It’s undeniable that your body is going to change with menopause. But this does not mean accepting weight gain and belly fat. So what can you do to avoid the dreaded weight gain that often happens with menopause?
First, you need to understand the changes that your body goes through during menopause and why you gain weight even when you are on a diet. As you enter menopause, your estrogen levels drop, which can increase your appetite and reduce satiety. So if you have been feeling hungry lately, it isn’t your mind playing tricks on you. It is the drop in estrogen impacting how full you feel. As a result of these changes, some of your previous dieting and workout practices might be holding you back. Recognizing this is the first way to be able to find a way forward.
Why you need to change how your exercise after menopause
Many people lose weight by reducing the calories that they consume by cutting out certain food groups, such as carbohydrates or proteins. But these dieting practices are not only unsustainable in the long term, but they can also worsen some of the issues that are brought about by menopause. That’s why we are sharing the 4 tips that will help you avoid or even reverse the dreaded weight gain associated with menopause.
- Include strength training in your routine
As you go through menopause, you need to do everything that you can to fight the metabolic slowdown. One of the ways to do this is to build muscle using bodyweight training. It is important to progress moves as you adapt by using harder variations or increasing the range of motion and time under tension. Not only does more muscle mean a higher resting metabolic rate, but it also means you will look leaner as you lose body fat. It will also help you stay stronger as you get older.
- Train your body to use less
With age, we struggle more to build and retain lean muscle, which means we burn fewer calories outside of our workouts. We also tend to become less active. And a more sedentary lifestyle also means fewer calories burned during the day. To survive, we need to consume fewer calories.
When you eat less, you train your body to need less and your metabolism adapts. That’s why you need to change your dieting practices as you enter menopause. If you have always lost weight through extreme calorie deficits, you’ve taught your body to use fewer calories. For long-term success, you want to create less of a calorie deficit even if you will lose weight slower. The slower deficit will also help you focus more on fat loss without much risk of muscle loss.
- Increase your protein intake
As we get older, we are less able to utilize protein efficiently, which makes consuming protein even more important. You can increase your protein intake to improve your body composition while helping lessen some of the menopausal symptoms by introducing rich sources of protein such as meat, poultry, and eggs into your diet. If you are a vegetarian, consume more soy. Several studies have shown that soy can reduce some of the symptoms often associated with menopause. Another great way to increase protein that can help you lose weight while helping improve your bone mineral density is by consuming collagen.
- Reduce carbs
You should not be afraid of consuming fat when you are trying to lose weight during menopause. While you may need more carbs if you are extremely active, or an endurance athlete, low carbs may be more helpful for menopause, especially if you are sedentary. You don’t need the immediate fuel of a high-carb diet. So lowering your carb intake can aid in the weight loss process if you are unable to increase your activity levels.
Increasing your fat intake, especially your omega 3 intake will help reduce inflammation which often increases during menopause, and also aids in weight loss. Consuming more shellfish to increase your omega 3 and protein intake is also important. It can help reduce fat loss occurrence while improving bone mineral density at the hips and spine.
Menopause will present you with new challenges when it comes to weight loss but if you can implement key lifestyle habits, you can avoid gaining weight. Using these four tips you can reverse menopause weight gain and reduce some of the symptoms.