Menopause weight gain is experienced by many women. Men also have a tendency to gain weight as they grow older and less active, but there is something special about women’s menopause. Women are likely to gain weight around age 50, and it starts to appear in different places on their bodies. Even women who keep steady at the same weight will often find their belly fat growing.
Hormone Changes At Menopause Can Drive Weight Gain
In a post-menopausal woman, the female hormone estrogen is present in much lower quantities. This means the distribution of weight on a woman’s body changes at this time to be more like a man’s – centered on the belly rather than the hips. Low estrogen may also be the reason for some extra weight gain, or at least a tendency to put on weight more easily. Dieting can become more of a struggle, too.
You Can Stay Healthy And Slim At Menopause
None of this means that you should quit trying to have a healthy body within the normal weight range. It is possible to avoid menopause weight gain if you are aware of the dangers. You’ll need to resist the temptation to indulge in more high-calorie foods. At the same time, it is important to keep up your levels of exercise.
A Healthy Weight Is Associated With A Healthy Heart
This is important for other reasons as well as avoiding menopause weight gain. Exercise can help us to maintain a healthy heart at a time of life when the risk of heart attack for women rises massively. Women of childbearing age who carry fat on the hips rather than the belly have a lower risk of heart attack than men, but that changes at menopause, when more fat is stored on the torso.
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT can help prevent these changes and assist you to avoid menopause weight gain. However, it is only available in consultation with your doctor and is not recommended for everybody, because there can be other risks associated with it. You can mitigate some of the impact of menopause, but it’s a natural part of a woman’s cycle and can’t be avoided completely.
So what are some of the ways that you can avoid menopause weight gain? Here are a few tips.
Three Tips To Avoid Menopause Weight Gain
- Eat healthy, increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruit while reducing the amount of fat, sugar and packaged foods in your diet.
- Get regular exercise including maintaining your muscle mass with strengthening workouts. It’s natural that we do a little less exercise as we grow older, but it’s important not to stop. Muscle that is not maintained will turn to fat. Core exercise will not only maintain and build muscle, but reduce the chance of falls as we age.
- Accept that there will be some changes in your body at this time. If your weight is within the normal range, do not panic if your stomach measurement increases a little. This is redistribution of weight, not gain. If you are overweight, do not look for a crash diet, but get support from a medical weight loss doctor who will help you find a healthy eating plan that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
Of course, you need to consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss or fitness program, especially if you have any health conditions. Your doctor will also be able to help you with menopause weight gain and how to avoid it.