Most women gain weight at some point after menopause, but menopause weight gain does not have to happen. By following some simple steps, you can take that weight off, maintain your new weight, and get your confidence back.
Most women begin gaining weight during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause. It is estimated that most women gain about a pound a year throughout perimenopause. It requires strict attention to your diet and lifestyle to remain on track and fight this unwanted weight gain, but it is not impossible.
Why Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain?
Both aging and lifestyle play as big of a role in the menopausal weight gain as fluctuating hormones. Some major factors that contribute to the weight gain include:
- Less exercise: menopausal women are shown to exercise less, leading to weight gain.
- Burning fewer calories: as you age, your calorie intake needs decrease because aging promotes replacing your muscles with fat. With more fat, your metabolism slows down, as muscles burn more calories than fat.
- Eating more: taking in more calories creates more fat if you are not burning them for energy.
How to Fight Menopausal Weight Gain
By practicing some simple methods to reverse weight gain, you can feel great and get your confidence back.
It is important to increase your physical activity. Both strength training and aerobic exercises can be very beneficial for menopausal women to fight weight gain and feel great. With aerobic exercise, you speed up your metabolism and burn fat, while with strength training increases your muscle, which slows down the loss of muscle to fat.
Either a structured exercise program, or simply moving around more, can be effective in meeting these goals. Taking long walks, riding a bike, or just being active for about 30 minutes a day can keep you trim.
Decrease your fat intake, and stick with the recommended fat consumption of 20% to 35% of your daily calories. Work to include “healthy” fats such as nuts, fish, and olive oils instead of processed foods high in saturated and trans fats.
Slowly cut out calories. Because your metabolism slows as you age, you need about 200 less calories per day as you did in your 40s. Slowly cut back, and eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables to lose weight.
By changing your diet and physical activity, you can feel great and look great too. Start small and work to be more physically active so that your body and confidence simultaneously glow.