Weight gain during menopause continues to be a challenge to women.  About 30% of women aged 50-59 are not just overweight, but obese.  This weight gain increases one's risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.    Just when we are getting used to the other symptoms often associated with menopause (hot flashes, insomnia, etc), we now have to worry about other serious chronic diseases!   It's hard not to say, "aging is not for sissies".

So why does menopause add those unwanted inches?  Scientists and physicians indicate that it is probably due to a number of factors related to both menopause and aging.

In animal studies, estrogen appears to help regulate body weight.  With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active.  Reduced estrogen may also lower metabolic rate (rate at which the body converts stored energy into working energy).  It is possible that the same thing happens to women when their estrogen level drops at menopause.  There is some evidence that estrogen hormone therapy may increase one's resting metabolic rate, slowing weight gain.

Other factors for this weight gain are related to aging.  As we age, we exercise less.  This leads to increased loss of muscle mass, which decreases our resting metabolism even more!  This makes it easier to gain weight.   As we age, our aerobic capacity also declines (the rate we use up energy during exercise). To compensate for this, we may need to increase the amount of time we exercise in order to achieve the same weight loss we experienced while exercising when when we were younger.

To learn more how exercise can help control menopausal weight gain and some tips for ensuring success, click here.



Thanks for sharing the thoughts, and you are absolutely right - medical assistants are the cornerstones of our medical system and unfortunately we are running short of them. I hope you can attract more talents to join the course and wish you all the success.

its hard... my mom is actually really overweight but I dont know how to consider it obese or not.. How do i know?

That particular case of weight gain is frequent among women over 50. Hormone paterns change and weight gain can install.

My best friend had a hysterectomy at age 35 and did not take ant estrogen. She did not gain any weight until she was about 45 then she just continued packing on the pounds. In her case I am not sure her weight gain can be contributed to menopause or lack of estrogen. Interestingly she is as active as she used to be.

I know aging causes weight gain because of slower metabolic rate, but I don't know it's related to menopause. Does it mean that a 50 year old woman would have a higher possibility to overweight than a 50 year old man?

This article is really great. I learned a lot about gaining weight during menopausal period. Women nowadays should spent time to excercise more.

"Other factors for this weight gain are related to aging. As we age, we exercise less. This leads to increased loss of muscle mass, which decreases our resting metabolism even more! This makes it easier to gain weight. As we age, our aerobic capacity also declines (the rate we use up energy during exercise). To compensate for this, we may need to increase the amount of time we exercise in order to achieve the same weight loss we experienced while exercising when when we were younger." Very informative post.

Weight gain, along with hot flashes, insomia, depression, irregular menstruation and even osteoporosis are the most common symptoms of menopause. There are many ways to address the symptoms of menopause. Among these are hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and alternative therapies. The safest and most effective way to relieve menopausal symptoms is through the use of natural or bioidentical hormone therapy.

I started gaining weight just after my kids were born. It was gradual so I blew it off and thought it was just a passing phase. What a mistake. Now that I have hit menopause I have another thrilling thing to look forward to. Is there any positive benefit to having a female body?

i think the foods we are eating now days are making it worse. the people who are in their 80's right now are not as overweight as people half their age. And the people in their 80's did not have a steady diet of processed foods!

When I hit 40 it was like my body changed overnight. I started gaining weight for no apparent reason. It was also much harder to lose weight. Exercise is definitely essential as you get older and your metabolism slows down. You also need to watch the types of foods that you are eating.

Great post. I think that the "middle age spread" is not inevitable if you a good diet and exercise regime and a positive attitude.

Absolutely true that women are inclined to weight gain in menopause. As you have noted in the article it is an issue of primarily hormonal changes. In fact this phenomenon is being replicated not only in women but men and indeed the population at all ages. This is because of what is called an "estrogenic environment". We are using products that pass into our bodies elements that mimic the hormone estrogen. This includes plastics, fragrances, pesticides etc. These elements make one gain weight that is very resistant to diet and even exercises. So whatever strategy one uses to deal with this kind of fat need to go beyond dieting and exercising.

It is very important for women adjust their diet and start exercising more once they reach menopause. Reduction of muscle tissue is one of the causes of weight gain, as metabolism slows down and a person becomes less active. Weight training exercises done 3 times a week will help to maintain a healthy level of muscle tissue and control weight.

