Menopause weight gain is something that many women experience. Men as well as women have a tendency to gain weight as they grow older and less active, but there is something special about the menopause for women. Not only are they likely to gain weight around age 50, but it starts to appear in different places. Even women who stay at the same weight will often find their middle section getting fatter.
This happens because the female hormone estrogen is present in much lower quantities in a post-menopausal woman. So the distribution of weight on a woman's body changes at this time to be more like a man's, that is, centered on the belly rather than the hips. Low estrogen may also be the reason for some extra weight gain, or at least a tendency to put on weight more easily. Dieting can become more of a struggle, too.
However, it is possible to avoid menopause weight gain if you are aware of the dangers and resist the temptation to indulge in more high calorie foods. At the same time, it is important to keep up your levels of exercise.
This is important for other reasons as well as avoiding menopause weight gain. Exercise can help us to maintain a healthy heart at a time of life when the risk of heart attack for women rises massively. Women of childbearing age who carry fat on the hips rather than the belly have a lower risk of heart attack than men, but that changes at the menopause when more fat is stored on the torso.
So here are a few tips to avoid menopause weight gain
1. Eat healthy, increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruit while reducing the amount of fat, sugar and packaged foods in your diet.
2. Take regular exercise including maintaining your muscle mass with strengthening workouts. It's natural that we take a little less exercise as we grow older, but it's important not to stop. Muscle that is not maintained will turn to fat.
3. Accept that there will be some changes in your body at this time. If your weight is within the normal range, do not panic if your weight measurement increases a little. This is redistribution of weight, not gain.