Perimenopause and menopause hormonal changes may make you more likely to gain weight. Most women gain most of their weight around their abdomen. Weight gain is also related to lifestyle and the residual effect of inactivity. Metabolism and muscle mass diminishes with age and if nothing is done to replace it, your body composition will also shift to more fat and less muscle which slows down the rate in which calories are burned. Continuing to eat the way in which you were accustomed to and lack of exercise will more likely create weight gain.
So, what can we do about it? Here’s a story about a client of mine, let’s call her Mrs. H. Mrs. H. is a 58 year old woman. She is always on the go but has found herself gaining weight. She is struggling with med section weight gain, love handles and some back fat. Mrs. H. is otherwise healthy and follows a fairly healthy diet. Mrs. H. does not care to exercise on her own despite the beautiful gym in her home. It was at her son’s recommendation that she hire a personal trainer who deals with menopausal women in order to motivate her. He believed that his mother should stay fit and has the capability in doing so. He knew that what she needed was reassurance and motivation. With this Mrs. H. contacted me.
Upon meeting with her, I quickly discovered that it was indeed reassurance and motivation that she needed to overcome the symptom of menopause weight gain. It was without doubt that Mrs. H. is physically strong but deconditioned. Mrs. H. also needed to hear that she deserved to look and feel her best despite what her upbringing had preached. As she put it, “women should not exercise for personal reasons and private reasons.” On the contrary women should exercise in order to be able to continue a healthy life during and post menopause and to be an efficiently productive wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I believe that a happy mom is a happy family.
Mrs. H. quickly adapted and realized that in order to reduce her menopausal symptom of weight gain and to fight the battle of the bulge, she needed to continue her exercise regimen. She now looks forward to our sessions and no longer finds excuses to wan to cancel. As a matter of fact, she readjusts her schedule so that we can meet. When we first started our sessions together Mrs. H. did not smile and couldn’t wait until it was over. She now a smile, laughs, has her water ready and frequently says, “It’s over already, don’t leave.”
Mrs. H. also reduced her calorie intake as she felt it would help her loose the weight she was gaining. What she didn’t realize was that she needed to adjust her diet to a healthier one. I recommended that she continue eating a well balanced diet to include a minimum of three meals a day. She was advised to eat protein, vegetables and a healthy carb with breakfast, lunch and dinner. She was also reminded of the importance of keeping well hydrated. This would provide her the nutrition she needed to boost her metabolism and to give her the energy required not only to exercise but to have a productive day as well. She was also told of eating foods that contain a healthy fat and to eat post exercise. She first thought that was nuts as she just burned calories. What she neglected to see is that her body needed to refuel in order to maintain the muscle mass and to recover. Mrs. H.
Mrs. H. is a true inspiration to all menopausal women. She understands the importance of a healthy diet and exercise for menopause weight gain. She is also motivated and committed to a new lifestyle and believes that she deserves to look and feel her best.
Here are 5 simple ways to keep the symptoms of menopause weight gain away and those that Mrs. H. continues to follow in her daily routine:
While it is still a challenge to motivate Mrs. H. to exercise on her own, she continues to become more confident with each of our sessions together. She is from my observation, a happier, stronger and healthier woman. Mrs. H. continues to be motivated and feels great.
Perimenopausal and menopausal woman don’t have to struggle through the middle-age bulge. They don’t have to settle for anything at this stage of their life, let alone weight gain. You’re not stuck with it, you can make the change.
Until next time, Be empowered, Stay motivated, Be connected … AnnaMaria
About the author: AnnaMaria is a 49 year old single mother of two. She has had the privilege of assisting many perimenopausal, menopausal and post menopausal woman transform their lives not only physically but emotionally. It is with compassion and understanding as she journeys through the phase of menopause to share her experiences and knowledge with all women. Her goal is to empower women to know that age doesn’t matter, to know that they deserve to look and feel their best and to help solve the menopause puzzle.
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