Q: How can I avoid getting heavy after menopause?
A: Some weight gain is inevitable because menopause affects the hormones that regulate fat storage, among other things.
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As hormone levels change, we produce less estrogen, which promotes weight gain around the stomach.
But you can ward off excessive weight gain by being proactive before and during menopause, whether you enter it naturally or surgically.
Start by watching your diet. Reduce the fat and sugar you’re consuming. Increase the protein. Stay away from processed foods.
And be really diligent with exercise. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
If you’re going to be a successful, effective person, performing at your best, with optimal health, you’ll need to make time for regularly scheduled exercise activity.
I strongly recommend strength training or core, yoga or Pilates — not only because they boost metabolism, but also because they keep the musculoskeletal frame strong as bone density decreases during menopause.
Continue to see your doctor regularly to discuss any preventive measures you may need.
If you exercise regularly and choose a diet that significantly limits processed foods and controls portion sizes, your odds for minimizing weight gain at menopause are excellent.
—Medical weight management specialist Karen Cooper, DO