. I had a visit to the doctor and the scales revealed some reality that I hadn't wanted to face. Fifteen pounds was not what I needed on my petite frame. I am very healthy but my body requires protein to keep my blood sugar stable. I am not diabetic nor do I have low blood sugar but I do know that eating often and leaning towards a protein diet makes me feel the best. So I have chosen an eating plan that is protein focused with eating six small meals a day. I dropped the weight slowly but steadily and I got to my goal in about four to five months. I have lost weight exactly where I needed it and my face has kept the fullness through using microcurrent(Pico Toner). I do eat carbs but mainly through fruits and veggies and not processed foods. A big key for me staying on this eating plan has been to prepare my food ahead and carry my cloth cooler with me. My work involves some daily traveling and having my food handy keeps me from making the wrong choices. I am loving being back in my slim jeans, I find it empowering at 58. Very Happy

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:02 am      Reply with quote
Toby wrote:
I remember people talking about weight issues in menopause and this seemed foreign to me until the last couple of years which has been my time in menopause. Years ago I dieted to stay very thin and then I gave it up only to discover balanced eating kept me trim and very healthy. For me exercise keeps me toned but has had little to do with weight loss....for me to lose weight I have to be changing the way I eat. Anyway I was merrily going along at a good weight and didn't ever get on the scales except for the yearly visit to the doctor. Once my cycle stopped at 55 interesting things started to happen and weight creeping up was one thing. I have been active with exercising, zumba and pilates but still the weight was beginning to appear. In Dec. I had a visit to the doctor and the scales revealed some reality that I hadn't wanted to face. Fifteen pounds was not what I needed on my petite frame. I am very healthy but my body requires protein to keep my blood sugar stable. I am not diabetic nor do I have low blood sugar but I do know that eating often and leaning towards a protein diet makes me feel the best. So I have chosen an eating plan that is protein focused with eating six small meals a day. I dropped the weight slowly but steadily and I got to my goal in about four to five months. I have lost weight exactly where I needed it and my face has kept the fullness through using microcurrent(Pico Toner). I do eat carbs but mainly through fruits and veggies and not processed foods. A big key for me staying on this eating plan has been to prepare my food ahead and carry my cloth cooler with me. My work involves some daily traveling and having my food handy keeps me from making the wrong choices. I am loving being back in my slim jeans, I find it empowering at 58. Very Happy



Toby's method is my preferred way to lose weight and promote health...I've been doing it for years and it didn't work for me... I just kept packing on the weight. It's actually what I practice 5 days a week. I suspect I have a problem with portion control! Laughing
Mariav
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Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:43 am      Reply with quote
I think that was/is the most frustrating thing with meno - I truly didn't change the way I ate AT ALL - I've always been a higher protein lower carb kinda gal and a moderate exerciser (zumba, walking, dancing) but then BAM 15 lbs - and my stomach...oh boy, don't even get me started on the tummy pudge.... as soon as my period stopped, that's when my weight gain started. I just turned 50 in April, and my goal is to lose those 15 by years end and be in better shape than I was at 45 when menopause had kicked in.

I'm not sure what is and isn't true, but the original dr. who talked of the 5:2 program (I believe it was a special on the BBC?) went on and on about the anti-aging and health benefits of alternate day fasting and I figured I would try ONE more time. I hope the scale moving to the left as well as my health is improved - oddly to note, my skin has been looking pretty good! Not sure the cause of that, but I'll take it!

xoMaria

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:47 am      Reply with quote
sister sweets wrote:
Good for you Mariav... Menopause is such a challenge. Many give up so I love the EDS mentality of never say die. You sound like you've really found something workable.

As I read this my mind considers variables that you could do - Lemon in the water you drink - (A full lemon during these days)... very alkalinizing without calories.. A green smoothie type - spinach, celery, cucumber and an apple and/or berries - with a touch of Stevia if needed: Fiber to fill the tummy and provide nutrients without the calories associated.

I'm not certain I could do the 5:2 every week of my life but maybe in a more maintenance way 6:1 might work.

Please let us know how it works for you MariaV. Thank you.


Ah, SisterSweets we are on the same page! As I type I'm looking at my lemon water - one full, organic lemon in my water - it's in a 20 oz glass and I try to fill it 2 to 3 times a day... I think I will stay toned just by all the trips to the ladies room to piddle! ha! I do my green smoothies w/ either kale or spinach, coconut water, and frozen bananas, strawberries, pineapples, etc... to those I add either flax or chia and a few drops of B vitamins.

