It’s no secret that ladies in center age are the brand new goal of the wellness and weight-reduction plan industries, and as a dietitian, I’ve had nearly sufficient of it. No extra shady menopause diets!

With extra disposable earnings, larger stress ranges, and a way of urgency and anxiousness round their altering our bodies, we’re the proper demographic to purchase into the narrative that menopause is one thing to be ‘fastened,’ and the disgrace that we’re bought round our evolving look.

I’m persistently listening to loads of myths about menopause and ladies’s our bodies which are being informed with the intention to promote services. Listed here are among the commonest ones, why they’re unsuitable, and the reality that ladies must know.

Menopause Fantasy #1: menopause is a hormone deficiency. All menopausal ladies needs to be on hormones.

Let’s deal with this one straight away, as a result of I do know of not less than one well-known menopause ‘skilled’ who’s insisting that that is the case.

Menopause is a really regular physiological state that outcomes from the lower of hormone manufacturing by the physique. 

A ‘deficiency’ of something in our our bodies tends to imply that we require remedy – normally alternative or supplementation – of no matter it’s we’re poor in. It implies that menopause is a illness or an irregular state, which is inaccurate. Do pre-pubescent ladies have a hormone deficiency, too? How about pregnant ladies? Are they affected by an estrogen overload?

A latest editorial in The Lancet describes how corporations (and I’m going so as to add, sure menopause medical doctors who’ve widespread books and huge followings) co-opt feminist narratives and the idea of ‘empowerment’ to promote merchandise, all of the whereas convincing ladies that menopause is a illness.

The framing of this pure interval of transition as a illness of oestrogen deficiency that may be eased solely by changing the lacking hormones fuels adverse attitudes to menopause and exacerbates stigma. Moreover, appropriation of feminist narratives by industrial organisations, which place use of menopausal hormonal remedy (MHT) as a technique to empower ladies to regain management of their our bodies, whereas downplaying dangers, additional endorses the framing of menopause as a illness.

I’ve mentioned this many, many occasions within the remark part of social media posts by sure ‘menopause gurus’ promoting misinformation and this ‘empowerment’ agenda to hawk their newest weight-reduction plan guide, however I’ll say it once more:


Whereas menopausal hormone remedy is helpful to many ladies, different ladies both don’t discover profit or can’t take hormones in any respect.

This 2022 joint place assertion by the British Menopause Society, Royal School of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology describes greatest practices for the administration of menopausal signs. As a dietitian (and a lady in menopause), I feel one of the crucial essential statements in the whole doc is that this one:

All ladies ought to have the ability to entry recommendation on how they will optimise their menopause transition and the years past. There needs to be an individualised strategy in assessing ladies experiencing the menopause, with specific reference to life-style recommendation, weight-reduction plan modification in addition to dialogue of the position of interventions together with HRT.

The administration of our our bodies is as much as every of us, and will embrace a two-sided dialogue with our healthcare suppliers. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer to menopausal signs, and we aren’t all the identical!

Menopause Fantasy #2: Pellets/pure hormone therapies are higher than ‘artificial’ ones.

The Enchantment to Nature fallacy is in every single place within the Wellness trade, and it does a full-court press to persuade menopausal ladies that ‘Massive Pharma’ is all dangerous and that prescription drugs like MHT are ‘dangerous.’ This narrative usually accompanies content material pushing ‘pure’ options like hormone pellets, natural dietary supplements, and various therapies (espresso enema, anybody?)

Amanda Thebe, health skilled, speaker, and writer of Menopocalypse (I extremely advocate this guide! You should purchase it right here), says, ‘compounded hormones could also be combined with sawdust and mouse sh*t.’

She’s proper, however that isn’t stopping ladies from utilizing them. She explains the reasoning right here:

The time period bioidentical has been bought to ladies as a extra pure method of taking hormones for his or her menopausal signs, when in actual fact that is simply advertising and marketing jargon. Bioidentical signifies that the hormones are comparable to people who the physique produces, and will be both regulated or unregulated. 

When a hormone is compounded, it’s usually upsold as being customized for the person or extra pure than “Massive Pharma” manufactured hormones. The assertion is fairly ironic contemplating all of the hormones are from the identical manufactured supply and are in actual fact regulated.  

The medication are then combined by compounding pharmacies, or utilized by pellet corporations like BioTe to create new formulation. By doing this the dosage, security and efficacy of the preparations can’t be assured and really pose a public well being concern, in line with Nationwide Academies of Science Engineering and Drugs.

When you’re contemplating hormones, please use solely authorized manufacturers prescribed by official well being professionals.

Menopause Fantasy #3: fasting is the one method for ladies in menopause to shed pounds.

I do know that this may occasionally come as a shock, however there isn’t any particular menopause weight-reduction plan. 

We do must pay specific consideration to sure vitamins in midlife, akin to protein and fibre, however so far as weight reduction, there’s no magic bullet.

