Menopause and Weight Gain

Q: I’m 57 and menopausal. I do aerobics three times a week and take hour-long walks on the other days. Yet I still find it so difficult to lose weight. What can I do?

A:  Weight gain is a challenging problem for midlife women. The facts are not pretty.If you eat an extra Lifesaver a day, you will gain two pounds a year. If you gain two pounds a year for 10 years, it adds up to 20 pounds. And that’s just a Lifesaver! Just imagine what happens when you treat yourself to a 700-calorie cinnamon sticky bun from Au Bon Pain.

On the other hand, one hour of low-impact aerobic exercise burns 365 calories, and your walk burns 277 (that’s assuming you weigh 160 pounds; if you weigh less, it burns fewer calories). But as women age, their metabolism slows down. You do the math!

Just not gaining weight is an accomplishment for a midlife woman. And what’s required is continuing to exercise while being vigilant about controlling what you eat. Eat small portions, avoid empty calories (such as alcohol and juices), and understand that if you have a big meal one day, then having a low-calorie day soon after is necessary. This is a lifelong effort.

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June 8, 2010. Diet, Exercise, Weight Loss Tips.

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