I hope that if I can get these lbs. off, I can maintain w/ more of like you say - a 6:1 approach.

I will def. keep everyone posted as to how it's going. Right now I hover between 5.5 and 6 lbs down and I believe I started in early/mid-May.

xo

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:27 am      Reply with quote
I am 55 and now understand the struggle to keep weight in check. I work out pretty hard in general and love it ..but....
At this point it comes down to eating habits. Avoiding wheat products, breads, etc and of course anything processed is crucial.
I also have noticed that I need to feel hungry somewhat to stay thin. Does that make sense? Maybe that's why your days of very low-calorie foods help keep the weight off. I focus on organic fruits and veggies and lean protein. Lately I'm into getting mineral intake in check as I understand that helps with hormone balance as well.

Anyway---main point for me is If I don't feel hungry at several points in the day, I know my body has too many calories and I will likely put those stubborn 3-5 pounds back on...ugh. I am 5'3" and it shows up pretty quickly.

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:25 pm      Reply with quote
I am exactly the same. After entering menopause the weight just slowly crept on, and especially round the middle, where I never had it before. I find going hungry for a good part of the day works for me, then eating a normal meal in the evening, with portion control, worked and the weight started to fall off. I just cannot do 3 or 6 meals a day, my body just holds on to every calorie, so by limited calories during the day, almost fasting, it finally starts to shed some lbs.
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Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:01 pm      Reply with quote
When I turned 40 my doctor said to me "for the next 10 years you must decrease calories and increase nutritional value more every single year. If you do not, you will gain between 8 - 10 pounds by age 50, and those pounds will be very difficult, almost impossible to lose. At age 50, I was still the same weight and she said "congratulations, you made it". I thought I had, but it turns out my 50 was really 56, and I gained that 8 pounds! It has taken a long time, but I have kept it to my regular weight (120# - 5'6") for a few years now.

Yes, one has to be hungry to maintain. Maybe our caveman ancestors were hungry too. Whatever, not ready to give up yet! What is so funny is that all my acquaintance all seem to think is that I am slim because it is easy for me. Not at all - but worth it.
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Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:47 am      Reply with quote
Yes, that dreaded tummy pudge. It starts out flat in the morning and by evening, bam!
I had lost the pounds and kept them off until about 5 years ago. Now they are back and brought friends. Ugh. Working out as often as possible but I need to get back to walking as well.
I have 10-15 to lose again and it has been tough.

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Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:55 pm      Reply with quote
It really has been a struggle to lose this weight whereas in my younger years I'm sure with the way I was eating and exercising it would have fallen off... I will take this slow and steady pace and this alternate day fasting as long as I can...

I know this goes against so many health experts - but the only way I have ever really lost weight in the past is by not eating breakfast....so maybe that's why this 5:2 is working for me. I don't know why it never crossed my mind to try it again b/c in my mind I'd say "well, I HAVE to have a healthy and nutritional brekkie to get my metabolism revved" and so on - but I can never lose weight when I do...

I'll be hopping on the scale Monday morning, so I'll report back - good or bad!

xo

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Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:17 pm      Reply with quote
Mariav wrote:
It really has been a struggle to lose this weight whereas in my younger years I'm sure with the way I was eating and exercising it would have fallen off... I will take this slow and steady pace and this alternate day fasting as long as I can...

I know this goes against so many health experts - but the only way I have ever really lost weight in the past is by not eating breakfast....so maybe that's why this 5:2 is working for me. I don't know why it never crossed my mind to try it again b/c in my mind I'd say "well, I HAVE to have a healthy and nutritional brekkie to get my metabolism revved" and so on - but I can never lose weight when I do...

I'll be hopping on the scale Monday morning, so I'll report back - good or bad!

xo

With much struggle and trying everything to lose weight..i decided to do what worked when i was younger. I gave up breakfast and started the 2day semi fast with healthy eating the other days (low carb, protein, no red meat, lots of veggies)...
I too read about how fasting was good one day a week but with the amount of exercise I do it wasn't possible.

