From hot flashes to fatigue and mood swings to weight gain, menopause is the best time ever, right? It’s always good to laugh about things we can’t escape! The one symptom of menopause that no woman likes is weight gain, or the inability to lose weight. All hope of slimming down during menopause seems lost, especially when you eat the right foods and do the right exercises without seeing results.
Why Do Women Gain Weight During Menopause?
On average, every woman in her 50s and 60s gains 1.5 pounds per year. Health experts attribute the weight gain to low estrogen levels during menopause. When estrogen levels drop, they can disturb the balance of ghrelin and lectin, two hormones that manage hunger. While hormonal fluctuation plays a large role in menopausal weight gain, sleep problems, stress, certain medications, and thyroid issues also cause the body to gain weight.
Can Anything Be Done To Shed That Weight?
It seems like all hope is lost for menopausal women, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. All hope is not lost for you, ladies! You can implement little habits that help promote weight loss and deter fat accumulation. Some women turn to hormonal therapies, but these come with risks. Instead, use the following tips to lose weight after menopause.
Get Your Pump In
As estrogen levels decline, it becomes more difficult to build muscle. While aerobic exercises are beneficial for cardiovascular health, weight lifting helps with postmenopausal weight loss. The reason for this is because muscles are metabolically active, meaning they burn more calories than fat. Middle-aged women lose about 10-15% of their strength, a common result of inactivity, no weight lifting, and minimal protein intake. Start pumping a little iron, ladies, if you want to start shedding some pounds.
Most Americans, adults and children alike, eat too much food. When you don’t eat as often, it is much easier to consume less food because your insulin levels are lower. You can take part in intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted eating, to reduce insulin resistance. There are many intermittent fasting programs to follow, but you can click here to learn more about it. This type of eating also helps to reduce your caloric intake, which helps you avoid fat storage.
Get More Greens
According to research, postmenopausal women who eat more green vegetables have fewer hot flashes and night sweats. Green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, chard, and collard greens contain a lot of fiber, which keeps you full between meals. Additionally, fiber helps to promote healthy gut bacteria and sends feelings of fullness to the brain.
Focus On Sleep
An unhealthy circadian rhythm or poor sleep patterns contribute to weight gain, especially during and after menopause. Sleep experts say that insufficient sleep affects your weight just as much as hormonal shifts do. If you haven’t noticed, you want to eat more after a rough night of sleep. When you sleep for seven to eight hours per night, you have an easier time managing stress and reducing insulin resistance. If you have trouble sleeping, keep your room cool, quiet, and reduce the intake of stimulants or alcohol. Finally, turn screens off at least an hour before you go to sleep.
See What’s Up With Medications
People don’t often expect medications to cause weight gain or inhibit weight loss. The very medications that women use to treat menopausal symptoms can easily pack on the pounds. If you feel that the medication is the culprit, have a conversation with your doctor and explore an alternative diet that doesn’t have the same side effects.
Add Some Intensity to Workouts
Interval training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have become extremely popular in today’s fitness culture. The idea behind interval training is that you keep the body in the higher end of the heart rate zone, helping you burn more calories. Many studies have found that menopausal and postmenopausal women have an easier time burning fat and building muscle when engaging in HIIT workouts. Some studies noted that people over the age of 65 increased strength and endurance by doing interval training.
Ultimately, the changing of hormones and all the symptoms of menopause make it seem like weight loss is impossible. Losing weight during and after menopause is possible if you employ the right techniques.