Menopause is a time of transition in a woman's life. Many changes occur, and one of the more common differences is the difficulty in maintaining your current weight. While weight gain is something that most people experience as they age, you can take back control of your health. If you've noticed some changes in your body, know that you aren't alone, and there are solutions.
Here, we will discuss some of the background of weight gain during menopause and some of the leading tips for maintaining a healthy weight. Menopause may be filled with many changes, but you are still in the driver's seat when it comes to managing your health!
Why Does Menopause Weight Gain?
You may notice changes in your weight as you get older, and to a degree, this is a normal part of aging. While aging certainly plays a factor in your metabolism and activity level, hormonal changes can also be a culprit. Hormonal shifts in the body can cause a person to gain more weight, especially in their midsection. However, research indicates that it's not just hormones that cause weight gain, but also other factors for lifestyle changes and genetic factors.
A good indication of how your body will maintain weight throughout menopause will be based on your close relatives. If your mother or father saw an increase in belly fat as they got older, then this means that you are likely at a higher risk of doing the same. However, this knowledge can be beneficial because knowing this can help you prepare for your own future.
Decrease in Activity
For many people, activity decreases as they age. Some people may have other health issues that come with age (such as arthritis) that may interfere with their ability to move around as much as they used to. Sometimes, activity may slow down simply because your body can't move like it used to. Of course, a reduction in activity likely means an increase in weight.
Poor Eating Habits
Eating habits are always important, but become even more so the older that we get. While you may have been able to eat poorly before, those decisions seem to have lasting impacts as we get older. Consider the types of foods you eat and try to make healthier options that will keep your weight in check.
Tips for Losing Weight During Menopause
Weight loss is not always easy, but hard work and determination will pay off. There are no quick-fix solutions for weight loss during menopause, but some lifestyle changes can certainly help.
Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine
Everybody can benefit from a regular exercise routine. However, it becomes increasingly important as you get older. It is suggested that people should exercise at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercises, with at least two days of strength training each week. The combination of aerobic and strength training helps reduce fat and gain muscle.
Consume a Balanced Diet
Of course, we all know how important a healthy diet is. The foods you eat are used to fuel your body and help you avoid unnecessary weight gain. Try to avoid or limit processed or sugary foods, and instead focus on protein-filled and nutrient-rich foods.
General guidelines for the types of foods you should eat:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats
- Whole grains
- Create a Healthy Relationship with Food
We all have a relationship with food. It's important to identify your habits when it comes to food. First, you may want to keep a food journal to identify your eating habits and realize the types of foods you regularly consume. You may realize that you're more prone to eating late at night or tend to snack more than you should.
Some people may even benefit from tracking their macros to see if they are consuming the appropriate amount of nutrients throughout the day. Taking a good look at your eating habits is certainly valuable and can be the first step in creating better habits to improve your weight and overall health.
One of the best ways to lose weight and continue maintaining your healthy weight is to practice meal planning. Meal planning is an effective way to ensure that you're not bringing unnecessary foods into your pantry and that you're sticking to a nutritious diet. Plus, if you have your meals all planned out for the week, you are less likely to end up in a drive-thru or making other impulsive food decisions.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Never underestimate the value of a good night's sleep. Not getting enough rest can actually cause weight gain, especially in your abdomen. Not to mention, sleep disturbance is also linked
YOU ALREADY KNOW...
As you get older, you might notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, many women gain weight around the menopause transition. Youthfulness is almost synonymous with the ability to stay active and energized. Aging, on the other hand, is unfortunately often associated with the effects of fatigue, ill health, and weight gain.
YOU MAY NOT KNOW...
For many menopausal women, weight gain is one of their major health concerns. Most of us know from personal experience what numerous studies have now demonstrated: menopausal transition is associated with unfavorable changes in body composition and abdominal fat deposition.
YOU NEED TO KNOW...
While aging is inevitable, menopause weight gain is not. You can reverse the course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle. Our provider team at Nore Women’s Health is equipped to help with getting your weight back on track.
WHY LOSE WEIGHT? Achieving a healthy weight reduces your risk of chronic disease, including heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. A healthy weight also makes menopause symptoms potentially more bearable and improves bladder health, particularly incontinence. Being at a healthy weight also improves your energy levels and boosts your self confidence. Weight loss management is not just about fitting into society’s expectations for thinness. It’s essential to your health, wellness, and robust aging.
I’M NOT OVERWEIGHT, BUT DON’T WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT. A woman’s body and health is ever changing, and this includes your metabolism and weight. Nore Women’s Health can educate you about these changes and help you navigate hormone changes that can have a very real effect on the shape and size of your physique. Your nutrition needs change during menopause, too. Discussing this with our providers will help you understand these changes so you can maintain energy and enjoy optimal health even as your body transitions.