Menopausal Weight Gain Targets Women in Their 40s

Menopausal Weight Gain Targets Women in Their 40s

 

Many women in their 40s begin to gain weight, yet often don’t make the connection to menopause. Altering hormone levels beginning around age 40 initiates a cascade of changes over the next 7-10 years as women approach menopause. During perimenopause, women often gain weight at a rate of 1.5 pounds each year as they approach their 50s.

 

Perimenopausal hormone changes not only influence weight but also the shape of a person’s body. Weight gain targets the abdomen instead of the hips and thighs and is referred to as visceral fat. Hormone changes can’t be blamed completely for weight gain, as many in their 40s and 50s become less active. Estrogen reduction in perimenopause can also cause hot flashes and night sweats, which can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. The effects of interrupted sleep may spiral into the next day leaving one fatigued. Lack of sleep is associated with weight gain because lower energy levels reduce motivation to eat healthy or exercise regularly. After menopause, women require on average 200 kcal per day less than they did when they were younger.

 

 

The best defense to managing perimenopause hormone changes and midsection weight gain is to focus on healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It’s too risky to ignore your health and body weight during perimenopause. Visceral weight gain has been associated with greater risks of cardiac and vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, and some cancers such as breast, endometrial, and colon cancer.

Here are tips to help you trim your waistline and feel better. Choose a combination from these options and get started now to see tangible results.

  • Reduce caloric intake
  • Consume a high-protein diet
  • Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods 
  • Build muscle by doing resistance exercise
  • Perform high-intensity interval training twice weekly
  • Include low-intensity exercise for 30-60 mins., such as walking
  • Try intermittent fasting where you avoid eating for 8-10 hours at night
  • Limit alcohol to avoid negative side effects and ingesting empty calories

Weight gain can sneak up on women during perimenopause. Recognizing this risk and being proactive can prevent unwanted midsection weight gain. If you feel like “it’s too late”, know it is never too late to make positive changes for a healthier life!


Tags

body image and menopause, estrogen, exercise and estrogen, health education, healthy lifestyle, hormone health, perimenopause, weight, weight management, women's health


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