woman on scaleIt's no secret that weight gain happens to many women after menopause. The loss of estrogen can slow your metabolism and make it harder to burn those calories. And your body's weight distribution can change, leading to what some call the “menopause middle.” That's bad news because belly fat has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. So, what's a woman to do? Try these half-dozen steps to better weight management after menopause.

1. Break a Sweat (And Not Just During Hot Flashes)
Exercise that gets you sweating can help you burn off weight. You’ll need to work harder and longer than you did when you were younger, so try an aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking, bicycling, or running. Using an elliptical machine or a treadmill is also a good option.

2. Control How Much And When You Eat
That slower metabolism means you can't eat as much as you used to, so watch your portion sizes, even with so-called “healthy” foods. And keep an eye on the clock, too, to avoid those late-night meals and extra snacks. The best advice is to stop eating at least three hours before bedtime.

3. Make Sleep a Regular Routine
Insomnia is a common symptom of menopause and poor sleep can make you less likely to exercise and eat right. You can fight back by sticking to a sleep schedule that gets you into bed at the same time each night. Make sure your bedroom is cool to help with nighttime hot flashes, and turn off the phone, the tablet, the laptop and the TV at least an hour before bedtime to relax your mind.

4. Try Teamwork
Sticking to an exercise regimen or keeping with a diet can be easier when you do it with others. Enlist your spouse or a friend to join you in these new habits. You'll get support and encouragement and they'll enjoy the health rewards along with you.

5. Stop Stressing
Stress can raise cortisol levels and that can lead to increased belly fat. To reduce stress, find activities that help you relax, such as reading a book or watching a movie, or try yoga or meditation. Learn to say “no” to keep from taking on more responsibilities than you can handle, and ask for help from family and friends if necessary.

6. Talk With Us
Your doctor may want to check to see if your weight gain is from menopause or some other health condition that needs treating. Ask about therapies or medications that might be available to help you control your menopause symptoms.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax