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Why Is It So Difficult To Lose Weight After Menopause

Keep Portions In Check And Time Your Meals Right

How to lose weight after 50.

Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you dont reduce the number of calories you consume, says Christine Palumbo, RD, a nutrition expert in Chicago.

Its also this time in your life, Palumbo notes, when you may be easing up from the daily duties of preparing meals for your family, and you just want to take a break from the kitchen. She has cooked for 25 years, and is sick of it, and she just wants to go out to eat, says Palumbo. What happens then is that you will inevitably eat twice as many calories as you need at that meal, and its often accompanied by alcohol, which is also associated with abdominal weight gain. Order appetizers as entrees and ask for a to-go container for leftovers when you do indulge in a large main course.

High Intensity Interval Training

One study found that women who followed HIIT workouts lost twice as much weight and improved their body composition more than endurance exercisers. A second study found that HIIT-style exercise training can reduce abdominal fat.

“Bump up the intensity of your aerobic exercise, slowly at first, until you get in better cardio shape,” Upton says. “Think about trying high-intensity functional fitness like CrossFit or a boot camp-style workout.”

Weight Gain During Perimenopause And Menopause

Why is it so much easier to put on pounds as you get older? During perimenopause , estrogen levels start to decline. That hormonal shift slows your metabolism, says Dr. Pattimakiel. Every year we get older, our metabolisms slow down. Then around menopause, its common to see a significant drop.

That sloth-like metabolism means even if you eat the same healthy diet you ate in your 30s, youre more likely to gain weight. It also makes it that much harder to drop pounds youve already put on. When your metabolism is slower, its harder to lose weight, she says.

As if thats not frustrating enough, mid-life pounds tend to settle around your middle. Unfortunately, extra fat in the abdomen increases the risk of heart-related problems, Dr. Pattimakiel says. So its worth making some changes to keep your weight in the healthy zone as you get older.

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Find A Balance Between High And Low Intensity Exercise

I often find that as women reach menopause, this is the moment in their lives when they have more free time to start doing more training and they often set themselves challenges like training for a marathon, doing a sports event theyve always wanted to do or just start exercising more in general. This is great in so many ways, especially if youre outdoors in nature, getting fresh air and working your heart. However, its important to strike a balance if youre doing intense exercise, also focus on some stress relieving activity such as walking, yoga, meditation and just being still.

If youre extremely stressed at work or in your home life, is this the time to be putting huge strain on your adrenal output by adding in an intense exercise schedule? This doesnt mean you shouldnt do intense exercise or go for a big event youve always wanted to do. But you do need to reflect on whether your body is in a good place to manage this shift is there a middle ground you could start with and see how your body reacts?

What Causes Weight Loss During Menopause

Time to act on obesity: why is it so difficult to lose ...

Weight fluctuation during a womans change is, without a doubt, one of the most common side effects. While most women seem to experience some sort of weight gain during the process, some women notice that they lose weight. Although losing weight at an unwanted rate usually leads to fatigue, mental fog and the inability to lead a normal life, it usually renders many women feeling powerless.

When our system becomes less sensitive to estrogen and progesterone, this can affect our appetite and causes some women to under-eat.

To understand this weight fluctuation in the body, we need to explore the hormonal changes developing below the surface. Without getting into the scientific details, its essential to know that our ovaries produce two hormones that control our biological functions: estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are what assist you through your menstrual cycles, maintain fertility and allow you to feel like an empowered woman.

However, our menopause symptoms can wreak havoc on these hormones. In short, the ovaries stop producing eggs within the ovarian follicles and our system becomes less sensitive to estrogen and progesterone. This has an adverse affect on our appetite and causes some women to under-eat as the process occurs.

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Ways To Lose Weight After Menopause

  • Hormone Therapy
  • 4 Ways to Lose Weight
  • Menopause refers to the change in a womans life when her menstrual cycles cease, and she is no longer fertile . As normal hormone production continues to decline during perimenopause and menopause, a variety of troublesome symptoms may start to occur, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and more.

    But no side-effect of menopause is more frustrating than weight gain. Eventually the hot flashes and mood fluctuations will go away but most women are stuck for the rest of their lives with the unwanted weight gain that accompanies menopause.

    And weight gain is much more than just a cosmetic issue! Weight gain not only dramatically decreases a womans self-esteem, it also can significantly increase her risk for virtually every major chronic disease, including: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer.

    In this article Austin, TX menopause and hormone expert Dr. Ruthie Harper explains what causes weight gain during menopause and how you can effectively prevent new weight gain and lose those unwanted pounds.

