Avoid Menopause Weight Gain

Unfortunately, many women during and after menopause experience weight gain.  It is estimated that approximately 2/3 of menopausal women experience a weight gain of upwards of 15 pounds.  Approximately 30% of these women are not only overweight, but they are obese. Obesity can increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.  If your waist measurement is more than 35 inches, it is time to get serious and get rid of some weight. 

With menopause the estrogen level decreases.  Estrogen seems to help control body weight.  The metabolism rate becomes lower with decreased estrogen levels.  A lack of estrogen may hinder the body’s ability to effectively manage sugars and starches. 

When you age you are likely to slow down your physical activities.  You lose muscle mass which contributes to lowering your metabolism.  You no longer use up energy as you did when you were younger, so you may need to increase physical activities to prevent weight gain.   

If you want to avoid gaining weight during menopause you need a plan.  Try keeping a food journal for the first week. By journaling what you eat and the portions you will be able to see in black and white what you are consuming. After you have kept your food journal for one week it is time to study it and determine where you are going wrong.  Now is the time to make any changes necessary to avoid gaining weight. 

Perhaps you will find that you are eating too much of a food you enjoy.  It tastes good and so you go back for seconds and maybe even thirds.  Portion control is very important.  Especially after menopause when things slow down. You need to be conscious about the portion size you are eating. 

Here are a few tips to help you prevent menopause weight gain.  Avoid or limit processed foods.  Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean protein.  Eat more often and eat smaller portions. Avoid eating late in the evening just before going to bed.  When you eat out take one-half of the serving home and enjoy another meal of the leftovers the next day.   

In addition to watching what you eat it is important to engage in some physical activity.  Make it a habit to include some physical activity in your plans on most days.  Whatever exercise you enjoy is fine.  It might be walking, jogging, biking, playing tennis, swimming, participating in gym classes.  You are not going to be as fast as you were when you were younger.  Start your physical activity program slow and build up to a longer more intense workout.  You want to pace yourself.  When you are exercising you should be able to carry on a casual conversation with someone during your workout.  If you cannot carry on a conversation, then you are probably working too hard and should slow down.  You should be perspiring slightly when you have finished your workout.  The more you engage in physical activity the better your body will respond and the less you will need to worry about gaining menopause weight.