Dear Health Coach: How Can I Lose Weight?

Healthy earring for weight loss.

Dear Health Coach,

I have recently gone through menopause and gained a lot of weight and I can’t get it off, no matter what I do. I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember and I’m starting to feel that I am destined to remain this way forever. I’m not feeling as motivated as I used to and I’m feeling tired and heavy. How can I lose weight?

-Tired & Heavy

Dear Tired & Heavy,

Firstly, congratulations for reaching out and asking for help, that can feel daunting but you have taken the first step in the direction of your goals.You mentioned that you have struggled with your weight for a while and you are feeling discouraged right now and you’re are struggling finding motivation to reach your goals.There are times in our lives when we hit rock bottom and it’s understandable that you may feel tired and heavy but stick around and let’s discover how to “lighten your load”.

Let’s shed some light on menopausal weight gain and how to manage it from a mindset perspective.

Let’s first address MOTIVATION.

Your motivation may have changed as your energy levels change and your priorities change too. The things that motivated you before menopause may be different to the things that excite you now and that’s OK!

You can view it as a new beginning and a fresh start. And the other thing is motivation often comes after you take action.

So, why is it so hard to lose weight during menopause?

I’m going to explain here the changes that take place during menopause to help you understand why you may have gained weight.

Menopausal symptoms. 

Menopausal symptoms can make it hard to focus on achieving a healthy weight. Disturbed sleep, mood fluctuations and hot flushes can lead to reduced physical activity and poor food choices, which can cause weight gain. 

Change your mindset to achieve success.

Changing hormones. 

Menopause doesn’t cause weight gain, but studies show that changing hormones, such as reduced oestrogen, might mean you carry more weight around your abdomen rather than your hips and thighs. 

There are a range of hormonal changes after 35 and up to 50 years old that affect the way you look and feel.

While these hormonal changes are natural, they can be made worse by your lifestyle habits and pressures.

Here are the most well-known hormonal shifts you will experience. 

  • Your insulin levels naturally increase
  • Increases in insulin mean you don’t regulate blood sugar as well as you used to.
  • Your body doesn’t handle carbs as well as it used to, and you are more likely to gain weight around the middle (think “love handles”). 
  • You’re more likely to get tired and crave sugar (especially if you are an endomorph body type).

Your stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) naturally increase. To add insult to injury, the hormone that acts to lower cortisol (DHEA) naturally decreases.

Increases in cortisol are indicated by insomnia, irritability, memory loss, gaining weight around the middle and cravings for sugar, salt, fat, carbs and crunchy food (in other words, all the things that make your stress levels worse).

Yes, your new job, new business, family pressures and exposure to the blue lights in your devices are making those hormone imbalances worse.

Now let’s explore what you can do.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight during the menopause transition is very doable. There are many things you can do to reduce weight gain and the associated risk of chronic disease.

When it comes to weight loss, aim for an initial goal of 5% to 7% of your body weight, as this has many health benefits. 

1.Manage Your energy.

Many women try to maintain the same hectic pace of running around and doing everything for everyone.

You want to have enough energy for work, exercise and recreational activities so you don’t want to be saying yes to everything and everyone.

Every time you say ‘NO” to someone you are sating “YES” to yourself…

Here are some suggestions to manage your energy:

  • Work out what part of the day are you have the most energy and do the most difficult tasks then.
  • Work out when you feel is the best time to exercise for you.
  • Work out the best days and times to prepare healthy food.
  • And fit everything else around that.

2.Eat a healthy diet .

Eating a healthy diet will improve your energy levels, keep your blood glucose stable and help to maintain a healthy weight. Duh, as if you didn’t know that already.

So, I’m not going to tell you what to eat, let’s face it there are plenty of diets on line.

What I am going to talk about are the thinking habits and behavioural changes that need to take place in order to achieve permanent weight loss.

Think about all the diets you’ve tried, lost weight only to gain it back and more.

I know that I’ve tried plenty in my life time. And what were they all missing??

Firstly, it’s important to understand that in order to lose weight and keep it off, any lifestyle changes made must be realistic, achievable and able to be maintained for the long-term. Otherwise you will not stick to them.

Secondly, weight maintenance is the hardest part of weight management and because of this, the most successful weight loss programs include behavioural change and cognitive work..

Behavioural change includes things such as: 

  • keeping food and activity records 
  • controlling cues associated with eating 
  • nutrition education 
  • eating slowly 
  • problem solving 
  • cognitive restructuring. 

3.Do regular physical activity. 

Physical activity can reduce the risk of chronic disease, falls and osteoporosis. It can also help you manage your weight and menopause symptoms and best of all by moving your body, you move your state of mind.

If you want to lose weight, you will need to combine regular physical activity with reduced calorie intake. 

  • It’s recommended you are active on most (preferably all) days of the week. Weekly exercise recommendations include: 
  • 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking, golf, mowing, swimming) 


  • 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity (e.g. jogging, aerobics, fast cycling, playing team sports). 

Or you can do a combination of the above.

make sleep a priority

4.Prioritize sleep. 

Sleep disruption is associated with eating more food and making poorer food choices. It’s recommended you aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. 

And lastly, even though weight loss can be a slow process, making steady, sustained progress is much more likely to result in long-term success.

Try out different healthy habits until you find one that clicks, and then stick with it no matter what.

And remember to take good care of yourself and your needs.

During menopause, it’s important to look after yourself. Healthy lifestyle choices will help to improve physical and emotional symptoms at every stage of menopause.

And now its over to you:

  • How are your hormones affecting your weight?

Irena Geller

Irena Geller is a Sydney-based health & wellness coach specialising in the 🍓food and 😃 mood connection. She loves helping professional women to find the motivation and energy to eat healthily and exercise regularly and be consistent with these habits.

Have you tried every diet you can think of and lost confidence in yourself that you can be successful?

If you’re ready to finally lose weight and feel more confident. Book a good-fit coaching session with me to see if we can work together.

Ever Wish you could stop emotional eating?

Take our Free quiz to find out how

We may collect, use and process your data according to our Privacy Policy.