No matter what age we are in, we should really do our best to stay in shape or at least maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle especially during menopause.

The trick to effectively losing weight even for women who have reached menopause is diet combined with exercise. The bodies metabolic rate takes time to change approx 2 years, so one must maintain the regime for a period of longer than 2 years, or your body will want to go back to its original form.

Sheila my partner has always been concerned about her rapid weight gains. Even whilst eating less and exercising more by going for long walks, she's still discovers lots of fat gathering around her abdominal area. Until we discovered it was due to her entering her menopause phase. Your material has helped us re-emphasized the fact. Are there recommendation for getting rid of these weight gains or perhaps at least lessen the pace at which these fats build up? We've been told to engage in regular daily exercise which we've been doing already. Thanks for your help.

I'm curious how many of these women are living a healthy life style before they hit this stage in this life?

these two (menopause & Weight Gain) are two emerging health issues. thx for such a nice post.

Scientists and physicians indicate that it is probably due to a number of factors related to both menopause and aging.

Regardless of our age, we really need to be conscious on our calorie intake and the way we handle our lifestyles. We should always keep in mind our own BMR or basal metabolic rate for a healthier life because for me BMR is a great baseline for weight loss. The more we stay physically active the more our metabolism gets higher. Nice read!

This is why I am also against a woman having a hysterectomy at to young of an age as it would bring on menopause way to early...imagine your wife at 35 going through menopause?

It seems that women go through many changes in life, No wonder It's hard for them to understand themselves so men please be aware of these changes and deal with them accordingly, Stay sweet to your girlfriend/wife. Thanks for the article.

Its just a matter of metabolism, if at later or younger age. I know people who are old and thin ... its because of their metabolism.

I am currently turning 50 so I am working really hard to lose any extra weight & stay fit I know it will be a challenge but I am up for it! EDITOR's NOTE: Go for it!!!

It is really tough as you get older you are not as active and your metabilism slows way down so finding ways to stay active is important as you get older & if you work hard to eat healthy & get some regular exercise you should do ok

Yes, oestrogen is a big reason. However, if women can have the correct eating habits and exercise regularly, there's no reason why they can't lose weight. Eat foods that raise metabolism and spreads your meals out into 6 sittings. Exercise is a no brainer. Hope this helps :)

I've been working with my mother who's going through this currently. It seems that exercise and eating well work better for some than others. In other words, there are a lot of factors, like metabolism, attitude, environment, etc.. It is impossible to have a one size fits all solution to anything.

Thanks for the useful information. I have emailed it to my mother who I'm sure will be very grateful.

I work with a nutritionist and exercise physiologist who has treated more than 10,000 women in his private practice for menopausal symtoms related to weight gain. He has recently published a book entitled Menopause Reset. In it he provides a program for women suffering weight gain during menopause. He helps them to reset their mind, reset their eating patterns, and to reset their levels of physical activity to combat weight gain during menopause and other menopausal symptoms related to weight gain.

I read your info about weight gain during menopause. Your links to the other info on that topic are resources for me. My age group has a huge risk for diabetes, and this type of info could help some of us prevent it. I'll pass it on to all my friends... these articles have some approaches we may not have thought about before.

Yes, I also think that in this age, women are exercising less, and this is leading to the loss of muscles. EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not always sure that women are exercising less. The problem is: women need MORE exercise to keep the weight off than they did when they were younger.

It seems that each week there are actually one or much more new fat loss diets becoming promoted within the media. Each and every 1 is billed as getting superior than all of the rest. But what exactly is truly the truth? Moreover, if these fat loss diets work so well, why are they always getting replaced by new ones, and how do you work out which diet will actually work for you?

Choose fat loss diets that you can commit to. Remember, most work if you follow the program in the long run. Have a mind toward choosing something you can realistically see as a permanent lifestyle change.

Maintaining or increasing the level of activity through exercising or a hobby is certainly one method of reducing the effects of menopause.

This Article is Great! I've learnt a lot reading through this article and agree 110% with what you've displayed, I can tell that this article is legit through your use of evidence and the way it is set out, keep up the good work! Cheers,