gaining weight perimenopausal

Can’t lose weight after 40?

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I should have a road sign on my 40something forehead that says “I’m over 40. Adjustments are ahead“.

This is really how a lot of women over 40 feel. Changes. Adjustments. Acceptance and, sometimes, tears. I’m an African-American woman over 40 and it’s a journey in self-exploration, acceptance, and even lifestyle changes.

Did you read my last post? If so, you recall the myriad of changes I discussed since I joined the “big girl” club – one of which was the attack on my skin’s moisture levels.

Well. Let’s talk 40-something weight gain.

Ugh again.

While researching this topic, my naïve, optimistic, frail hopes were swiftly dashed. No. They were absolutely, utterly, and unquestionably demolished.

You see, I was hoping to land on a long scientific white paper about how the 40s massacred my metabolism and that’s why I’m gaining weight. But, as I said, my hopes were crushed to smithereens and you’ll never guess by whom!
It was the famous weight loss/health expert, Jillian Michaels. You remember her from ‘biggest loser shows, right?
When I visited her site, I should have known pity and compassion were not behind that hyperlink.

In fact, the minute I saw the page title, I knew I was in for it.

Myth: It’s Hard to Lose Weight as You Age.”
Between you and me, I was a little tempted to click the “x” to close the page. But, I thought of you and didn’t.
You see, bringing you good information, a little laughter and lots of encouragement is my reason for creating this blog.
Blogger, Anne Campbell from left a comment that made me think.

Anna is so right. We don’t talk about the non-clinical issues of getting older. So, with you in mind, I pressed on …past my ”issues” to harvest the wisdom from Jillian Michaels.

Initially, it felt like she was yelling at me through the screen. But, I think it’s partly due to her former pushy, unrelenting on-air persona. The other reason I felt “yelled at” was because she was saying all the things no lazy, self-indulgent person [like me] wants to hear about weight gain.
Here’s one:

“The more we eat clean, live clean, and work out, the better our hormone balance will be — and the healthier our metabolisms will remain”.

Now, I don’t really wanna eat clean. I like Sour Patch Kids! I love Tootsie Rolls and I don’t really want to work out! Really I don’t. But, if I truly want to look and feel differently, it’s necessary to change my daily choices and quickly.

I’m literally shaking my head as I type this.

These are big changes that foster doubt. Still, I’m going to try. Even more importantly, I’m going to stick with it until my changes come. That’s a church song, isn’t it? Good, because if I’m going to lose weight in my mid-40s I will need all the Jesus I can get!

Back to Jillian Michaels’ tips like:

Tip 1: Eat more protein. Not too long ago Chris Powell, from the show “Extreme Weight Loss” recently tweeted the same thing. In fact, he said we should eat protein with every meal. I’ve actually been working on doing that since his tweet.

losing weight in my 40s

Consider following him at @RealChrisPowell and his wife @RealHeidiPowell on Twitter. They are more than television show hosts. There’s something very special about them. I think they are people of faith because they exude such love and caring that must be God-generated.

Anyhoo, on to the next tip.

Tip 2: Jillian says I should exercise and “amp up the intensity”. Honestly, I’m not moving much now. My exercise routine was interrupted by a recent bout of bronchitis. Although I’m essentially over it now, I still have sporadic coughing attacks, so I’m nervous pushing the oxygen envelope right now.

Tip 3:  Michaels says we forty-somethings should eat clean. I’ll bet Chris and Heidi would say the same.

Jillian also offers a free weight loss plan on her site at  I’m tempted to start it.  Let me know if you’re want to start it too.  We can be workout buddies on Twitter or here on the blog.
After visiting Jillian Michaels’ site, I bounced over to one of my fav sources – 40+Style.Com. I found a guest post written by the founder’s husband, Mike.

Convenience shouldn’t rule my life, but it often does. Click To Tweet

I like Mike’s straight-forward tips and easy-going writing style.

