Help! My belly has taken on a “life” of it’s own! I turned 50 in June – and suddenly I am gaining weight in my middle. I am working out and watching my diet – any advise? I can’t button any of my pants – if I go up a size they are too big in the legs – so it is just my middle expanding.

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3 Answers

  1. Cheryl Wilson wrote on :

    I hope you have seen your GYN since this sudden weight gain! You should be checked out, as this weight around the middle can be a sign of some very serious medical issues, e.g. ovarian cancer, among others. Please do not assume it is all because of menopause! If all checks out, your GYN can also help in recommendations about the weight. It’s a win-win visit!

  2. RosanneLeslie wrote on :

    i would try to omit wheat and dairy from my diet.

  3. Staness Jonekos wrote on :

    I too was frustrated with mid-life belly weight gain! Once I made a few changes I lost 25 pounds in 12 weeks. It is a DRAG that it takes so much work to stay healthy and feel good at our age, but with effort and commitment you CAN reach your ideal weight with realistic expectations.

    As we age body fat continues to accumulate during perimenopause and beyond, adding to the ongoing fat storage that happens naturally throughout adult life. Activity and metabolic rate tend to decrease with time. At menopause, estrogen production goes low and stays low. Weight gain can sneak up on you. Do the math; 15 extra calories per day (that would be less than half of most cookies) is 2 pounds a year. So, 2 pounds a year for 5 years is 10 pounds.

    Although menopause may not be directly associated with weight gain, it may be related to changes in body composition and fat distribution. Several studies have shown that perimenopause, independent of age, is associated with increased fat in the abdomen as well as decreased lean body mass. This suggests that menopause plays a role in many midlife women’s transition from a pear-shaped body (wide hips and thighs, with more weight below the waist) to an apple-shaped body (wide waist and belly, with more weight above the waist) (see figure).

    Aging and lifestyle seem to be the primary culprits behind weight gain in women around the time of menopause. Aging is associated with slowing of the metabolism. Lean body mass decreases with age while body fat accumulates throughout adulthood.

    My winning formula:

    1. Eat every 4 hours (mini-meals)
    2. Eat lean proteins at most servings (low fat cottage cheese is a dairy protein, chicken, turkey, string cheese). Protein kick starts your metabolism (thermic effect)
    3. Consume low to medium glycemic carbs (NO WHITE carbs only BROWN, enjoy yams)
    4. Keep hydrated
    5. Exercise most days of the week (as we age our metabolism is slowing and muscle mass declining)
    6. Make ME TIME every day!

    Eating “real” food is an important way of controlling weight. Buy your groceries from the outside aisles of your grocery store, picking fresh and frozen food without labels. Stay away from fast food, junk food, snack food, and processed food. Your portions should be no bigger than the size of your fist. When you go out, bring tomorrow’s lunch home (only eat half of the generous portions served in most restaurants nowadays).

    Exercise is also important. While aerobic activities are good, resistance exercise may provide greater weight control benefits. Resistance exercise, such as weight training, builds more lean body muscle tissue that burns more calories, helping women to lose weight.

    Doing activities with friends, taking on new challenges, abstaining from smoking, eating good food, exercising, and taking your women’s one-a-day vitamin, vitamin D, calcium, and fish oil, help stop the “fat chance.”

    Hope this helps. Hang in there, make small changes every day – you are not alone.

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