1200x628 LRB ARTICLE COVER menopause.weightloss 2022

Women can thrive during menopause. There, I said it. So hear me out. It’s possible with the right support. 

Here’s what we know:

Very few women breeze through their late 40s and 50s without noticing compounding symptoms that eventually start to influence confidence, well-being, and overall attitude negatively. Many hard-working, independent, and strong-willed women find themselves questioning how they lost themselves during menopause. Lack of motivation, loss of muscle tone, fatigue, weight gain, depression, trouble sleeping, and brain fog can very quickly alter a woman’s self, professional, and relationship confidence. 

Dr. Couri and the practitioners at the Couri Center have spent over a decade specializing in this stage of a woman’s life. We understand the importance of acknowledging the effects of perimenopause and menopause and, also, of educating patients on how to expertly navigate them. With proper assessment and personalized recommendations, many of these symptoms can be restored with bioidentical hormone pellet therapy and lifestyle changes. Don’t let the fogginess and frustration of menopause dictate your life! With individualized treatment options, menopause can be a time to thrive and feel in control of your long-term health. 

What is menopause?

Menopause is traditionally defined as going twelve months without having a period but also can be assessed through lab work as well.  But the season of menopause is far more complex. Think of menopause like a puzzle. Each compounding factor is a piece of the puzzle. If one piece is put in the wrong place, the puzzle will never be complete. 

Many women experience a frustrating amount of weight gain during menopause and expect hormones to fix this problem automatically. For example, testosterone replacement often helps restore motivation, drive, and energy levels. It also can help our body burn fat more efficiently and build muscle.  But it takes more than just testosterone to lose weight. In conjunction with an individualized health assessment and dietary and exercise recommendations, you can experience weight loss and long-term optimal health during and after menopause. 

Before making dietary recommendations, review the following: 

  • Sleep patterns 
  • Current diet 
  • Surgical history 
  • Hormone assessment 
  • Current medications 
  • Exercise habits and intensity 
  • Body changes 
  • Digestion
  • Long-term health risk and assessment 

Many women complain of increased weight around the abdominal region, otherwise known as “menopause belly”. Fad and quick-results-promised diets tend to promote inflammation, additional weight gain, and continued frustration. These diets, and most recently, new weight loss medications, will result in rebound weight gain once stopped. The wrong diet will negatively influence your metabolism, cortisol levels, food intolerances, elevated cholesterol levels, hypertension, bloating, and poor digestion. 

Testosterone is the building block of muscle mass and sets the stage for weight loss. With proper cardiovascular exercise and resistance training at moderate to high intensity, you’ll restore lean body mass. That means a higher metabolic rate or calorie burn. With optimized testosterone, determination and motivation will now fuel the drive to make the lifestyle changes that promote weight loss. For example, walking will not traditionally result in significant weight loss. To gain noticeable muscle mass or lose noticeable weight, exercise intensity must push the exercise levels you’re used to. Remember: Exercise is hard work. 

Appropriate dietary changes can alleviate bothersome symptoms within a few weeks. Within two months of testosterone initiation, patients typically begin to notice cognitive and energy improvements. In the following months, look for weight loss, motivation, drive, and increased libido. 

Thousands of women of all ages have experienced life-changing symptomatic improvements and a better understanding of their long-term health through our TLC: Total Lifestyle by Couri™ programs. The complex side effects and bothersome symptoms caused by menopause require more than testosterone. It is the mission of the Couri Center always to provide comprehensive women’s health education and options. If you are struggling with perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms and are looking for in-depth explanations and options, we encourage you to call and schedule a free consultation now to learn how the Couri Center can help.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, Registered Dietitian

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