Some women give up trying to control their body weight during their 40s and 50s because weight loss after menopause is harder than it is in earlier years.
There are several factors that influence the reason why our bodies seem to get out of control during this time, but don’t give up, because there are ways to get yourself back in charge of your body.
Abdominal Weight Gain
Gaining weight around the middle is one of the inevitable signs of aging. It affects both men and women, but it can be worse for women during the years leading up to menopause and continues to be a problem long afterwards. According to the mayo clinic, women on average gain a pound a year during the menopause years.
Symptoms of menopause can come on several years before menopause actually occurs (menopause is defined as occurring one year after the last missed period). This can mean a gain of at least 10 pounds or so for many of us. Since most of the weight tends to accumulate in one place, around the middle, 10 pounds is an increase of one or two dress sizes for most women.
The Aging Process
There are several other things happening to a woman’s body during this time that make it difficult to reach our weight loss goals and we can’t blame everything on menopause. Consider that our bodies are naturally slowing down because we are getting older, and so we resist physical activity more than we used to. Even if we are in the habit of going to the gym, it becomes harder to sustain prolonged periods of aerobic activity, and therefore harder to burn calories and accomplish weight loss.
At the same time our children are growing up and leaving home. This means that we are not running around after them so much. We have less picking up to do around the house, fewer dishes to wash, and we are not burning calories dashing off to soccer practice every Saturday morning. We allow ourselves to slow down somewhat. And why not? We’ve earned a rest haven’t we?
Giving Up Hope
Something else also happens that makes weight loss after menopause very difficult. We lose our motivation to keep trying. The change to our bodies seems inevitable. Twenty years or so ago we were able to drop a couple of pounds simply by skipping lunch, but now skipping lunch seems like pure torture, and we argue with ourselves that it is not worth the trouble. We listen to other women who have given up and tell us it is impossible.
But weight loss after menopause is still possible and there are millions of slim and trim women in their 50s and 60s who live as testimony to the fact that it is possible to stay fit, stay trim and continue to lose weight after menopause.
New Weight Loss Rules
The rules are not different for weight loss after menopause. The more you move and the less you eat, the higher your chances of dropping pounds. But because a lot of the weight we carry is around the abdomen, typically a tough area to shape up anyway, we are going to have to apply ourselves a little more.
Now that we are older and wiser, we have to educate ourselves about the right fats, the right carbohydrates, and the right amount of protein to feed our bodies, and then apply our knowledge with discipline.
There are plenty of tips on this website to help you fight abdominal weight, get moving, and increase the nutritional value of your diet. So don’t give up. Keep fighting ladies, and remember that armed with the right tools and the right knowledge, weight loss after menopause is just as possible as it ever was.