Growing older comes with numerous benefits. Unfortunately, it comes with challenges, too, especially when it comes to your waistline — particularly after menopause.
Now for the good news.
Your hormones may have a direct connection to weight gain, but you don’t have to resign yourself to watching the number on the scale creep up. Instead, use that knowledge as you transition into menopause to give yourself an advantage in maintaining a healthy weight at every stage of life.
Dr. Adepero Okulaja takes a whole-body approach to anti-aging care at The Doctor’s House in Edina, Minnesota. If you want to look and feel your best — and avoid that dreaded middle-aged spread — Dr. Okulaja recommends following these simple tips.
Regular moderate and vigorous exercise plays a vital role in weight management at every age. However, the hormonal changes you experience as you near and pass into menopause require a slightly different approach to physical activity.
To keep those extra pounds at bay, work on having at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week — and variety is the spice of life for keeping your metabolism humming. On top of that, include at least two strength-training sessions each week to build and maintain muscle.
Bonus tip: It’s better to stand whenever you can. That’s because the more time your body stays in motion, the more calories it burns.
Did you know that you need fewer calories to maintain your weight as you grow older? But just because you may need to eat less doesn’t mean you should put your nutrition at risk.
Instead, watch your portion sizes and focus on consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Similarly, choose your foods wisely, like adding healthy fats to nourish your body such as avocados and walnuts instead of fast food burgers, potato chips, or ice cream sundaes.
Have you ever evaluated the sugar in your diet? Studies show that added sugars contribute nearly 300 calories to the average American diet each day. Even if you pass on the cookies or doughnuts, other sugar sources could be sabotaging your success.
Approximately half of the added sugars in the American diet come from sugar-sweetened beverages, including sweetened coffees and teas, juices, sodas, and energy drinks. And don’t let flavored waters fool you, either, because they could also be packing a sweet calorie-laden punch.
Did you know your sleep has a direct connection with your waistline? Not only does inadequate or poor-quality sleep impact hormones in your body, but it also zaps your physical strength and motivation. Unfortunately, insomnia also becomes increasingly common during perimenopause.
To keep your sleep on track, clean up your sleep habits to ensure you get enough Zzzs. Start by setting a sleep schedule for yourself that aims for at least seven hours of shut-eye a night — and stick to it. Keep your bedroom cool to help manage night sweats and hot flashes.
Stress can cause problems at every age. However, there’s also a stress-fat connection that can lead to weight gain as you grow older.
You may not be able to avoid stress altogether, but you can change how it affects you. A few simple approaches include taking a walk, trying meditation apps, or spending more quality time with friends or loved ones.
If your mind-body balance could use additional support, connect with a mental health professional.
Have you heard the phrase “There’s strength in numbers”? It’s especially true as you age, and it can offer additional strategies for avoiding menopausal weight gain.
A support group can help keep you busy and motivated to keep up with physical activity. Participating in a regular club or fitness class through your local community center or gym fosters connections that decrease stress and increase your mental, physical, and emotional quality of life.
Remember, you aren’t alone when managing your health before, during, and after menopause. If you have symptoms keeping you from feeling your best, Dr. Okulaja can help. She tailors anti-aging solutions to your individual needs, including:
Dr. Okulaja also provides preventive care services to detect and treat age-related health concerns before they become a problem.
Are you frustrated by age-related changes and how menopause is threatening your waistline? Schedule a consultation at The Doctor’s House to restore your physical and mental health naturally by calling or booking online today.