Most women gain weight as they age, but excess pounds aren’t inevitable. To minimize menopause weight gain, step up your activity level and enjoy a healthy diet.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
As you get older, you might notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, many women gain weight around the menopause transition.
Menopause weight gain isn’t inevitable, however. You can reverse course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.
What causes menopause weight gain?
The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. But, hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily cause menopause weight gain. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors.
For example, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat increases. Losing muscle mass slows the rate at which your body uses calories (metabolism). This can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. If you continue to eat as you always have and don’t increase your physical activity, you’re likely to gain weight.
Genetic factors might also play a role in menopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same.
Other factors, such as a lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and not enough sleep, might contribute to menopause weight gain. When people don’t get enough sleep, they tend to snack more and consume more calories.
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