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Menopause and weight gain.

November 11, 2019

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Let’s discuss the correlation from a TCM perspective.

Menopausal weight gain – let’s discuss.

A few simple words that appear to be synonymous with menopause.
Let’s delve deeper.

Words written by TCM Dr. Carla Brion;

“We know that weight gain (particularly in the abdominal region) for peri-menopausal and menopausal women is one of the toughest symptoms to swallow.

So why does weight gain occur more aggressively during menopause for many women?

Firstly, the digestive ‘Yang’ fire decreases, causing dampness, sluggish Qi and heaviness. This is the perfect recipe for stubborn weight gain.

It is well known that as we age, our metabolism slows down and even more so for women. Because of this, in our Western world we are told that you should eat even less and exercise even more.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this doesn’t have to be the way. It is unsustainable and not the best way to live holistically. Additionally, over-exercise will deplete the body further, compromising its ability to remain balanced during menopause. Reducing food intake (epically if good fats are reduced) can impair the body from creating strength needed to regain or retain balance.

Over exercise can cause depletion with is the antidote to regaining balance.

Excessively limiting food is the antidote to gaining strength.

Consistency with diet and exercise is key.

TCM does advocate a very basic approach when it comes to food; ensuring your foods are warm and cooked.

Let’s explore this concept.

As we discussed, for the body to process foods properly, the gut must first heat food up to 37 degrees before it can even begin to think about digesting and pulling nutrients from food and drink.  

Now, if we are always eating cold and raw foods, this digestive fire eventually weakens because of the nature of these cold raw foods; they place strain on the system and slow everything down.  Eventually, the body will stop drawing nutrients out because it doesn’t have the energy to do so.  When the body stops processing these foods adequately, and as a little side tip, we can see weight gain occur because;

a. the nutrients aren’t being supplied to the body which

b. makes us crave food and eat more as the body tries to nourish itself.

It’s a disastrous circle.

When we talk raw and cold, we are talking raw vegetables, fruits, salads, smoothies.

Let’s just take the example of smoothies and how they may affect your gut.

You’re forgiven in thinking that smoothies tick all the right boxes – they can be nutrient-rich and you can put almost anything in them and consume on the go.  Sounds like the perfect meal. Problem is, they are a mixture of raw fruit and veggies blended with ice.  They are cold. They are super hard to digest and often very high in sugar which also leads to weight gain, digestive stagnation, and many other flow on effects.

Protein shakes fall under the same category and can be a huge trap, not only are they generally consumed very cold, they are often used as a meal replacement.  Your body actually likes digesting proper food.  It’s an important part of the digestive process and keeps your metabolism kicking along.

There’s one other factor we need to consider at this party and that is our environment. We are a product of our environment and so, if we are living in a very cold climate, it is even less suitable to be drinking cold raw smoothies.  

TCM always advocates for warm cooked foods so that the digestive system doesn’t need to strain itself, or deplete its small amount of energy further to digest these very tricky foods – particularly during menopause”.

Yours in balance,
Your Tea
Traditional Chinese Remedies

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