Ever notice that keeping off those extra pounds gets trickier as we age? Especially around the big M (menopause) time? Trust me, it’s a common struggle especially among women who are in the perimenopause and menopause phases. But with the right balance of activity and healthy eating, we can tackle this!
Why does this weight creep up during menopause? It’s a combination of things. Menopause messes with our hormones, making some of us gain weight around the belly. But it’s not just about hormones. Aging, our lifestyles, and even our genes play a part. As we age, our muscles shrink, fat goes up, and our calorie-burning rate (aka metabolism) drops. So, if you’re munching like you did in your 20s and chilling on the couch more, it makes sense the scale might tip. Also, if your family tends to have belly weight, you might too. And hey, if you’re skimping on sleep and not eating great, that doesn’t help either.
What’s the big deal about this weight? More weight, especially around the middle, can be bad news for our health. Think breathing issues, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers.
How to dodge (or dump) this weight: No magic tricks here, just some old-school advice:
- Move it! Getting your groove on – be it dancing, walking, or lifting weights – can help keep those pounds in check. Aim for around 150 to 200 minutes of brisk walking a week or some solid strength training a couple of times. Find something you enjoy, like gardening or yoga. More movement also means better sleep. Win-win!
- Watch what you eat. As we hit our 50s, we generally need fewer calories. Go for more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Think plant-based! Fewer steaks, more fish, and switch out butter for healthier oils. And keep an eye on those sugary treats and drinks; they add up!
- Ease up on the booze. Alcohol might hinder the body’s fat-burning abilities. On top of that, booze is sneakily full of calories and can sometimes leave us hungrier, tricking us into thinking we haven’t eaten enough. And let’s be real, who hasn’t craved some salty or fatty snacks after a couple of drinks? Just something to think about.
- Get a cheer squad. Have friends and family on board with your health goals. Or better yet, team up and make these changes together.
You’ve got this! Adjusting some habits can make all the difference.