It’s Women’s History month! Weight loss for women can be a challenging aspect as our hormones and bodies change so frequently during various periods of our lives. The majority of my female clients are either going through menopause or are postmenopausal and are struggling with weight loss. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are entering this new phase in your life and how you can continue to lose weight and get stronger and healthier:
1. Increase Activity
Because menopause happens during your mid to late 50s, it is crucial to continue to be active. Exercise becomes increasingly important as we age to ensure that our bones, joints, and muscles are strong as well as to prevent injury from our everyday tasks. If you’re in the menopause phase of your life, a sedentary lifestyle will not benefit you in losing weight. If you’re a working woman, the chances of you being seated at a desk for over 8 hours a day is high, so it’s important that you take 30 to 60 minutes to increase your heart rate and move your body. Not only will this help increase bone and joint health, but you will also find that your mobility and flexibility will last much longer with increased activity.
2. Eat Well & Often
It’s not uncommon for me as a coach to ask my clients what they’ve had to eat when they come in for a training session. Not only is this a fantastic conversation starter, but it also helps put into perspective what foods they have consumed and how much they’ve eaten. It never fails to surprise me when clients say that they had their morning coffee and a bag of pretzels (and maybe a salad) before coming to their session. This automatically sets off some alarms for me. I know that their lunch break was probably around noon or one o’clock… and now it’s 5:00 pm and they haven’t had anything else to eat! A common misconception is that if we eat less, then we will lose weight. While this is fundamentally true (getting into a caloric deficit will guarantee weight loss), there is a certain number of calories that your body needs in order to maintain proper organ function, hair growth, skin cell repair, and other vital life-sustaining functions. When this number of calories is not met, whatever foods you do put into your body, gets stored for energy. Thus, eating more frequently and better foods will help set you up for success when approaching your weight loss goals.
3. Take Your Vitamins and Supplements
As we age, it’s important for us to continue to give our bodies the proper vitamins and nutrients that we might not be getting (or absolutely cannot get) from our diet. It’s not uncommon for women to be deficient in iron, vitamin D, B12, and C. A daily multivitamin is a great place to start and always consult with your doctor before starting any additional supplement intake. Increasing your vitamin and supplement consumption can help benefit gut health, mental clarity and hair and skin growth when taken properly and appropriately.
Aging is a process that we can’t avoid. Instead of fighting against these natural cycles of our lives, it’s time to embrace them and make sustainable changes that will make this process easier.
Remaining active, eating well, and getting all the nutrients we need are key things to ensure quality of life as we get older. Menopause is a challenging time and it can definitely be frustrating when trying to tackle weight loss during this change, take control of your health to help this process be just that much easier.