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Navigating Midlife Metabolism: Managing Weight with Menopause

 

Entering menopause brings many changes to your body, one of these being a shift in your midlife metabolism that leads to weight gain even when you haven’t changed your diet or exercise routines. The good news is that there are things you can do to manage menopausal weight.

The shift in hormones during menopause can lead to changes in metabolism and body composition, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. However, with the right approach, managing weight during this transitional period is not only possible but empowering.

Understanding the Challenges of Menopause

Metabolic Changes: Menopause often brings a decline in estrogen levels, which can contribute to a slower metabolism. This shift can result in weight gain, especially around the abdomen.

Muscle Mass Loss: Aging, combined with hormonal changes, can lead to a loss of muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, this can further contribute to weight gain.

Emotional Eating and Stress: Hormonal fluctuations can affect mood, leading to emotional eating. Additionally, the stress associated with this life transition may influence eating habits, potentially leading to weight gain.

Now that we know the challenges, let’s focus on the strategies for healthy weight management in menopause.

Consume Clean, Quality Protein

Protein can be particularly beneficial for managing weight during menopause in several ways:

Muscle Maintenance: As women age, there is a natural decline in muscle mass. Protein is essential for muscle maintenance and can help counteract muscle loss associated with aging, which, in turn, supports a healthy metabolism.

Satiety: Protein-rich foods can contribute to a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Including protein in meals and snacks may help reduce overall calorie intake by curbing hunger and preventing overeating.

Metabolic Boost: The thermic effect of food (TEF) is higher for protein compared to fats and carbohydrates. This means that the body expends more energy to digest and process protein, leading to a slight increase in calorie expenditure.

Blood Sugar Regulation: Consuming protein along with carbohydrates can help stabilize blood sugar levels. This can prevent energy crashes and reduce cravings for sugary or high-calorie snacks, supporting weight management.

Lean Body Mass: Protein supports the maintenance of lean body mass, which is crucial for overall health. Preserving muscle mass can contribute to a more favorable body composition, helping to manage weight during menopause.

Sunwarrior has many clean, quality protein options, like Slim Collagen Boost and Lean Superfood Shake to help you take back control of your weight management while also providing many other vitamins and nutrients your body needs.

Other ways you can incorporate diet to help you with menopausal weight challenges is to prioritize nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while also controlling portion sizes to align with your body's changing energy needs.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key for boosting your metabolism. Our bodies are made up of over 70% water and if we are dehydrated even in the slightest, our metabolism starts to slow down. Don’t know how much water to drink per day? Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water for the ideal amount for your body. Pre-hydrate before exercising by drinking water and drinks that contain electrolytes like with Sunwarrior’s Active Hydration.

Regular Exercise Routine

Incorporate both aerobic exercises (such as walking, swimming, or cycling) and strength training to boost metabolism and maintain muscle mass. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. It makes sense for all people over the age of 50 to engage in weight training. In fact, one study looking at nursing home residents found that after only eight weeks of weight lifting, participants increased their muscle strength significantly1. Additional muscle mass goes a long way in helping with balance, speed, coordination, strength, and endurance in daily activities.

Get Adequate Sleep

Prioritize quality sleep, as inadequate sleep has been linked to weight gain. A consistent schedule regarding the time you go to bed and the time you wake up helps your body fall into a pattern of habit that works (or sleeps, in this case) for you. Nighttime rituals are part of that consistency. Taking a warm bath, stretching, allowing yourself time for meditation, or reading can all be part of your wind-down routine that, when done consistently, signal to your brain that it is time to sleep. You can implement music or some sort of ambient sound like white noise or rain falling to help with your sleep routine. You can also take supplements like the Sunwarrior’s yoga-in-a-bottle magnesium that encourages relaxation.

Stress Management

Our mental health affects every other aspect of our lives. It affects the decisions we make, the way we respond to others, how we handle stress, and the way we accomplish our daily tasks. Mental health is also directly tied to our physical well-being. Positive mental health is an essential ingredient in living a full life with meaningful relationships and accomplishments.

Feelings of depression or anxiety are complex and vary from person to person who suffer from depression or anxiety. Getting help is key. And recognizing symptoms plays a part in knowing help is needed. Explore stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep-breathing exercises to mitigate the impact of stress on weight. Supplements like Sunwarrior’s Ashwagandha can help as well.

Celebrating Your Body

Menopause is a transformative phase that deserves recognition and celebration. Instead of focusing solely on the challenges, view this time as an opportunity to embrace self-care and overall well-being. By adopting a holistic approach that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, and mindfulness, women can navigate menopause with resilience and manage their weight effectively. With the right strategies in place, menopause can be a period of empowerment and renewed well-being.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639017/

 

 

 

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