    Get Flexible With Gentle Yoga

    Gentle yoga is not a substitute for intense exercise, but, it is still important for losing weight after menopause. This is because yoga helps you to get the most out of all of your other physical activities. When you are feeling stiff and sore, the last thing you want to go is go to the gym. Likewise, if you are suffering from a lack of flexibility, lifting weights may be uncomfortable.

    At the end of the day, losing weight after 50 requires a comprehensive plan. Walking is important, but, it is not enough by itself. We need to be willing to pick up the pace. We also need to embrace intense workouts that really get our hearts pumping. Finally, we need to find ways to stay flexible. This could include stretching or gentle yoga.

    Losing weight after menopause isnt fair. As a result, we can no longer rely on dieting and walking to get in shape. We need to take exercising seriously. When we do, there is nothing to stop us from being in the best shape of our lives after 60.

    Looking for even more tips on how to get in shape after the dreaded middle age spread? This video will help!

    What do you do to stay in shape? Have you found it difficult to lose weight after menopause? Do you agree that losing weight after 60 requires us to take more extreme measures? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.

    Let’s Have a Conversation!

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    Shrink Belly Fat With Tai Chi Or Quigong

    Maybe youve never tried it or perhaps youve seen a group of people practicing tai chi together in a public park but a recent research study from Hong Kong showed that this Chinese discipline of low-impact meditative movements could help trim waistlines in middle aged and older adults. This study, published in the June 2021 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that people age 50 and older with central obesity who practiced tai chi for 12 weeks shrunk their bellies as successfully as those who participated in aerobic exercise and strength training for the same amount of time. The study authors wrote that tai chi health benefits similar to those of conventional exercise and thus provides an alternative and more amenable exercise modality for middle-aged and older adults to manage central obesity.

    How Can You Lose Weight

    How Women Lose Weight In Menopause

    While losing weight becomes harder with age, its still achievable.

    As women age, they need to consume fewer calories and increase levels of physical activity to avoid gaining weight. A combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity is the most effective strategy for maintaining a healthy weight and for weight loss. Based on your age and level of physical activity, determine what an appropriate caloric intake is and try to stick to it. One of our healthcare professionals can help you identify your optimal caloric intake to ensure its accurate and effective.

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    Eat Less Exercise More To Avoid Weight Gain

    Gass says that while weight gain is not inevitable, most middle-aged women need to eat less and exercise more than they once did to maintain their weight.

    âVirtually all of my patients who have been successful tell me they have done this,â she says.

    She notes that weight gain around the time of menopause is much less common in Japan than in the U.S., suggesting that Western eating patterns are largely to blame.

    Women in Japan typically eat more fruits, vegetables, and fish, and less sugar, red meat, and fast food than women in the United States.

    âJapanese women also live longer than women in any other country , and their healthier diets are a major reason for this,â Gass says.

    Barone Gibbs, B. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Aug. 28, 2012.

    Bethany Barone Gibbs, PhD, assistant professor, department of health and physical activity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Susan Williams, film producer, Atlanta, Ga.

    News release, Academy of Nutrition.

    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.
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    Why Menopause Makes Weight Loss So Hard

    Menopause officially starts when a person hasnt had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Around this time, it may be very hard to lose weight.

    In fact, many people notice that they actually start putting on weight during perimenopause, which can begin a decade prior to menopause.

    Several factors play a role in weight gain around menopause, including:

    • Hormone fluctuations. Both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage .
    • Loss of muscle mass. This occurs due to age, hormonal changes, and decreased physical activity .
    • Inadequate sleep. Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain .
    • Increased insulin resistance. Women often become insulin resistant as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult (

    Whats more, fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to the abdomen during menopause. This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease .

    Therefore, strategies that promote the loss of abdominal fat are particularly important at this stage of life.


    Menopause may lead to hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass, poor sleep, and insulin resistance. These effects may, in turn, increase the risk of weight gain.

    Why Is So Hard To Lose Menopausal Fat

    Why is it so hard to lose weight

    menopausal fatFat helps to regulate production of estrogen, the female hormone, which we are losing in menopause.EstrogenFat cells also can produce some estrogen, that’s why overweight women have fewer problems with hot flashes and osteoporosis, when they are going through menopause.leptinProgesterone women’s fat cells are trying to compensate the decrease, by expanding. The bigger the fat cells become, the more estrogen will be made and… our waistlines are expanding with it.TestosteroneDeficiency of testosterone results in a loss of muscle tissue and lean body mass. Lean body mass burns calories at a higher metabolic rate, so any reduction of muscles results in menopausal weight gain and accumulation of menopausal belly fat .– In order to keep the same level of weight, you have to burn the same amount of calories as you eat. – If you burn more calories than you eat, you are going to lose weight. – If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. -Slow down metabolism related to aging.-Decline in hormones will have impact on menopausal belly fat as well.-The best diet Healthy Eating Plan– ExerciseNow that you see the relation between menopausal belly fat and your lifestyle go ahead and fight

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    Lifestyle Changes May Not Always Be Enough To Control Biologically Driven Body Changes

    You spend hours in the gym every day. You eat nothing but grilled chicken, fish, and salads. Yet the numbers on the scale don’t budge or worse, they slowly creep up, along with your waist measurement.

    Welcome to menopause.

    “The change” actually does bring changes for many women, including weight gain that can resist even the most diligent efforts to reverse it, says Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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    How To Lose Weight After Menopause

    So now we know 4 of the factors that contribute to weight gain during menopause . How do we address these?

    Method #1: Strength Training

    If the first factor that causes menopause weight gain is loss of muscle mass, then what should we do to stop, and reverse that? The obvious increase muscle mass. How do we do that? Strength training. Cardio doesnt build muscle. Neither does stretching. Although both cardio and stretching are beneficial, muscle gain is not the reason for their benefit.

    Strength training is the only type of exercise that can increase muscle mass.

    So do some strength training. Youll see a bit more detail on exercise for menopause weight gain below.

    Method #2: Sleep Better

    As outlined earlier in this article, poor sleep causes a lot of problems. So fix your sleep. Ive written extensively about improving your sleep, so if you want to read about that in more detail, check out these articles that Ive written:

  • What Happens When You Sleep
  • Method #3: Hormonal Optimization

    Numerous studies show that hormone replacement therapy improves body composition. But you should weigh both the risks and the rewards of it, and look at other systems that may need to be optimized before HRT is an option.

    For these kinds of matters, I send my clients to Dr. John Dempster. He works miracles with them.

    Now, of course, thats done in studies. What about some

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    Losing Weight After Menopause Isnt Fair But Its Still Possible

    If life was fair, losing weight after menopause would be just as easy as at any other stage in our lives. Unfortunately, life isnt fair. When I was in my 20s, I could look at a pair of walking shoes and drop 5 pounds. Now, in my 60s, it feels like I could run a marathon and gain weight from the water that they served along the way.

    Of course, Im exaggerating here. But, doesnt it feel like this at times?

    When I talk with the other women in our community, almost all of them say that they eat better now than at any other point in their lives. My kids joke that I eat like a bird. Personally, Im pretty sure that salads and protein shakes dont count as bird food. I probably eat more carefully than most birds, thank you very much!

    So, if most of us are eating better, why is it that we struggle with losing weight after menopause? The simple answer, of course, is our aging bodies.

    After menopause, our hormones shift dramatically. This is especially true of estrogen, which influences so many aspects of how our bodies work.

    For an excellent overview of what happens to our bodies before and during menopause, watch my interview with registered nurse, Julie Dargan. Then, lets return to the discussion of how we can fight back and get in shape after menopause.

    What Are The Best Exercises To Lose Weight During Menopause

    How To Lose Weight After Menopause (FAST & NATURAL!)

    Healthy food choices and regular physical activity go hand in hand to promote healthy weight loss during menopause.

    Around 150 to 175 minutes of physical activity per week are recommended for weight loss. Exercise has many benefits during menopause, such as:

    • Improves your heart health, reducing your risk for heart disease

    • Burns calories that can promote weight loss

    • Reduces stress and anxiety, while promoting mood

    • Increases flexibility and can reduce aches and pains

    • Reduces hot flashes

    • Improves sleep

    What should exercise look like for you? It depends on where you are starting from. This could mean a brisk 30 minute walk five days per week, taking more high intensity group exercise classes at your local gym, or a mix of several activities you enjoy.

    Curious about HIIT? Check out our guide HIIT – The Secret to Losing Weight During Menopause

    High intensity intermittent exercise , or shorter but more intense exercise, has been shown to promote fat loss much better than aerobic exercise. Resistance exercises, like weight lifting, increase your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories you expend on a daily basis. A mix of exercises is a good way to lose the meno 10, especially in the belly.

    Whatever you enjoy doing most, be sure to first speak with your healthcare provider to make sure what and how much exercise is right for you. This is especially important if youre new to exercising regularly, starting a different activity routine than normal, or have injuries or pain.

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