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Do You Put On Weight With Menopause

Managing Weight During Menopause

Menopause weight gain 7 reasons youre piling on the pounds

Most of us will need;to make changes in our diet and exercise habits if we are going to avoid putting on weight during the menopause. As well as changing our appearance, the fit of our clothes;and the psychological impact, weight gain is also a well-documented;health risk.

Menopausal weight gain is not inevitable. It can be avoided by making lifestyle adjustments to ensure that your diet is healthy and you are active and fit.

Menopause can be a positive motivator to help us make long term dietary and lifestyle changes that will not only ease the passage through menopause but also benefit our health for the rest of our lives.

What I Eat In A Day

When I was 44, , I could still fit in the same jeans that I wore when I was 20. I was one of those lucky women that could eat whatever they wanted and not gain weight. Needless to say, I didnt appreciate it at the time. I simply assumed this was how my metabolism was wired, and it would continue into old age. If only!

The day I turned 45, perimenopause started with a vengeance hot flashes, sweats, nausea, and mood swings. And after 3 months of this, I couldnt fit into those jeans to save my life.

In the first 6 months, not only did I feel like I was perpetually morning sick, I also gained 10 pounds. That amazing metabolism, which had kept me slim for 30 years, was broken. My hormones were all over the place, and I realized that it was time to make some serious changes. Heres what I eat in a day, to give you some ideas:

Get Checked Regularly And If On Bio

Keep in mind that perimenopause in particular is a process, and your hormones and how you feel change every few months. Its normal and natural, so try not to get too frustrated when something was working and now it doesnt anymore. If youre gaining weight again or not feeling your best, I suggest seeing your doctor every 3 to 6 months to run hormonal tests .

Menopause, and especially perimenopause, is unpredictable you might feel great all week, then all of a sudden, without having done anything differently, youre bloated and feel like getting out of bed is akin to running a marathon, on crutches!

Your tolerance to stress can suddenly decrease, and things that you took in your stride can now cause anxiety or frustration. This can leave you wondering if youre going crazy. Thats par for the course, and is a sign that your hormones have started shifting again.

Sometimes symptoms appear, last for a while, and then disappear, for no apparent reason. Thats why its important to monitor your hormones on a regular basis, and adjust the program.

Read Also: How Do You Know If You Are Going Through Menopause

Oestrogen And Fat Distribution At Menopause

A change in hormone levels, mainly oestrogen, may influence body fat distribution.;

Many women in perimenopause and early post menopause years gain fat mass as their oestrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body , while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen .;

Animal studies have shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to unwanted abdominal fat, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.;

Establish An Exercise Routine

Pin on Diet & Weight Loss In Menopause

It is never too late to start exercising! In addition to modifying your diet, is advisable that you carry out physical exercise on a regular basis. This activity, in addition to prevent different types of diseases, will be the best way to burn accumulated fat, a consequence of menopause. You should consider going for long walks every day, or start a pilates routine at home.

Read Also: How To Lose My Menopause Belly

First What Is Menopause

Menopause marks the end of a womans menstrual cycles. It is defined as a full 12 months without a menstrual period for women over the age of 40.2 While the average age in North America is around 52, the hormonal changes can start in a womans early 40s and last into her 60s.3

Research shows that the timing of menopause is a complex mix of genetics, ethnicity, geography, socio-economic status, and lifestyle factors. 4

The symptoms of menopause are well known: hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, brain fog, headache, disrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, bloating, and more. Unfortunately, weight gain and increased body fat, especially around the abdomen, are very common complaints.5

Its estimated that most women, without changing anything in their diet or lifestyle, gain an average of 2 to 5 pounds during the menopausal transition. However, some gain much more than this.6

Why Weight Gain Often Happens After Menopause

What is it about menopause that makes it so hard to keep off the weight? It’s likely a mix of factors related to menopause and aging.

The impact of estrogen. In animal studies, estrogen appears to help control body weight. With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active. Reduced estrogen may also lower metabolic rate, the rate at which the body converts stored energy into working energy. It’s possible the same thing happens with women when estrogen levels drop after menopause. Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a woman’s resting metabolic rate. This might help slow weight gain. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight.

Other age-related factors. As women age, many other changes happen that contribute to weight gain. For example:

  • You’re less likely to exercise. Sixty percent of adults aren’t active enough, and this increases with age.
  • You lose muscle mass, which lowers your resting metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.
  • The rate at which you can use up energy during exercise declines. To use the same energy as in the past and achieve weight loss, you may need to increase the amount of time and intensity you’re exercising, no matter what your past activity levels were.

