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How To Stop Menopause Weight Gain

Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain

How Can I Stop Weight Gain During Menopause

There’s no doubt that metabolism typically slows about 5 – 10% each decade as you age. But although metabolism and hormonal changes play a role, the primary cause of weight gain in post-menopausal women results from being less physically active as you age.

One of the best ways to prevent weight gain after menopause is to increase physical activity. The more you move, the more calories you burn and the more you help boost your metabolism. Include the following types of activities in your routine:

  • Aerobic exercise. Whether you choose to walk briskly, jog, bike, row or climb stairs, aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Strength training. Weight lifting or resistance training 2 or 3 times a week helps increase muscle mass. Having more muscle helps increase your metabolic rate.
  • NEAT . Studies show that in addition to regular exercise, metabolism is affected by everyday “non-sitting” activities. These can include things like cleaning your house, tapping your toes or pacing while on the phone.

Of course, exercise alone is not enough to prevent weight gain. Limiting junk food, sugar and white flour, increasing fruit and veggie intake, and eating moderate portions of healthy meals and snacks are all positive dietary strategies. And when it comes to your diet, it’s not all about eating less. Research has shown the following habits to be damaging to metabolism:

Date Last Reviewed: May 8, 2019

Find A Friend Or A Group To Exercise With

To attack belly fat and any other menopause weight gain, youll need to burn between 400 and 500 calories most days of the week from cardiovascular exercise, such as walking briskly, jogging, bicycling, dancing, or swimming, Peeke says. Need motivation? Find a friend who needs to exercise as much as you do, and set a date to work out together. Research published in April 2015 in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that actively looking for a new workout partner and exercising together is beneficial for both exercise and emotional support.

If you dont have a buddy to join you on your weight loss mission, it may be time to try a group fitness class at your local gym or community center. Data published in November 2017 in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine found that participating in regular group fitness classes resulted in a significant decrease in stress and a rise in physical, mental, and emotional quality of life compared with exercising regularly on your own or not engaging in regular exercise at all.

When Will Menopause Weight Gain Go Away

As you go through menopause, have you found yourself asking questions like Am I going to keep gaining weight forever? or When will my menopause weight gain go away? or Is this just what my body looks like now?

Its totally understandable for you to have questions and concerns about menopause weight gain and how long it lasts. Youre on a hormonal rollercoaster right now, and to top it off youve got extra weight sitting around your midsection. You have a right to be a bit frustrated!

The good news is that menopause weight gain definitely does not last forever. Read on to learn more about how long it typically lasts and to get some tips on how you can stop and reverse it.

As if the hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, and mood swings werent bad enough, now youre also dealing with your waist circumference increasing and extra pounds showing up on the scale. Are you frustrated by menopause weight gain? Are you willing to do just about anything to start feeling like your old self again?

Its easy to think that menopause weight gain will never end. We can assure you, though, that youre not going to continue putting on weight indefinitely. Read on to learn more about how long menopause weight gain lasts, as well as what you can do to stop and even reverse it.

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Foods To Avoid During Menopause

Reaching for less-than-healthy foods as you move through menopause can worsen bothersome symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia. Knowing what to avoid could make this natural transition much more manageable.

Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is a good idea in general, but its especially true for women who are nearing or have just passed through menopause, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist in Cleveland.

Good nutrition can make a big change in how you feel with regard to menopause symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, and exhaustion, as well as bloating and possible weight gain, Jamieson-Petonic says. Women of menopausal age should make sure to eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein for optimal health, she says.

That advice is backed up by a survey of 400 post-menopausal women documented in an article published in April 2019 in journal Menopause, which found that women who ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables were less likely to report having experienced menopausal symptoms than women whose diets contained more fatty foods and sweets. Decreasing your consumption of these and certain other foods may be able to ease a lot of the discomfort linked to this natural transition and help you stay healthy in the years to come.

Top Tips For Managing Weight At Menopause

The Science: How To Stop Weight Gain Through 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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Fat And Sugar Metabolism

Recent studies also suggest that the way your body metabolizes fat changes during menopause.

