Skip to content

Spend £60 get 1 free product | Spend £80 get 2 free products | Spend £100 get 3 free products 
(Select free product in cart page)

Spend £60 get 1 free product | Spend £80 get 2 free products | Spend £100 get 3 free products 
(Select free product in cart page)

Diverse group of women laughing together on white background. Females in casuals looking happy together.

How Does Your Metabolism Change After Perimenopause?

Ever wondered what happens to your metabolism as you navigate through perimenopause? The time in a woman's life leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, often heralds significant changes in the body – particularly metabolic shifts. These shifts can affect everything from weight to energy level, making it crucial to understand what's happening inside your body during this transformative phase.

Perimenopause is a crucial period in a woman's life when her body undergoes significant hormonal changes that can cause various physical and emotional symptoms. The changes to her metabolism can particularly impact daily life.

Getting a better grasp on these metabolic alterations occurring during perimenopause can arm you with the tools to better manage your well-being during this time. In this article, we'll delve into how your metabolism changes after perimenopause and what you can do to optimise your health.

Understanding Perimenopause

Before entering the natural menopause phase that marks the end of the reproductive years, you'll pass through a transitional state known as perimenopause. This period of major metabolic upheaval is a natural age-related occurrence that typically begins when a woman is between 45 and 55 years old. 

Symptoms of Perimenopause

Perimenopause can bring about an array of unusual symptoms that might leave you feeling baffled. You might start experiencing irregular periods, hot flashes, mood changes, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms surface due to the fluctuations in your hormone levels that interfere with your body's regular rhythms and functions. 

Perimenopause vs Menopause 

While menopause is the stage where your menstrual periods cease completely, perimenopause is the bridge that gets you there. It's a transition that can last for several years until you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period, at which point, you've officially reached menopause. 

Hormonal Changes and Metabolic Processes

Diving deeper, let's explore the changes that your body undergoes during perimenopause. The primary culprits behind these tumultuous changes are your hormones. As you enter perimenopause, your body's production of oestrogen and progesterone becomes less consistent, often leading to dramatic shifts in hormone levels. 

And these hormonal fluctuations have a direct impact on your metabolic processes: how your body derives energy from the food you eat. Changes in your metabolic rate might result in weight gain, an increase in body fat, and a decrease in muscle mass. These changes reflect the profound influence that perimenopause can have on your body and overall health.

Feet of a woman on a weighing scale

Metabolism Basics

Metabolism, simply put, is the sum of all chemical reactions in your body that keep you functioning. It's like your body's personal powerhouse, converting what you eat and drink into energy that gets you through the day. The complex network of hormones and enzymes that facilitate and regulate these processes are indispensable. 

Your metabolic rate is a derivative of a host of factors, both internal and external. Undoubtedly, hormones draw a significant role in this tale. Other factors that influence it would include age, gender, genetics, and even the weather to some extent. 

Gauging the effects of metabolic changes is no small task. On a micro level within individual cells, changes could result in quicker ageing or slower cell reproduction. System-wide, these changes could register as weight gain, a change in energy levels, or trouble regulating things like blood pressure and blood sugar levels in your body. 

Understandably, hormones are a crucial part of this metabolic conversation. Hormones, such as insulin and thyroxine, have direct implications on your metabolism. For instance, insulin manages the amount of glucose in the bloodstream and directs the metabolic process of cells. While a significant drop in oestrogen levels during perimenopause could lead to a lower metabolic rate, causing weight gain and fatigue. 

Interestingly, despite being a natural and inevitable phenomenon, the transition to menopause, and eventual impact on metabolism could be mitigated to a degree by adjusting daily habits and diet. Monitoring and adapting to changes as you navigate through this crucial phase of life could make the journey that much smoother.

Healthy eating concept, ingredients for smoothies on the table

Metabolic Changes During Perimenopause

During the period of perimenopause, your body undergoes significant metabolic changes. These transformations come in a variety of forms, each with a set of unique implications for your health. 

