GP talks about the impact of the menopause on weight gain
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The menopause comes with a hefty list of symptoms and weight gain can be a struggle for many women suffering from “the change”. But there are simple ways to reduce the chances of putting on the pounds, say experts.
“Weight gain is more common before and especially after menopause,” confirmed Lynn Pattimakiel, a certified menopause practitioner.
But that doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it, as she added: “It may take more mindfulness to maintain your weight, but it’s possible.”
Gaining weight as you get older has been found to affect women in the years leading up to menopause because their estrogen levels start to decline.
Dr Pattimakiel explained: “Every year we get older, our metabolisms slow down.
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“Then around menopause, it’s common to see a significant drop.
“When your metabolism is slower, it’s harder to lose weight,” she said.
So, even if a person ate healthily when they were younger, they are still more likely to gain weight.
But by having a good strategy to follow when it comes to your lifestyle, people could find their weight gain decreases dramatically.
Dr Pattimakiel suggests a selection of strategies to help you avoid weight gain during and after menopause.
1. Structure your meals
Eating regular meals and healthy snacks will help you keep weight off and feel more satisfied.
“Don’t skip meals or try fad diets. Those can further slow down your metabolism and make it even harder to lose weight,” she stated.
She also recommended avoiding late-night eating and to consume bigger meals earlier in the day, so there’s more time to burn calories before going to bed.
2. Focus on healthy calories.
The menopause practitioner suggested building meals around “healthy calories”.
“It can be harder to burn starchy carbs like bread, pasta and baked goods, so be mindful of cutting back or avoiding those,” Dr Pattimakiel acknowledged.
“Beverages, too, are often a source of sneaky calories. To cut back, reach for sparkling water in place of wine or soda. Add a splash of milk to brewed coffee instead of ordering a latte.”
3. Intermittent fasting could also aid weight loss.
Dr Pattimakiel made it clear that skipping meals is a “no-go”, but revealed some people have success by consuming their healthy goal calories within an eight-hour window.
“This type of eating pattern can help you burn calories more efficiently,” she said.
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