Today kicks off the first installment of my series, “Getting to know your dieting type.” Over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce you to all six of the dieting types I’ve encountered during my 25 years of practice.

And I’ll start things off with perhaps the most difficult type: the perimenopausal woman.

Females in this category are typically between the ages of 43 and 53. Though women in their late 30s, 40s, and early 50s can actually transition in and out of this state several times before entering menopause. In fact, this process can begin 10 to 15 years before menstrual cycles end.

Common symptoms include:

  • Moodiness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Lack of focus
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep issues
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods

It’s helpful to understand WHY this phase is so challenging in terms of weight loss. The fact is, estrogen is stored in body fat. During the perimenopausal phase, levels of estrogen decrease. This causes the body to hold onto fat, in an effort to hang on to what estrogen is left. The rollercoaster of hormone fluctuation does a real number on a woman’s metabolism, making this the toughest time to lose weight.

Most perimenopausal women I treat fall into two sub-groups:

I often see women who have typically been thin their entire lives. Dieting is a brand new concept to them and is difficult for many to adjust to. I find it often helps women in this category to approach dieting as if you’re learning a new skill. Something you can learn—AND master.

The other sub-group I often treat are women who’ve gained weight during pregnancies and never lost it, or women who’ve continued to put on about 10 pounds approximately every decade.

But no matter how long you’ve been carrying around extra weight, The A-List Diet can help. Below, I’ll give you a delicious meal plan perfect for this dieting type.

In the meantime, there are also a few supplements that can be especially helpful for perimenopausal women.

Because of the metabolism changes that accompany this phase, it’s important to boost your metabolic levels with supplements. Carnitine and macadamia nut oil are ideal for this.

During perimenopause, women may also experience abnormally high sugar cravings. Glutamine can help you tackle them. I recommend 500 mg, three times a day, and whenever you get the urge to grab a cookie or candy bar. It takes the edge off just enough to help you say “no” when those irresistible sugar cravings hit.

And of course, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) help give your metabolism the added boost it needs to let you shed the fat your body is trying to hold on to. You can find BCAAs in both my Amino Booster drink mix and in my A.M. Jump-Start and P.M. Reboot shots.

A-Listers’ Corner

Melissa’s Diet Story

Melissa, a television and movie star who you might know well since she’s constantly on the cover of magazines, had some medical issues. For one, she is perimenopausal, and that makes weight-loss quite difficult. While many A-list actors slack off between roles, Melissa can’t because perimenopause doesn’t allow for that kind of leniency. Melissa was about to do a role that required her to look fit but one where she needed to be taken seriously—something she might get nominated for.

Time for the big guns.

Bottom line: Melissa needed a different protein booster shake than she was taking, and she had fallen into a rut of eating too many acidic foods.

I switched her to the shake for the diet challenged and recommended more of the alkalizing foods. Because of perimenopause, she needed to eat more fish, which has more essential fatty acids to help boost metabolism than white meat chicken does, and full-fat dairy.

I also encouraged her to eat more foods that contain lysine to promote collagen formation, such as nuts, seeds, and eggs, so her skin would look better and to up the ante on the vegetables.

Within two weeks, she looked amazing. She had not only lost the weight necessary for the role, but she didn’t need to have a face peel because her skin was radiant. She was thrilled. I was thrilled, too, and the best part is that it was so easy.

Meal Plan of the Week

Below I’ve provided a sample meal plan to benefit the perimenopausal woman.

Avocado smoothie (p. 178 of The A-List Diet), A.M. Jump-Start shot

Kohlrabi salad with vegetable dressing (p. 192 of The A-List Diet)

Midday Snack:
Amino Booster shake

Crusted Pike with Asparagus (p. 248 of The A-List Diet)

Dessert/Nighttime Snack:
Handful of Brazil nuts, P.M. Reboot shot

You can find all of the products listed above on my website. Just click on “Shop the A-List Diet.”

Until next time,

Dr. Fred