It’s frustrating, but true. Most women gain weight as they age due to hormonal changes that result in increased estrogen levels and other factors. Roughly two-thirds of women ages 40 to 59 and nearly three-fourths of women older than 60 are overweight, which is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 kg/m2. On average, middle-aged women gain 1.5 pounds per year. This might not sound like a lot, but it adds up over time and puts you at increased risk for chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Fortunately, there is good news – the additional pounds can be prevented. Lakes Regional Healthcare provides several options to manage your weight:
Meeting with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help you develop a personalized, achievable plan to facilitate weight loss or maintain your weight. You can receive creative and out-of-the-box strategies to help with meal planning, grocery shopping and mindful eating.
The loss of estrogen during midlife leads to an increase of fat, especially around the midsection. Mindfully eating a healthy diet as well as exercise are necessary for weight management. Although estrogen used for management of menopause symptoms is not a weight-loss drug, it can sometimes improve body composition by reducing abdominal fat.
Some medications, including antidepressants, which are commonly prescribed to midlife women, can promote weight gain. Weight-loss medications may be an option for some women. Our family medicine providers may suggest different medications to improve your likelihood of maintaining weight, along with eating a healthy diet and frequent physical activity.
For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.