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How to Lose Weight During Menopause: Know Your Options

Menopause is a normal process that all women experience. However, it’s no secret that menopause can cause certain uncomfortable symptoms, from mood swings and excessive sweating to vaginal changes. Weight gain is common during menopause, and it’s something that worries many women.
A woman standing on the scale

However, there are many ways to stay healthy and lose weight during menopause. If you want to learn more about how to prevent weight gain after menopause, just keep reading!

Menopause and weight gain: what’s the connection? 

There are several factors leading to weight gain during menopause. Menopause causes many hormonal changes in your body. These changes can also make you more prone to gaining weight around your belly rather than in your hips and thighs. 

Age and hormonal changes also lead to a loss of muscle mass. This makes your body burn fewer calories every day, which increases your likelihood of gaining weight, even if you’re eating exactly the same type of diet as before. As we age, we also tend to decrease our daily activity levels.

Additionally, other symptoms of menopause and aging, such as inadequate sleep and insulin resistance, can also lead to weight gain. Genetics also plays a role in determining if you’ll gain weight during menopause. 

Gaining excessive weight during menopause can have serious health consequences. It can increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory conditions, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer.

How to lose weight after 50

There isn’t a magical cure to avoid gaining weight after menopause. Instead, following general weight-loss methods can help you achieve your goals. Try these tips for losing weight after menopause:

  • Eat healthier snacks. If you were used to snacking on fatty or carb-rich foods, try switching them out for a healthier alternative. Instead, snack on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbs. 
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes increases during menopause. Switch your soda for a sugarless drink, avoid candy with sugar, and use a natural sweetener in your coffee or tea.
  • Drink less alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are full of empty calories. Stick to a single serving of alcohol per day (or less).

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Healthy diets for menopausal weight loss

Once you hit menopause, you probably need fewer calories to maintain your weight. Depending on weight, height, and other factors, most women in their 50s need about 200 fewer daily calories than they did when they were younger. To lose weight, you might need even fewer. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so easy to gain weight during menopause, even if your eating habits haven’t changed. 

  • Avoid a long-term calorie deficit. Calorie deficit is a must for those who want to lose weight. However, once you reach your goal, you should go back to eating the amount of calories that your body needs. An excessive or long-term calorie deficit has been associated with slower metabolic rates and a decrease in muscle mass. As we’ve explained, this will just make the problem worse!
  • Eat healthy proteins. Protein is necessary to avoid feeling hungry during the day and to keep your muscle mass in good shape. Choose healthy protein, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and vegetable protein.
  • Consume dairy products. Menopause doesn’t just affect your weight; it can also affect your bone density. Dairy products contain calcium and have also been shown to aid in weight loss.
  • Eat more vegetables. Simple carbohydrates, such as white flour and bread, are transformed into sugar inside your body. Replace some servings of these foods with more vegetables to lower your caloric intake without feeling like you’re eating less.

Exercises for losing weight after menopause 

A woman is exercising to lose weight after menopause

Staying active isn’t just a good way to lose weight after menopause; it can also help you decrease your risk of contracting several age-related conditions such as heart disease. Always remember to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

Cardio training for menopausal weight loss

One of the top ways to improve your cardiovascular health and lose weight during menopause is to perform aerobic exercise. Most physicians recommend that senior adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Cardio training can include walking, running, swimming, and hiking, among others. 

Strength training to lose weight after menopause

Strength training can provide many benefits during menopause. Exercises like squats, lunges, and Kegels can help you avoid urinary incontinence due to low estrogen levels. It can also improve the quality of your sleep, which is a fundamental step to losing weight after menopause. Strength training has also been shown to aid in treating depression and mood swings.

These exercises are also very important to avoid muscle mass loss and improve bone density. It’s always a good idea to start a strength training routine, as long as you perform exercises right and give yourself time to recover after a workout.

Circuit training for weight loss after menopause

Circuit training is great at any age. This type of training lets you work on all your muscle groups during a single training session. It also burns a significant amount of calories. That is very important if you’re looking to lose weight during menopause. Circuit training can increase your muscle mass and endurance.

How to keep the weight loss after menopause 

Keeping the weight off after menopause will largely depend on the choices you make. As long as you commit to making healthy lifestyle choices, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest, your weight should remain stable. Of course, you can indulge occasionally or skip a couple of days of training; life is all about maintaining a balance. If you want to treat yourself once in a while, feel free to do so.

Losing weight after menopause isn’t easy, but it has many health benefits. By creating a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be reducing your risk of developing many diseases. Reaching a healthy weight is also great for your self-esteem and overall mood. It’s never too late to get in shape!

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lose-weight-in-menopause

https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-lose-weight-with-exercise-during-menopause-1230892

https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/staying-healthy-through-good-nuitrition

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