Menopause and Weight Gain - Ellen Dolgen
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Menopause and Weight Gain

Welcome to the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants!

It seems like one morning, I woke up, went to get dressed, and suddenly nothing in my closet fit. I felt like an alien mysteriously entered my closet during the night and shrunk all my clothes.

I have always had a sweet tooth, but it seemed during my menopausal journey, my sweet cravings were on steroids!

Sound familiar???

Regardless of what number you see on the scale, a woman’s weight through menopause is primarily determined by five factors: hormones, diet, exercise, stress, and genetics. Though we cannot control all these factors, a healthy weight is certainly within reach.

Here are five steps to help you shed those extra menopausal pounds (a.k.a. the menopot belly):

  1. Do not let your hormones get the best of you. Research shows that estrogen receptors located in the hypothalamus of the brain control food intake, energy expenditure, and body fat distribution. When estrogen levels in the brain dip during menopause, this control panel increases hunger, slows metabolism, and encourages fat gain around the waist. Hormone therapy (HT) could potentially be used to keep the brain’s estrogen receptors from promoting appetite, a sluggish metabolism, and a growing waistline during menopause.
  2. Quit dieting! Seriously, diets do not help. Deprivation diets cause weight gain, not loss. Since they don’t provide your body with the energy (a.k.a. calories), it needs, they can cause your body to slow the metabolism to conserve resources, according to the Mayo Clinic. I have a fabulous solution for a healthier substitute for your sweet tooth! I adore the Bossa Bars Double Decadent Chocolate (just reading the title makes my mouth water). These bars are gluten-free, plant-powered, and only 150 calories. Although in the ingredient list you will find kale, broccoli, and spinach, these bars taste like a scrumptious brownie. Bravo Bossa. I noticed that my box was dwindling fast and found out that my husband is loving them, too.  My grandson is a terrible eater, so for a lark, I thought I would give him one. He is 3 years old and loves them, too.
  3. Physical activity not only wards off saddlebags and thunder thighs it also keeps the body young. According to the American Council on Exercise, exercise raises your fitness and feel-good endorphin levels, Simply breaking a sweat outside has been shown to increase energy and positive thinking while slashing tension, anger, and depression even better than indoor exercising, according to a review published in the Environmental Science and Technology. Wearing a pedometer or one of those activity trackers could give you an incentive to move more. There are also plenty of apps for your smartphone that can help you stay on track.
  4. Slash stress. It is hard to relax, especially when you are going through the trials of menopause, but your mind and body need to decompress. Stress not only tends to add weight around your belly but can also boost your appetite, creating a vicious cycle. Find some form of exercise that makes you smile. Grab your lover or friend and take a walk, ride your bike, or go to the gym. There are other ways to decompress. Take the time to read a book, watch a favorite TV show, meditate, or enjoy your family and friends.
  5. Control your genes. Researchers now say as women age, they are more likely to overcome genetic predisposition to obesity through exercise.

A positive attitude is the first step to feeling good and looking good. It is never too late to start living a healthier life. Your brain and body will thank you, and so will those clothes be collecting dust in your closet.

We CAN change those old habits that cause us to become members of the sisterhood of the shrinking pants. A few easy, healthy changes incorporated into our lifestyle can do wonders for our health and waistlines.

Take the first step! Go ahead—you can do it!

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* does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.


3 thoughts on “Menopause and Weight Gain”

  1. Really nice work Ellen. I also loved your tracking through your face rejuvenation.

    I am launching a company focused on helping women “tweak” their nutrition and fitness and would love to talk further with you about what we’re doing. It might be helpful information for your listener base .We have a science-based personalized app that adjusts macronutrients and calories per individual as well as education and team-based training for strength and HIIT training. Lastly we offer a train & travel program where women can train together (remotely – using the app for accountability and goal tracking) then take on an epic challenge together.

    Congrats on your surgery – you look fantastic!

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