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How to lose weight during Menopause?

During Menopause, the body undergoes several changes - including a decrease in hormone production, which can lead to a slower metabolism. This can make it difficult for women to maintain a healthy weight and feel energized. However, there are several ways to boost metabolism during menopause.
October 19, 2023

Let's talk about something real: menopause and weight gain. Feels like everywhere we turn, someone's complaining about the pounds piling on during Menopause. But what's the deal, and more importantly, can we do anything about it?

You're not alone, sister! According to studies, average weight gain varies widely with 20% of women gaining 10 pounds or more during this transition period. Over 43% of menopausal women are obese and women gain about 1.5 pounds per year during their 50s and 60s.

It's not just your imagination. Our bodies go through some major hormonal shifts during this time, and those changes can affect our metabolism and how we store fat.

So, what's the science behind this weight gain during Menopause?

  • Hormonal Fluctuations: Our good friend estrogen dips during menopause, and that can lead to increased belly fat storage. Think apple-shaped instead of pear-shaped, ladies! This shift comes with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
  • Decline in Muscle Mass: As we age, our muscle mass naturally decreases. Muscles are calorie-burning machines, so less of them means a slower metabolism and, yep, easier weight gain.
  • Hot Flashes: Those pesky hot flashes and night sweats can seriously disrupt our sleep. When we're sleep-deprived, our bodies produce more cortisol, a stress hormone that can encourage belly fat storage.
  • Insulin Resistance: Our bodies might become less efficient at using insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. This can lead to weight gain, too.

So, what can we do to fight back against this menopausal weight gain?

How to lose weight during Menopause?

Calorie Deficit is Key. Remember, to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we consume. Focus on eating healthy, balanced meals and incorporating regular exercise to create a sustainable calorie deficit.

Which diet to follow?

Some dietary approaches work well for menopausal weight loss. We can explore options like:

  • Low-Carb Diet: Studies show it can be effective for reducing abdominal fat, a major concern during menopause. Think whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein.
  • Mediterranean Diet: This heart-healthy plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. It's a winner for overall health and weight management.
  • Plant-Based Power: Vegetarian or vegan diets can be great options for weight loss and improving overall health during menopause. Just make sure you get enough protein from sources like beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts.

Importance of Exercise & Yoga

Don't underestimate the power of movement! A combo of resistance training and cardio is your best bet:

  • Resistance Training: Building and maintaining muscle mass is crucial for boosting metabolism and keeping weight off. Think weights, bands, or even bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges.
  • Cardio Cardio Cardio: Whether it's brisk walking, swimming, dancing, or cycling, regular cardio helps burn calories and reduce belly fat. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Yoga for Balance and Wellness: While resistance training and cardio are dynamic powerhouses, yoga brings a unique blend of strength, flexibility, and mindfulness to the table. Gentle stretches, mindful breathing, and flowing postures can engage your entire body, from core to fingertips. It can help reduce belly fat, improve sleep quality, and decrease stress, all of which contribute to healthy weight management during menopause. Plus, its gentle nature makes it an accessible option for women of all fitness levels. So, whether you're a seasoned yogi or a curious newcomer, roll out your mat and unlock the magic of mindful movement!

But wait, there's more! Lifestyle tweaks can also make a big difference:

  • Prioritize quality sleep! Aim for 7-8 hours each night. If hot flashes are keeping you up, talk to your doctor about strategies like cooling pads or relaxation techniques.
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress, like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on hormones and weight management.
  • Practice mindful eating to connect with your body's hunger and fullness cues. This helps avoid emotional eating and unhealthy snacking.

Remember, ladies, every journey is unique. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results overnight. Celebrate small wins, focus on progress over perfection, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Menopause might throw some curveballs, but we've got the knowledge and the strength to hit them out of the park!