Also Check: What Age Is The Average Menopause

Hormonal Changes Alter Where The Body Deposits Fat

Certain areas such as your stomach are more prone to weight gain during menopause. This is because the change in hormones, which lead to a higher testosterone-to-estrogen ratio, alters where the body deposits fat. Fat comes off the hips and is deposited around the middle.

But the hormonal changes involved in menopause arent the reason you gain weight.

Watch Your Carbohydrate Intake

How To Lose Weight After Menopause Naturally

Not all nutrients are created equal, and some experts believe that a steady diet heavy in unrefined carbs like pasta and bread are a significant factor for excess belly fat. Carbs are the enemy of the middle-aged woman, says Dr. Boling. If you are perimenopausal, look at how much sugar you are eating. Carbs turn into sugar in our bodies. Some turn faster, like candy bars, oatmeal burns slower, but eventually it all turns to sugar. If you are aware of how many carbs you are eating, you are going to do better. Research published in April 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease the risk of postmenopausal weight gain.

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What Is Menopause Exactly

First things first: Menopause refers to the life stage when a person is no longer menstruating. It officially begins 12 months after you get your final period, which generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Menopause can also occur with surgery that removes the ovaries, a procedure commonly performed with hysterectomy.

For menopause that happens with aging, the two- to eight-year period leading up to that milestone is known as perimenopause. This phase is marked by declines in levels of ovarian hormones and, for many people, the start of some noticeable symptoms and changes, including with respect to weight.

Changes In Oestrogen Hormone

While its true that a drop in the hormone oestrogen at menopause changes the way your body stores fat, experts say you can avoid gaining more fat during your middle years. Where you once may have gained weight around your hips and thighs, after menopause it tends to move to your waistline. We go from being a pear shape with our weight mainly on our hips to an apple, where we put on weight around the middle, explains Associate Professor Amanda Vincent, president of the Australasian Menopause Society.

An apple shape doesn’t only make your waistband tighter, its also a more dangerous type of fat, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis and depression. That fat raises cholesterol and triglycerides and makes you less able to process glucose properly, says Professor Lauren Williams, Griffith University Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, making it clear why weight maintenance in middle age is important to a long, healthy life.

The good news is that Williams research showed that only 40 per cent of menopausal women gain weight, and more often than not, this weight gain is preventable with lifestyle change. My studies also showed a trend towards emotional eating in women who gained weight in menopause, and an increased likelihood of working full-time, which led to buying more meals outside of the home, she says.

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Choose Fats Wisely And Eat Meals With Healthy Fats To Counter Weight Gain

Fat adds flavor, makes our food taste better, and is part of a healthy diet. So the good news is that it isnt necessary or recommended to completely eliminate it from your diet altogether. You just need to learn how to be more choosy, says Palumbo. Think more walnuts, and fewer Whoppers.

The;healthiest fats;are the ones that derive from vegetable sources like olives and nuts, but keep in mind that healthy fats like those found in avocados have the same number of calories as the fat found in an ice cream sundae. An ounce of nuts has 170 calories, so you have to be very careful, says Palumbo. The same goes with extra virgin olive oil. The American way is to go overboard, so you have to be extremely cautious when you use it and measure the amounts of fats and oils that you consume.

And restaurant meals once again are not your friends in the fat department. Restaurants are not in business to make us healthy. They add a lot of flavor carriers, which are known as fats, Palumbo says. Salad dressings are one of the biggest sources of added fat in our diet, so be sure to order your salad with the dressing on the side.

Why Youre Putting On Weight During Menopause And What To Do About It

Pin on Diet & Weight Loss In Menopause
  • Youve entered menopause when you havent had a period for an entire year, or 12 consecutive months.
  • When youre in your early to mid-forties, you might start noticing signs of perimenopause the period of transition before menopause.
  • Menopause can be a tough time for many women, and symptoms include weight gain, night sweats, and depression.
  • Along with getting your estrogen and progesterone levels checked, you also want to test for testosterone and your thyroid hormones both help to regulate weight.
  • Intermittent fasting when you cycle in and out of periods of eating and not eating is a great way to manage your weight.
  • Exercise balances your hormones but its better to do more gentle workouts like walking, biking, and yoga.

People like to say that 50 is the new 40. But if youve recently entered menopause, you might not be feeling as sprightly as you once did. Along with the hot flashes and dry skin, youre struggling to keep the weight off. Youre doing everything the same eating a high-fat, low-carb diet and working out like you always have. And yet the number on the scale keeps climbing. Why is that? Find out why weight is an issue for women past 50, and how you can manage your hormones and your diet to stay at a healthy weight during this new phase of your life.

