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What causes that stubborn weight gain at peri menopause?

That fat round the middle seems to appear out of nowhere and all our tired and tested ways to get back into shape we used in our 20s and 30s just don’t work anymore! The reason? Our changing hormones.

The main hormones related to this sudden weight gain are oestrogen, insulin, thyroid and cortisol.

Oestrogen: At peri menopause which can start even in our late 30s our oestrogen and progesterone ratio start to shift. We can also be oestrogen dominant if we have longer cycles where we might not ovulate, because the main source of progesterone is only made after ovulation. Dominant oestrogen can make us gain weight in preparation for what the body thinks is pregnancy, which is why this is a common side effect of HRT and the Pill.

Cortisol: this weight gain round the middle is also a sign of high cortisol. Unfortunately at perimenopause this fat around the middle, the ‘brown fat’ starts to makes its own oestrogen, the more aggressive kind, that the body wants to hold onto in light of fluctuating and reducing levels – that’s why traditional routes of dieting and loads of cardio won’t budge it!

High cortisol can affect how much thyroid hormone we make so our metabolic rate can be affected.

Insulin: Oestrogen makes us more insulin sensitive so the more it goes out of whack the more the cravings especially when there’s a dip of oestrogen before our period.

One way to kick start this weightloss is doing my 14 Day Cleanse (whcih still aloows you to function in the real world I promise!). I have designed if with our midlife biochemstry in mind! See the details here.