When women hit a certain age, it is natural for us to be concerned that every moment of overheating or slight change to our monthly period could be the beginning of menopause.

This article looks at the signs that you might be experiencing the early stages of menopause and how it might affect your Slimming World, WW, Noom or other weight loss journey now and in the future.

Menopause weight loss is a concern for many women so hopefully, these tips will help.

menopause calendar

What is the menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It typically occurs between the ages of 45-55, but can vary from individual to individual.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen and progesterone, leading to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle and ultimately, the end of periods.

While this process can bring about uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia, it is important to know that it is a normal, expected part of ageing.

By taking care of oneself with proper nutrition, exercise, and self-care, women can navigate this transition in a healthy and positive way.

What are the signs of menopause?

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Intimate dryness
  • Changes to your monthly period, such as them becoming irregular
  • Sleeping problems leading to fatigue
  • Reduced need for intimacy
  • Memory and concentration difficulties

If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms listed above on a regular basis, it would be worth speaking to your GP if you feel unable to control them.

Going through menopause can be a challenging time in your life, with your hormones playing havoc and your emotions all over the place.

Unfortunately, many of the symptoms associated with menopause, such as menopause joint pain, can go hand in hand with thyroid issues, to make menopause weight loss even harder.

Another reason why speaking to a medical professional is imperative.

lady experiencing menopause weight loss hot flushes

Why do women gain weight during menopause?

With hormonal changes, metabolic function alters and women tend to store more fat. A drop in estrogen levels can also lead to a decrease in lean muscle mass, slowing down metabolism.

That’s not all. Menopause also brings with it emotional and psychological changes, often leading to stress eating and disrupting healthy eating habits.

Is menopause weight loss possible?

Lower levels of oestrogen in a woman’s body, once menopause begins, mean that many women do end up putting on weight or indeed find it more of a challenge to shift it.

That doesn’t mean it is impossible to lose weight during menopause but it may be a little harder.

As we age, our bodies change regularly and so, we need to adjust the way we fuel and treat ourselves.

working out for weight loss

Nishtha Patel, The Gut Expert says

Firstly, hormones such as estrogen fluctuate and this can cause an increase in fat storage.

During menopause, muscle mass can decrease and lead to a further increase in weight.

These hormonal fluctuations are also responsible for disturbed sleep and night sweats.

Studies show that quality sleep is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and disturbed or lack of sleep can cause weight gain.

Many women just try and calorie count without exercising and this is another reason that can cause a decreased metabolic rate thus making it even harder to achieve weight loss.

Furthermore, fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to the abdomen during menopause. This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The risk of becoming insulin-resistant increases with age. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood thus leading to possible diabetes and heart disease.

menopause in a dictionary

Choosing exercise and food for menopause weight loss

Anne Iarchy, a weight and healthy lifestyle coach says

As we go through menopause, from peri to post, our hormones change. Oestrogen, produced by the ovaries, is our female sex hormone.

As our levels of oestrogen drop, we are more prone to gain weight, mostly due to the fact that we become more insulin-sensitive. To overcome these natural changes, we have to revisit our eating habits and our lifestyle.

Upping our healthy fats and vegetable intake while reducing our sugar and carbohydrate intake will help you prevent that weight gain which we often associate with menopause.

It’s also very important at that stage to reduce our stress levels. Stress produces the hormone cortisol which manifests itself around the middle.

Often I’ve seen women upping their exercise levels drastically to try and get rid of the flab that suddenly appears around the middle or on the back. Too much exercise is a stress for the body.

Exercise is important, especially weight-bearing to promote bone density, but you might have to opt for lower-intensity exercise, especially if you’ve never done any previously.

And last but not least, sleep. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. If the hot flushes prevent you from that, go back to the previous tips on food, stress and exercise.

Anne is also the author of “5 Simple Steps to Releasing the Real You” if you want more reading!

exercise equipment to consider for menopause weight loss

Slimming World and menopause, WW, Noom etc

Women often ask, can I succeed with Slimming World, WW, Noom or another diet whilst going through menopause?

Of course! Diets can work for anyone if done properly, but there might be a few tweaks you have to make to ensure it is right. Continue reading to find out how.

Eat plenty of vegetables

Eating a balanced diet is vital to whatever stage of your life you find yourself in. During menopause, however, it can be a bit more of a struggle.

Reaching for a takeaway menu might be easier than fighting fatigue and cooking, but it won’t make you feel any happier about yourself. Ensure you have at least 1/3 of your plate filled with vegetables.

selection of colourful vegetables

Keep up activity levels

As we age, we tend to slow down. However, it’s a vicious cycle. The more we slow down, the more challenging it becomes to regain fitness levels.

The best way to combat issues linked to a more sedentary lifestyle is to remain active and ensure you build body magic into your weekly routine. Why not create your own exercise routine?

Not only does this help with weight loss, but it can support your well-being. If you cannot partake in a sixty-minute Zumba fitness class, try Zumba Gold for a lower-intensity workout.

Likewise, if a 5k run is beyond you, go for a brisk stroll with a friend. Walking and talking makes the time zoom by and inevitably puts a smile on your face.

recumbent exercise bike

Avoid comfort eating

For many, hormones play havoc with their emotions. When we are feeling low, it can be easy to overindulge and scoff our faces with food that tastes good.

Menopause weight loss will never happen if you eat lots of junk and expect to lose weight!

Momentarily, you get that high that comes from an overload of sugar, for example, but soon after comes the crash. It’s even harsher when the scales reveal a weight gain, too.

Instead of comfort eating, find something else that will boost your mood and won’t lead to inevitable despair.

eating popcorn watching tv

Drink more water

Ensuring your body is not dehydrated is essential to any weight loss and healthy living journey.

Drinking plenty of water can help your body’s digestive system work efficiently as well as help to improve muscle function and combat fatigue.

Overall, you may find that your losses slow down as you hit menopause. Don’t give up. A loss is still a loss, and you are likely still heading in the right direction.

glass of water

Support during the menopause

Menopause can be a challenging and overwhelming experience for many women. It’s a time when the body and emotions undergo drastic changes that can create a feeling of isolation or confusion.

However, the importance of support during this time cannot be stressed enough, especially if you are trying to lose weight at the same time.

Having a strong support system from family, friends, and healthcare professionals can make a world of difference in navigating this new chapter.

From providing emotional support to physical guidance, having someone by your side to help you navigate the ups and downs of menopause can make all the difference.

Do you have issues with constipation or bloating, as well as worrying about menopause weight loss? I have a guide to help you relieve constipation, which may help. Bloating is inevitable when changing your diet; check my weight loss bloating guide too!

Do you suffer from pelvic floor weakness? Check out my pelvic floor tips and information about how weight loss can affect your pelvic floor!

lady holding stomach

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About Author

Hi, I’m Jen Mellor; I live in Nottingham, UK. and use my knowledge and experience in weight loss and confidence to help you become your own cheerleader and best friend. I am usually seen wearing colourful leggings and love to wear bright colours. Wear what you love, and be proud of your style and choices!

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