Flowers shaped as a woman's undies

The body goes through many changes during menopause, which is the time when you stop having menstrual periods for a full year. Weight gain is common during menopause, and losing weight during and after this can be difficult.

This article will describe ways to safely and effectively lose weight during menopause.

Why is it harder to lose weight during and after menopause?

Many symptoms and changes that come with menopause – such as hormonal changes, stress, and your body’s natural aging process – can make it seem impossible to lose weight. Continue reading to learn more about why menopause makes it harder to lose weight.

Estrogen levels decrease

Estrogen is one of the main sex hormones in females. It contributes to the following:

  • Characteristics of your physical sex
  • Maintaining bone health
  • Regulating cholesterol levels
  • Regulating the menstrual cycle
woman having menstrual pain

During menopause, your estrogen levels become substantially lower. Although this is not a direct cause of weight gain, it can increase your total body fat and abdominal fat. Being overweight or obese in middle age increases your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Hormone replacement therapy can restore your estrogen levels to normal and make you less likely to gain abdominal fat.

Your body ages

Menopause is part of the aging process, which also causes your metabolism to slow down. Aging also often leads to reduced physical activity. A slower metabolism and less exercise lead to muscle mass loss and body fat increase.

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You may not sleep well

Hot flashes or night sweats caused by menopause can cause you to get poor sleep. Studies have associated sleep deprivation with weight gain.

You become more resistant to insulin

It is common for women to become insulin resistant as they get older, which can make losing weight more difficult because insulin regulates appetite and blood sugar levels.

person sleeping on the couch

Tips for losing weight during or after menopause

Although losing weight during and after menopause can be a challenge, there are several things you can do to lose weight during this part of your life.

Eat protein and low carbs

Eating enough protein as part of a well thought out diet prevents the loss of muscle mass and can help you feel full for longer.

Adhering to a low-carb or ketogenic diet can keep your insulin levels low, which can help you gain less abdominal fat.

A piece of meat sitting on top of a white plate

Restrict the time when you eat

Restricting the time when you eat through intermittent fasting can make it easier to consume fewer overall calories each day with comparable results to calorie counting.

Avoid excess snacking and alcohol

Overindulging in alcohol or unhealthy snacks can cause you to gain weight due to excess calorie intake.

A table topped with sandwiches and beer glasses

Even some healthy snacks, like nuts, can make you gain weight if you eat too many.

Make sleep a priority

We have talked about how menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats decrease the quality of your sleep. Giving yourself time to get the rest it needs can help you get better sleep, which can decrease cortisol and reduce insulin resistance.

Here are some tips for improving your sleep:

  • Don’t use electronic devices an hour before bedtime
  • Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day and night
  • Make sure your bedroom is a restful environment without distractions

Use relaxation techniques to manage stress

It can be difficult to manage stress during menopause, and increased stress levels can result in weight gains. Exercise, meditation, and yoga can help reduce the stress contributing to weight gain.

person meditating outside

Lift weights, do resistance exercises, and get plenty of cardio workouts

These types of exercises can help you maintain and develop muscle mass. Cardio can help you burn excess fat. Exercise also helps burn calories, positively working with diets, calorie counting, and/or intermittent fasting.

Consider your medications

Investigate the possible side effects of all the medications you take. Weight gain is a side effect of multiple medications. Talk to your doctor if you think your medication may be to blame for your weight gain, and see if you can take a different medication that does not negatively impact your weight loss goals.

pills, tablets and other medication

Talk to your doctor

A doctor can help guide you toward the right meal and exercise plans. A doctor can also prescribe weight loss medication like Wegovy.

Wegovy is a weekly injection that helps overweight and obese people lose weight and manage their weight long-term. Suppose you are overweight and want to take Wegovy. In that case, you must have a body mass index (BMI) between 27 to 30 and at least one co-occurring health condition related to your weight (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes).

patient consulting with a doctor

A 68-week trial of Wegovy revealed that participants without type 2 diabetes lost a mean amount of nearly 15% of their initial body weight, and people with type 2 diabetes lost 6.8% of their initial body weight.

Conclusion

With the right approach that includes healthy eating, adequate sleep, physical activity, and support from healthcare professionals, you can lose weight effectively and safely during or after menopause.

Reach Your Weight Loss Goals With Semaglutide

Semaglutide (the same ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic) is the only proven FDA-approved medication for long-term weight loss and management. Medical weight loss medications can help you on your journey toward your ideal weight.

Book a convenient online consultation and health check followed by a lab test. Eligible individuals will receive a medical weight loss prescription with medications delivered directly to your home.

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