ZOE scientists are currently exploring the relationship between menopause and your bodys metabolic responses. Their evidence suggests that it isnt just fat metabolism that changes during this time.

They found that during fasting and after eating, blood sugar, blood fat, and inflammation markers were higher in post-menopausal women than in those who have not yet experienced menopause.

Understanding how menopause may affect your bodys metabolic responses may help you avoid unwanted weight gain during this transition. Take ZOEs personalized quiz to discover your unique blood sugar and blood fat responses after eating and to find out which microbes live in your gut.

Study Looks At Metabolism Changes With Lack Of Sleep

About half of women going through the menopause transition also complain of problems sleeping. The insomnia may involve difficulty falling asleep, or it may mean waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to return to slumber, says Nanette Santoro, MD, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a longtime menopause researcher who was not involved with this study.

Grant and her colleagues aimed to assess whether the drop in estrogen or the sleep disturbance might change the way the body uses its storage of fat, which can lead to added pounds.

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Experimental Model Simulated Menopausal Sleep Issues

To eliminate the variable of natural aging, the researchers studied 21 women who were premenopausal, meaning their hormone levels were not naturally reduced.

They brought the women to the lab and allowed them two nights of blissful sleep. Then, for the next three nights they continually interrupted the womens sleep, repeatedly waking them with an alarm.

We chose an experimental model of sleep interruption that is consistent with the type of sleep disruption experienced most commonly in menopause increased nighttime awakenings caused by hot flashes, but no change in overall sleep time and duration, Dr. Grant explains.

In addition to this sleep disturbance, in 9 of the women the researchers also temporarily suppressed estrogen levels with a drug called leuprolide, to mimic the effects of menopause.

Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Weight Gain After Menopause

How to Avoid Menopause Weight Gain | Ask the Doctor

If lifestyle change sounds scary to you – dont worry. Menopause doesnt require you to set your bedtime at 9PM, quit coffee, wine, or conform to a strict diet of kale and protein shakes.

But – we understand – making sense of it all is hard on your own. This is why weve put it all in one place and created the Meno-PAUSE List of lifestyle recommendations – based on scientific studies, medical recommendations, and nutritionist advice.

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Good Exercise Choices After Menopause

What types of exercise can best help you lose and maintain weight after menopause?

  • Low-impact aerobics are good for your heart and lungs. Walking, for example, is one of the best choices, because you can do it anywhere, anytime. Other examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, aerobics, tennis, and dance. Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes most, if not all, days of the week.
  • Whenever you can, add activity to your day. Wash the car, play hide and seek with your kids or grandchildren, get in a game of ping pong, etc.

Q: How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight After Menopause

A: Most women notice weight gain during the menopause transition because menopause can affect the hormones that regulate fat storage, among other things.

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As hormone levels change, we produce less estrogen, and these changes promote weight gain around the stomach.

But you can ward off excessive weight by being proactive before and during menopause, whether you enter it naturally or surgically.

Start by watching your diet. Reduce the fat and sugar youre consuming. Stay away from processed foods. You want to re-learn and listen to your bodys true hunger signals, and make sure that youre not eating out of habit or due to emotions .

Becoming diligent with exercise can help push past weight loss plateaus. However, keep in mind that you cant exercise past a bad diet. Even competitive athletes, marathon runners, etc., gain weight if they dont watch their diet. Keeping your eating healthy is the highest priority when the goal is weight loss.

In addition to cardiovascular exercises to burn fat, strength training with weights is also recommended, as well as yoga or Pilates not only because they boost metabolism, but also because they keep the musculoskeletal frame strong as bone density decreases during menopause.

Continue to seeing doctor regularly to discuss any preventive measures you may need.

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Does Menopause Cause Emotional Changes Too

Yes. Emotional symptoms can begin as early as the perimenopause time frame. Difficulty with memory , irritability, mood swings, increased anxiousness and depression are commonly experienced. These symptoms often cause significant distress and can negatively affect personal and professional relationships. Some patients say the emotional toll is the most distressing. A history of depression or anxiety disorder is a risk factor for recurrence or exacerbation of symptoms during the menopause transition. Lifestyle modifications such as exercise, relaxation techniques and dietary changes can help. For those experiencing severe symptoms, seeing a therapist and possibly taking medication like mood stabilizers or hormone replacement therapy can help.

