Weightloss during and after menopause

What do you do when you're overweight AND menopausal? 
Logo for Minnie Pauz® the Menopausal Cartoon Character! 
Should you diet? Which one? Atkins? South Beach? Weight Watchers?


See 2013 Update Below 



"Calcium definitely does seem to have  
a negative effect on fat storage and in  
fact a diet high in calcium is associated 
with weight loss especially around the 
torso. Numerous studies have shown that  
people with low calcium intake have more  
weight gain, less weight loss and bigger,  
fatter fat cells." from  Vicki Koenig, MS,  
RD, CDN, Nutritionist at Stonyfield Farm. 

Bits and Pieces - 
AHA! “With menopause and  
advancing age, women lose 
muscle mass,” says Cynthia  
K. Sites, an associate professor  
of obstetrics and gynecology at  
the University of Vermont in  
Burlington. “Muscle is  
metabolically active tissue and  
burns more calories at rest than  
does fat, so when muscle is lost,  
metabolism slows.” 

Self-Image cartoon

Stop Sugar/Chocolate Cravings


 Mayo Clinic study finds explanation for postmenopausal belly fat

Scientists have long known that lower estrogen levels after menopause can cause fat storage to shift from the hips and thighs to the abdomen. Now, a groundbreaking study, co-authored by the Mayo Clinic, has determined why: Proteins, revved up by the estrogen drop, cause fat cells to store more fat. Read full article....

--Stress is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and an increased risk of cancer. New research suggests that it can also make you fat. For women, stressing out over unpaid bills, problems at work, strained family relationships and feeling limited by life's circumstances can lead to weight gain......Dr. Andrew Weil

Vitamin D and Weight Loss 
--Studies have shown that people who are obese often have low blood levels of vitamin D. Body fat traps vitamin D, making it less available to the body. It's not clear whether obesity itself causes a low vitamin D level or if it's the other way around. But one small study of dieters suggests that adding vitamin D to a calorie-restricted diet may help overweight people with low vitamin D levels lose weight more easily.


Dee's Low Carb Adventure!

Back in 2002 I went on the Atkins Diet and lost a total of 55 lbs. I have to say that even though it's not for everyone, it definitely worked for me because I liked the food I was allowed to eat, I lost quickly enough to stay motivated and I started feeling better than I had for years! (read my initial story here)   I stuck with it for about 2 years and then slowly started adding the "bad stuff" back into my diet and put about 20 lbs back on. THEN I quit smoking and the weight situation went out the window!. Now I'm looking at low glycemic foods, trying to drink more water and pushing myself to walk more regularly. I'm also reading a lot more of Dr. Andrew Weil's advice, not only about food, but our general health during menopause. My biggest goal now is to reduce the size of my OMENTUM!! See how (from Dr. Oz) below!

UPDATE....May 2010

Ok Folks, the results are in....I should have stuck to the low carbs aka the low glycemic index, but I didn't and now I have diabetes. I'm not sure exactly WHEN this developed, but after being overweight for years and not exercising for the same amount of time, I'm pretty sure WHY it developed. I'm still trying to process everything and not be in denial. I've done an enormous amount of research on the internet, of course, and I've told my kids. I'm finding out just how little thought most of us give to this disease.  More to come.....

UPDATE....December 2010

6 mo. since my last update, but 8 mo. since I started back on low carb. First of all it was to lose weight and then to keep my blood sugar under control (also taking medication, but not insulin, thank goodness). As of today (12/20/10) I've lost 57 lbs. It wasn't from my diet alone, I started walking and walked every day for 8 mo. I started out only walking 10-15 min. but then increased to 30 min. and then to an hour.

The diabetes diagnosis scared me and I knew I had to take this seriously and now I've done it. A couple of things made it easier for me: posting my intentions of walking on Facebook really helped motivate me and because I don't have to count calories on Atkins, it made it easy for me. 

My "After" Photo 
1 year after eating low carb  
and walking 1 mi. every day.

If I get enough interest from all of you, I will go into more detail, but there are many good links to low carb sites for you to check out. To the left is a collage of my progress. I just noticed that I didn't add the months for some of the pictures, but the last one there was taken in October. I've lost even more since then, of course. If you have comments please post them on my blogwhere I'll repost some of this information and the collage. Once I decided to make my health more important than a piece of pie or just food in general, it gave me a freedom I hadn't experienced since I quit smoking almost 6 yrs. ago! It's a fabulous feeling!

If anyone questions whether the low-carb lifestyle is safe and healthy you can read an article here: and one by Dr. Andrew Weil on his website.  Here's a quote from the first site:"Over four months on the diet, the participants lost an average of 21.3 pounds, and showed a 6.1% drop in cholesterol, and almost a 40% drop in the level of triglycerides in their blood. In addition, their HDL levels increased by about 7%."

2013 Update.... 3 yrs after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I am still eating very low carbs and have learned that artificial sweetners can trick your body into treating them just like sugar! can put on weight (or have a difficult time losing it) by eating "sugar free".  :(  I still avoid flour (even whole wheat) so that really eliminates most of the foods I used to eat, and I don't eat potatoes or pasta, but I've learned to love a lot of new vegetables and fish! I walked nearly every day for the past 3 years (until just recently when I hurt my knee going up and down stairs too much) and that has helped me maintain not only my weightloss, but also increased my bone density! At 65, that is incredibly important!

Here's a picture of me in Dec 2012 and I've lost about 10 lbs since then. I know we're all different and lowcarb is not right for everyone so I want to encourage you to find what works for you!

