How to Lose Weight After Menopause

menopause-weight-lossIt is considered that the menopause for a woman has started when she has stopped having menstrual cycle for the past one year.

And this is the time when women find it hard to lose weight. In fact, most women gain between 10 to 15 pounds between the age of 45 to 50 years which is also the time of menopause. Though menopause weight gain may be because of aging, genetic factors and lifestyle changes but menopause itself is also responsible for the weight gain because of hormonal changes in the body.

What makes the situation more complex is that the extra weight women gain is around belly and not on thighs and hips which had been the case before.[1] The belly fat is a lot more dangerous and increases risks for heart disease, raised blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.[2]

What you can do to lose weight after menopause?

Get adequate sleep

A lot of women notice that their sleep is disturbed during menopause. [3]And it is well established that weight gain has direct link with poor sleep. In fact, you increase your risk of obesity and insulin resistance by reducing your sleep even by half an hour. Since sleep deprivation also affects your body metabolism, experts believe that you may end up eating almost 300 more calories than normal. [4]

If you have not been able to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep every night, then try to increase magnesium in food. Nuts and bananas has natural magnesium. Or you may also try a magnesium supplement. Try to limit alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods before going to bed.

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Get More Active

Estrogen levels in the body drop after menopause which make you feel sluggish. This is likely to make you more sedentary. You need to ensure that you get a 30 minute exercise for at least thrice a week. It is also recommended that you focus your activity on bone building exercises like running, walking, dancing, hiking and playing tennis etc because menopause causes up to 20 percent bone loss in women.

A study showed that a moderate intensity exercise of at least 300 minutes a week resulted in fat reduction and adiposity. The study was conducted on 400 menopausal women.[5]

Reduce Stress in Life

It is well known that with excess stress comes increased level of stress hormone called cortisol and this increases belly fat. Generally, we get more stressed in life as we age. Try to keep your stress levels low by ensuring quality sleep and exercise.

Apart from that you can consider meditation and yoga. Another option could be to start a hobby. For example, majority of women find knitting as a stress reducing hobby.

Increase Fat Burning Foods

Our metabolism gets slower with age. But you can easily give it a boost by eating more fat burning foods. Read our review of best fat burners.

Eat Small Meals

When you eat between 3 to 5 meals during the day, you keep your body metabolism rate high and this help you burn fat. Generally you should be eating about 1500 calories a day diet and this means that you eat about 300 calories per meal for five times a day. And needless to say that you need to eat healthy diet with a good balance of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates and fiber.

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When you are at menopause stage, the body finds it even harder to burn calories. Therefore, it is recommended that you switch your desserts to fruits instead of chocolates and other sweets.

Watch Your Calcium Intake

Do not confuse the menopause weight loss with bone loss because after menopause, a lot of women lose bone mass. In order to guard against that keep your calcium intake at least 1200 mg per day. Good natural sources of calcium are dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy green veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach. Vitamin D is also important for absorption of calcium in bones. Therefore, try to get at least 10 minutes of sunlight on most days of the week.

Which Diets are Best for Menopause Weight Loss

If you seriously want to lose weight after menopause, then you may consider a low carb diet because this does help you not only lose weight but specifically it is useful for abdominal fat loss. [6] You may also consider mediterranean diet which has also been found effective for weight loss.[7] One particular research study showed that women who followed a low carb diet lost about 12.5 percent of their weight. There was a reduction in waist circumference of about 9.5 percent.

One study particularly focused on mediterranean diet and showed that those between the age of 55 to 80 years reduced central obesity. [8]

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