Ask the Nurse

I’m officially in menopause and gaining weight. What are some strategies for weight loss that will work for me now?

Menopause may present many challenges to women, including weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings and changes in sleep patterns. Why does this happen?

Menopausal weight gain is caused by hormonal changes in the body. It is also attributed to the aging process. At midlife, our metabolism starts to slow down, and our muscle mass begins to decrease, making weight loss harder. Also, we can no longer rebound like we used to from poor health choices, such as eating fast food or drinking too much. There is no miracle menopause diet.

The best way to combat weight gain during menopause is to follow a healthy lifestyle and good nutritional guidelines:

  • Consume more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, “good oils” like omega-3 fats, as well as the important mineral calcium.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Read food labels.
  • Don’t skip meals. Always eat a healthy breakfast.
  • Eat more fiber to help keep you feeling full.
  • Record your food intake. Yes, write what you eat in a journal. And don’t cheat!
  • Do aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes a day and strength training two to three times a week. You have to work to build and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, sodium and sugar. This quartet will sabotage your weight unless you sabotage them first!

By practicing these steps, you will be able to kick-start menopause weight loss. And you will feel much healthier!

November 26, 2013 at 4:27pm