Menopause and Weight Gain
*Looks down at the scale* "Dr. Lydia, this is the most I've ever weighed. I can’t believe it."
Menopause is a phase of life where women experience, and have to adjust to, some significant body changes. Body temperatures, sleep quality, weight gain, and a drop in sex drive are among the most frequent challenges.
In my clinical practice, one of the most common reasons women find their way to me is that they are frustrated - what used to work for weight loss, such as eating less, moving more, is not working anymore.
There are also changes in where she will see the weight gain. Previously, there was generally distributed weight gain all over the body - estrogenic weight gain. After menopause, a lot of it will be in the tummy area.
Here are 3 “You Need-to-Knows” to keep your weight down!
Stop snacking - have slightly bigger meals. Menopause tummy fat is sensitive to insulin. Insulin is a trigger for fat gain. Insulin is a hormone you make when you eat carbs and protein. Eating little bits all day long keeps insulin high. Eat two or three square meals a day like your great-grandmother used to do. “I eat my food at meals, I don’t need snacks.”
Supplement with Vinegar. 10 mL of vinegar before lunch and dinner (typically, I use apple cider vinegar) in a cup of water activates the AMPK enzyme. AMPK tells your body it’s time to burn fat. “Am I using fat as fuel today?”
Focus your exercise on building muscle. The best way to burn calories isn't exercise. It is having muscle mass so you can burn calories when you are resting. After menopause women lose muscle. Beyond weight loss, you want to be toned, agile, fit, and moving without pain.
Say it with me, "Losing muscle mass is not an option." Cardio and walking are good for you, but also incorporate weight-bearing moves. Squats, pushups, tricep dips, step ups and lunges build muscle. It will give you the look you want. By increasing your muscle mass you also increase calorie burning at rest - so when you are watching Netflix or relaxing.
Questions about fat loss in menopause? I have free 10 minute calls. Book here.