Happy to say I've lost 10 pounds so far, over a 6 week time frame. After 5 years of frustration trying and watching the muffin top expand. I can't believe it! I've got 5 more to go, then I'll need to come up with a maintenance plan. I never heard about anyone ever doing this kind of diet. I also think its a reasonable weight loss, 2 lbs a week, I hope I reset my max.
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Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:25 pm      Reply with quote
Ive beeing doing the 5:2 diet for many months now.
I think it is fantastic and now view it not as a weight loss strategy but as a healthy living choice. I have lossed 8 kilos very slowly but more importantly I love how I feel doing this.
I have so much more energy and feel so wondeful especially the morning after my 'down' day as I call the fast.
I actually only have about 300 calories on my fast day and I find it very easy.
The key for me is to have a coconut water smoothie with leafy greens + protein powder and nothing more to eat till 6 pm when I have chicken or salmon and vegetables.
I drink loads of water and green tea and after doing it for many months I really don't struggle at all with it.
On my fast days I do yoga and also work and I haven no problem with feeling that my blood sugar drops.
On non fast days I don't over eat one bit simply because I don't feel like it. I enjoy my food that day of course but for me there is no desire to binge the next day. On my non fast days I drink and have delicious food.
I really love this way of helping my body stay healthy

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Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:19 pm      Reply with quote
Wow you ladies are inspiring for the 5:2 approach.
I didn't have to think about this much until this spring and just recently I started thinking... is that more *fat* around my bra? Is my waistline a little pudgier???? ugh.. I don't want to let it get bad. Also, recently I noticed the 3-5 pound thing happening. again -eek. I used to be great on my exercise program and could always pull it together and things aren't forgiving anymore. Time to get real.

I know I have to be hungry... guess it is that caveman thing.

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Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:04 am      Reply with quote
Hi all, I'm so glad I clicked on this thread because I'm in the same boat. Most of my life, when I wanted to shed a few pounds, it was no problem, I'd just step up the exercise program, and knock off some carbs; however, now at age 55, and since my cycle stopped a few years ago, these methods no longer have worked for me. I've found some great encouragement in these posts, and hopefully will be able to see results.
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Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:45 am      Reply with quote
What a great thread! I'm also in menopause and have the dreaded 15 lbs. to lose. I am starting today as my fasting day. I love to exercise and I eat very healthy, but I am still fighting my weight. Sad
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Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:15 am      Reply with quote
Hi ladies -

Yesterday was my fasting day... so I had coffee w/ a splash of unsweetened coconut milk and a stevia for brekkie - then a cup of green tea about 2 hours later in my office - ate my lunch at 1:00 - was broiled chicken with 2-3 cups of spinach and a splash of olive oil vinegar - and two baby cukes and a red pepper for 230 calories - then I went to the gym for Zumba and ate lentils when I got home and a bit of beet salad for about 250 calories. On fasting days I do measure to make sure I don't go over my allotted daily calories! I find I am much better at fasting if I DON'T do breakfast. In the original book, the auther says to eat at 1:00 p.m (lunch) and 6:00 p.m. (dinner)(if you can) but in the book I have (which is mostly recipes and a quick overview, the author says, do your 500 day however you can/want....

...the good news is; I am down another pound. I'm thrilled. I can't tell you how many eating plans I've tried and failed at and just got so frustrated I gave up because it is so hard to lose weight when your hormones don't want you to!!!

Today is a non-fast day, but I'm still behaving - had a great smoothie this a.m.

1 frozen banana
1 cup Designer whey protein (fr. Vanilla)
1 tsp almond butter
1 cup unsweetend van. almond milk (30 calories)
1 tablespoon flax

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! You will love it. Fills you up - I had this at 8:30 this a.m. and not at all hungry right now.

xoxox Maria

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:55 pm      Reply with quote
Well, I didn't last long on my fast day. Laughing By noon, I was starving! I had some salmon with lettuce and afterwards I was still hungry. Still ate pretty light though, but I bet I had about 1,000 calories. I'll try again on Thursday. I have to figure out a way to eat something under 500 cal. that won't leave me with that extreme feeling of hunger. Crying or Very sad
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Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:27 pm      Reply with quote
Eating this way makes me have a greater appreciation of food. Yesterday and today were my "fast" days, and while eating an apple, I was like wow, this taste so awesome Very Happy I haven't read the book, so was doing a little web searching, and came across an entire forum about the 5-2 method and similar plans . One of my problems has been eating out of simple boredom, so this will help raise my awareness of when I'm actually hungry.
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