Journal / Menopause

Weight & Menopause

12 Feb, 2023

Moving from a focus on punishment, to a focus on nourishment in midlife

12 Feb, 2023

Our Meno.Well Masterclasses often return to the sensitive topic of weight and menopause. We know from symptom tracking with members of this community that bloating and weight management are a key concern for many throughout our transition from peri to post menopause. And often, a shift in how our body responds to food can lead us to a spiral of self-criticism, confidence loss, punitive diets and inevitable ‘failure’ when we are unable to sustain new measures.

My take out?

That we need to ‘unlearn’ pretty much all we’ve been taught about food in midlife; and focus in on how we can repurpose what we put on our plates for nourishment and self care.

The reason?

We can’t out-diet our biology. In fact, punishing programmes could be doing us and our hormones real harm.

We often cite the research that came out of Kings’ College last year as part of the Zoe Project, explicitly linking the impact menopause has on our metabolic rate. But Dr Martins also shared the following influencing factors that we are more susceptible to in midlife;

  • Menopause can lead to increased gut permeability, which leads to increased inflammation in the body - and weight gain
  • Research also shows menopause can change our gut microbiota, which in turn impacts insulin resistance and weight gain
  • 40-60% of us will experience disturbed  sleep during this life stage, which researchers now know also impacts our propensity to gain weight.


So, if counting calories isn’t the answer, what can we do to maintain a healthy weight and a joyful relationship with food?

10 tips to adopt now:

  • A mediterranean diet: which prioritises oily fish (sardines, anchovies, wild salmon and mackerel), avocados, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil, wholegrains 
  • Protein with every meal, including breakfast, such as eggs, fish, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, tofu, quality meat 
  • Complex carbohydrates such as brown/wild rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, wholemeal sourdough bread, oats, and lentils
  • Plenty of fibre (wholegrains, oats, a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds)
  • Flavonoid-rich foods: berries, green tea, raw cacao, red cabbage, garlic
  • Fermented foods: dairy and water kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi 
  • Drink at least 1.5 L water daily
  • Chew your food very well (15 chews/bite) 
  • If safe for you, consider Time Restricted Eating (try 10 hours eating window:14 hours fasting)
  • 3 main meals daily while avoiding snacking


Herbs to help further:

We’re big believers in the power of plants - and in the potential of well-researched botanicals to support our bodies and minds in midlife. Incorporating herbs, spices and whole-plants consciously into your daily routine can make a big difference to blood sugar, symptoms associated with a dysregulated gut as well as weight. Many can be found in the fresh food aisle of your local store. And the hardest working are always prioritised in our wholefood-led supplements too.

  • For digestion, metabolism and blood sugar balance: fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, fennel seeds, gentian, turmeric, parsley, garlic. MPowder Peri-Boost blends cinnamon with ginger root, moringa and cacao and can be a great foundation layer for blood sugar balance and weight management. Gut Instinct specifically targets digestion and the long-term repair of our gut microbiota too. 

  • To reduce gut permeability and inflammation: turmeric and slippery elm which you can find, at therapeutic dosage levels in MPowder Mood Food

  • To support sleep: chamomile, lemon balm, and magnesium at night can support achieving rest. Mood-Food utilises Lemon Balm to aid sleep as well as anxiety and mood.

  • To support the way we digest external stressors: Ashwagandha KSM-66 is one of our favourite and best-researched adaptogens. You can find it, blended to deliver foundational support post menopause in Meno-Boost, or as a tailored ingredient to target anxiety in Mood Food too.


With love Rebekah & The MPowder Team.

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