Is Menopause the Reason for Weight Gain?

classic swimsuitDo weight gain and menopause go hand-in-hand? That’s a question that I not only hear, but I often ask it myself (especially on those days when my waistband seems just a little tighter than it did before!).So, I asked Shawna Kaminski, author of Female Fat Loss Over 40 to answer some questions about hormones, metabolism and how we can battle those pounds that seem to come along for the journey through menopause.

Q:  Is menopause the reason for weight gain?

A:   No, menopause can’t be “solely” blamed for weight gained within this age group.

Often, the culprit is the sedentary lifestyle that occurs in the decade prior to menopause. Your body is slowing trading muscle for fat. Muscle is metabolically active calorie burning tissue fat is just dead weight. So as you lose muscle, you’ll get fatter eating less food and this is why many complain that they are eating less and still gaining weight. It just seems to catch up with you and is noticed in our forties.

Q:  Does metabolism actually slow down at menopause?

A:   Since sedentary men at this age can also experience a similar gain in weight and slow down in metabolism, it is not menopause per se that’s the reason for a tanking metabolism.Studies show that for those that are sedentary, there can be a 1-2% loss of lean muscle mass per decade – or 10-15 lbs that is replaced by fat. Having a higher fat to muscle ratio will result in a slower metabolism. So it’s important to remain active throughout your 30’s to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass.

Q:  What’s the best way to slow down or reverse the process?

A:   START RESISTANCE TRAINING IMMEDIATELY!  You’d be surprised to hear that body-weight-only training is one of the safest and most effective ways to increase and maintain muscle mass in women in this age category. By adding and maintaining muscle, you will preserve and even elevate your metabolism as you age.And don’t think for a minute that you’ll get that overly developed muscular look (if only adding muscle was that easy!).  A woman’s hormonal make up is not such that this is even possible. Lift weights and lift as heavy as you can and you’ll still only add modest amounts of this good stuff.

A big thanks to, Shawna Kaminski, author of Female Fat Loss Over 40. Learn more about Shawna and her book at:  www.FemaleFatLossOverForty.com/blog

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