By: Tayler Glenn
Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone, but losing weight during and after menopause can just seem impossible! With hormonal changes and the natural side-effects of aging working against you, many women complain of a shift in fat to the midsection even if the number on the scale hasn’t changed. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Here’s what’s behind those sneaky changes and a few tips on managing menopausal weight gain to tip the scales back in your favor.
Menopausal Weight Gain: The Why
Unfortunately weight gain during this time of our lives is common, but not unbeatable! Your body is going through changes which means the old methods that used to keep you in shape may not be working as well as it used to – or not at all. Women tend to gain about 10 to 15 pounds on average—from 3 to 30 pounds is the typical range—during and after menopause. And because your metabolic mechanism is in the process of shifting, that weight is not going to want to come off easily! So, what’s the deal?
Doctors think several different factors work together to explain menopausal weight gain:
- We burn fat more slowly as our bodies age over time.
- Many women begin to have trouble sleeping which is linked to weight gain
- Many women exercise less as they age due to illness, injury, or lack of mobility
- Loss of muscle mass
- Hormone fluctuations – Both elevated and low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage + may cause your body to store fat in new places
- Women can become insulin resistant as they age
- Medications and prescriptions can cause weight gain as well
- Poor eating habits
As you can see, there isn’t just one place to point the finger when it comes to menopausal weight gain. There are plenty of factors in place and, while many of them lie outside your control, there are a few lifestyle changes you can still make to help!
Managing Menopausal Weight Gain
Whatever the cause, more menopausal women in the U.S. are currently overweight than who sit at a normal, healthy weight. And those extra pounds aren’t just making a difference in your wardrobe – they come with health concerns, too! You can’t stop the hormonal changes that come with time and aging, but you can do plenty to address lifestyle habits and stressors that will help you manage menopausal weight gain.
Reduce Portion Sizes
To maintain your current weight during and after menopause, you may not need as many calories as you’re used to eating. In fact, you may find you need ~200 fewer calories a day during your 50s than you did during your 30s and 40s! Start by logging your food for a week, then take a look to see where you can cut back a touch here and there. It may be switching your morning latte to an au lait, skipping out on Happy Hour, or swapping your nightly ice cream for a TLS® Nutrition Shake!
Dial in Your Diet
To reduce calories without skimping on nutrition, you’ll want to pay close attention to what you’re eating and drinking throughout the day! Replace packaged and processed foods with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Kick the Sweets
Added sugars account for nearly 300 calories a day in the average American diet. The worst part? Half of these come from easy-to-replace foods like sodas, energy drinks, sweetened coffees, baked goods, and candy! Try to limit sweets to an occasional treat and replace the others with fruits or one of the delicious recipes on our Pinterest board!
Regular exercise helps boost your metabolism and helps your body shed fat faster overall, but strength training is crucial! Cardio is great, don’t get us wrong, but muscle dictates metabolism so walking around the track isn’t going to lead you to major change.
Major life changes aren’t easy, and no one expects you to know how to manage all of this alone! With diet, metabolism, and life changes that all need to come together to create healthy, sustainable weight loss, it’s only fair you have the support you need to reach success. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who support a healthy you at every shape while also supporting a healthy diet and physical activity.
Whether you need help finding a meal plan that fits, supplementation that works for you, or help to create a lifestyle you love, visit us at TLS® Weight Loss Solution to find your fit!
What questions do you have about managing menopausal weight gain?