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” Yes, reduced estrogen levels can cause fat to be stored around the waist, but that doesn’t mean it has to!”
  • Linda Cunnigham

Menopause Does Not Mean Weight Gain

As a woman in her fifties, I truly understand the concerns of menopause and how it can change a woman’s body, weight gain being foremost among them. However, there are ways to avoid weight gain, especially additional belly fat and a few other unwelcome changes in this stage of life. Yes, reduced estrogen levels can cause fat to be stored around the waist, but that doesn’t mean it has to!

So how does one combat this phase of our ever-changing body? Regular exercise is an excellent way to reduce the chance of weight gain while improving your overall health. Performing cardio, weight lifting, and specific core work is an almost magic formula for blasting body fat. The more consistent you are, the more changes you’ll see. Even if you’ve thus far avoided menopausal weight gain, you can maintain your fit physique with this formula as well.

Diet, of course, is a major factor in obtaining and maintaining healthy body composition, especially as we enter into menopause. Eating a regular diet that reduces sugar and simple carb consumption can help keep your blood sugar more consistent, decreasing the tendency to spike and dip, which can throw one’s metabolism into disarray. It’s more critical than ever to have a good diet with the proper balance of protein, healthy fats, and high fiber/low glycemic carbohydrates (whole grains, barley, and oats are good examples). Keeping a check on your caloric intake can also prove helpful. In fact, you may find that you need to consume roughly 200 calories less per day to maintain your weight during menopause. Of course, everybody is different, and EVERY-BODY is different, so I’d also encourage you to check with our staff Nutritionist, Liz Keller, if you have any specific dietary questions or concerns.

Lastly, numerous myths and “old wives’ tales” are associated with menopause. Below please find the myth vs. fact breakdown. Remember that you are not alone and do not just have to “accept” your body changes. We are all here at FI to help keep you on a healthy path, one step at a time.

Questions? Email me at

About the Author

Linda Cunningham

Linda Cunningham

Linda Cunningham is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Pilates Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Kids Fitness Instructor, and also certified in Zumba.

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