Are you struggling with hot flashes, mood changes, trouble sleeping, and above all, weight gain? Welcome to menopause.
Menopause is a natural process that every woman goes through. It can be a very frustrating time though – especially when you try and eat healthy and get exercise but the belly fat and weight continue to increase.
So why do most women gain weight during menopause? Not every woman gains weight during this time, but almost every woman does notice redistribution of fat. You start to see more fat accumulation around the belly – also called visceral fat.
An increase in visceral fat increases your risk of developing many diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, as fat mass increases, your muscle mass decreases. Unfortunately, when you lose muscle, you also slow down your metabolic rate, which further adds to weight gain.
In fact, muscle mass decreases about 3 to 8% every decade after the age of 30, and the rate of muscle loss is even higher after you hit 60 years.
All this may sound like a hopeless situation, but here are 4 ways to fight weight gain during menopause:
- Decrease your overall caloric intake. A woman who is 65 years old needs to eat about 500 less calories than when she was 35 years old. This is because her metabolic rate has slowed.
- Eat more protein. Make sure your protein is coming from lean meats, dairy in moderation, and even plant-based sources. Be sure to minimize processed carbs as much as possible and focus on eating more whole foods like beans, legumes, and vegetables. Also, include more nuts, seeds, and olive oil in your diet.
- Stay physically active. This is more important than ever. In fact, if you have to choose between cardio and strength training, go for the strength training. Strength training will help burn calories better in the setting of a lower metabolic rate. Ideally, aim for 2 days of strength training and about 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise like a brisk walk.
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep at night and watch those stress levels. High levels of stress can undo all the hard work you put into your weight loss process.
So even though menopause can be a challenging phase when it feels like everything is working against you, remember that redirecting your focus on making healthier lifestyle and dietary changes are often enough to combat the weight gain.
Helping women lose weight and effectively navigate menopause successfully is something we do each and every day. If you are ready to make such changes in your life, we are here to help. Visit https://healthymeweightloss.com to get started.