While I do have some male clients, most of my personal training clients are female and most of them have something in common: They all called me because they'd started to gain weight and, even worse, it seemed to come from nowhere. This weight gain started happening for most of them in their mid-40s and they were mystified. The reason? Most of these women were healthy and fit. They exercised, watched their diets and had always managed to maintain the same weight. For that reason, it was both frustrating and mysterious: Why were they suddenly gaining weight and why was that extra weight showing up around the middle?
Unfortunately, many of them were working their way towards menopause, a time when hormones decline and weird things begin to happen, including weight gain. The reason is a sort of Bermuda Triangle effect that comes from declining estrogen (one of the hormones that helps us manage our weight): A decreased resting metabolism, an increase in calorie intake and a decrease in spontaneous physical activity.
The trouble comes from the fact that this increase in calories and decrease in activity often happens without us being aware of it, especially because many menopause symptoms (such as lack of sleep, fatigue and depression) seem determined to keep us from moving around much.
The good news is, there's something you can do about it and you won't be surprised that the best action you can take has to do with exercise. Learn more about menopause and weight gain and please tell us about your experiences. Have you gone through this or do you know someone who has? How have you dealt with your changing body and what can other women do to avoid gaining weight?