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  • Carol Michaels

Weight Loss During Menopause

Women have tendency to gain weight at menopause. Additionally, sarcopenia increases which is the change in the muscle-to-fat ratio. The good news is that you can reverse this muscle loss at any age. Here are a few tips:

Strength training can help you to rid yourself of those extra pounds. It is necessary to strength train to increase muscle mass because we lose muscle mass as we age.   Strength training improves the muscle-to-fat ratio. Having more muscle will increase metabolism. A pound of muscle burns twice as many calories as does a pound of fat. Muscles are metabolically active which means that they burn calories at rest and during exercise. Since muscle is metabolically active, more muscle mass means a faster metabolism. Therefore, strength training can help you keep your weight under control and help with weight loss. 

Strength or resistance training can also decrease your risk of injury and improve athletic performance. It improves balance, agility, coordination, and energy levels which might increase the motivation to be physically active. Since menopause related weight gain tends to accumulate in the abdominal area, make sure to include exercise that strengthens the core and increase the intensity of aerobic exercise. There are other factors that may cause you to gain weight during menopause. Middle age women may be on various medications that can cause weight gain. Also, some believe that the decrease in estrogen will decrease metabolism.  Sleep habits may change which can cause you to overeat.

Some women at middle age are dealing with increased stress levels leading to overeating and/or making poor food selections.For example it is common for middle age women to be dealing with issues with their children and aging parents . Research has shown that relaxation breathing techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety. When feeling stressed, we usually take shallow breaths. During menopause try to decrease stress by using full lung capacity and breathing slowly and deeply. Relaxation breathing as it has a calming effect and can decrease cortisol levels. Inhale for 5 seconds and fill the torso up with air, then exhale from the lower abdomen for 5 seconds, pressing the navel in towards the spine. Imagine all of your tension and stress leaving your body with each exhalation.  As we get older it is more important than ever to keep physically active and watch food intake.  During my experience as a fitness professional,  I have observed that it is helpful to decrease white starches.

Be careful when dining outside of the home. Also watch alcohol intake. A menopausal women may claim that she is only drinking just one glass of wine daily and gaining weight. The size of the glass matters. This glass of wine could amount to 12 ounces and many extra calories!

Carol Michaels 973-379-4779


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