No It’s Not Entirely Your Fault Yes You Can Shed Those Extra Pounds

Avoid Menopause Weight Gain!

by Hallie Levine, AARP, July 30, 2018

As you hit your mid-to-late 40s, you may notice that besides battling the occasional hot flash or mood swing, your favorite black go-to pants are starting to feel noticeably more snug. This time it’s not your imagination.

The average woman gains about four-and-a-half pounds as she starts the transition to menopause in her 40s, according to a landmark study. And it’s a trend that doesn’t slow down, either: Women continue to put on about a pound and a half each year in their 50s and 60s, according to a new review published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“The main reason is the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with age,” explains Jo Ann Pinkerton, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. “Since muscle burns more calories than fat, your metabolism slows down, causing you to put on weight.” Starting at age 30, research shows that you lose on average about a half pound of muscle each year and that number rises to almost a full pound once you hit 50.

Sounds daunting, but there are expert-approved ways to reverse your scale’s upward spiral. Here’s how:

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Quick Read Do You Gain Weight During Menopause

  • Most people gain 5-8% of their baseline body weight in the first two years of menopause.
  • This is due to slower metabolism and lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise.
  • Prevent fat gain by eating smaller portions, avoiding added sugars and adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet.
  • Maintain muscle mass with a combination of balance exercises, weight bearing exercises and cardio.
  • For those with other menopausal symptoms, hormone treatment may help.

Age brings many things: perspective, wisdom and, for many people, a few extra pounds.

While age is the biggest factor associated with weight gain, menopause when you permanently stop having your period, typically between ages 45 and 55 is also correlated with losing muscle and gaining weight, says Dr. Susan Reed, vice chair for Research at the University of Washington Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

About two years after your last period, in general, the rate of fat gain doubles and lean mass, or muscle mass, starts to decline. On average, women gain 5-8% of their baseline body weight during this time, she says.

For the sake of simple math, this means if you weigh 100 pounds, on average you will gain five pounds in the two years after your final period. If you weigh 200 pounds, you are expected to gain at least 10 pounds.

Gaining a little extra weight is not necessarily a health concern, but it can be frustrating and, if combined with future weight gain, can lead to disease.

Managing Weight During Menopause

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.

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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.

Life Extension Advanced Appetite Suppress

Menopause Weight Gain: What Causes it & How to Prevent it

Price: $26.25

Life Extensions menopause supplements contain white kidney bean extracts to help maintain the balance of gut hormones that control appetite and satiety, which may reduce the urge to snack frequently.

The product does not contain genetically modified organisms and is gluten-free. It is also suitable for people who follow a vegetarian diet.

The company recommends that people eat healthy foods and exercise regularly while taking these supplements. People should take 1 capsule twice per day before meals.

They come with a 100% money-back guarantee, and each bottle contains 60 capsules.

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There Is A Solution To Weight Gain In Menopause

7 years ago my thyroid was removed and the shock to my endocrine system caused the start of menopause. It took 2 years to find the right dosage of the medication for my body to function normally and to prevent my body from gaining more weight. The roller coaster of weight loss and gain had taken its toll on my body in the form of 10 extra pounds. I had maintained a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, trained for marathons, but I still couldnt lose the weight. Then I changed my strategy and started taking my diet and workouts more seriously.

On the left before menopause, on the right during menopause.

Weight gain is one of the most undesirable and frustrating side effects of menopause. The ovaries produce both progesterone and estrogen, but those hormone levels drop during menopause. Your body is now more sensitive to carbohydrates and fluctuating blood sugar levels. The body uses protein less effectively than before and building and maintaining muscle is harder.

Your body composition starts to change, and many women start to gain weight around the midsection. The recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise per week is no longer enough to maintain your weight.


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