Can't lose gained weight plus menopause

(Nicola Blair) #1

I’ve been doing keto for approx 3 years. The weight was slow to go and I adjusted calorie intake to try and boost (my husband was giving me the same amount as him and I’m a lot smaller and less active !!!) the weight loss. I injured my shoulder and back now on longterm pain meds. The weight rocketed back up. I’ve now supposedly entered menopause and on the pill for seriously bad menstrual pain. I do mostly clean keto but add shop bought chicken stock and curry pastes in bone broth. My treat is 85/90% chocolate 5 or 6 times a month. I’ve bought an exercise bike and do an hour a day. The weight will drop slightly then shoot up again i feel that my body has reverted back to pre keto and is sluggish to metabolise. I’m just getting so frustrated. I’ve no intention of stopping keto but don’t know how to drop at least the 5 kg I’ve regained. My goal is 10kg but I’m beginning to think it’s unattainable. My carb limit is 18g but does sometimes hit 22g. Keto is such a natural fit for my preferred food choice but I’ve started craving carb. Sorry for the ramble but I just don’t know how to turn this around.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #2

If you are taking opioids, the pain medications aren’t helping the fat loss, so perhaps you could cut yourself some slack. If you can manage on NSAID’s alone, you might do better. But in any case, an injury like that is a stressor all by itself, so it’s no wonder that your body wants a cushion against it.

Increasing your energy expenditure without increasing your intake to match is the same as just cutting calories and runs the same risk of triggering the body’s famine reflex. Be sure you are eating enough to make your body feel safe parting with its fat reserves. You might also re-examine your food intake for carb creep, because sometimes manufacturers change the formulas of their food without warning.

One last point: I always get nervous when people talk about losing “weight.” It’s fat we want to lose, not muscle or bone weight.

If you are focusing solely on the number on the scale, you might be ignoring other signs that you are okay. For example, a couple of years ago my scale suddenly told me I was 15 kg (32 lbs.) heavier than I had been the day before. But my clothes still fit the same, so I forced myself not to worry about it. To this day, I don’t know if that “weight” increase was real or not, but it did take about six weeks for the number on the scale to decline back to my normal level. That experience convinced me to stop worrying about my scale so much. As long as I keep my carb intake as low as I can, I’m fine.


First thing you need to do is really dial in your limits to what your metabolism currently is. It can be tricky to figure out, or you can just have it tested which doesn’t cost much. But I’ve found the ketogains macro calcuator to be the most accurate for me and everybody else I’ve recommended it to. You gotta take some measurements and get the best idea of your bodyfat % you can and give it all the info it asks for but it works really well.

That’s a completely ignorable difference. Up to 40g or so you’re really not going to notice a difference unless your controlling a medical condition or something.

Get your numbers down, weigh daily and watch the trends. Doesn’t matter if the losses are small or large or even up sometimes as long as the overall trend is going down but that will give you real time feedback which is important.

On the menopause screwing with you, talk to a hormone optimization doc, you can pretty much make it go away if you choose to. I know some people get weird with the thoughts of HRT, I can’t even remotely understand why. Who wouldn’t want to feel awesome all the time? I’m a dude, but for women it’s way easier, just some pills. I gotta stick a 1.5in needle in my ass 2x week! WORTH IT!

Ultimately don’t be afraid to play with things, don’t feel forced into a cookie cutter definition of keto either. It’s NOT inflexible!

(Nicola Blair) #4

The pain meds aren’t opioid but can cause weight gain due to increased feelings of hunger. I hadn’t considered that my body may react to the sudden increase in expenditure of energy by retaining, that would also account for the lack of loss when I returned to work (lots of walking). I’ll re check for carb creep, but I do tend to be much stricter than my husband ie monitoring brocoli and red pepper etc. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others. My husband lost weight very quickly as well as feeling great all round (50 and developed a 6 pack !!!). The past 18 months have been rough injury and hormone wise so maybe i need to refocus on a more holistic approach.

(Nicola Blair) #5

I’ve just had a quick look at the link that you posted and it indicates my intake is actually too low. This is starting to look like I need to reassess my keto parameters and be more flexible.


It can definitely happen, I think most of the time people are too high but too low will screw you as well. As somebody that’s been reverse dieting for a while now my recommendation would be get your numbers and don’t up your cals more than 100-200/day for a week or two at a time. Even if you should be eating 500 more a day, you don’t want to go straight to it because you’ll just gain too fast. Also keep in mind when you start upping weight gain can happen just keep an eye on it. For me, 2 weeks gaining it when I back down again, usually to half of what I raised it.

(Laurie) #7

Hi Nicola, I’m sorry about your troubles. I’ll think out loud here:

Back in the Atkins days, and during menopause, I lost 50 pounds in one year. So menopause might not be a factor.

As you probably know, men tend to lose weight more easily than women.

Also, some believe that losing weight “the first time around” is easiest – that if you put some weight back on and try again, it won’t go as smoothly.

18-22 carbs might be too much for you. It might even be the reason you’re craving more carbs.

If your “intake” is too low (not sure what that means), maybe you can increase your protein and fat and decrease your carbs.

Carb creep can be a real problem. I don’t eat any vegetables or nuts now, but I probably get 10 grams of carbs per day, just in dairy, eggs, bacon, and small amounts of filler in other meats.

