During menopause, you tend to gain weight rather than lose weight. In order to avoid weight gain or even reduce body fat, you should know why the body stores more fat in women over 50.
We’ll explain to you why many women who go through menopause, called climacteric in medical jargon, gain weight.
Losing Weight During Menopause: Why It’s So Hard
The following happens in the female body: During the menopause, your body gradually reduces the production of estrogen, so that the estrogen level decreases progressively. The hormone estrogen is not only involved in the female cycle, but also has an impact on various metabolic processes in your body, such as fat burning.
In addition, due to the low level of estrogen and the increasing dominance of the hormone testosterone during menopause, the distribution of fat in your body changes. The body fat now collects less in the “typically female areas”, such as the hips. Rather, like men, your body now stores more fat in the middle of the body, i.e. on the stomach.
Estrogen deficiency and low basal metabolic rate
The lack of estrogen makes it difficult to lose weight during and after menopause. In addition, the basal metabolic rate is lower during and after the menopause: the body simply doesn’t need as much energy as it did in younger years. Those who do not take this into account in their diet will gain weight.
Strict discipline is required to maintain weight or lose extra pounds during menopause.
With our calculator you can work out your daily energy requirement and then use a nutrition app to make sure you don’t exceed it – or you can easily earn the piece of cake with a little more exercise:
Calorie deficit and exercise are a must
We will show you what you can do to stimulate your metabolism and thus keep your shape during and after the menopause. So much in advance: Without enough exercise and a balanced diet, it won’t work.
Even if it is only a small consolation: Many women struggle with their weight during the menopause – even celebrity women often gain weight due to the hormonal changes. You can avoid this by increasing your metabolism and avoiding unnecessary calories.
Movement begins in everyday life and ends with sports or yoga
The more you challenge your body, the more calories it burns. You don’t have to become a top athlete because of that. In everyday life there are plenty of exercise options – for example, you burn a lot of calories during a leisurely walk.
In our calorie calculator you can see what you can burn well in everyday life:
Leave the car parked more often and walk to burn calories more or less, or take a bike. Where there are elevators, stairs are usually not far. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you also do “real” sport: It doesn’t necessarily have to be endurance sports or muscle training on machines, but you can also try out yoga or pilates for yourself.
Change of diet and intermittent fasting before dieting
To be clear in advance: diets are not recommended. Usually, because of the dreaded yo-yo effect, you weigh more afterwards than before the diet.
Intermittent fasting, for example the 18: 6 method, is far better. Fat burning is stimulated during the time you are not eating.
But even in a shorter mealtime window, you should pay attention to what you eat. With a long-term diet change, you can maintain your weight. It is important that your diet is balanced: a lot of vegetables and some fruit should land on your plate every day.
Lots of protein and few carbs
It also makes sense if you consume plenty of protein. Protein is not only important for building muscle. In order to digest protein, the body needs more energy – which in turn stimulates the metabolism. In addition, you strengthen your muscles and bones, which you still need in old age and should protect against their natural degradation.
In contrast, you should generally reduce your carbohydrate intake. Low carb is a good way to maintain or lose weight.
It is also crucial which carbohydrates you consume: Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index cause you to get hungry again a short time after eating. This group of carbohydrates includes white flour products, pasta and white rice. Sugar should also be an exception in your diet.
Complex carbohydrates, i.e. whole grain products with a lower glycemic index, are significantly better. So if you want to maintain your weight or even lose weight, diet plays a key role during menopause.
Little salt and drink a lot
Salt makes the body store water. This is not noticeable as love handles, but it still floats the body up and shows itself on the scales. Some foods, like asparagus and pineapple, will help you get rid of water retention.
If you also drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water every day, this will boost your metabolism enormously. A study from 2003 shows that 500 milliliters of water are enough to make the body’s energy consumption increase noticeably.
If you like to drink coffee, you will benefit from the caffeine in the pick-me-up. Caffeine stimulates the metabolism. If you are more of a tea drinker, choose black, green, or white tea. Ginger and mate tea are true boosters for the metabolism.
But hot spices and cinnamon can also heat up the metabolism and replace sugar or spice up vegetables and co.
If you want to know what you can do about muscle loss after menopause, please read our next guide on the subject.