Also Check: What Causes Hot Flushes Apart From The Menopause

What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause And Menopause

During perimenopause, your body starts to produce less of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It also starts producing higher levels of the reproductive hormones FSH and LH. These hormonal changes can cause:

  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Smaller, more tender breasts

Once you are fully in menopause, most of these symptoms have decreased, and some have disappeared completely. This is because your hormones are in steady decline, or have stabilized.

Get Restful Quality Sleep

Many women in menopause have trouble sleeping due to hot flashes, night sweats, stress, and other physical effects of estrogen deficiency .

However, getting enough high-quality sleep is important for achieving and maintaining a moderate weight.

People who sleep too little have higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, have lower levels of the fullness hormone leptin, and are more likely to be overweight .

Recommended Reading: When Can A Woman Go Through Menopause

How Can You Prevent Weight Gain During Menopause

The best things you can do to prevent menopausal weight gain are to get and stay active and watch what you eat.

If you notice your weight creeping up, reduce your caloric intake by a couple hundred calories a day. Limit sweets, sugary drinks, and alcohol, and stick with healthful foods high in nutrients and fiber.

Research shows that people who had a high adherence to a reduced-carbohydrate diet with moderate fat and high protein were at decreased risk of gaining weight during menopause.

Body Changes At Menopause

Menopause Weight Gain Solutions | Lose Menopause Belly Fat Fast!

As we age, our muscles decrease in bulk and our metabolism slows down. These changes can contribute to weight gain around the time of menopause.Other physical changes associated with menopause may include:

  • skin changes, such as dryness and loss of elasticity
  • vaginal dryness
  • hair growth .

These changes may affect a womans body image and self-esteem and increase her risk of depression and sexual difficulties. Taking steps to manage the symptoms of menopause can help.

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Menopause And Your Physique

For women and men alike, older middle age is a time of physical changes. Its natural for your frame to change as your metabolism slows down, but how does menopause affect this process and do you put on weight during menopause?

When women become menopausal, they start gaining weight in a different way than before. Since menopause comes with significant hormone changes, it affects the way your body stores fat.

While theyre of childbearing age, women tend to store fat in the hips, thighs, and lower body. When menopause hits, weight distribution typically changes. When post-menopausal women gain weight, it usually accumulates around the midriff. Experts call this changing from a pear shape to an apple shape.

But this change doesnt lead to a higher body weight. Instead, the changes in your weight come from the slower metabolism and the loss of muscle mass.

What’s The Best Way To Prevent Menopause Weight Gain

As with many things medically, by knowing more about what your body is going through, you are able to make some positive changes which can make a real difference.

Lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly can have a really positive impact on both your weight and how you feel in your body. It’s completely normal to feel out of sorts with yourself during menopause with so much change happening hormonally, and the raft of symptoms which can come along with this.

‘It’s completely normal to feel out of sorts with yourself during menopause’

Finding an exercise regime which brings you joy, and gets you moving, can make a real difference to your day to day, not only for your body but your mind, too. Keeping yourself active is key during menopause, but finding something you enjoy is even better be that cold water swimming, yoga or a dance class on Zoom! This will not only help manage your weight, but also help you feel stronger in your body. Furthermore, as women going through menopause are at increased risk of osteoporosis exercising regularly will help maintain your joint and bone health.

Managing stress and diet during menopause can also help manage weight changes which happen at this time. When you are stressed, your body produces an inflammatory hormone called Cortisol. You may also find the way you eat changes when youre stressed maybe reaching for more caffeine or sugary foods to give you a quick hit of energy.

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Importance Of A Calorie Deficit

To lose weight, a calorie deficit is needed.

According to some research, a womans resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories she burns during rest, declines during and after menopause .

Although it may be tempting to try a very low calorie diet to lose weight quickly, eating so few calories can sometimes make weight loss harder.

Research shows that restricting calories to low levels causes loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate

So while very low calorie diets may result in short-term weight loss, their effects on muscle mass and metabolic rate will make it hard to keep the weight off.

Moreover, insufficient calorie intake and decreased muscle mass may lead to bone loss. This can increase your risk for osteoporosis .

Adopting a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained long term can help preserve your metabolic rate and reduce the amount of muscle mass you lose with age.


A calorie deficit is needed for weight loss. However, cutting calories too much increases the loss of lean muscle, which accelerates the drop in metabolic rate that occurs with age.

Here are four nutritious diets that have been shown to help with weight loss during and beyond the menopausal transition.


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