Weight Gain and Menopause - Can it Be Stopped?

Unfortunately, weight gain and menopause go hand in hand. So, if you are starting to notice some extra weight around your midsection it could be because you are starting or already going through menopause.
So, why is this happening and how can you stop it? Many women before you and many after will continue to ask these questions. There are two things occurring when you approach menopause, and these are what make weight gain and menopause inseparable. Firstly your metabolism is slowing down as you become older and less active and secondly you are experiencing hormonal changes. Both of these changes on their own can cause weight gain so putting them together means that you have twice the problem to contend with.
Unfortunately both of these changes occur between 40 to 60 years of age. This unfortunate coincidence makes it harder but not impossible to manage your changing shape during this time. Yes the odds are stacked against you, but you can break the cycle - weight gain and menopause do not have to win.
When it comes to accepting weight gain and menopause, there are two types of women. Those that put up with it and decide that they will just live with their new body, and those who fight it and change their eating habits and activity levels. I am an advocate for those who want to do something about it and it really only takes a few small lifestyle changes to make a difference.
On average, a woman can put on about 10 to 15 pounds during menopause, and unfortunately because of the hormonal changes taking place, most of this fat seems to accumulate around the abdominal area. Excess weight around the tummy is potentially very dangerous and brings with it a higher risk of contracting diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. For this reason alone you owe it to yourself to do something about it.
Increasing age, weight gain and menopause all come at once, but don't let that overwhelm you. The solution is not extreme. You don't have to go on a starvation diet or spend your entire spare time in the gym. A few simple changes to your diet and activity levels will do the trick. It may not be easy at first but the benefits far outweigh the alternatives and are well worth sticking with.
Here are just a couple of quick tips to help you manage weight gain and menopause:
Diet - Choose foods known for their fat burning properties such as green tea, beans, nuts and those high in calcium to name just a few. Watch your portions and eat small meals, frequently so that you never become hungry. Limit alcohol, refined sugars, salt and other high calorie foods. NEVER crash diet.
Frequent Exercise - Try to mix aerobic and strength exercises and aim for about 3 to 5 hours per week. Good aerobic exercises include: walking the dog; gardening; dance and fitness classes and swimming and will serve to increase your metabolism. Strength exercises such as yoga, sit-ups, crunches and leg lifts will help to build fat burning muscle and as an added bonus prevent osteoporosis.
Avoid Stress - Stress can cause your body to go into self preservation mode and store extra fat. If you live a stressful life try some relaxation techniques such as massage or yoga.
Water - How many times have you heard people say drink 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day? Have you ever wondered why? The reason simply put is that it allows your kidneys to do their job without having to call on the liver to help. When the liver, who usually metabolizes fat, has to help the kidneys, then it can't do its own job so fat gets stored unnecessarily instead.
Sorry ladies weight gain and menopause are going to happen to you, so face them head on, stay positive, make these few small changes and you will be well on your way to beating them for good.

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