Is the scale suddenly creeping up, even though you’re following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle? Get our tips for THM and menopause.
I discovered Trim Healthy Mama (THM) in the spring 2016 and jumped in with both feet!
During my weight loss, I had some successes, but I also had a stall that lasted over six months!
To say that stall was frustrating would be an understatement…
But at least I wasn’t gaining weight.
But then, something changed.
Last Christmas, I noticed the scale had started creeping up.
Even though I was sticking to our suggestions for healthy holidays.
So I buckled down and made sure I was staying 100% on plan at the start of 2020.
But the scale was still creeping up!
Even before being stuck at home because of Covid.
What was going on?
You probably already figured out the issue, right?
It’s kinda in the title of the post, after all!
My last visit from Aunt Flo was in August of 2019.
It never occurred to me I would need to change the way I did Trim Healthy Mama due to menopause, but that’s exactly what happened.
My body was changing in more ways than I realized when my period stopped showing up.
By May, I realized I’d gained back 10 of the 25 pounds I’d lost.
Despite being almost 100% on plan.
And when you’re only 5’1″, 10 pounds is noticeable (in both directions!).
Please note: I am not a medical professional. I’m simply sharing my experience while following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle. This post is not medical advice. Always consult your medical provider before making any changes to your lifestyle.
Discovering the Reason for My Weight Gain
Around that time I started doing Pilates, hoping an increase in activity would make a difference.
But by June, the scale was still slowly creeping up.
So I started doing something I haven’t ever really done as a Trim Healthy Mama…
I started the DARE program through my Pilates studio.
As part of the program, I downloaded My Fitness Pal and started tracking everything.
And it was a pain.
But after a few weeks, I noticed something.
Do you see it?
I thought I was eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, but honestly?
My diet was much closer to a keto or low carb lifestyle.
Sure, I was eating some carbs.
But the majority of my nutrients were coming from fat.
And when I really looked at the meals and snacks I was eating, I’d almost completely forgotten about FP meals.
I typically eat 4 times a day, occasionally 5, so 28-30 meals per week.
Of those meals, 20 were S meals.
Then 5-7 were E meals.
And maybe 1-2 crossovers (XOs) mixed in.
And the S meals? They probably had a little more fat in them then I really needed.
After checking my body composition the second time, I had increased my muscle percentage, but my weight hadn’t changed at all.
So I decided to try switching things up.
I flipped my macro ratios a little.
I made the commitment to have two E meals each day and just one S meal.
Then I rotated the fourth meal between E, S, and FP.
And the scale started moving down.
Let me repeat that.
The scale started moving d.o.w.n!
It seems that THM needs to look a little different during and after menopause.
I know there are people who say that Trim Healthy Mama doesn’t actually work.
That you lose weight based on decreasing calories consumed and increasing calories burned.
But that doesn’t work for me.
What I eat is truly the most important factor.
Because I was eating the same number of daily calories in the top picture as in the bottom one.
And I was exercising the same amount of time.
The only thing that changed?
My ratios of macro nutrients.
Tips for THM Success During and After Menopause
Ironically, around the time I started making some changes, Serene and Pearl were talking about THM and menopause on their podcast (their poddy!).
The things they were discussing were exactly what I’d noticed in my food journaling.
Here are the changes I’ve made over the past six months, and the scale has me back at my goal weight!
cue: Reunited by H E R B and Peaches
Change your S/E/FP ratios
I now typically eat 2-3 E meals each day, 1 S meal and 1 FP meal.
There are some days where I’ll switch it up.
After all, it’s always good to keep your body guessing!
This has meant finding some new E meals to add to my dinner rotation!
This protein-packed apple oatmeal is another one of my favorite breakfasts.
And when I’m craving chocolate, I love these Chocolate Cherry Yogurt bowls!
Another super fast snack is this Apple Pie shake.
Watch the fat
Before menopause, I didn’t really worry too much about how much fat I had in my S meals.
The only time I really changed that up too much was if I noticed the scale creeping up once I was in maintenance.