The pill could be interfering somewhat, but I don’t know. Perhaps someone else can comment on this.

I wish you luck.

(Nicola Blair) #8

Hi Laurie
By intake I meant calories. I’ve upped my exercise but not my calories thinking that it would help. The carb crave took me by surprise as its not something I’ve been bothered by other than monthly and that eased off, and the dark chocolate took care of that nicely. I do think I’ve maybe been too ridged in my approach and need to trial different low carb diets.

(Laurie) #9

Okay, calories … maybe you could get the calories from protein and fat, and still cut back on carbs? Good luck, whatever you decide!

I know it can be tricky. Last summer I lost inches and probably pounds (I don’t have a scale), but I seem to have stayed about the same since then.


Hi Nicola,

I just wanted to mention an alternative to pills (for the severe period pain), if it help.

I suffered from chronic period pain for 20 or so years. I am talking rolling on the floor until I threw up type pain. I was also told to go on the pill but even at a young age, I didn’t feel comfortable using anything that altered my hormones so I continued to suffer.

I was able to completely resolve the pain by limiting foods high in omega 6 and dairy from my diet. Omega 6 is present in meats, seeds and nuts but in other foods too.

I also increased my omega 3 consumption (mainly be eating fish and/or taking fish oil supplements) as well as 400mg magnesium.

My goal was about 3000mg Omega 3 a day and no more than 4000mg Omega 6 a day. So you can still eat things that have Omega 6 but choose the ones with lower Omega 6 content.

It took me 3-4 months of doing this for me to experience my first pain free period in over 20 years. I have since not looked back and it has changed my life.

Just thought I’d mention because I wish someone had told me how to fix it… especially since it was such an easy fix.

(Nicola Blair) #11

Thank you. I had started supplements but haven’t been taking them regularly. Time to start taking them properly.


People don’t get “weird” about HRT. Women are rightfully concerned about the fact that combined HRT increases our risk of breast and uterine cancers by 75%. Even estrogen, alone, affects our risk of gynecological cancers, especially if there’s a family history. Treating HRT like it’s a magic pill dismisses valid concerns way too cavalierly.

(Laurie) #13

Plus the fact that it doesn’t always help. Plus the expense, etc., etc.


Don’t speak for people, as somebody on replacement myself I’ve had the conversation with many both in real life and online and I can assure you that many people do in fact get weird about it. Men feel like their being judged or less manly for some idiotic reason and from what I’ve seen and read directly out of the fingers of many women on the forums they more or less do the same thing and completely flip out on their husbands when it’s mentioned (their words). If you don’t… cool.

I don’t recall saying they shouldn’t be concerned, nor did I say they shouldn’t consider all the options. But in the real world it’s not half as bad as the mainstream says it is on either side of the fence. They tell men TRT can lead to heart attacks, which just like the claims of fat clogging your arteries and killing you has some truth but in certain situations that can be avoiding while making everything better otherwise.

I never did any such thing, nice try though! I’ve yet to ever hear from somebody on either side of the fence that they regret HRT. It’s funny you start of by saying being don’t get “weird” over HRT, yet look at the accusatory rant you’ve gone into over advise that wasn’t even given to you in the first place! Thank you for proving my point.


You literally just told me you don’t speak for other people by telling me what other people think. Lol. You dismiss dozens of studies that refute your assertion that the increased threat of breast and uterine cancers it isn’t half that bad in real life as “the mainstream” would have you think. Ok. What you are is cavalier about female health. If a treatment increased a man’s chances of having his penis removed due to cancer by more than 70%, you’d take those “mainstream” concerns a lot more seriously. Thankfully, most people don’t live by this kind of “advise”.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #16

Get a grip, folks. This is an interesting discussion overall and I’d hate to see it shut down because the insults start flying.

How about post a link to a study or two that support your contentions rather than accuse the supposed opponent(s) of being insensitive and dismissive.

(Nicola Blair) #17

I’m not sure my GP would prescribe HRT as I had BC in my 30s. The criteria for treatment has become quite strict, some might say too strict . It’s always a difficulty when looking at risk versus benefits and at times arguing with a Dr to be able to even try a course of it. It made the world of difference to my aunt and mother. Whilst they both had breast cancer, it would be hard to blame HRT given there’s a family history . Ultimately it comes down to quality of life, and what works for the patient.

(Robin) #18


(GINA ) #19

I take a low dose of progesterone and estrogen and it makes a world of difference to me. I started with progesterone when I started not being able to sleep past 3:30 or 4:00 am. THAT will mess with all kinds of stuff downstream. I added estrogen later when other symptoms cropped up.

Much of the controversy around HRT came from poorly-designed studies that failed to take many factors into account (sound familiar?). Within certain guidelines, HRT has long been shown to provide more benefits than risks. You have to find the right doctor to do the testing and work with you and your system, and they are rare.

I have a whole theory about how ageism and sexism influences medicine and popular perception about it, but I won’t bore you all with it. It tracks right along with my theory that diets like low carb are rejected by the mainstream because they don’t sufficiently ‘punish’ the obese for their transgression of becoming fat before allowing them to join the ranks of the superior thin. It explains why shows like The Biggest Loser are popular. Maybe I will write a book someday.


(Polly) #20

I look forward to your book being published!