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How To Tackle Weight Gain During The Menopause



How To Tackle Weight Gain During The Menopause

Here at OYG, we talk a lot about the menopause and the perimenopause. There are many symptoms of the menopause, including night sweats, mood changes and brain fog. But the one symptom that so many of you struggle the most with, is weight gain. 

The perimenopause and the menopause are caused by a decline in the female sex hormone, oestrogen. This decline is responsible for the symptoms we experience and it’s also the reason why we can gain weight during this time – and find it harder to lose. 

Why weight gain is common during the menopause

The loss of oestrogen during the menopause means that our body composition changes. We lose muscle mass and tone and in turn, our fat mass increases. Where we tend to store our fat also changes, moving from the hips and thighs to the belly area – hence the so-called menopause midriff

As a consequence of this increase in abdominal fat, we can also increase our risk of developing increased insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes, which in itself makes losing weight more difficult. 

How to lose menopause related weight gain

Since carrying extra abdominal fat can be detrimental to our health, it’s important to take steps to manage our weight if we find it creeping up during our menopause. 

Here’s our tips on tackling weight gain, both around the stomach and in general, during your middle years:

  • Make the most of short, but high intensity HIIT workouts to burn fat and encourage good metabolism. We have lots of fun Fat Burn in 10 workouts and challenges that can be fitted in to your day, even if you only have little time to spare.
  • Aim to have at least a 20 minute brisk walk every day. This could mean that you walk at lunch time or that you walk some or all of the way to or from work. Walking is a great mind-clearing exercise too, and can help to ease some of the mood related menopause symptoms you might be experiencing. 
  • Your diet plays a large role in how well you manage your weight, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow a restrictive diet. If you haven’t browsed our nutrition pages recently, then make sure you do. We add delicious, exciting and far from bland, healthy recipes and meal ideas all the time. Remember, some dietary fat is good for us, so include some good fats such as the avocado in this Avocado and Tomato Linguini recipe or from oily fish as in these super Salmon Burgers
  • When it comes to eating, eating mindfully is important too, since it’s all too easy to eat when you’re distracted causing you to possibly overeat or snack on the wrong foods. 
  • Surprisingly, the quality of our sleep can also impact our ability to manage our weight. If we don’t get enough good quality sleep, we might make unhealthy food options, opting for comforting carbs over healthy vegetable based meals when we’re tired and seeking energy. Follow our tips on the perfect bedtime routine if you’re struggling with your sleep. 
  • Finally, speak to your GP if you’re struggling with menopause symptoms. There’s absolutely no shame in seeking help during this time of your life, and you may find that hormone replacement therapy helps you significantly.

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