Menopause is marked with several challenges, including unnecessary weight gain. Sticking to the right diet, working out regularly, and getting enough sleep are a few of the things that will help you lose weight during menopause and maintain your preferred weight.

The menopausal transition presents unique challenges, including paining joints, anxiety, and hot flashes. Besides, a woman might find it hard to lose weight during and after this period because stress, hormonal changes, and aging processes catch up with her. However, there are only a couple of things a woman in the menopausal transition needs to do to shake off those extra pounds and maintain her preferred weight. The right diet, regular exercises, specific therapies, and keeping active are some of the simple techniques that will help her achieve her weight loss goals during this seemingly hard period. Peer into this article to see these in detail and many others.

Why women find it hard to lose weight during menopause

For most healthy women, menopause is probably the most difficult period in life marked by uncontrollable weight gain. It normally comes after a woman misses her periods for 12 months. For some women, the unprecedented weight gain starts during perimenopause, which can come as early as a decade before she faces menopause. Some of the factors which make weight gain easy during menopause include;

During menopause, the stored fats in the thighs and hipsshift and move to the abdomen, increasing the belly fat proportion. The more fats in the lower abdomen, the higher the risk of getting diabetes type 2, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, women in the menopausal transition do well to incorporate belly fat loss strategies. Here are some of the tips that will enhance weight loss during menopause;

i.                    Increase your activities

Although sitting down and chilling most of the time can be relaxing as you approach menopause, it is not the best option for you. Studies have shown that because women lose muscles mass as they advance in age and the body responds by stocking fat, regularly exercising will help them lose weight. Therefore, they can do aerobic or resistance exercise at least thrice a week and this will help them keep their weight in check.

ii.                 Eat healthily

Regular exercises are good for losing weight, and so is a healthy diet. Therefore, as one approaches or is deep into menopause, she must make necessary adjustments in her diet and feature healthy foods comprising nuts, whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits, and vegetables. There are many diets that promote health, including the paleo, keto, Atkins, or Mediterranean diets. At the same time, she must avoid heavily processed foods like pastries (cakes, donuts, cookies), sweetened beverages (sodas and juices), white bread, and processed foods (bologna, sausages, smoked meat, and sausages) which pack many calories and empty them to the body.

iii.               Prioritize getting quality sleep

Once a woman is in her menopause, sleep disturbances become commonplace and with such deprivation, weight loss becomes tricky as she packs more fats. Therefore, postmenopausal women must make sleep a priority and get quality sleep. This means sleeping longer and peacefully. Interfering with one’s sleep patterns affects the sleep-wake cycle and the circadian rhythm, alternating body fat composition, appetite hormones, and energy expenditure. Each of these factors translates to weight gain in more than one way. In addition, sweating and hot flashes become more frequent during and after menopause, making sleep harder and weight gain easier.

iv.               Try complementary and alternative therapies

Apart from a healthy diet, quality sleep, and regular exercise, postmenopausal women could try complementary and alternative therapies to lose extra weight. Admittedly, studies have not established whether these therapies will help ladies shake off extra pounds. However, they are an effective way of relieving stress and promoting well-being, two factors closely linked to weight gain. There are many forms of alternative therapies, but hypnosis, yoga, meditation, and herbal treatments can be effective.

v.                  Be more mindful of your eating patterns

The other secret to losing weight during menopause is being conscious of your eating patterns. With this kind of eating practice, a woman becomes more connected to the internal, rather than external cues to eating, which translates to reduced instances of eating disorders and binge eating. In a review of ten studies on the effect of mindful eating on menopausal weight gain, it was quite apparent that the practice could help obese and overweight people lose considerable weight. In addition, mindful eating has been shown to help women control emotional eating better.

vi.               Keep food logs and weigh yourself regularly

Although keeping food logs and regularly weighing yourself will not affect weight loss directly, the two strategies promote mindful eating. For instance, by recording what foods you take a lot of times and the situations during which you eat them, you can easily tell how certain situations affect you and control them better to maintain the weight you want. In addition, comparing how the particular foods eaten in a particular duration affect your weight helps you make the necessary adjustments in your diet to match the weight you want.

vii.             Eat with smaller plates to cut portion sizes

Reducing portion sizes has helped many lose weight over the years and it can also work for postmenopausal women. Since most people like filling their plates, eating with smaller plates is an ideal way to cut your portions. In addition, portions are directly proportional to weight gain, and reducing them translates to significant weight loss.


Menopause seems to be the toughest time of a woman’s life. Hormonal changes, hot flashes stress, muscle mass loss and the aging process make things harder. Although weight loss can seem impossible during this period, regular exercise, mindful and healthy eating, getting quality sleep, and trying alternative therapies will definitely help a woman lose extra pounds.

Charlotte Cremers

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.