Menopause weight gain is something that many women experience. Men as well as women have a tendency to gain weight as they grow older and less active, but there is something special about the menopause for women. Not only are we likely to gain weight around age 50, but it starts to appear in different places. Even women who stay at the same weight will often find their middle section getting fatter.
This happens because the female hormone estrogen is present in much lower quantities in a post-menopausal woman. So the distribution of weight on a woman’s body changes at this time to be more like a man’s, that is, centered on the belly rather than the hips. Low estrogen may also be the reason for some extra weight gain, or at least a tendency to put on weight more easily. Dieting can become more of a struggle, too.
However, this does not mean that you should quit trying to have a healthy body within the normal weight range. It is possible to avoid menopause weight gain if you are aware of the dangers and resist the temptation to indulge in more high calorie foods. At the same time, it is important to keep up your levels of exercise.
This is important for other reasons as well as avoiding menopause weight gain. Exercise can help us to maintain a healthy heart at a time of life when the risk of heart attack for women rises massively. Women of childbearing age who carry fat on the hips rather than the belly have a lower risk of heart attack than men, but that changes at the menopause when more fat is stored on the torso.
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT can prevent these changes and help you to avoid menopause weight gain. However, it is only available in consultation with your doctor and is not recommended for everybody because there can be other risks associated with it. Besides, you cannot put off the menopause forever.
So what are some of the ways that you can avoid menopause weight gain? Here are a few tips.
1. Eat healthy, increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruit while reducing the amount of fat, sugar and packaged foods in your diet.
2. Take regular exercise including maintaining your muscle mass with strengthening workouts. It’s natural that we take a little less exercise as we grow older, but it’s important not to stop. Muscle that is not maintained will turn to fat.
3. Accept that there will be some changes in your body at this time. If your weight is within the normal range, do not panic if your weight measurement increases a little. This is redistribution of weight, not gain. If you are overweight, do not look for a crash diet but find a healthy eating plan that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
Of course, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss or fitness program, especially if you have any health conditions. Your doctor will also be able to help you with menopause weight gain and how to avoid it.