Losing weight during and after menopause may seem impossible! Hormone changes, stress and the aging process can all work against you.
However, there are several steps you can take to make weight loss easier during this time.
Why does menopause make it so hard to lose weight?
Well, menopause officially starts when a woman hasn’t had a menstrual cycle in 12 months but pre-menopause can begin 10 years prior to menopause.
Women find it really hard to lose weight around this time.
In fact, woman notice they actually gain weight around this time. Factors that can play a roll in weight gain during menopause are:
• Hormonal 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 and poor sleep is linked to weight gain.
• Increased insulin resistance: women often become insulin resistance as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult.
Another annoying factor is that fat storage shifts from your hips and thighs to your abdomen during menopause.
This increases health risks such as; metabolic Syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
So, losing belly fat is very important! So ladies! Here are some tips to help you lose weight and keep the weight off!!
1. Be on a calorie deficit! Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight!
During and after menopause women’s resting expenditure and the calories she burns during rest declines.
2. Don’t go on a low calorie diet for a long period of time!
Restricting calories to a low level can cause loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate. So while low calorie diets are good short term, I wouldn’t recommend them for a long period of time.
3. Lift weights! Resistance training is extremely effective as it increases muscle mass and also preserves muscle. More muscle = more calories burned!
4. Get plenty of sleep!
People who sleep less have higher levels of ghrelin, which is the ‘hunger hormone’ and lower levels of leptin, which is known as the ‘fullness hormone’ so people that sleep less are more likely to be overweight.
5. Find someway to relieve stress!
Stress relief is so important during the menopausal transition as stress can increase the risk of heart disease and also elevates the level of cortisol, which is associated with increased abdominal fat.
6. Eat well!
Don’t gorge on sugary and processed foods, opt for foods that are high in protein and lower in carbohydrates.
Protein keeps you full and increases your metabolic rate and decreases the muscle loss during weight loss.
While Menopause can make the weight loss process more challenging, it is still very much able to overcome and continue to progress and reach your body shape or fitness goals.
Thanks for listening x
Marie Nicol – Personal Trainer