12 Tips to Lose Weight During Menopause (and Keep It Off)

12 Tips to Lose Weight During Menopause (and Keep It Off)

Weight gain during menopause is a common problem. As women start to turn 50, a lot of factors start working against them. these include hormone changes, stress, aging, and more. The result? Rapid weight gain – one that just refuses to go.

Menopause weight gain is often attributed to waning estrogen levels that slow down your metabolism and trigger more insulin production to process sugar in your diet, making it difficult for you to lose weight.

Though fluctuating estrogen levels are often thought to be the culprit, there are various other factors that contribute to menopause weight gain. These include:

  • Stress: Perimenopause hits women when their stress levels are super high. Work, family, children – women are often spinning a lot of plates. This chronic stress leads to emotional eating, cravings for unhealthy foods, and disrupted sleep patterns, all of which lead to weight gain and hamper weight management efforts.
  • Increase in Ghrelin: The hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ increases at perimenopause. This leads to heightened hunger cravings and weight gain.
  • Lack of Sleep: Women often complain of inadequate sleep during menopause. Lack of sleep is a proven stressor and causes more food cravings the next day.
  • Lack of Physical Activity: As women enter menopause and start getting old, there is a sharp decline in their physical activity. This is also due to a lack of energy, some health ailments, and a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of activity leads to weight gain.

While menopause weight loss is hard, it is not impossible to make the scale change for good. Here are a dozen ways to lose weight during menopause and keep it off for the rest of your life:

1. Eat Healthy

Emphasize a diet that’s rich in nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods are lower in calories and rich in fiber and provide essential nutrients to support overall health.

2. Practice Portion Control

Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating and prevent menopause weight gain. Use smaller plates, measure servings, and practice portion control techniques to prevent excessive calorie intake. Cutting back on restaurant meals is also a good way to reduce the number of calories you consume and an effective strategy for weight loss.

3. Limit Sugary and Processed Foods

Say ‘No’ to sugary beverages, sweets, processed snacks, and fried foods. These items are extremely high in calories and can lead to rapid weight gain. Instead opt for fresh lime water, herbal teas, infused water, and low-calorie beverages without added sugars.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support metabolic function. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so staying hydrated can help prevent unnecessary snacking.

5. Include Protein and Phytoestrogens in Every Meal

Incorporate lean proteins such as poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and legumes into your meals. Protein helps you feel full and satisfied, reducing cravings and overall calorie intake.

Also, eat foods that boost your estrogen levels naturally. Incorporating phytoestrogen-rich foods such as broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, tofu, edamame beans, alfalfa, fennel, sage, and red clover tea can provide a natural source of phytoestrogens to help manage menopausal symptoms and support overall health.

6. Practice Intermittent Fasting

You’ve likely heard about the benefits of overnight fasting, and there’s a reason for all the buzz—it’s effective. Fasting for 12-14 hours overnight is beneficial for the digestive system as it helps normalize blood sugar levels and allows your body to rest. Intermittent fasting is not only great for weight loss but also improves insulin sensitivity. Additionally, it can prevent late-night eating, which is a habit often linked to weight gain.

7. Eat Mindfully

Practice mindful eating. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Eating slowly, savoring each bite. This will help you prevent overeating. Also, avoid distractions like screens while eating.

8. Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-high-intensity aerobic exercise per week for effective menopausal weight loss. You can go for brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Also, since there is a loss of muscle mass as we age, it is important to include strength training exercises two to three times per week. It will help you maintain muscle mass and boost metabolism.

9. Incorporate High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT workouts are exercises that involve short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. These workouts are extremely effective in burning calories and can also help you improve cardiovascular health.

10. Get Sufficient Sleep

Many women experience sleep disturbances during menopause. This includes difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or feeling unrested despite hours in bed. However, prioritizing good sleep hygiene practices can help improve sleep quality.

Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, ensure a comfortable sleep environment, and limit the consumption of caffeine and use of electronic devices before bed to promote better sleep during menopause. Adequate sleep not only supports physical and mental health but also plays a role in menopausal weight management and overall quality of life.

11. Manage Stress

Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi. Chronic stress can lead to emotional eating and weight gain, so finding healthy ways to cope with stress is important.

12. Consult a Certified Physician

Sometimes even after maintaining a healthy and active routine, menopause weight just refuses to go off. Consider consulting a board-certified obesity medicine physician, like Dr. Mona Lala, for personalized guidance and support. By evaluating your individual health conditions and lifestyle, she can create a tailored meal plan that works perfectly for you. She can also equip you with nutrition guidance and meal planning strategies while monitoring your progress throughout your weight loss journey.

Remember, having someone monitor your progress can increase your motivation and more consistent adherence to your goals. You feel accountable and make fewer mistakes during weight loss.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lala and make way for a healthier, happier life.

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