Most women fear the dreaded ‘middle age spread’. You know, that time in mid life when everything about a woman’s body begins to change, including her shape! It used to be that this was just an accepted part of aging, but the Baby Boomer generation does not want to age gracefully. They will fight every step of the way and that includes menopausal weight gain!
Why do women put on extra weight during menopause? A lot of it has to do with hormone levels. As your body’s production of estrogen and other essential hormones slows down, you begin to burn fat differently. Since your body has had adequate levels of hormones since your early teens, having those levels drop drastically is a shock to your system. As a result everything starts to change, including how you gain weight and where you gain it.
In addition to the hormonal change, your body is naturally starting to slow down a bit. You may not be as active as you were ten years ago and your body needs that activity to effectively burn fat. Plus, as your physical activity decreases so does your muscle mass. Muscle is a very efficient fat burner, but as your muscle mass goes down your body burns less calories. This translates into additional weight gain.
So what can you do to help avoid gaining weight during menopause? First of all you need to evaluate your diet. Are there areas that you can do better in? Eat as much fresh produce and whole grains as you can. Not only will these foods help your body burn fat more effectively, they will help to boost your overall health as well.
Get regular exercise. If you currently have an exercise program, step it up a bit. If you aren’t exercising now is a great time to start. Regular exercise will help keep the weight gain at bay as well as help you build muscle mass for fat burning. Plus, just like putting good food into your body, exercise will help keep your heart healthy and give your general health a boost.
Add resistance. Since your body is losing muscle, it is time to build it back up. You don’t have to become a muscle bound weight lifter for weight training to be effective. Use some light weights or resistance bands to help build muscle in your arms and legs. In addition to helping you body burn fat, the added muscle will help you with every day chores and your arms will look great in a sleeveless dress!
Unfortunately our bodies change as we age, but we can fight it. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise and you can help prevent the weight gain that goes along with menopause.
Piper is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, good nutrition, and the outdoors. She loves to work in the garden with her electric garden tiller. She enjoys nature, reading and most of all gardening! She loves to tell others about the advantages of a small tiller to make working in the garden a breeze!
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