While weight loss my seem difficult in middle age, it’s important to keep your weight under control in order to avoid other “health consequences”. And by doing a few “important” things, people can improve their health and lose weight in the process.
Weight loss expert, nutritionist and personal trainer Malia Frey, offered some advice for women struggling to shift the unwanted menopausal pounds.
Adopt healthy eating habits
Malia explained: “Healthier eating habits are important for weight loss, especially when women reach menopause.”
She suggested following the Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with reduced body weight and waist circumference in postmenopausal women.
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If women fail to reduce their calorie intake, it means they will put on weight as a result of overeating.
The NHS guidelines suggest that menopausal women may need “around 200 fewer calories” each day.
Changing hormone levels also affect the way women store fat, and the body will tend to store more calories than it burns.
This then causes a build-up of fat around the midsection in particular, posing a specific health risk.
Belly fat can be tricky to get rid of but fat storage in this area is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attacks, and can be bad news for other serious conditions.
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Make a plan to stay active
Many people exercise less as they get older but the reasons why vary.
Some people just feel that they have less energy whereas others may have gotten used to a sedentary routine.
“Regardless, the priority shift can have consequences,” Malia warned.
“People who gain weight in middle age have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
“Your plan to lose weight after menopause should include a programme to stay active.
“You may want to invest in a fitness tracker or activity monitor to make sure you’re moving enough each day.”
Get more exercise
With this in mind, people can consider joining a gym or forming an exercise group with friends or coworkers.
Malia suggested starting an exercise programme at home if people are retired or don’t work: “People who are very physically active before menopause are usually the most physically active during and after menopause,” she said.
“So what does this mean for you? It’s a good reminder to make exercise a part of your life at every stage.
“Don’t wait until you need to lose weight to start an exercise programme.”
She continued: “Get support from your family, involve your kids, and do what is necessary to stay fit and active.
“It will pay off in the long run.”