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Why Is It Hard To Lose Weight During Menopause

Which Exercises Can Help

Why is it so hard to lose weight during menopause?

Regular exercise offers many benefits before, during, and after menopause. Data shows that regular exercise can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as lower the risk of depression and cognitive decline.

But specific exercises can be especially beneficial when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off during perimenopause and menopause:

When it comes to shedding pounds during menopause, variety and consistency are key. In other words, incorporating several different exercises into your routine regularly will be the most effective in helping you lose weight and keep it off. Studies show that a combination of aerobics, strength training, and balance exercises is the most effective strategy to help manage weight and reduce symptom severity and psychological distress during menopause.

Exercise can benefit your health and body in a variety of ways, including weight loss and especially during menopause. Finding the right approach for you can help set you up for great health now and for years to come.

Further reading:

Why Weight Gain Often Happens After Menopause

What is it about menopause that makes it so hard to keep off the weight? Itâs 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. Itâs possible the same thing happens with women when estrogen levels drop after menopause. Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a womanâs 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:

  • Youâre less likely to exercise. Sixty percent of adults arenât 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 youâre exercising, no matter what your past activity levels were.

Also Check: What Age Is The Average Menopause

Make A Plan To Stay Active

With age, many people let exercise fall to the bottom of their priority list.;Maybe it’s because they’re busy, maybe it’s because they’ve become less body conscious with age, or maybe it’s due to comfortable ruts.;

Regardless, the priority shift away from activity can have consequences.;Many experts believe midlife weight gain has more to do with lifestyle than with hormonal factors related to menopause.

So;your plan to lose weight;after menopause;should include a program to stay active. You may want to;invest in a fitness tracker or activity monitor;to make sure you’re getting enough movement to slim down or stay lean.

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Your Homework For This Week

So I hope this has been helpful for you, and let me know your success stories if youre actually trying to lose weight. So I think this week your little task will be try and get 10 minutes to half an hour everyday of some kind of exercise. It could be just running up and down the stairs. It could be just skipping. Buy a skipping rope. Its great exercise, and its amazing how fit you can get just doing that for 10, 15 minutes a day. So do let me know how you get on, and I will look forward to seeing you next week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause. And next week, I think, will be a question and answer session, so I look forward to seeing you then.

Changes In Oestrogen Hormone

4 Ideal Ways to Lose Weight During Menopause

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 doesnât 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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Indulge In Some Cardio

You will be surprised to know that the deposition of abdominal fats has been found to be a contributing factor to the increased risks of insulin resistance.

Cardio training has immense impacts in handling the weight gain and preventing the unprecedented problems many face with losing the excess pounds.

Additionally, these forms of exercises have important impacts on improving the cardiovascular health of an individual.

The three types of cardio training that you can indulge in include:

  • Interval training
  • Circuit training
  • Speed play

When it comes on how to lose weight during menopause, the process is not just tough but there are a number of other factors influencing or rather, preventing the steady weight loss process. Be firm on your decisions and ensure that you do stick to the effective ways and make healthier switches to ones diet and lifestyle.

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Crash Diets Don’t Work

You’ve probably noticed that crash diets don’t work the weight just comes right back again. The problem in perimenopause is that weight loss is more complex than “calories in/calories out” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change your metabolism and lose unwanted pounds.

When your hormones are out of balance in perimenopause, balancing your hormones and optimizing your overall health are virtual requirements for losing unwanted weight and belly fat. A healthy diet and lifestyle and specific medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements can all help you get there.;

Just because that fat hasn’t budged lately doesn’t mean that it won’t when you try a different approach!

Want even more new ideas for stopping hormonal weight gain? Read our article: Demystifying perimenopausal weight gain.

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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.

The Fix How To Make A Start On Improving Stress Levels

In Menopause or Heading there? Why its Harder to Lose Weight!
  • Honestly and clearly examine your life.;
  • Identify your stress points and work out a strategy of change to minimise them
  • Meditation. I know everyone preaches learn meditation but it is honestly one of the best things I have done to minimise my stress levels.
  • Apps like Calm or Headspace are a good way to get started.
  • Book your self some regular me time every month. Take a day off just for you and do something you love For me this is poking around dusty old museums or bookshops and then going for a coffee somewhere on my own. Figure out what you love and do it every month. Just for you.

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The Fix How To Make A Start On Healing Your Leaky Gut

  • Take a good Probiotic. Probiotics help to populate your intestine with good bacteria to redress the balance. You need a powerful one. Those probiotic yoghurt drinks wont touch the sides {view Probiotics on amazon]
  • Start eating and drinking fermented foods containing good bacteria. These will help to rebalance your gut in the right direction.
  • Examples include
  • Reduce stress

Is There Need For Hormone Therapy

HRT is basically replacing your lost estrogen levels. It is using estrogen and progesterone to treat common and normal symptoms of menopause.

Women can undergo a hormone therapy if they are experiencing hot flashes or even pain thats going over the normal limit. Of course, it is necessary to talk to your doctor before you choose anything. There are benefits of hormone therapy but there are also risks.

Read Also: What Are The Signs Of Menopause Symptoms

Why Is It Difficult: Lose Weight During Menopause

During the climax, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the blood are radically dropped and it leads to a decrease in the rate of metabolism. Often, during any stage of menopause, women observe the appearance of fat in the abdomen and legs. In addition to hormonal changes, such a task as to weight loss or before causes more difficulties because of a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in the percentage of body fat. Such changes in the female body occur from around the age of 30 or 40. Because muscle tissue is metabolically active and burns more calories even during rest time, its reduction leads to the deposition of wasted energy in the form of fats. Another supporting factor in weight gain is a female low activity due to minimized energy levels. So, it becomes harder to pick the best menopause diet plan.

