Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How to eat more and lose weight!

I just had a brilliant idea after reading this article! All pre-menopausal, in the moment menopausal and post-menopausal women (and those who love them) should be eating as if they had diabetes. There are so many elements of this way of eating that will help with menopause symptoms such as (just to mention a few):

  • Weight gain (obviously)
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Incontinence
as well as general health issues like blood pressure & cholesterol, creaky, painful knees and low energy levels.

Many of you know that I was diagnosed with Type2 diabetes in April 2010 and I started walking and eating low carb to reduce my blood sugar levels. I'm not happy to have diabetes because, in spite of what you hear, I don't believe it can be reversed with diet and exercise, even with medication, but if I had known my blood sugar levels a year ago and had started making changes then, I probably could have prevented it becoming a reality.

One more matter what kind of eating plan you embark on (notice the avoidance of the "d" word), there is NOTHING that will allow you to do it for a few weeks or months, lose the weight and then be able to go back to what you were doing before! When you find something that works you have to stay on that plan to maintain your weight loss. That's why it's so important to find something you can really enjoy. Yes, you're going to have to sacrifice some things but it's so worth it to feel great, improve your health, fit into your clothes and like what you see in the mirror!! So mentally be prepared to make this a lifestyle!

I guess I'm grateful that diabetes has forced me to take my health more seriously and if you've read previous posts on this blog, you know that I've lost over 56 lbs. and I can't tell you how much better I feel! Well, I CAN tell you and I want to encourage each of you to give it a try! Unfortunately, because of the diabetes, I've had to cut out many of my favorite foods that are healthy for people without diabetes (whole grains, fruit, milk), but if you can make a change right now you can enjoy all the benefits WITH delicious food! And you can prevent diabetes before it happens!

About the only thing I don't totally agree with is eliminating so much fat, but I'm a proponent of the lowcarb lifestyle and believe that fat doesn't make you fat. Here's a very good video of one of my favorite doctors (Andrew Weil) talking about this. Some people can tolerate and metabolize carbs better than others so everyone has to do what will work for them, but my point here is to give you incentive to think very seriously about making some changes today! You will thank me later...I guarantee it! :) And don't forget to take your "before" picture!

My recommendation is to get your blood sugar tested and make changes (with your doctor's approval) that will help you AVOID diabetes. You will lose weight and get healthy and feel better overall....menopause or not! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.


  1. It's so much easier said than done.

  2. Congratulations, Dee, on the 56 lbs you have lost to date. :-)

    I've been eating low carb since July 2002 when I decided it was easier to keep my husband company in the best diet to help his diabetes and blood sugar control. Like you say, Dee, diabetes can only really be managed rather than cured but it meant that for 9 years my husband was able to do without medication, although he is now on insulin.

    I know I started peri-menopause about 10 years ago, around my 40th year. It seems likely that things will be peaking in the next few months judging by the way my cycle is going. While it is true I do a lot of energy work on myself that I believe helps me to maintain balance in my life, I have also come to believe that my low carb WOE (Way of Eating, not diet)has contributed to the fact that I have very few overt symptoms associated with menopause.

    I actually prefer this WOE as I gained 17lbs on the so-called "healthy eating" of grains and starchy carbohydrates, even having upped my exercise at the same time, not something I could put up with being only 5'1". Reading William Wolcott's "Metabolic Typing Diet" I am practically 100% protein type, which may account for this.

    We are actually following Dr Richard K Bernstein's 6-12-12 WOE (The Diabetes Solution) and once you get used to having to perhaps plan ahead if you aren't able to eat at home, it's not that difficult and my weight has stayed pretty much at 112 lbs since August 2002 when I lost the extra I gained.

    We do eat plenty of vegetables along with the meat and fish in our diet and I have far more energy than I used to have prior to eating like this. I also discovered that I have problems with pretty much all variety of grains, and even now if I try a little sample of any of them it has rather adverse effects upon my digestion.

    It may not be the best way for everyone, as we all have unique dietary requirements but I suspect more rather than less would actually benefit. And certainly more and more research suggests that it can indeed be beneficial. And it is so nice to eat real food and use cream and butter in cooking as I totally agree with you that fat does not make us fat.

    Indeed, it is strange that over the decades we have been told to eat low-fat, high carb as a healthy way of doing things, rates of obesity and diabetes have actually ballooned horrendously.

  3. Eva....that's why I didn't say it until I had done it! LOL It IS hard to give up stuff we love, but I was hoping that maybe the rewards would be worth it....they have for me!

  4. Karen, thanks for your feedback! I know it's different for everyone but there's usually something that will hit the right spot for others and maybe help them find their own path. :)

  5. Good for you, Dee! I have been very inspired looking over your weight loss journey and hope to get started walking outside again once this snow finally melts. I agree with your point about eating for Type 2 if you are in menopause (and whether or not you have diabetes). It's the demon sugar, I tell you! All those Little Debbie snack cakes I ate as a kid (and an adult) are coming home to roost. I may have missed this in your posts (sorry if you made it painfully obvious), but are you using a Weight Watchers-type program or following the ADA exchange/carb counting diet? Would love to know! I am using a hodgepodge of menopause and weight loss advice from the goddesses at Women to Women... A good weight and menopause article is this one: Why Am I Gaining Weight?. Thanks for the great posts!

  6. THanks Jacqueline! I didn't mention any specific program because everyone has to choose their own path and what is right for me may not work for someone else. Basically I'm doing low carb which is the Atkins program, but could also be the South Beach Diet too. Recently, Weight Watchers also switched over to more of a low carb theory and many people have had success with it.

    I believe anyone can lose the weight as long as they put their health as the priority over what food they're eating, but it's got to be what works for them. Now that I have the diabetes to contend with I am more strict about the carbs I take in because even the healthiest ones (like most fruit and whole grains)raise my blood sugar.

    I'm not using the ADA exchange diet either because once I have to start counting this and that or weighing food, I get too frustrated and go off. It's easier for me to just not eat the stuff that raises my sugar so no potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or sugar, which includes most fruit. :( I tried eating brown rice and whole grain bread and oatmeal (which are complex carbs), but I still couldn't handle it. That's why I'm encouraging everyone to start eating healthy NOW, before they get a diagnosis of diabetes. What I'm doing now (for the past year) is eating meat(beef,pork,chicken)and fish, lots of vegetables, nuts and sometimes, a little fruit. I seem to be able to handle strawberries pretty well. Losing the weight, lowering my cholesterol (yes, even on Atkins) and blood pressure has been my reward for whatever sacrifices I've had to make.

    When you mentioned that you were using a "hodgepodge of advice" it caught my attention. Each of the eating programs is a little different (sometimes a lot different) and when you try to do a little from each program your body is not going to respond the same as if you were following one plan. I'm not a doctor, (hehehe...people forget I'm a cartoonist!) so each person needs to work with their doctor and also do some homework about all the options out there, then make a commitment to stick with something until you reach your goal. Success in one area will motivate you and affect every area in your life!

    Oh! And the walking???? Probably 75% of my success, so definitely stick to your plan with that! Thanks for the link...that will be very helpful to many people!

  7. Been putting off starting exercise program for months. Thanks to you I am starting today. The ladies only gym down the street is offering $35/month with no contract. Open 24/7. No excuses. I am doing it!