Losing Weight After Menopause
Losing weight after menopause can in some ways be tougher than losing weight during menopause. While you may no longer have the emotionals swings and hormone surges present during menopause, you have other issues.
Exercise is one of them. With the loss of estrogen, your bones may be growing more frail, unless you take measures to stop the bone loss.
Not to mention that exercise may be more difficult to start, and you have to be careful of not doing too much too soon.
Your metabolism may take a downward spiral, making it more difficult to both stay on a diet and actually lose weight!
But all isn't lost. You can take some steps that will help in losing weight after menopause.
Your Body Has Changed
Along with frailer bones and a metabolism that takes a nosedive, there are other changes in your body. For example, you may grow hair in places you've never grown it before. Or lose it where you don't want!
You may have problems with a "stress bladder". What that means is you may have some incontinence in stressful situations. Which only adds to the stress!
Your body becomes less flexible, and you continue to lose muscle mass.
Yes, losing weight after menopause is an uphill battle. That is, unless you take some measures to fight back!
Losing Weight After Menopause is Good!
If you're overweight to begin with (and you probably are if you're reading this), losing weight can only do your body good. Face it, the more excess weight you carry around, the harder it is for your body to keep up. The harder your heart has to pump and your lungs to expand and contract.
Now you may be thinking that it doesn't matter what you weigh anymore. If that's the case, here's a question for you.
Would you rather face years in a nursing home or being taken care of by family when your health fails so much that you can't live alone anymore?
Or would you rather be able to enjoy each day as it comes, living on your own terms? Living in your own home?
Losing weight after menopause can mean a big difference in how you face your remaining years. There is a commercial on TV where it shows several people over 100 who still lead active lives. Do you want that, or do you want to spend your days staring at the ceiling, confined to a bed?
Your body. Your choice.
Tips for Losing the Weight - Exercise
Whether you've been overweight a long time, or if the weight has piled on since you passed through menopause, there are two things that will help fight it. Yes, the duo of diet and exercise.
You've read it before in these pages, but exercise, especially starting out, doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing deal. You don't have to walk a mile your first day out. You don't have to lift 5 pounds hand weights. While you can so this, most people feel better easing into exercise.
Maybe you've been a couch potato all your life. No problem, find something you've always wanted to learn how to do. Maybe it's a certain kind of dance, or yoga or tai ch'i or water aerobics. Well, there are DVDs that can teach you just about any kind of exercise you can imagine! You can learn in the privacy of your own home.
If you haven't ever wanted to be active, then your best bet is just to lace up your sneakers and take a walk. Even if it's just around the block at first. It's an easy exercise (you've been doing it most of your life) that you can do anytime.
Afraid to show yourself in public during the walking? Or maybe you don't live in the best neighborhood? Guess what, there are plenty of in-home walking programs. One of the better ones I've used myself is Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Pounds" series. Simple but very effective.
Shedding Pounds and Dieting
When it comes to menopause weight loss, you really, really need to make sure you are on a healthy diet. Losing weight after menopause is tricky, beacuse your body needs different things now. You need a diet that provides all the nutrients you need. A diet that might be great for someone in their 30's probably won't work as well for you.
The one thing you have to learn is to eat well all the time. Diets aren't just stop gap measures to drop the pounds. Losing weight after meanopause means making a lifestyle change.
Eating well all the time doesn't mean going out to fancy restaurants all the time. It does mean eating sensibly - taking in enough calories on a daily basis so your body doesn't go into starvation mode. It also means that you have to be more aware of the extra nutrients that your body needs, like calcium, and make sure you get those nutrients.
It does not mean that you can eat 1,200 calories worth of popcorn and pasteries and them toss down a vitamin and mineral supplement! A supplement is just that -- something to take on top of a good diet as insurance.
Losing weight after menopause isn't rocket science...but it does mean that you have to plan a little more dilligently to get in all the necessary nutrients.
How Many Calories?
As you've likely guessed, you can't eat as many calories after menopause as you did before...unless you bump up your metabolism. And that means exercising.
You'll have to check with your health-care provider, but in general, you shouldn't be more than 1,200 to 1,300 calories a day for losing weight after menopause. Actually, you'd be best served by checking with your doctor and with a dietician (physicians don't always know a great deal about the intricacies of weight loss).
So see your doctor to make sure you're healthy enough to diet, and if you have any special medical concerns. Then take that information to a dietician to map out what's best for you and your nutrition.
Learn to Read Lables
WHat's really in your food? Do you know about how much protein, carbs and fats you take in every day?
Now here's a tougher question -- do you know what kinds of proteins, carbs and fats you're eating day to day?
For example, how many of the carbs are "empty calories" and how many are fiber?
Of the fat you take in, how much is saturated or has trans fat?
Learn to read labels and find out what's really going into your body!
Losing Weight Over 40 Copyright 2007