Weight Gain After Menopause

Stopping weight gain after menopause is not always that easy.

It’s not uncommon to pack on a few extra pounds for women who have reached this stage in their life.

Menopause generally occurs in your late 40’s or early 50’s. It can occur before or after these times.

If a woman experiences menopause before age 45 but after age 40, this is considered early menopause.

If it occurs before age 40, this is considered premature menopause.

Regardless of what age you experience menopause, most women will begin to notice the weight gain prior to menopause and start to see some middle age spread. 

During perimenopause, which are the years leading up to menopause, it is not unusual to gain about a pound a year during this transition. 

This weight gain tends to settle in your stomach rather than around the hips and thighs.

Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is the absence of menstrual periods.  You have not officially hit menopause until 12 months after your last period.

Your symptoms can occur long before you officially hit menopause. These symptoms include;

  • Irregular Periods
  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Mood Swings
  • Increased Stomach Fat
  • Thinning Hair
In the years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, you may experience hot flashes or other symptoms even though you still menstruate.

Your periods may get lighter or heavier, occur more often or less often and last longer or shorter.  Perimenopause generally lasts 4 to 5 years.

Postmenopause begins once 12 months has passed since your last period. Once this time has come you have reached menopause and the years after this are called postmenopause.  

Your ovaries produce a lot less estrogen and produces no progesterone.  You no longer produce any eggs either.

Reason for Weight Gain 

Although it would be easy to believe that hormonal changes alone are the primary cause for weight gain after menopause.  Unfortunately, it is more likely due to specific lifestyle choices.  


Women who have reached menopause tend to exercise less than other women.This lessened activity level can lead to weight gain.  So get motivated to exercise with these tips.

chicken mealEating

With a reduced exercise level and eating the same, you are actually consuming more calories than prior to menopause. 

Healthy eating habits are a key ingredient to maintaining or losing weight at any age. 

However, post menopause this becomes even more critical in order to lose those unwanted pounds.


Another main cause for weight gain after menopause is your changing metabolism.  As we age our metabolism slows down and we burn fewer calories.  This is mainly because of reduced muscle mass. 

As we age, our muscle mass is reduced and instead is replaced with stored fat.  Muscles are more metabolically demanding and burn more calories than fat.


This is one factor that unfortunately you have no choice in the matter.  Genetics can play a role in weight gain during and after menopause.  If your parents or other close relatives tend to gain weight in the abdomen, then the likelihood you will gain weight in this area is high.

Way to Reverse Weight Gain after Menopause

The secret to preventing weight gain is the same for all ages. Menopause just means you have to work harder at applying the weight loss formula.

To achieve weight loss is a simple formula of consuming fewer calories than you burn. You can achieve this by following two simple tips; get active and eat healthy.

Get Active

senior women doing water aerobicsThe more active you become the more calories you burn and the more you rev up your slowing metabolism. 

A structured weekly exercise routine is probably the number one way to reverse the weight gain after menopause.

Aerobic exercises help burn excess fat and calories and gives your metabolism a boost.  You should aim for 30 to 45 minutes a day of aerobics, 3 to 4 times a week. 

Your aerobic exercise can be a brisk walk, walking on the treadmill, using an elliptical machine or even water aerobics.  Walking for exercise is easier on the joints than jogging or running and can be just as effective at burning calories.  

Water aerobics are also another great "joint friendly" way to burn those calories.

Strength training needs to be part of your weekly exercise routine.  Remember as we age we lose muscle mass. 

With strength training you can get back muscle mass and tone and strengthen the body.  This in turn will increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories. 

Strength training doesn’t have to be heavy weight lifting.  Instead try doing resistance band exercises or dumbbell exercises.  These methods of strength training provide enough resistance to effectively build lean muscles.

Find other ways to become more active in addition to structured exercise.  Do gardening during the spring and summer months, take up riding bikes with the grandkids or get your significant other out for some dancing out on the town.

Eat Healthy

The other key factor to reversing weight gain after menopause is your eating habits. 

You are burning fewer calories now that the metabolism has slowed down so you need to adjust your calorie consumption. 

woman eating tomatoDetermine the proper calorie intake for your age using this interactive weight loss calculator.

Once you know the proper calorie intake for weight loss you want to make healthy food selections.  

Eating healthy is not just for weight loss but a great way to get and stay fit. 

You want to get the most out of the calories you consume so make healthy selections.  Your food choices should be low in saturated fats and high in vitamins and minerals. 

Check out the USDA guidelines to the various food groups to help design your healthy eating plan.  It may be necessary to take a supplement as well to ensure you have enough calcium and other vitamins. 

Although weight gain after menopause is common it doesn’t have to be inevitable.   By becoming more active and eating healthier you can stop or reverse this weight gain and begin to shed those unwanted pounds.

Check out these metabolsim boosting tips to reverse weight gain after menopause.

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