GP talks about the impact of the menopause on weight gain

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Rhona Bowden, 50, from Cardiff, was suffering “horrendous” menopause symptoms but she managed to gain confidence in herself by making a few changes in her lifestyle. She shifted 2st in a year and a half and it was all down to switching to a plant-based diet and taking up the popular couch to 5K fitness regime.

After suffering with joint pains and hot flushes, she joined WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers), and worked with one of their coaches, describing the process as a “huge support” in her weight loss journey.

Of her experience, she spoke about her reasons for wanting to shed some extra pounds.

“I had horrendous menopause symptoms and gained a lot of weight around my middle,” Rhona said.

“I’d never had problems with my weight before and I was eating healthily, but I just couldn’t shift it!”

She recalled how she felt before she decided to take one step to a healthier life, explaining: “I was embarrassed and uncomfortable.

“I’d bend down to tie up my shoe laces and I couldn’t breathe!

“I also had a lot of acid reflux, which has settled now I’ve lost the weight.”

Rhona started off 12 stone 7lb, and slimmed down to 10 stone 5lb; a drop that made her made her feel “much better” and brought back her self confidence. 

She switched to a plant-based diet, which mostly rules out animal products.

While there are a variety of different diets to follow that are meat-free, they all share many of the same ingredients.

All food on a plant-based diet comes from plants with few or no ingredients that come from animals, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits.

Plant-based helps keep your blood sugar in check, due to all the fibre in vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and it’s great for good bowel management.

Rather than cause insulin in the body to spike, which leads to storing calories as fat, these foods also help the body burn fuel steadily.

There are many pros to switching to a plant-based diet, as research found that it can improve the health of your gut so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

With a goal in mind to look and feel her best self, Rhona pushed herself to commit to a new way of life and now she’s reaping the rewards.

WW taught her about portion control and she also started running, doing a couch to 5K.

The 50-year-old now feels more energetic and more confident.

And rather than wearing loose clothes, she chooses to sport something figure hugging.

Rhona beamed: “I feel so much better now. I have more energy and confidence.

“I never saw myself as a runner, but now I go out at least three times a week. This is the fittest I have been for decades!”

She added: “It feels so good to have taken control and turned things around.”

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