Foremost, an alteration occurs in the way your body expends energy. You might start to notice a slight reduction in your stamina compared to your younger years. This is primarily due to the fluctuation and eventual decline in essential hormones like oestrogen, which play a vital role in the regulation and distribution of energy. 

Next, shifts the distribution of fat cells occur within your body. Predominantly, the increase in abdominal fat is considered a hallmark of perimenopause. This accumulation of belly fat isn't just an aesthetic concern. It's associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, high blood sugar levels, lipid dysregulation, and certain types of cancers. 

woman trying to zip up her jeans pants

This metabolic shake-up extends to a decrease in insulin sensitivity as well. Insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, becomes less effective during perimenopause. This change can make it harder for your body to handle carbohydrate-rich foods and can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. However, this doesn't mean you're destined for diabetes. With appropriate lifestyle modifications, this risk can be managed. 

All these changes are largely driven by your body coping with fluctuating hormone levels, chiefly oestrogen and progesterone. The decline in these hormones alters the way your body stores fat, uses energy and maintains blood sugar levels. As these hormone levels decrease during perimenopause, these metabolic changes unfold, manifesting in ways that can profoundly impact your well-being. 

Understanding these changes is the first step towards managing the effects of perimenopause on your metabolism and overall health. Strategies such as maintaining a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity can help offset some of these metabolic alterations and keep you feeling your best.

Managing Metabolic Changes

Revamp Your Dietary Habits

Among the lifestyle changes you can make during perimenopause, tweaking your dietary habits is a key ally in managing your metabolism. As you recalibrate the food you consume, aim to include more lean proteins. Choose options like chicken, turkey, tofu, lentils, and non-fat dairy. These protein sources are not only easier for your body to process, but they also provide you with essential amino acids – the building blocks your body needs for growth and repair. 

If you are looking to supplement your diet with proteins consider trying our Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder. Rich in proteins and fortified with essential amino acids, it provides additional support you might need to keep your metabolism in check during perimenopause.

Best vegan powder so far
"I have tried a few vegan powders over the last few months, this is the one I keep going back to. The vanilla gives it a lovely flavour." - Samuela M
Our vegan protein contains a special blend of three premium plant-based proteins which are hemp, pea, and brown rice. Each serving contains an impressive 25g of protein and offers all 9 essential amino acids. When it comes to flavouring, we have used only the best quality Madagascan vanilla seeds to provide a subtle but incredibly tasty vanilla flavour. This product is perfect to use in a protein shake, smoothie or even sprinkled on your morning porridge.

 

Meanwhile, by incorporating whole grains into your meals—like quinoa, brown rice or whole grain bread—you're fueling your body with essential B vitamins. The family of B vitamins, particularly B12, is essential for energy production and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Perimenopausal women might find benefits in including a B complex supplement in their routine to support overall energy and mood.

Great Product
"  Good quality B12 which helps my general health as I am on a mainly Vegan diet." -   Nicola L.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system and in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps to regulate and synthesise DNA. It is needed in the metabolism of every cell in the body, and it plays a part in the synthesis of fatty acids and energy production. By helping the human body to absorb folic acid, it facilitates the release of energy.

It's equally beneficial to raise your intake of fruits and vegetables. Stacked with fibre, vitamins, and minerals, they support bodily functions while helping keep hunger satisfied. Try adding apple slices to your whole grain toast at breakfast, or a side of colourful veggies to your lean protein at dinner. 

Baked vegetables, avocado, tofu and buckwheat buddha bowl. Vegan lunch salad with kale, baked sweet potato, tofu, buckwheat and avocado in a white bowl. Vegan concept.

Even as you're adding these beneficial foods to your diet, also pay attention to what you're cutting out. Processed foods often contain hidden sugars and unhealthy fats which can impact your metabolism. Try to limit your intake of fast food, and replace sugary drinks with water or herbal tea. Instead of reaching for a candy bar when you need an energy boost, try a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit instead. This will satiate your cravings and also contribute towards maintaining a healthy metabolism. 

