Safety Tips For Losing Weight During Or After Menopause
Losing weight is different for everyone. But the best way to lose weight and keep the weight off is to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
There are some additional general guidelines that are good to follow to ensure youre losing weight at a safe and sustainable rate of 0.5 to 1kg a week, which include:
- making sure you dont go without food for long periods of time or cut out whole food groups from your diet. This can cause you to become unwell and fall into bad eating habits
- staying away from very low-calorie diets, where you consume less than 800 calories a day. These can cause you to lose a lot of weight very quickly, but theyre not a safe and sustainable way to lose weight
Its best to speak to a doctor about how to lose weight safely if youre obese .
Add A Strength Training Workout Program
Many menopausal women associate their weight gain to hormonal fluctuations. Unbalance hormones are not always the culprit for the extra weight gain. After the age of 50, you tend to lose more lean muscle mass.
Muscles burns more calories than fat. If you are not doing hard labor, then you are going to need to add weight lifting to your exercise routine. Not doing anything about muscle loss means it is going to take you longer to burn calories.
Sarcopenia is a condition that occurs with aging. It reduces your muscle size and strength. A weight training program can prevent sarcopenia and help with preserving your muscle mass. It also improves your metabolism.
You can benefit from adding intense weight training from one to three times a week. If you are new to strength training, then you should work with a professional fitness trainer. A trainer can teach you how to do the exercise and learn more about a variety of strength training exercises.
You want to learn the proper techniques to prevent from hurting your body. Women have experience improvement in their bone density after adding weight training. It helps to understand that you are never too old to start a resistance training program.
Strength training is beneficial psychologically and physically. If you stick to a well-organized strength training program, then you should see an increase in your muscle fiber size. This program is also necessary for decreasing your risk for osteoporosis and strengthening your bones.
Increasing Exercise May Be A Key To Success
The old adage of eat less and move more certainly applies to weight loss after menopause, but the ratios may have to shift to see results.
“Cutting calories is necessary for weight loss, but increasing exercise will help sustain weight loss, prevent weight gain and lead to favorable changes in body composition,” Pinkerton says. “The general recommendation is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days per week.”
You don’t have to get that all in one session each day, she adds. You can divide it up over two 15-minute high-powered sessions if that helps fit it into your day more easily.
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Watch Your Carbohydrate Intake
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.
Cut Added Sugar From Your Diet
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Sugar is the ultimate chronic stressorits poison.
Not only does it cause cravings, blood sugar spikes, and insulin resistance which leads to weight gain but how much damage it does to your body is staggering.
Sugar destroys brain cells, breaks down collagen and wears down our immune system.
Its the stuff that makes us look and feel like crap and can even cause menopause symptoms to persist longer than they should.
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Can Menopause Cause Weight Loss
Menopause doesnt generally cause weight loss its usually the opposite.
If you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, its usually due to a stressful life event, like bereavement, divorce or redundancy, but once this has passed, you usually return to a healthier weight.
However, unexpected weight loss can also be caused by something more serious, including:
What Causes Menopausal Weight Gain
Although weight gain can be caused by a number of things, the most common cause of menopausal weight gain is the breakdown in communication between hormones and fat cells.
Our hormones are responsible for sending signals to our fat cells to store fat. During menopause, our hormones get out of whack, and that communication breaks down, causing changes in metabolism , digestion, appetite and heat regulation .
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Time Meals And Snack Right To Counter Mindless Eating
Its not just what you eat when you are following a mid-life diet that matters, but also when you eat. Midnight ice cream binges and potato chip raids, for example, are generally bad ideas and would be a poor choice even during the light of day. But the general message on food timing is clear: Dont eat too much too late, Peeke says. Eating later in the evening is murder for trying to keep weight off.
Another way to keep snacking calories in check is to avoid mindlessly nibbling throughout the day or falling into the dreaded afternoon snack trap. What a menopausal woman does from 3 p.m. on every day can determine how big her belly is. Thats when most women tend to overeat and oversnack.
To help rein in your snacking, Peeke says to start paying attention to your circadian rhythm. Eat during a window of 8 to 12 hours a day, and then dont eat for the rest of the time. Experts find this imperative to take care of weight at any age, but especially during menopause, she says.
