Why do most women in the pre and post menopause years gain weight? When it starts happening to you it may be a slow “creep up on you” kind of weight. A pound or two, then 4 or 5 and before you know it your entire body has taken on an unknown form and you have an extra 10 or even 20 pounds extra.
Leading up to menopause is when hormone changes occur that can lead to weight gain in the abdominal area. Many women have had a battle with their hips and thighs up to this point and suddenly see a shift to weight gain in the tummy. This is due in part to hormones but also to the fact that many women in the peri-menopausal years do not exercise enough. It can also be combined with mild anxiety or depression due to children leaving home, divorce or inattention from one’s spouse – many things.
When we age we begin to lose muscle mass. This muscle must be kept up through exercise and strength training or it is replaced by fatty tissue. Muscle actually helps you burn fat so the more muscle the better in terms of fat burning. If you are faced with hormonal issues causing a shift in your weight and you continue to eat as before and not exercise, you will gain weight.
Is there a trick to the menopause weight gain or a way to beat it? Not exactly a trick but truth be told it is important to move more and eat less! For many it is as simple as eating the foods they love but less of them. Not going back for seconds and not overloading your plate. Americans overeat. Plain and simple. If we ate half of what was put before us in restaurants we would likely still be getting sufficient calories. So try small steps like low fat milk in your coffee, salad instead of a sandwich, eliminate sugar. Baby steps can make a huge difference.
Others find it really beneficial to find support through Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem type diets. Whatever works for you is the best way to lose weight. These diets can be hard to stick to if you are cooking for slim family members or family members who are not interested in losing weight. In that case if you are the cook, simply cooking healthier meals in smaller portions is the answer. Add salads and adjust the balance on your plate from meat based meals to more vegetables and smaller meat portions. Sometimes if you are really clever the family won’t even notice!