Remember that every individual's body responds differently to dietary changes. Working with a nutritionist or health coach to personalise your diet can be a worthwhile investment. They can guide you to make changes that align with your body's needs and the metabolic changes of perimenopause. 

Grounded by research and guided by professionals, modifying your lifestyle habits can effectively promote a smoother perimenopause transition. Your health is your wealth, so take it step by step, and make those changes that your body needs to thrive during this phase.

Stay Active

Embracing an active lifestyle can be an effective way to navigate the metabolic changes that happen during perimenopause. Incorporating regular exercise in your daily routine is more than just a strategy for weight control—it's a comprehensive wellbeing tool. 

Now, you may wonder, 'what kind of physical activities should I incorporate into my life?' 

Well, it's simpler than you might think. Any activity that raises your heart rate can work wonders! It doesn't have to be strenuous workouts in the gym. 

You might elect to go for a brisk walk around your neighbourhood, jog in the local park, or take a refreshing swim. If you have a green thumb, even gardening can serve as a valuable, heart-elevating exercise. Remember, the goal is not to exhaust yourself, but to engage in consistent physical activity. 

What if you're not comfortable with the idea of exercising? Don't worry! There's power in taking small steps. Start slowly and gradually increase the pace and intensity of your activities as your fitness improves. It's not about being perfect; it's about being active and making regular, manageable changes. 

Women doing yoga exercise with social distance for coronavirus outbreak at park outdoor

Partner your new active lifestyle with good sleeping habits. Research has shown that exercise can help improve sleep quality—another vital aspect of health during the perimenopausal transition. A good night's sleep can boost your mood and make you more productive throughout the day. 

Magnesium is a key nutrient that helps with sleep and muscle relaxation. It can also support heart health and bone health. A magnesium supplement could be particularly helpful for perimenopausal women experiencing insomnia or night sweats. 

The best magnesium supplement I’ve had
"I’ve tried other brands but this one is just fantastic. My sleep is so much better and it’s really helped with my digestion." - Sophie R.
Our high potency and excellent absorption formula contains 1480mg Magnesium Citrate per serving providing you with 440mg of needed Elemental Magnesium.

Keep Stress at Bay

Another critical aspect to prevent metabolic changes and mitigate health risks during perimenopause is stress management. Chronic stress is known for ushering in a cascade of complications, not least among them is interfering with your metabolism and triggering weight gain. As a countermeasure, consider different stress-management techniques like yoga, mindfulness practices or meditation. These holistic approaches promote a balance of mind and body, effectively buffering against stress shocks. Regular exercise is a great physiological ally too; it has been shown to reduce stress levels, while also giving your metabolism a welcomed boost. Remember also to cultivate deep and supportive relationships to serve as vital stress outlets. 

Famed as an "adaptogen", Ashwagandha can help your body handle and adapt to stress, which can impact your energy levels. I'd recommend regular consumption of Ashwagandha to help strengthen your body and mind, allowing you to better cope with stress. 

Great Product
"Feel more relaxed since starting this" -   Cheryl V.
Our Ashwagandha supplement contains 1100mg of Ashwagandha root extract per serving. The supplement comes as a 2 month supply as we recommend taking 2 capsules per day for the full benefits of Ashwagandha. Similar to how it was used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, we only extract the roots for its adaptogenic properties.

Reading books, reducing screen-time, and ensuring that you get sufficient sleep each night are other effective ways to manage stress in your life. You can even explore therapeutic avenues, such as massage or acupuncture, which have been touted to relieve stress and balance your body's energies. In essence, the aim is to foster a lifestyle that diffuses stress while promoting a high-functioning metabolism.


Written by Riya Lakhani-Kanji MSc ANutr

Riya Lakhani-Kanji MSc ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.

Previous article How to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Performing at Its Best
Next article Should You Take Probiotics After a Course of Antibiotics?