Weight gain during menopause does not have to be an unavoidable part of aging. Reducing your waist size can improve your health. Visceral fat, which lies deeper in the abdomen and surrounds the internal organs, can lead to health issues, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Although hormonal changes during menopause combined with a natural breakdown in muscle tissue brought on by aging make weight loss harder, it is still achievable with some effort and lifestyle changes.
Monitor and reduce your caloric intake. The Mayo Clinic estimates that women in their fifties need 200 fewer calories per day. This is the equivalent of two slices of bread. Learn the caloric values of different foods to become more aware of how what you are eating will affect your weight. Remember that if you are trying to lose weight rather than simply maintain your current weight as you age, you will have to reduce your caloric consumption by more than 200 calories per day. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means that in order to lose 1 lb. per week, you will have to consume 500 calories less than you burn off each day.
Eat a healthy diet. Reducing your caloric intake means that you have fewer opportunities to supply your body with the nutrition it requires. Minimize your consumption of high fat, sugary and salty snacks. Focus instead on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and dairy.
Eat more often. Practice portion control to ensure that you maintain your reduced calorie objective. Eating healthy snacks or frequent small meals will help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent it from dropping, reducing the likelihood that you will have carbohydrate cravings that are hard to control and will increase your calorie count.
Increase your aerobic exercise. Brisk walking is an example of an aerobic exercise that requires no gym membership and can be incorporated into your daily routine. The Mayo Clinic recommends a consultation with your doctor to determine the best exercise strategy for your current health and lifestyle.
Build muscle mass to increase your metabolic rate. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and as you age, muscle tissue naturally deteriorates. Yoga, wall push-ups or lifting light hand weights can accomplish this objective.
Incorporate gentle stretching into your daily routine. Increased flexibility can reduce the chances of injuries that will force you to be inactive.