Moreover, sleep disorders encountered during the climax are associated with a decrease in the levels of female hormones. Accordingly, a lack of sleep significantly complicates the process of losing weight and stimulate weight gain. Magnesium will help calm the nervous system and improve the quality of sleep.

As a result, dropped levels of female hormones, weak muscle mass, and sleep disorders are the main factors that complicate the process of losing weight after climax. Bad habits such as drinking alcohol only interfere with normal sleep and poor nutrition and of course may aggravate the problem. So, the question comes, how to lose weight in menopause?

Focus On Consuming Wholesome Meals

How To Lose Weight During Menopause

Many women when they plan on for their perimenopause weight loss tend to build up unrealistic diet plans.

You will be shocked to know that one of the primary reasons why women fail to lose weight during menopause is because they spruce up unrealistic goals and diet plans.

That is not how it works. If you have been consuming a healthy diet before you stepped into menopause, it is very important to ensure that you do focus on consuming healthy meals all along.

They key to ensure long term weight management is to have a realistic diet plans that helps keep your nutritional needs into consideration.

Consuming a healthy and wholesome meal has beneficial impacts in handling the condition associated with the accessory symptoms of fatigue, stress etc.

Even a conducted study did find that women focusing on the calorie control are less likely to lose weight in comparison to the ones who focus on healthy eating.

Crash diets can end up making you lose muscles momentarily but the same isnt going to be prove out beneficial in the long run and might even end up making you gain more than you anticipate.

Read Also: Do You Get Sore Breasts With Menopause

Why Is It So Much Harder To Lose Weight After Menopause


Medically reviewed by: Sharon D. Malone, M.D., FACOG, CNMP

When we go through menopause, our bodies go through a metamorphosis much like they did in puberty just minus the vertical growth spurt.;

Where puberty ushered in an estrogen surge that led to the onset of your period, perimenopause rapidly slows the production of estrogen and progesterone, which aside from ovulation and thickening your uterine lining, are also thought to regulate energy balance and appetite.

The result? An average weight gain of 5 to 8 lbs. between the onset of perimenopause and our last period.


Whats happening here?

According to the Mayo Clinic, women often gain weight during perimenopause because:

We lose muscle mass. As we age, its normal to lose muscle mass and gain fat more easily. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows and you body burns fewer calories, which makes it harder to lose weight.;

Youre genetically predisposed to weight gain. Genetics can contribute to adding pounds during menopause. If your mom or female relatives gained weight, theres a good chance you will too.

You sleep less. If you suffer from hot flashes that interrupt your sleep, you get less sleep and that slows metabolism even more.;


With so much stacked against us, is it time to hit the couch? #NetflixandChill

Dont skip meals.

Up your cardio.;

Add weights to your workout.

Get enough sleep .

Eat fewer carbs

Tips For Menopause Weight Loss

Whether youre just starting perimenopause or have already bid a fond farewell to your last period, its never too late to get your eating back on track. These strategies can help you avoid weight gain after menopause.

  • Look at the big picture. You cant avoid your metabolism slowing down. But thats rarely the only factor contributing to weight gain, says Dr. Pattimakiel. Maybe recurring knee pain is interfering with your exercise plans. Or your busy caregiving schedule doesnt leave much energy for planning and cooking healthy meals. By identifying the hurdles to a healthier lifestyle, you can brainstorm ways to sidestep them.
  • Keep track. Its easy to lose track of the chips you munch mindlessly in front of the TV or not realize how much oatmeal youre eating every morning. A food journal can help you keep tabs on how much youre really eating and identify reasonable places to cut back.
  • Focus on healthy calories. Build your meals around healthy calories like lean proteins and veggies. Try to cut back on the not-so-healthy fare. It can be harder to burn starchy carbs like bread, pasta and baked goods, so be mindful of cutting back or avoiding those, Dr. Pattimakiel says. Beverages, too, are often a source of sneaky calories. To cut back, reach for sparkling water in place of wine or soda. Add a splash of milk to brewed coffee instead of ordering a latte.
  • Recommended Reading: Do You Put On Weight With Menopause

    Tips For Losing Weight After Menopause

    You may think since an imbalance of hormones is the cause of your weight gain, hormone therapy can solve your problems. While hormone therapy does treat weight gain, it poses additional health risks.

    Most doctors dont recommend hormone therapy unless you have other health problems. Instead, you should try to address your menopausal weight gain with diet and exercise.

    Make a sustainable plan. Weight loss is a long-term goal and should be treated that way. In order to maintain weight loss, you need to make lifestyle changes that support your health. Dont think about going on a diet. Instead, rethink your relationship with food. Make healthy eating a priority.


    Keep it simple. Diet plans and exercise regimens often have hefty price tags and flashy promises. Weight loss fads may give you short-term results, but will they last? Dont overcomplicate weight loss. Its about eating less and moving more. Be serious about sticking to a healthy diet and watching how much you eat. Its OK to splurge once in a while on treats, but every day cant be a cheat day.

    Count on cardio. Burning more calories than you take in is what causes weight loss. You should get at least 30 minutes of activity, 5 days per week. Remember that small changes can make a big difference. Park in the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    How To Lose Weight In Menopause

    How to lose weight during the menopause

    Instead of dieting harder, its time to get smarter. We show you the best ways to lose weight in menopause

    ByClaire Fox2020-10-18T02:02:57Z

    If youre struggling to lose weight in menopause, let us assure you: its not all down to overeating.;

    Hormonal changes, broken sleep, stress and reduced muscle mass can all play into menopausal weight gain. So to lose weight in menopause you need more than just a diet – you need to understand your body.;

    Below we talk you through some of the root causes of menopausal weight gain, along with the best diet and exercise approaches, so can you start to work with your body instead of against it.

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