For example, the post title is “If you want to lose weight, don’t diet…. here are some simple rules that work!” The title hyped me a bit because, like most folks, I hate dieting.

My favorite point was his recommendation to assess your food/weight loss strengths and weaknesses. A strengths inventory works for me. That’s the way I think. I like to plan, compare, and contrast data. It reminds me of how I manage projects and make decisions.

A few of his other points include: not relying on my appetite to tell me when to eat (ex. my appetite tells me to eat when I’m not hungry).losing weight in my 40s

Of course, he hit on the carbs. Like Jillian Michaels, he says I should ditch them along with the bad sugar. He mentions eating more salad. He’s not a big fan of salad; neither am I. But, like him, I noticed the more I eat it, the less I binge and the more weight I tend to lose.


The other tip he proposed was really (super-duper) helpful. I think a light bulb went off in my middle-aged brain. He said: “all packaged, processed food is unhealthy”. I really think that’s likely true.

Does that mean I need to cut down on my “Smart Ones frozen entrees? That might be a tough one.

Check out this podcast:


Bottom line: We don’t “have” to gain weight just because I’m over 40. Secondly, We can approach weight loss like a project. Does any of this help you? It’ helped me.

What do you think of these suggestions?

Are they a bunch of hooey, or do you think it can be easily implemented?

[madmimi id=132717]

[pt_view id=”d992cce95b”]


  1. I disagree with Jillian Michaels. As we get older, we lose muscle. Less muscle means a slower metabolic rate, and fewer calories needed to maintain or increase weight. In my youth I used to be able to eat absolutely anything I wanted without ever gaining weight. That certainly changed as I got older. OTOH, although I do think it is less easy to lose weight when you are older, it is still possible.

    I had always GAINED weight whenever I went on a diet (which I think I started doing in my late thirties) — a thoroughly miserable experience — until in desperation at age 50 I tried a protein diet with no more than 6g carbohydrate every 2 hours, and to avoid kidney damage(!) making every gram of carbohydrate be alkalinising vegetables and fruit (lemon juice is alkalinising in the body despite being acidic) and drinking loads of water throughout the day. For me, eating such high levels of protein and such low levels of carbohydrate had a miraculous effect on my hunger — it completely soothed it, such that once adapted to the diet (there were several false starts due to not being well-prepared with lots of different protein options on hand) I was easily able to stick to it, and the weight dropped off. If you do this, it is vital to counteract the acidotic effects of the low level of carbohydrate with things like cucumber, radishes, cabbage and other alkalinising vegetables. Also, get your kidney function checked regularly. Also, absolutely avoid alcohol. Alcohol directly inhibits the process by which the body burns fat in converting protein into the fuel needed by the brain. Also take a multivitamin, a B complex vitamin and fish oil. And do resistance exercise to minimise muscle loss.

    P.S. bread used to be my favourite food, so yes, this was a big change, but now that I’ve lost the weight I can see that bread and similar carbs have a terrible effect on me: they fill me up in the short term, but in the medium and long term they cause intense hunger pangs and cravings for them. So even though I no longer need to lose weight, I still generally stay away from bread, chips, pizza, cake and the like, to avoid gaining weight!

    Best of luck!

    1. Wow! Wendy, this is a very comprehensive comment. I learned so much! My mom has low functioning kidneys – not from a protein diet. So, sounds like I need to research the veggies and the concept of alkali zing veggies. But, it seems most sources (including you) affirm that the bad carbs are the enemy (and my biggest vice). Thank you for your comment. Very enlightening. 🙂

  2. I definitely agree about approaching weight loss like a project. You seriously have to map this thing out! I joined the 40Fab club almost 2 years ago. It is a day by day process.

    1. Thanks for using the “P” word – “process”. Sometimes when I fall off the wagon, I get so frustrated. It really is indeed a process with ups and downs, I guess.

      What’s the saying about the journey being marathon, not a sprint”? ?. A lesson I’m working on learning. Thanks for your feedback. Really helpful. Light bulb when off in my head again. ?

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