The Mystery of Menopause Weight Gain and How to Keep It at Bay

Menopause and stopping weight gain

Quite often I hear postmenopausal clients say to me that they just don’t understand why they have put on weight.

I hate saying anything bad about the NHS as it is full of amazing hardworking people, who have been there for my (and I am guessing your) family in times of need many times. However, it is rare doctors ever seem to fully explain to patients how this point in a woman’s life impacts many things, including weight, and how to go about counteracting it. These clients then end up chatting with me.

I have completed a number of qualifications including my Level 3 PT, a Level 3 Diploma in (GP/NHS) Exercise Referral covering a range of medical conditions, alongside my CPD in Menopause for Fitness Professionals. I am Certified Menopause Exercise Coach.


Well, I have always been very careful to make sure I fully understand menopause (and other health conditions for that matter) so I can help with empathy, despite not experiencing it myself, so that I don’t turn into a… how to I put this, a mansplaining moron! No one needs that! 😉 So, here goes…

Why Do Some Women Put on Weight During Menopause?

Menopause signals a significant shift in a woman’s life. It’s the time when the monthly menstrual cycle takes its final bow, and along with it come various changes in the body.

  1. Hormonal Changes: At the heart of menopause are shifting hormone levels. Oestrogen, in particular, takes a dip. Some believe this decrease in oestrogen may influence where the body stores fat, often around the midsection.
  2. Metabolism Slows Down: As we age, our metabolism (the process by which our body uses energy) tends to get a bit sluggish. This means we might burn calories a tad slower than we used to. This is caused by several things including less movement as we age and a drop in muscle mass. This can be countered though.
  3. Loss of Muscle Mass: Muscle helps us burn calories even when we’re resting. As we grow older, we might lose some of this precious muscle, which could contribute to weight gain if we don’t adjust our activity levels or diet.
  4. Lifestyle: It’s not all about biology. Lifestyle habits formed over the years, like eating late at night or not getting enough exercise, can also tip the scales (quite literally) as we get older.

Tips to Prevent Weight Gain During Menopause

Feeling a bit apprehensive? Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to tackle this challenge head-on.

  1. Stay Active: Keeping the body moving is a sure-fire way to boost metabolism. You don’t need to run a marathon – even brisk walking, dancing, or gardening can help. Aim for a mix of cardiovascular exercise (to get your heart rate up) and strength training (to build and maintain muscle).
  2. Eat Mindfully: Focus on a balanced diet filled with whole foods. Think plenty of veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. It might also be helpful to keep an eye on portion sizes.
  3. Limit Sugary and Processed Foods: These can be sneaky sources of extra calories. Cutting back on them might make a significant difference.
  4. Get Enough Sleep: A rested body is a happy body. Good sleep helps regulate hunger hormones and keeps our energy levels in check.
  5. Manage Stress: High stress can lead to overeating or unhealthy eating habits. Finding ways to relax, whether through reading, meditation, or a lovely long bath, can help manage weight.
  6. Seek Support: This is a journey, and it’s okay to seek help. Whether it’s joining a fitness group, consulting a nutritionist or coach, or simply chatting with friends going through the same phase, having a support system can make the process easier.

In Conclusion

Menopause is a natural phase, and while it might come with its set of challenges, it’s also an opportunity to embrace change, understand your body better, and adopt healthier habits.

Weight gain might feel inevitable, but with a proactive approach and the right mindset, it’s more manageable than you might think.

Embrace this new chapter with confidence!

I can help you…

I am a Menopause Support Coach, find out more about how I can help you: