Women approaching menopause frequently lament, “Why am I getting fat?” Menopause doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, but it does entail changes that may make it harder to maintain your pre-menopausal weight.
You might notice that you put on weight more quickly than you did in the past as your estrogen levels drop during menopause.
Additionally, getting older on its own can lead to weight gain. Women are less likely to work out as frequently as they did when they were reasonably young as they get older. Additionally, muscle mass decreases as we age. Even so, weight gain following menopause is not always a given. There are actions you can take to stop the extra weight from gaining.
Here are five ways to help you maintain a steady weight on your scale.
- Get moving.
Engaging in physical activity is one of the best ways to stay healthy after menopause and maintain body and brain health into old age. Additionally, it can boost your spirits and sense of well-being. You can take up swimming, walking, cycling or golfing. It doesn’t have to be heavy-duty, just enough to get you up and to move.
Alternatively, there are many other exercises that will help you get rid of menopausal belly fat, such as planks, squatting, fast swimming, aerobics, jogging, and more. Combine these with strengthening exercises targeting all major muscles at least twice a week.
- Get inspired
The menopause hormonal changes can lead to depression, fatigue, and mood swings, none of which are conducive to being active or having the motivation to exercise and eat well. The issue of empty nest syndrome can become more problematic if your youngsters leave for college.
Women often find it simple to reassure themselves by overeating or by simply overeating in an overall sense. A woman may also feel worse about herself once she starts gaining weight, gives up, and continue gaining weight.
The key is to deal with the problems keeping you from staying active. Depression can be treated with medication or counseling. Hormone therapy may help with mood swings and fatigue. Ironically, exercise can also help with depression.
- Examine your sweet routine.
Added sugars account for nearly 300 calories a day in the typical diet. These calories are primarily obtained from sugar-sweetened beverages like juices, soft drinks, flavored waters, energy drinks, and sweetened teas and coffee, which account for about half of the total. Other foods that contribute to too much dietary sugar include ice cream, pies, candy, cookies, cakes, and doughnuts.
- Put sleep first.
Having a healthy weight and overall health requires getting enough good sleep, and poor sleep can make you gain weight. Sleep issues have been connected to skin aging and metabolic disturbance during menopause. Changes in circadian rhythms and sleep quality can impact things like hunger hormones, energy expenditure, and body fat composition. Additionally, sleep can be hampered by symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Concentrating on getting enough sound sleep can lessen weight gain brought on by menopause.
- Pick the appropriate supplements.
Taking the right supplements could give you the energy you need to accomplish your goals if you feel run down and listless. Your capacity to absorb some nutrients declines with age, raising your risk of shortcomings.
B vitamin deficiencies, such as those in B12, can make you feel down, make you tired, and prevent you from losing weight. For instance, studies show that vitamin folate and B12, two nutrients essential for generating energy, are frequently deficient in adults over 50. It is wise for people over 50 to consume a high-quality B-complex vitamin to help lower the risk of deficiency.
- Hydrate yourself properly.
As mentioned earlier, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is strongly associated with weight gain and illnesses like fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. You can reduce your risk of gaining weight and developing the aforementioned chronic conditions by switching from sugary drinks to healthy ones like herbal tea and water.
- Eat a little less.
You may require 200 fewer calories per day in your 50s than in your 40s and 30s to keep your current weight, let alone shed extra pounds. Pay close attention to what you’re consuming and drinking to cut calories without sacrificing nutrition.
Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, especially those high in fiber and less processed. A plant-based diet is generally healthier than other choices. Good options include low-fat dairy products, soy, fish, legumes, and nuts. Eat only small amounts of meat, such as red meat or chicken. Shortening, stick margarine, and butter should be replaced with oils like vegetable oil or olive oil.
- Build some strength
Women with menopause should engage in muscle-strengthening activity at least twice per week. Since you lose muscle and bone mass as you age, strength training can help you increase and maintain both. As was previously mentioned, your body burns more calories even when at rest the more muscle mass you have. Ask an instructor at your gym to put together a basic strength training regimen using weight machines, free weights, or your own body weight. Exercises like Pilates and similar ones help you gain strength, and two or three times per week is a worthwhile goal to aim for.
- Think about alternative therapies
Overall, there hasn’t been a lot of thorough, conclusive research on whether alternative medicine can help with menopause symptoms. While these treatments might not lead to substantial weight loss, they might help with symptom relief and stress reduction. Alternative and complementary therapies that could be used are:
- Herbal remedies
- Increase your intake of protein.
It’s crucial to consume enough high-quality protein in your food to prevent or reverse age-related muscle loss in addition to assisting you in losing weight. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is how many calories you burn while at rest, declines by 1-2% every decade after age 20. This is connected to the loss of muscle with aging. However, consuming a diet high in protein can aid in preventing or even reversing muscle loss. Several studies have also demonstrated that consuming more dietary protein can help weight loss and maintenance. Additionally, studies show that older women require more protein, making it even more crucial to include protein-rich foods in your snacks and meals.
It is natural for women to start gaining weight during and after menopause. It is the result of hormonal changes as well as lifestyle and diet. You can prevent weight gain by staying active and following the suggestions above. Moreover, by monitoring your calories and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can ensure to gain a slender figure and continue to stay youthful.