Then here's a picture of me 4 months later


"I am always so busy but I try to skim your newsletters to see how you are as they come in. I saw your mention of Miracle Noodles a couple of months ago and ended up buying some. From them, I got an email to try Dr. Furhman's site. And OMG I am so thrilled! I have been living with chronic congestion, antibiotics, etc. and after a week eating his way - I feel like a new person! No more headaches, lots of energy, etc. So just wanted to take a minute to say "THank you"!!!!!!" 
Hope all is well and take care, Elizabeth Kelly ....


Dr. Andrew Weil.... "Fat does not make you fat!" 

From the Oprah Show with Dr. Oz:

One of the many health problems caused by this ugly organ (the omentum) is heart disease and heart attacks.  The reason being- as the omentum grows; it creates an inflammatory process, which can irritate the arteries, putting you at greater risk for blocked arteries. When we talk about obesity being a risk factor for heart disease, we're actually wrong," says Dr. Oz. "It's not all obesity, because fat thighs don't give you a bad heart. [The omentum] does."

The omentum is also to blame for beer bellies. Some people tend to store their fat around their waists—giving them a beer belly or an "apple-like" shape. While others store fat around their hips, making them "pear"-shaped. Apple-shaped people are more at risk for heart disease than pear-shaped people.

Numbers to remember:

For women, your waist size should be about 32” (measuring at the belly button). For men, it should be about 35”

According to Dr. Oz, "If your waist size is more than 35 inches and you're a woman—or 40 inches for men—you have a major risk factor for heart attacks because this [omentum], instead of being an inch thick, is now five inches thick, and you don't even see it." 
Below is a list of 5 ingredients to avoid. By avoiding these ingredients, you will not only greatly improve your weight loss success, but will shrink your omentum down to a normal size as well.

  • Hydrogenated/ Partially hydrogenated oil
  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Enriched flour
  • Bleached flour
Always look for these ingredients before buying any pre-packaged foods…especially snack foods.

Dr. Roizen (from Oprah) says the only white ingredients you should have in your fridge are egg whites, cauliflower and fish.

From Nancy Dell, Registered Dietitian:

1. Why do women tend to gain weight in menopause? Any way to combat it. 
Mary in Westfield.

We are all born with fat cells. Attached to the membrane of these cells is an enzyme known by the initials LPL. The purpose of this enzyme is to pull fat out of the blood stream and put the fat into the cell. When that happens our fat cells get bigger and we gain weight.

The female hormone estrogen, reduces the activity of this LPL fat storing enzyme. So in menopause when estrogen levels drop, the LPL fat-storing enzyme becomes more active and you store more fat. How do you combat this.

Stop eating at your first sign you are no longer hungry. Any extra bites when you are already full will be stored as fat. Avoid foods that raise blood sugar such as refined carbs, sugar and white flour. They can raise the fat in your blood. And limit saturated animal fats like butter, cheese and whole milk which also can raise blood fat.





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Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

Eating a serving of whole grains, such as quinoa, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

A 3-year prospective study of over 200 postmenopausal women with CVD, published in the July 2005 issue of the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week experienced both:

Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows, and

Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.

The women's intake of fiber from fruits, vegetables and refined grains was not associated with a lessening in CVD progression.

Minnie Pauz Fans are LowCarbing!

I've lost 26 pounds since last July, slowly, carefully and with no sweets cravings! I can look at chocolate and not drool anymore!  And I look great at 62! I can have almost everything I like and even watching my cholesterol, this way of eating is not burdensome! Good for you, good for me, and good for all of us who've been trying to lose weight forever!............ Paula Riezenman 

I'm still on Atkins diet and lost over 20 pounds.  Bloodtests showed I had lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Thanks for your encouragement..Benita

From an article on 
When carbohydrates enter your body, those carbohydrates are metabolized into glucose in your bloodstream, raising your blood sugar levels. The job of insulin is to move in and bring the blood sugar levels down. Under normal circumstances, this is a good thing. Insulin performs a vital function in your body. It works to keep blood sugar under control. But when your blood sugar rises to excessive levels, the insulin has to find a place to put the glucose that your body doesn't need. Simply put, insulin shoves the excess glucose into your fat cells. In other words, too much insulin causes us to gain weight. Excessive amounts of any carbohydrate or even small amounts of the wrong ones can cause you to have excess insulin. 

"It's important to understand that your metabolic tendencies are never cured. The fat you sent to kingdom come by doing the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ was one symptom of a chronic metabolic condition. You do and always will have a metabolic tendency to be overweight. Any blood-sugar imbalance you have will not go away permanently because you have taken a nutritional path that circumvents it. All you have to do is go back to eating the way you once did, or even partially so, and you will arouse the sleeping demon. In very short order, your pancreas will once again secrete large quantities of insulin, and you'll suffer the symptoms of unstable blood sugar—jitters, brain fog, afternoon fatigue and the like. Then your insulin resistance will lead inevitably to the production of more insulin and that, in turn, to weight gain if your carb intake exceeds your tolerance. Clearly, you don't want to go there." --Atkins


Body mass index (BMI) is measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Here's a quick way to find your BMI


More Weight  
Loss Info


"....lack of sleep changes blood-sugar levels and metabolism. It also affects impulse control, and it's harder for people to pass on food they know they shouldn't be eating." MORE 

I'm FAT by Susan Sparks

Our Stories 
Lowfat is Dead: 
Fat Makes Comeback...

Diet and Incontinence 
Excess weight puts women at an increased risk for urinary incontinence, and now a study suggests that what you eat can raise the risk as well, regardless of weight. Investigators from the New England Research Institutes examined the diet and lifestyle habits of 2,060 Boston women aged 30 to 79 years. They also measured the women's height, weight and waist size and questioned them about urinary symptoms. Slightly more than 12 percent reported moderate to severe urinary incontinence - meaning leakage at least once a week or significant leakage once a month. Read full article....

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