It is common for women to gain weight as they get older, especially during the menopausal phase. If you are going through menopause, you may find it challenging losing weight now compared to before. To deal with this, there are a few proactive steps you can take to help make your weight loss efforts easier.
What causes weight gain during menopause?
There are a few factors that make women gain weight as they go through menopause.
- Change in hormone level
- During menopause, oestrogen levels in women start to drop gradually. This causes the body to store more fat than before, especially around the midsection areas.
- Natural ageing
- As people age, they usually become less active and their metabolism slows down as well. These factors combined cause a reduction in muscle mass, making it easier for the body to store more fat.
- Poor sleep
- Women experience symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, which can cause sleep deprivation. A lack of good quality sleep over time can cause weight gain.
Gaining weight around the waistline and especially at menopausal age can increase your risk of certain conditions like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Therefore, it is important to address weight gain during menopause as soon as possible.
Weight loss tips during menopause
It may be more challenging losing weight during menopause because of age and hormonal changes, but there are some strategies you could use to help you beat weight gain during this phase.
Increase physical activity
Natural ageing and menopause can slow down your body’s metabolism over time. A good way to address this is to increase your physical activity levels, making sure to add in exercises that build muscle and reduce body fat like resistance training and weight lifting exercises.
Eat healthy meals
A vital part of losing unhealthy weight requires you to eat fewer calories than your body needs daily. You can start with weekly meal planning and avoiding junk food, which mostly contain unhealthy (empty) calories. You should always aim to eat and fill up on healthy food portions with fewer calories like whole grain foods, protein, fruit and vegetables.
Join weight loss groups
Weight loss groups provide support and accountability to help you make and keep your weight loss goals. The NHS has a free 12 week weight loss plan with weekly diet and exercise goals, including an online weight loss community to support you through the process.
Make key lifestyle changes
In addition to losing unhealthy weight, you should also plan to maintain your weight loss long term. Certain lifestyle changes can help you keep the weight off over time. For example, you can quit smoking, reduce your alcohol intake to moderate levels, drink more water every day and ensure you get good quality sleep at night.
Consider additional methods
In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, there are weight loss pills that can help to reduce fat storage in your body. However, it is important to always consult with your GP first and remember that weight loss pills are only effective with a healthy diet.