By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: February 10, 2021
Written By Alison Pearson-Guest Contributor
Weight gain is a common occurrence during perimenopause and menopause, and many women have a difficult time losing weight or maintaining it. The metabolism slows down over time, and muscles lose their tone as well as estrogen levels dropping drastically. Fortunately, there are proven ways that you can maintain or lose weight even in this life period. If you want to know how to lose weight during menopause, read on.
Get enough sleep
Sleep takes up almost a third of our lives, so getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sleep directly affects our health and weight. Sleep disturbances are common during menopause due to aging processes and symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. If you are having a problem with sleep, your focus should be on easing your symptoms and preparing your body to sleep as sound as possible. Don’t eat or drink caffeinated drinks too close to sleep time. If your body is trying to process food or caffeine, it will prevent you from falling or staying asleep. Try out meditation or relaxing stretches before bedtime.
Exercise and increase activity
A fool-proof way of losing weight is to increase your activity levels. Regular exercise will help you maintain or lose weight when combined with healthy eating habits. It’s common for muscles to lose their tone and mass when entering menopause. Increasing activity levels can help counteract that problem. Due to older age, the joints and muscles lose their strength so you also must be careful when choosing an activity. Aerobic exercise is very useful for losing weight—Pilates, for example. It has different levels which anyone can fit into, and it’s not invasive. There are so many online classes that you can follow, or you can take group classes if you need in-person guidance. Swimming is also a perfect option for exercising and losing weight.
Find a support group
Most things are better done in a group, including exercise. If you are having trouble adjusting to a new exercise routine, finding people to train with can help immensely. Other people can keep you accountable, and in check, so you can’t skip class if you feel lazy or unmotivated. An exercise partner can be beneficial for training and emotional support. If you don’t have someone to join you, you can sign up for group training and meet new people.
Be mindful and balanced
Menopause comes with a lot of changes that take some getting used to. This can create a lot of stress which can increase your weight. It can also make it more difficult to lose it afterwards. Stress increases cortisol levels which increase blood sugar levels. It can help you sometimes with an energy boost, but long-term stress can damage your mental and physical health. The goal is to reduce stress and live a mindful and present life. You can reduce your stress levels by going outside and enjoying nature. Meditation, yoga, and other exercises also greatly reduce stress and provide you with endorphins—the happy hormone. Try out journaling or pick up a new hobby to ease stress.
Diet is a common problem for people who want to lose weight. A healthy diet can be the best aid in losing weight. Thought junk food and irregular meals are very common. Every meal should be full of nutrients and vitamins to help you live a healthy life. The plate should consist of mostly vegetables, whole grain, and lean proteins. If you don’t have the time to go shopping for healthy food, an organic grocery delivery service can help you. You should reduce sugar and carbs to a minimum, with the exclusion of fruit. Fruits can give a natural source of sugar that will give you energy. Avoid carbs like white bread, pastries, processed food, and food with too much sugar and fat. Don’t rush through your meals, but take your time to thoughtfully enjoy every bite.
Plan meals and mealtime
Healthy food won’t be of much use if you overeat or eat at the wrong times. Your metabolism slows down before and during menopause which leads to the accumulation of calories and weight. A good idea is to plan your meals upfront so you know exactly how much and what you will eat. If you go out to a restaurant, that often serves large meals, make sure to ask to bring leftovers home so you don’t overeat. Late night and irregular meals can throw your metabolism out of balance, so set meal times and stick to them every day.
Gaining weight during menopause is normal and losing it can be difficult. It takes a lot of discipline to exercise regularly and eat healthily, but if you don’t give up, you can see results after some time. If you are having a lot of difficulties, don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor for a consultation.
Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, but her ultimate passion is fitness and health. She is also a bibliophile and her favourite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.