Menopause Weight Gain: Why It Happens & How to Avoid It
Weight gain during menopause does not have to be stressful. Learn how a healthy diet and increasing your activity can help with weight management.
Feel like maintaining your weight gets more difficult with age? Or worst…do the pounds seem to creep on no matter what you do? You’re not alone. Many women experience weight gain as a symptom of menopause.
But weight gain leading up to and after menopause doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are some things—like a healthy diet and activity—that can help prevent menopausal weight gain.
Keep reading to learn why weight gain happens during menopause, the risks associated with this type of weight gain, and what options you can take to prevent it.
Why does menopause weight gain happen?
Healthline reports that changes in hormone levels, especially low estrogen levels, during menopause can lead to fat gain, specifically visceral fat in the belly area. This is because estrogen plays a vital role in fat storage and distribution.
Another factor of menopausal weight gain, according to Mayo Clinic, is aging. As the body ages, it naturally loses muscle mass while fat increases. This results in a slowed metabolism because the body burns calories slower with less muscle.
So, the combination of hormonal changes and the aging process is usually what contributes to menopausal weight gain. But other factors—like genetics, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, and unhealthy eating—may play a role. The cause will vary from woman to woman.
What risks are associated with menopausal weight gain?
Since menopausal weight gain is typically seen in the mid-section, it does raise your risk of several health problems. These health risks include breathing problems, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease.
Cleveland Clinic reports that many of these health risks are associated with extra visceral fat in the belly. Below are some things you can do to prevent menopausal weight gain.
How can you prevent weight gain after menopause?
When it comes to preventing menopausal weight gain, there are some steps you can take.
- Exercise: If you’re not working out, it’s never too late to start. Or if you do work out, evaluate your routine to see if it needs some adjustment. According to Scientific American, there are three types of activity women over 50 should focus on: aerobic, resistance or strength training, and restorative. For aerobic, find cardio you enjoy. This could be walking, swimming, biking, dancing, etc. Resistance or strength training will help you keep or build muscle mass for a strong metabolism. Try our free resistance training guide if you’re not sure where to start. And finally, for restorative, try yoga or breathwork.
- Nutrition: There are certain things to keep in mind as you eat during menopause. Many studies show that low-carb, high-protein diets work well for weight loss and reducing abdominal fat. Watch your sugar intake, fuel up on vegetables, and stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Support: And most importantly, find those who will support your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle through menopause and on. Whether it be a friend who will go to the gym with you or your family who will support you with healthy meals, rally up a support system to see the most success. Need some extra support? Read on to learn how Profile can help.
How can Profile help?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where you should start to avoid menopausal weight gain, we can help. At Profile, you can team up with a health coach who will create a custom nutrition plan that works with your body—not against it.
Your coach can guide you in finding a workout routine you enjoy that will keep you healthy and strong. And most importantly, your coach is there to support you, keep you motivated, and educate you on healthy habits to manage your weight through menopause and beyond.
Profile also has nutritious food options that taste amazing. Just ask our members! Plus, we strive to provide the best in weight-loss technology to help our members track their progress, stay motivated, and make the weight-loss journey easier.
Here is what Profile members have to say
“When I was younger, I could lose 5 or 7 pounds in a week with no problem. That’s not the way it works for me anymore at 58. So, when I joined Profile, I was really impressed because the weight came off really, really good. Faster than I ever dreamed.” – Julie, 47 pounds lost
“The first week I saw success, and it kept working week after week after week. I like how it’s customizable to each person. And that you have a coach walking alongside you. It’s a relief to be off the weight loss rollercoaster.” – Lynn, 70 pounds lost
Ready to get the support you need to take control of your health?