Although going through menopause is a normal and healthy part of aging, it can feel anything but normal or comfortable at the time. Symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, anxiety and trouble sleeping may make you feel helpless and fearful of the changes happening in your body.
To make matters worse, hormonal shifts might cause you to gain unwanted weight, while also making it harder to lose weight. Suddenly, the things you were doing in your 30’s and 40’s to maintain a healthy weight are no longer working – so you have to adjust your plan.
While you may feel powerless to the side effects of menopause, this article is designed to help you get your power back! Even if you can’t control what’s happening in your body during menopause, you can control, or at least positively affect the number on the scale. It starts with having the right information, and knowing what to do with it.
Common Reasons for Weight Gain During Menopause (and What you Can Do to Counter It)
There are different reasons why you might gain weight while going through menopause, but they aren’t all related to hormonal changes. Some of the reasons are due to normal aging processes that also happen around this time, lifestyle and even genetic factors. Let’s explore them here along with action steps you can take to tip the scale in your favor.
1) Loss Of Muscle Mass
When you age, your muscle mass starts to naturally decline, which in turn slows down your metabolism. As a result, you burn less calories each day and your fat stores start to increase.
What You Can Do
Increase the amount of physical activity that you currently do each week, especially strength training exercises that will help you build and maintain more muscle. This doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym each day! You can bring the gym to you with simple, at-home workout equipment that you can use when and where you want to keep yourself toned.
2) Hormonal Changes
While you’re going through perimenopause (or the period of time before you hit full menopause), your body gradually starts making less and less estrogen. The last 1-2 years of perimenopause is when most women experience a much quicker drop in estrogen, and that’s when menopause begins. These constant fluctuations of estrogen during perimenopause and menopause can lead to fat storage and weight gain, especially in the abdomen.
What You Can Do
Having too much abdominal fat (or belly fat) is particularly bad for your health, since studies show that fat in this area is strongly linked to some diseases. To help reduce it, avoid added sugar (especially in sugary drinks), which can lead to increased belly and liver fat.
In addition, you can up your protein intake and decrease your carb intake. While higher protein diets have been proven to help with weight loss, research shows that they’re also particularly effective against belly fat. One of the best ways to get more high-quality protein into your daily diet is with the best meal replacement shakes. We recommend 310 Shakes, which have no sugar, good fiber, plant-based proteins for increased health benefits, vitamins and minerals, superfoods, and probiotics for gut health.
3) Lack of Sleep
While going through menopause, you may have difficulty sleeping, and not getting enough rest may boost your stress and anxiety levels, along with your appetite. In addition, when you’re tired, you tend to reach for more sugary and carb-filled foods to give you the energy you’re lacking.
What You Can Do
Talk to your physician about natural ways that you can potentially improve your sleep quality, such as diffusing lavender oil throughout your room at night. And when cravings strike during the day, satisfy them in healthy ways. Yummy protein shake smoothies, detox teas, and appetite-suppressing lemonades are all healthy drinks that can help energize you and crush your sweet tooth.
4) Genetic Factors / Bad Lifestyle Habits
If you have a parent or other close relative who carries extra weight around the abdomen area, you might be more likely to struggle with the same thing during menopause. In addition, if you have unhealthy lifestyle habits in place before you go through the change, you’ll find it much harder to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
What You Can Do
Developing nourishing habits such as eating clean and exercising will go a long way in your efforts. A great goal for a menopause diet is to include lots of fresh, whole foods, along with lean proteins and healthy fats, while leaving sugar and processed foods out of the equation. Plus, find your personal calorie goal and then track your calories using a tracking app to ensure you stay on target.
More Advice on Losing Weight During Menopause
The action steps that we’ve outlined for you above on how to avoid menopause weight gain are also essential if you’re trying to lose weight during this time. In addition to that, we also have the following suggestions, which can go a long way in your weight loss quest…
Eat Meal Replacement Shakes
Replace 1-2 meals per day with meal replacement shakes until you reach your weight goal, then use 1 shake a day to maintain your weight. When you aren’t having a shake, enjoy clean, healthy meals and avoid sugar.
Add in Collagen
Your body’s natural production of this essential protein slows down as you get older – leaving you vulnerable to the effects of aging. Replenish the collagen in your body with a daily powder or tablet supplement. Along with helping to keep your skin youthful and your joints flexible, it also works to suppress your appetite for weight loss.
Take a Daily Multi
While your body is going through the changes of menopause, it could use some extra support to stay healthy. The best way to provide this support and protect against nutrient deficiencies is with a daily multivitamin. Making sure your body isn’t lacking in any essential nutrients will greatly support your weight loss goals.
Browse and shop all of 310 Nutrition's weight loss supplements for women here.
Crush Sugar Cravings With Lemonade
While you’re having symptoms of hormonal fluctuations during menopause, it can be tempting to reach for sugary foods. But these energy-boosting lemonades not only fulfill your cravings for sugar, they can also assist with weight loss. Naturally low in calories, they help boost your metabolism to burn more calories.
Share Your Experience
While you’re on your weight loss journey, it helps to connect with other women who are going through menopause and trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. One of the best places to do this is the 310 Nutrition Community on Facebook. Find the support and encouragement you need to conquer your health goals, one step at a time. Connect now!
We hope this article has been incredibly insightful and will help you win the battle with weight gain during menopause. In addition, know that losing weight during or after menopause doesn’t have to be such a struggle… You can keep winning each and every day with 310 healthy lifestyle solutions and the support in the 310 Community!