Why Do Women Gain Weight During Menopause
Not everyone gains weight during menopause, but most women notice a redistribution of weight, says Dr. Mittal. “Due to hormonal changes that occur during this time, a reduction in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, there is an increase of fat deposition in the mid-section/abdominal area,” she says. This is the not-so-healthy fat called visceral fat. Dr. Mittal explains, “An increase in visceral fat is associated with increased inflammation, including development of insulin resistance, which can lead to increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure and even certain cancers, like endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancer.”
“In addition to hormonal changes, with age, there is a natural reduction in the basal metabolic rate and in muscle mass, leading to weight gain and increased body fat percentage,” says Dr. Mittal. According to studies, muscle mass decreases about 3 to 8% per decade after age 30, and the rate of muscle loss is even higher after age 60. Muscle is metabolically active, meaning that it burns calories . When you lose muscle, the number of calories you burn at rest decreases. “If food intake and physical activity remain the same, women can notice weight gain,” Dr. Mittal explains.
Finally, along with hormonal changes and loss of muscle, changes to eating patterns and reduced physical activity can lead to menopause weight gain, especially weight gain in the stomach area, says Dr. Mittal.
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What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause
Estrogen: This hormone is responsible for healthy bone density, skin tone and elasticity and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Estrogen decreases food cravings, makes the thyroid gland produce the T3 hormone which increases how fast our bodies burn energy and aids in keeping muscles strong. All of these factors play a role in how easy it is to maintain or lose weight.
Progesterone: Progesterone keeps our metabolism running smoothly and helps with digestion. It works with estrogen to form memories in the brain that reduce how much food is consumed even when theres nothing wrong!
When progesterone levels are low more energy is required so women tend to eat more.
Top Tips For Managing Weight At Menopause
Has reading this far made you depressed and discouraged? Dont be. While you cannot prevent menopause, you can prevent some of its negative health impacts through diet and lifestyle changes.
Remember, however, good health is more than simply a number on the scale. As we have noted in other places on our site, you do not have complete control over how much weight you lose, how fast you lose it, and what body parts you lose it from. Managing these expectations is part of long-term success. Make sure you read our guide on setting expectations.
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Can Weight Changes During Menopause Be Prevented
Most women gain weight as they age, but there are things you can do to minimize weight gain during menopause. Weight gain is not a guarantee. If you are vigilant about healthy eating and focus on an active lifestyle, you can avoid those excess pounds that can creep up.
Preventing weight gain in the first place is much easier than trying to lose the pounds once they have been gained. However, the following tips will help you both prevent weight gain and lose weight.
Working With A Weight Loss Doctor
In her late 40s, Connecticut business owner Jamie Cohen was feeling very good about her health. I had done an elimination diet where I figured out a bunch of foods I had sensitivities to, says the mom of two high school students. If I stayed away from those foods, I did well. I had dropped weight and was sleeping well and feeling great.
Then, right as she turned 50, Cohen was hit with a number of stressors at once: family health problems, school difficulties for one of her children, and the onset of menopause. Soon, she found that her weight had crept up to 225 pounds. I was going through every single menopause symptom, and I was also having a lot of digestive problems, says the 56 Cohen. I went to a gastroenterologist who sent me to a medical weight loss program.
The programs doctor recommended a specific number of calories per day or per week for Cohens weight and activity level. I thought I wasnt eating that much, but I soon realized I was letting a lot more refined carbs and sugar sneak back into my diet, she says. It was a lot of little things, like putting more milk and sugar into my tea. Then as I gained weight, Id look in the mirror and not recognize myself, Id feel bad and have another cup of tea with lots of milk and sugar.
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What Causes Weight Changes During Menopause
The body goes through many changes throughout menopause. Hormone changes may assist in gaining a little extra weight around your abdomen. Weight gathers here because after menopause your ovaries stop producing estrogen and the only place it can be created is in your abdominal fat cells.
Aging is a major factor when it comes to weight gain. As you get older, muscle mass generally declines, and fat levels increase. Its a fact that muscle burns more calories than fat. When you lose muscle, your calorie processing slows down and causes you to gain more weight.
When To Eat On The Galveston Diet
The diet not only places strict limits on what you eat, but also when you eat. While following the diet, you are advised to do a daily version of intermittent fasting in which you restrict your eating to an 8-hour period, such as between 10 am and 6 pm, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
The intermittent fasting aspect of the diet is meant to help reduce inflammation and burn fat. In order to get all the details of the Galveston diet, you need to pay a one time fee of $59, which gives you access to a curriculum covering inflammation, hormones, and other health topics. There are also meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists available.
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What Happens To Your Hormones
Hormones act as messengers in your body, travelling through your blood stream to tell all of your body systems what to do.
The most important hormone involved in menopause is estrogen, which controls your menstrual cycle and fertility. Estrogen is mainly produced by your ovaries but is also produced by fat cells and the adrenal gland.
Fluctuating levels of estrogen are the main cause of all those nasty menopausal symptoms.
Keys To Weight Loss After Menopause
Fewer Desserts, Sugary Drinks Linked to Long-Term Weight Loss
âI was working out as hard as I ever have, but I was gaining weight,â the Atlanta-based film production executive says. âItâs a constant struggle.â
Now 52, Williams says she has recently revamped her diet to include more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and white flour — and she’s managed to lose a few pounds.
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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.
What Is A Menopause Diet And How Can It Help Your Symptoms
A menopause diet involves eating certain foods that could help you feel better and have a balancing effect on fluctuating or declining hormones during this period of transition. A menopause diet also helps you avoid the foods that may exacerbate unpleasant symptoms and side effects of menopause.
Food can transform your health, and its the same for hormones and the menopause transition, says Nicki Williams, an award-winning nutritionist and founder of the website Happy Hormones for Life.
Hormones need a steady stream of nutrients for them to work efficiently. Without the right nutrients your menopause symptoms can worsen. Your natural instinct is to go for a fast fix with the wrong foods . This makes things even worse, she explains.
Jackie Lynch, a nutritional therapist and founder of the WellWellWell clinic, and author of The Happy Menopause adds: A diet that helps to regulate the bodys response to stress is very important in managing menopause symptoms. There are lots of ways that nutrition can help to manage menopause symptoms. For me, the thing to focus on is a diet to support hormone balance.
During the perimenopause and menopause, our sex hormones are on a rollercoaster. This hormone fluctuation is at the root of many symptoms, from dealing with hot flushes and night sweats to anxiety, mood swings and brain fog.
One thing to be aware of is that any existing dietary requirements you have could adversely affect you during this time.
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Reducing Your Stress Levels
Transitioning into the menopause phase can be stressful for some. Change is stressful, and remember that some signs of menopause are extreme irritability and fatigue. If you allow these to take control of you, you may end up straining some relationships due to extreme irritability, which of course adds stress. But, again, high-stress levels can lead to emotional eating. The production of cortisol causes it.
Cortisol makes your blood sugar levels drop and increases your craving for salty and fatty foods . These foods are known to have high amounts of calories. Therefore, eating so much of these foods leads to a calorie surplus that promotes weight gain.
We all struggle with stress, and what matters is taking charge of it before it becomes worse. To avoid weight gain induced by high-stress levels, you are advised to manage your stress levels. Some of the techniques you can implement to help ease stress are meditating, doing yoga, exercising, dancing, listening to music, or performing your leisure activity .
How To Lose Menopause Weight
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What is the best way to lose weight during menopause is probably the most common question I get asked.
This article will detail for women how to lose menopause belly naturally and without deprivation. Importantly, following the tips given in this post will prevent further weight gain for post menopausal women.
You still eat healthily, in fact, youre drowning under a mountain of kale and coconut water and religiously endure tucking yourself into exercise tights to endure the gym full of buff bods but you arent losing the weight that appeared, as if out of nowhere, around your belly? Read on my kale chomping friend.
Towards the end of perimenopause I remember looking at my belly in the mirror one day and thinking, with Marie Kondoish certainty you dont bring me joy, thank you for being a part of me but now, you have to go.
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