Weight gain during menopause is an unfortunate reality, but one that can be managed and even cured with enough dedication. Known as “middle age spread,” women in their 40s and 50s tend to gain more weight and have a harder time keeping it off, especially around their stomach. This is actually the most dangerous kind of body fat to have because it is so close to the heart. Hips and thighs are always troublesome hot spots of body fat for women of all ages, but the abdominal area becomes more of a problem concerning weight gain during menopause.
There are many ways to offset this weight problem. The simplest advice is to eat less and exercise more. Menopausal women often have health issues that may make vigorous dancing or step aerobics hard or even impossible, but there are still many ways older people can exercise and help keep weight gain to a minimum. Indoor walking videos, Pilates classes and tapes, gentle yoga classes and videos, outdoor walking, swimming, aqua aerobics, stretching, belly dancing, and stationary bicycling are all relatively safe ways to use exercise as a tool against weight gain during menopause.
Exercising 30 minutes a few times a week is important at any age. If your health or schedule prohibit 30 minutes of continuous physical activity, then break it up into a few 10 minute segments throughout the day. Many exercise videos now have 10 minute or less workout segments, making it easier for the time or health challenged to dedicate themselves to their health.
Proper diet is also important, especially during menopause. Reducing the amount of sugary drinks and snacks is a key toward winning the battle of the bulge. Healthy carbohydrates are important to any woman’s good health, but to prevent weight gain during menopause it is a good idea to stay away from refined flour products such as elbow macaroni and white bread.
Paying attention to the quality of fats in your diet and the amount of fat in your diet becomes critically important to heart health and weight management during menopause. No more than about 25 percent of your diet should come from fat, and staying away from fried foods and vegetable oils is an essential step. Olive oils and margarine are preferred fats, and light mayonnaise should be used instead of full fat blends.
Eating only when hungry is an important tool to reduce calories and subsequent weight gain during menopause. Many women who have slowed down their physical activity snack frequently on high-fat, high-sugar, and high-carbohydrate foods. This is a dangerous way to deal with life, especially when it comes to unnecessary abdominal fat. By devoting yourself to a little more physical activity and a little better food, it is possible to not become another weight gain statistic. If you are having trouble changing your diet or exercise plan, then consult with a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, or other medical professional for further tips on how to incorporate better habits into your life during menopause.