There are, nevertheless, lots of people (together with licensed physicians) who’re promoting weight-reduction plan applications and books geared toward serving to menopausal ladies shed pounds. What I’ve seen from most of them is that they’re normally some type of mixture of low-carb consuming and intermittent fasting. 

The gross sales pitch virtually at all times includes claims that the routine is an ‘simple’ answer to all of our hormone and physique points, however it is a big crimson flag.

To start with, for lots of girls, a low-carb weight-reduction plan is hard to maintain just because it’s restrictive. Combining it with a fasting routine is much more sophisticated, and I consider lowers the chance for long-term adherence. Above all else, it appears extreme and punishing to make use of two strategies of meals restriction to satisfy a weight reduction purpose.

Whereas fasting may end up in weight reduction, it’s merely a way of reducing energy. Going for prolonged durations with out meals has no well being advantages by itself; enhancements in metabolic well being could also be a results of weight reduction because of fasting, not fasting itself.

As a dietitian, I take main difficulty with the messaging {that a} particular weight-reduction plan is the one method for anybody to shed pounds, or that it’s one thing of a holy grail for weight reduction. It’s not. Some ladies can’t quick, and a few don’t need to. For some ladies, it’s downright harmful. 

Mary Claire Haver’s Galveston Weight loss program (learn my Galveston weight-reduction plan overview right here) and Mindy Pelz’s Quick Like a Woman (learn my Quick Like a Woman overview right here) are each plans that truthfully, I feel convey the unsuitable message to ladies about how they need to be consuming and treating their our bodies.

I additionally need to warning you about any weight reduction plan that’s touted as being ‘simple.’ Why we weigh what we weigh is commonly very complicated and multifactorial. A plan to shed pounds must acknowledge and tackle these complexities, which will be completely different for everybody. It also needs to deal with the emotional aspect of our relationship with meals and our our bodies, however that hardly ever occurs with industrial diets/weight reduction plans.

Inform individuals {that a} plan is ‘simple’ solely units them up for disgrace in the event that they discover the plan too tough to take care of and/or don’t lose the load they’re anticipating. 

Menopause Fantasy #4: Center-aged ladies can ‘get their physique again.’ 

Nature dictates that our bodies change all through the life cycle. We don’t anticipate to look 16 once we’re 30, so why would we consider that it’s potential – and fascinating – to look 30 once we’re 50?

The whole idea of sustaining a youthful, recent physique all through our lives not solely flies within the face of physiology; it’s additionally patriarchal. 

Thanks, however no thanks. Why are ladies in Western societies topic to the shaming round our ageing our bodies, however in different components of the world, menopause is taken into account to be a rebirth, or time of energy and freedom?

How did we go so unsuitable? 

Oh yeah. The traditionally male-dominated medical career, coupled with our tradition’s concern of loss of life, and the notion that ageing females are not ‘helpful’ or engaging. 

No surprise so many people see our ageing our bodies as one thing to ‘repair’ or conceal. 

The gross sales pitches that prey on the tousled expectations for ladies’s our bodies are on full show with ‘hormone diets’ like Metabolic Renewal (learn my Metabolic Renewal overview right here) and the Quick Metabolism Weight loss program. (Learn my Quick Metabolism Weight loss program overview right here)

There are fully unproven dietary supplements from corporations like Higher Physique Co. (they promote Provitalize) or Pleased Mammoth, whose complete gross sales plan rely upon womens’ anxieties and discomfort with their altering our bodies.

Learn my Provitalize overview right here, and my Pleased Mammoth overview right here.

I really feel like (one other) dishonourable point out ought to go to Mary Claire Haver’s The Galveston Weight loss program, Mindy Pelz’s Quick Like a Woman, and principally something by Sara Gottfried, for implying that ladies’s our bodies ought to look younger endlessly, and that it’s okay to undergo to attain that.

Learn my Hormone Reset weight-reduction plan overview right here.

Menopause generally is a time of nice energy and exploration. We do not need to reduce ourselves bodily or emotionally to satisfy another person’s thought of what we must always appear to be or how we must always ‘be.’

In case you have menopause-related signs which are interfering along with your life and well-being, please see your physician. Not happy with the care you’re getting? The North American Menopause Society has a ‘discover a menopause practitioner’ search on their web site, as does the Menopause Basis of Canada.

Listed here are a few of my favourite Instagram accounts and books for correct menopause data:

Dr. Jen Gunter @drjengunter The Menopause Manifesto

Amanda Thebe @amanda.thebe Menopocalypse

Dr. Annice Mukherjee @the.hormone.doc The Full Information to the Menopause

Elizabeth Ward, RD and Hillary Wright, RD @menopausedietplan The Menopause Weight loss program Plan

Dr. Jen Huber, ND, RD @menopause.nutritionist

Dr. Amy Louis-Bayliss, Dr. Woganee Filate, Dr. Sarah Shaw @itsourtimecanada

Additionally sit up for these two on-line menopause and well being websites:

Pauz Well being @pauzhealth

Nyah Well being @nyahhealth

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