Calorie Counter

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CICO and Menopause

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  • 1mumrevolution1mumrevolution Posts: 269Member Member Posts: 269Member Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I lost a good amount of weight (60lb ) in peri-menopause a few years ago, and kept if off. I'm now post-menopause and finding it much harder to maintain than it was before. Some of that is in terms of "willpower" or whatever, rather than necessarily calories. For instance, I get cravings for sweet foods that I didn't have before.

    I don't know if it's significant in terms of TDEE, but there is some body recomposition that goes on around this time, and generally I think for older women in particular we are constantly fighting against losing muscle and gaining fat. My scales (I know they're not accurate) showed steady muscle % gain and fat % loss earlier in perimenopause - now it's the other way round, despite doing strength exercises throughout (I hate to think how bad it would be if I hadn't done anything)! I know you're doing power-lifting and maybe that is enough to counteract it? Hopefully so.

    Supposedly muscle burns more calories than fat, so my TDEE should be lower now than it was earlier in my maintenance. It certainly makes quite a difference if I put it into a calculator which accounts for body fat %. Incidentally, I don't think the calculator MFP uses accounts for body fat %, as we don't enter that. So it's likely slightly overestimating our average TDEEs.

    Also, I think it's surprising how little calories you need as an older, shorter (in my case) woman. If I ever get back to the weight I was in my 30s, my maintenance calories/TDEE will be around 1300, and avoiding going over will be really hard, never mind trying to create a deficit. Yes, adding in extra exercise would add a few more, but the extra calorie burn is calculated as a % of your BMR, so if you have a low BMR you burn substantially less for the same amount of exercise.

    The other thing is that when you're dealing with these smaller calorie amounts, it's so much easier to wipe out the deficit, or to slightly go over the maintenance amount.

    Sorry if all this is too obvious!

    Listening to it all. You make so much sense. Thank you. It’s a very frustrating time in my life.

  • OooohToastOooohToast Posts: 257Member Member Posts: 257Member Member
    Hello OP - Like all of us here, I am peri menopausal at 46 and have been for the last three years. I think one of the challenges is that we will all experience it differently and therefore what will help each of us is also likely to be different...

    That being said, I think there are some common themes !

    Here's my experience: I have lost 40 lbs and have another 40 to go - what has helped me is:

    1. Cutting out booze completely
    2. Removing nearly all meat and upped my fish / quality dairy instead
    3. Change my macros to more fat, a lot less carbs and having wholegrain carbs rather than sugar
    4. Cooking from scratch from natural ingredients, including making my own bread
    5. Walking 10k steps a day - briskly
    6. Drinking filtered water or tea.

    I would also like to merge in a non scientific way the importance of sleep and just how more tired its possible to get with the *kitten* perimenopause. Until I got quite a bit of the chub off, I found it harder to get the mindset to together to exercise, and then and now, I have found it harder to put my all into exercise. And thats when I am sleeping properly......when my sleep goes bad, so does my motivation to exercise. If the sleep goes bad for a few days on the bounce, the effort it takes to monitor and manage calories also becomes tougher.

    I have managed this by introduing a routine for meals and exercise, and keeping my meals fairly similar so I know whats quick/easy etc without having to think about it.

    Not exactly fun or spontaneous but not that difficult either.

    Wishing everyone on this board well. x
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