It’s hard to lose weight after menopause – and that is not a myth. The reason is the low estrogen levels of postmenopausal women can lead to symptoms like a slower metabolism, an increased appetite, and a build-up of fat around the abdomen.
While menopause is a natural and inevitable process, making changes to your lifestyle can help you lose weight and maintain your health.
Rebuild Muscle Mass
It is common for muscle mass to diminish as age rises and women experience menopause in the later stages of their life, with the average age being 51. Lower muscle mass can make the body slower to burn calories. You can work to rebuild muscle in your body with strength training exercises like weight lifting and resistance training.
You can also incorporate more protein into your daily diet to aid in increasing muscle mass. Not only can a high-protein diet help prevent muscle loss in older women, but an increased intake of protein can also work to promote weight loss when combined with a low-calorie diet, according to research from Wake Forest University.
Switch to HIIT Cardio
Menopausal women experience unstable and fluctuating hormone levels which ultimately leads to a lower presence of estrogen in the body. Reduced levels of estrogen can cause metabolism to slow down, leading the body to burn calories at a slower pace. To increase the rate of your metabolism, try incorporating one to two high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts into your weekly workout regimen. Remember not to overwork your body, and alternate HIIT workouts with light to moderate exercise on the other days of the week.
Besides speeding up your resting metabolic rate, HIIT workouts can help to revert some of the effects of aging including the loss of muscle and increased fatigue. According to research from Mayo Clinic, HIIT triggers the growth of muscle mass while boosting the muscle’s capability to create energy.
Change Your Diet
Once you’ve reached your 50s, it’s important to be more conscious of the foods you’re putting into your body and to lessen your calorie intake. Typically, a postmenopausal woman may need about 200 fewer calories than a 30 or 40-year-old woman who hasn’t experienced menopause yet.
Your diet should be made up of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains packed with fiber. In addition, reduce the amount of sugar consumed throughout the day by cutting out food and drinks that are packed with added sugars.