I don’t think any woman looks forward to menopause. We know there will be hormonal changes and on top of that, rumor has it that menopause WILL cause weight gain.
So is that true or false? Well, menopause CAN cause weight gain but it’s not inevitable and there are things we can do to prevent the dreaded added pounds and maybe even have a little weight loss!
Menopause and getting older in general can cause your resting metabolic rate to decline. This happens partially due to changes in body composition. As we age, we lose lean muscle and as a result our resting metabolism slows down. Therefore, if we do not make necessary lifestyle changes we can end up putting on weight.
Here are 4 ways to prevent menopausal weight gain:
Exercise: As we get older, many of us are less active which means we will be burning less calories. To prevent weight gain and help with weight loss, move more! Incorporate some aerobic activity at least 3 times weekly, however 5-6x weekly is recommended (150 minutes weekly). You also want to add in some resistance and/or strength training. As we mentioned before, getting older results in muscle loss but if you strengthen and build muscle you will burn more calories because our muscle cells burn more than our fat cells.
Healthy Calorie Intake: Due to your resting metabolism slowing down a bit with age, you are not burning as many calories. Therefore, if you continue to eat the way you always have, this could potentially make you gain weight. You may need to decrease your daily caloric intake by 200-300 calories. The best way to test this is to get your resting metabolic rate professionally tested and from there you can know how many calories you need to consume to maintain weight and/or see some weight loss.
Cut back on empty calories: The type of calories you eat will also make a difference. Make sure your diet is high in lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and high fiber starches. Try to eliminate empty calorie sources such as added sugar (i.e. desserts, sugary beverages, etc), simple carbs and alcoholic beverages! These account for MANY excess calories and largely contribute to being overweight.
Healthy Sleeping Habits: Poor sleeping can lead to mindless snacking leading to higher calorie consumption and resulting in weight gain. A healthy diet and exercise can help you sleep better but if you are still struggling you might need to look into seeking help with your hormones. The changes in hormones can impact sleep but hormone replacement therapy can usually reverse this symptom!
Take this quiz to see if you might need female hormone replacement therapy!
There are things you can do to prevent menopausal weight gain but don’t tackle it alone, let us help!