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How To Lose Weight Despite Menopause After Bariatric Surgery

menopause after bariatric surgery

If you’re finding it challenging to lose weight despite making healthy changes after bariatric surgery and approaching menopause, you’re not alone. Menopause after bariatric surgery can complicate your weight loss journey, but understanding the changes your body is going through can help. In this week’s blog post, you’ll uncover how you can effectively manage your weight during this hormonal transitional phase of life.

Hormonal Stages Of Menopause

To understand the weight changes related to menopause, it’s essential to grasp the hormonal shifts that occur throughout a woman’s life.

Puberty to Reproductive Years

During puberty, hormones rise and cycle, leading into the reproductive years. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone play a significant role in regulating various bodily functions.

Peri-Menopause

Peri-menopause occurs 2 to 12 years before menopause. During this time, progesterone declines as ovulation begins to stop, and estrogen levels can fluctuate dramatically. Symptoms of high estrogen include breast tenderness, heavy periods, bloating, and irritability, while low estrogen can cause hot flashes, night sweats, low mood, and heart palpitations. Progesterone decline can lead to increased anxiety, sleep disturbances, PMS, fluid retention, sugar cravings, and more frequent periods.

Menopause

Menopause is marked by the cessation of periods, and hormone levels stabilize at lower levels. This hormonal shift significantly impacts weight management, especially if you’ve undergone bariatric surgery.

Impact On Bariatric Surgery Outcomes

Menopause after bariatric surgery can lead to weight regain due to the dramatic changes in estrogen levels. Estrogen, produced in both the ovaries and fat cells, decreases as the ovaries stop producing it. This causes fat cells to increase their estrogen production, contributing to weight gain. Additionally, menopause can affect blood sugar levels and metabolism due to low estrogen and progesterone levels, while increased cortisol levels (a stress hormone) can also lead to weight gain.

Peri-Menopause Lifestyle Tips

Support Liver Health

During peri-menopause, your body works hard to detoxify estrogen, so maintaining strong liver health is crucial. Reduce caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners and ingredients found in food, cleaning products, and personal hygiene items. Support your liver by taking bariatric multivitamins, especially B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Prioritize protein and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts in your diet.

Maintain Gut Health

A healthy gut microbiome is essential. Consume prebiotic foods such as garlic, onions, and artichokes, and avoid alcohol, sugar, and processed foods to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Ensure regular bowel movements by drinking plenty of water and eating fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Supporting Progesterone Production

During peri-menopause, your body is under a lot of stress, so managing stress is vital. Limit energy-stealers such as poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, alcohol, intense exercise, unnecessary tasks, and stressful situations. Improve your stress response with deep breathing exercises, yoga, quality sleep, regular nourishing meals, and supplements (after consulting your bariatric team).

Strategies for Weight Loss

Here are some effective strategies to help you lose weight during peri-menopause and menopause after bariatric surgery:

  1. Quit Added Sugar: Eliminate added sugars from your diet.
  2. Reduce Carbohydrates: Especially at breakfast to mimic an overnight fast.
  3. High-Protein Snacks: Choose high-protein snacks to reduce snacking.
  4. Increase Strength Training: Build muscle to boost metabolism.
  5. Reduce Stress: Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga and meditation.
  6. Consume Phytoestrogens: Include flaxseed and soy in your diet for their weak estrogen effect.
  7. Ensure Calcium Intake: Protect against bone loss with calcium citrate, included in your bariatric vitamin regimen.

In Summary

Menopause after bariatric surgery can feel challenging, but understanding the hormonal changes and implementing these dietary and lifestyle tips can help you continue losing weight. Focus on nutrient-dense whole foods, protein, vitamins, and hydration to support your weight loss journey despite menopause. By prioritizing these strategies, you can navigate this transition more effectively and maintain your health and weight goals.


If you’re still struggling with weight regain after bariatric surgery and don’t know what else to do, we encourage you to download our FREE Weight Regain resource!

FREE Weight Regain Download

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