How to Manage Menopausal Weight Gain (at home and in spa tips)

Misia at Soothe

Because of changing hormone levels, it is not uncommon to experience changes in your body shape and weight during the menopause and peri-menopause.

Thankfully there is a lot of medically-sound, practical information available; I hope the advice below helps you to understand what happens to our bodies during the menopause and sets you on an empowered path to do the best for your own mind and body.

what causes ‘menopause midriff’?

Some women notice weight gain specifically around their middle – often known as ‘menopause midriff’.

There are two main reasons this occurs:

  • Because your body’s oestrogen levels are dropping, it turns to your fat cells to provide oestrogen, and so you may find yourself craving sugary foods and foods high in carbs. Unfortunately, the oestrogen produced by our fat cells is not especially strong and won’t successfully replace what is lost.
  • As our oestrogen levels start to drop, it can cause our cortisol levels to rise, which causes a stress response in our bodies; this signals to the body that you need glucose for energy; if this energy is not used, it can settle as fat around your middle.

If we add to this the fact that menopausal joint pain often makes it harder to exercise, it’s not hard to understand why we may struggle with weight management at this time!

How can we help in-spa?

In the spa and on our website, we now sell the fantastic Innermost nutritional supplements, which include a weight management range. The Lean Protein and Tone Capsules contain research-backed ingredients that gently raise your metabolism, reduce cravings and promote sustainable fat-loss.

These vegan capsules are formulated by leading nutritionists and contain a ground-breaking combination of science-backed ingredients to help you improve tone and definition and increase your metabolism. Take 2 each day with your breakfast or lunch.

We have also created a treatment which resulkts in smootherm tighter skin on your tummy, as well a syour arms, thighs & buttocks. Our Cryo Fat Freezing & Cellulite use of extreme cold temperatures to safely destroy fat cells, smooth cellulite and tighten skin. It boosts collagen and elastin production, which firms the skin and smooths crepiness and saggy areas.

Results from cryotherapy treatment

What can you do at home?

Food

Eat complex carbohydrates and healthy fats in every meal, to help you feel fuller for longer. Here are some ideas: porridge with a plant-alternative milk such as coconut, nuts and berries, a ‘superfood’ salad with chicken, lentils, avocados, seeds and tomatoes, kedgeree made with salmon, whole grain rice and eggs.

Drink water to to reduce dehydration and bladder issues; reduce caffeine intake since it acts as a diuretic which can contribute to dehydration.

Identify your own stumbling blocks; if you are an evening snacker, try going for a walk with a friend at that time; if your portion control needs work, use a smaller plate or ask your partner to serve your meal to you!

Consider how many calories your body needs: as we age, we may need fewer calories than we did in our 30s and 40s. Consider what you are eating and whether eating slightly fewer calories would help you to maintain rather than gain weight. If in doubt, it’s always best to consult a professional – your GP or a registered dietitian.

Exercise

In her article How to Target the Menopause Midriff, Davina McCall offers 4 tips:

  • Use HIIT training when exercising; she says, “make the most of shorter, more intense workouts, that burn more fat in a shorter time than lower intensity workouts.”
  • Avoid boredom during exercise and work on different areas by creating an interesting mix of movements as well as HIIT – yoga, boxercise and weight training for example.
  • Eat mindfully to avoid over-eating, since our metabolism slows during the menopause.
  • Try to live a less sedentary lifestyle – walk around, reduce time sitting at a computer – to fight the fat around our essential organs and burn more calories.

Something I would add is to not be afraid to gain muscle – when we do, our bodies burn calories more efficiently, which will help reduce that ‘menopause midriff’!

I always advocate a holistic approach to skin and body issues, and my advice would be no different when it comes to weight management. Stress levels, diet and lifestyle choices can all impact on our weight, so it makes sense that you make sure you are eating a balanced and nutritious diet, getting some exercise, making time to relax and see friends, and prioritising sleep.

If you’d like to learn more about how the menopause can affect our skin, and the simple steps you can take to combat the effects, please take a look at my blog post The Menopause And Your Skin – Advice For Confident Ageing.


This article was written with the help of the following sources:

How to Target the Menopause Midriff – Davina McCall.

Various articles and pages on The Menopause Charity website.

Changing Body Shape During The Menopause – Newson Health.