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Menopause - weight gain, what can I do?

(12 Posts)
Janus Fri 18-Oct-19 15:02:23

I am 49 and periods stopped about a year ago. Menopause wasn’t too bad, night sweats were the worst thing but they’ve pretty much passed now.
However, I’ve been pretty lucky as most of my life I’ve been ‘normal’ weight. But the last year or so I seem to have put on more than half a stone and it seems to mostly be around my middle. It’s really getting me down. So should I go on a strict diet, is this normal, what can I do? I’m pretty active, dog walking every day but think I also need to do some proper exercise but afraid as I used to do things like pump a few years ago but not sure I am fit enough to do that any more!
Any advice please?

MIdgebabe Sat 19-Oct-19 08:58:01

As far as I can make out Your required calories per day drops by around 200 a day

If you are also not doing any weight bearing exercise then you lose muscle quickly at this age. Since muscle takes more calories to maintain then fat, that's another 200 calories a day. And for the same weight, a person with more muscle looks thinner.

That's 400 calories a day less than you used to eat ( average height etc) so to stay a steady weight , you are needing to eat what you used to consider a diet.

Where weight sits also moves towards the tummy, that's just tough really. Need less weight.

Also menopause can make you a bit weary. So you become gradually less active, watching more tv and doing less pottering. And that means fewer calories needed again. I think this one is particularly nasty, because if you have poor sleep it's really really hard to keep active, and other changes such as ch8ldren growing up mean you have less need to be generally active

So the usual , Eat less, exercise more , especially weights. It is hard, but if you catch the dreaded weight gain early , like you have, I think it will work

Recently gone back to pump myself. I know it's good for me . Just start again with small weights

Janus Sun 20-Oct-19 09:24:02

Thank you so much for replying. I think you’re right, I can’t eat as much as I am used to, depressingly!!
I was out last night and another mum, bit older than me, was saying she’s joined the gym and does stuff for her arms and has noticed a difference in the three months that she’s been going so it looks like I may join the gym!! She said aim to do something 3 times a week so I’m off this morning to get their class timetable too. We have a spin bike at home so that will be one of my days.
I do think I’m so much more tired than I used to be so I am watching more tv in the evenings, think going to bed early would be good for me and give me a bit more energy to do the gym etc.
Thanks for the advice.

swingofthings Sun 20-Oct-19 11:11:18

Agree with your friend, nothing worked for me until I started to do strength training. I now eat more than before, including some treats, and yet the weight continue to shift whilst I'm toning up.

I'm surprised how easy it is considering nothing seemed to help before, although the intensity classes are tough! I never have any energy to go to them, the energy comes afterwards.

Janus Sun 20-Oct-19 12:03:34

@MIdgebabe so is strength training doing weights then? When I have an induction at the gym do I ask them to explain how to do strength training? Or is it more like pump classes? Not sure I’m ready for that yet!!

Winsomelosesome Sun 20-Oct-19 12:10:47

Agree with weight training, it keeps my weight down. I just use dumbbells and kettlebells and do YouTube workouts at home. It has the added bonus of keeping everything toned and increasing bone density. It's also great cardio if done correctly. Just don't make the mistake of thinking you can eat loads because you're exercising.

Janus Sun 20-Oct-19 12:19:09

Oh my husband has kettlebells! I shall look at YouTube videos too! Thank you.

Winsomelosesome Sun 20-Oct-19 12:22:38

Take at a look at bodyfit by Amy. Her videos have beginner, intermediate or advanced options and she has lots of instructional videos on technique, really important if you haven't done weights before.

Janus Sun 20-Oct-19 12:37:10

Will do, thank you so much, I’m a bit of a novice so any advice is great!

acabria Sun 20-Oct-19 13:27:40

If you've liked BodyPump before you can do it on the Les Mills Online app, you should get the first month free (then 9.99). You could use that to re-build your strength at your own pace. You can do it with hand weights, or Amazon has reasonable price barbells.

milliefiori Sun 20-Oct-19 13:30:26

I so strongly back @Midgebabe's advice. If you catch it early, within the first 7lbs gain, you'll be fine. Leave it (as I did) and you suddenly realise you have 2 stone to lose, but still have the mindset of someone who 'never needs to worry about her weight' because for 35 years you never dieted, never needed to and suddenly in 2-3 years your weight has gone up by 25%!

MIdgebabe Sun 20-Oct-19 16:14:48

Get the gym to advise, pump, weights, strength, just as long as a couple of times a week you are doing exercise focussing on muscles. Whatever you can and whatever is the most fun. Some people like heavy weights becuase you can minimise the time you spend. Others like lots of reps of smaller weights...both work just as well. I like pump because I have low self motivation!

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