Menopause Revisited: What to Do When Your Metabolism Slows Down
Author: Shannon Miller
SML is back this week on the topic of menopause!
Given that it’s something every woman will experience, the more that is known, the better! A couple weeks ago we looked at some general information about menopause and some typical experiences of menopausal women. One thing we have not yet discussed, but is often on a woman’s radar, is weight gain.
Women in their forties and fifties can easily experience weight gain because of a reduction in hormone levels, and also just due to the natural aging process.
It is common for women to lose muscle and gain fat during this time. Because muscle is known for its ability to speed up metabolism, a loss of muscle can result in slowing metabolism down. The good news is that, though your body experiences natural changes, you are still in control!
In order to avoid a metabolic crisis, keep these tips in mind:
- Let’s get physical! Keep cardiovascular and strength training a part of your weekly exercise routine. Remember, exercise does not have to be super intense or done within the 4 walls of a gym.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
- and even gardening are all ways to stay active.
- Feeding time – out with the processed, in with the whole. Try to make whole foods a regular part of your diet. Some examples of whole foodsinclude
- whole grains,
- and fish.
- Portion size is key! Research demonstrates that women in their mid to late forties require roughly 200 less calories each day in order to maintain weight. Because of this, it might be natural to consider skipping meals, but don’t do that to yourself! Skipping meals can leads to overeating and a slowed metabolism. Instead, each smaller portions of food through-out the day to keep your metabolism in smooth operations!
TIP: Whether you are currently experiencing menopause or will be in a few years, knowledge is power! The more you know, the better you will be able to adjust to the transition.
*Information above adapted from the American Dietetic Association website – http://www.eatright.org/.