I have to stick mostly to light S or deep S meals if I don’t want to see the scale creeping up again.
Light S meals have a lower fat content.
Deep S meals have just the purest fats and virtually no carbs.
You can get complete information about the different types of S meals in the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book.
I still have 1-2 heavy S meals per week because I need some cheese now and then!
Don’t forget the non-starchy veggies!
I don’t know about you, but I need my veggies to be grab and go, otherwise I don’t eat as many as I should.
Adding more non-starchy veggies to my plate help me to get (and stay) full from E meals.
Keep an eye on the clock
For me, THM and menopause means I really need to be more consistent with eating every 3-4 hours.
Fortunately, this isn’t too hard, because my body burns through the E meal fuels more quickly!
But that means I need to plan ahead a little more.
I need to make sure that I plan ahead for snacks if I’m going out, otherwise I can get hangry.
And that’s never a good thing.
Get enough (but not too much) protein
The right amount of protein is gonna be different for everyone.
For me, I need 10-20 grams of protein per meal to stay full until my next meal.
Of course, there are some meals where I have more than 20 grams of protein!
Our bodies will store excess protein as fat, just like excess carbs, so if you’re still noticing the scale creeping up after making thtese other changes with THM and menopause, be mindful of how much protein you’re eating at each meal.
But if you’re getting hungry way before the three-hour mark (and you’re eating plenty of starchy veggies), you may need more protein with your E meals.
Hydration is key!
Getting enough water is always important.
But it’s even more key during menopause!
Did you know hot flashes and night sweats can contribute to dehydration?
I’ve even noticed my skin feels much dryer during this season of life.
There’s even some evidence that dehydration can contribute to some of the brain fog we experience during menopause.
One of my favorite parts of THM and menopause are all the wonderful sipper recipes!
Good Girl Moonshine and The Shrinker are two of my favorite ways to stay hydrated.
During the cold weather months, hot water with lemon is another great option.
Reduce the dairy
This kind of goes along with sticking to light S and deep S meals.
But I’ve sometimes gotten stuck in a rut with my E meals being heavy on the nonfat Greek yogurt or lowfat cottage cheese.
If you’re still struggling with retaining weight after making all the changes above, try reducing your dairy even more.
This week of dairy-free meals is an easy way to experiment with this change!
Try adding seafood
My kids never really liked seafood.
So honestly, I didn’t make it very often.
But now that they are often not home for dinner, I’ve started adding fish and other seafood to our menu more often.
It’s a great way to add a lot of low calorie protein to your day!
I initially lost all my weight without adding in any exercise.
When I started THM I was curious to see if it was the change in the way of eating that did the trick!
But now that I’ve gone through menopause, I’m learning it’s important to include exercise in my routine.
It doesn’t need to be hard core working out!
However adding in walking, Pilates, and yoga have made a huge difference in my body and my state of mind.
Try to add 30 minutes of some type of physical activity every day.
Don’t forget the crossovers!
It’s so easy as a Trim Healthy Mama to get stuck in the separating fuels mindset, right?
But during menopause I’ve found that including a crossover once or twice a week has actually been helpful!
Not only does it feel like a treat (sometimes even a cheat!), it seems to keep my menopausal body guessing and I often see a dip in the scale the day after a crossover.
That doesn’t mean to have them all the time!
But that change in my usual diet every so often seems to be a good thing.
Reduce the stress
Stress is never good for our health.
And I’ve found that’s especially true in this newest season of menopause.
What that looks like for you may be different than what it looks like for me.
But what I’ve found helps now is letting the little things go.
Take time each morning to start the day right.
Maybe read a devotional, have some prayer time, take a walk, do some kind of exercise, eat a good breakfast, create a to do list, spend time with a loved one, or say a positive affirmation.
Find what works for you.
Which is really my best advice for THM and menopause.
Because we all have different bodies that may need different things.
So experiment with these suggestions to see what works best for you.
And give yourself grace along the way.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!