For many women, menopause is a roller coaster ride of hot flushes, insomnia, night sweats, mood swings, heightened anxiety, panic attacks, dry and itchy skin and weight gain. Medically, menopause is when a woman goes without menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months and it usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55.

Though weight gain, especially around the belly, is a significant side-effect of menopause, you can avoid it by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Here are five steps to help you avoid weight gain during this period.

1. Get Moving

The most effective way to avoid piling on those extra pounds during menopause is to move more. The American Academy of Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Pick up a physical activity you love – aerobics, Zumba, yoga, swimming, kickboxing or whatever catches your fancy. If you don’t like hitting the gym, try to get in at least 10,000 steps every day and include two to three days of weight training per week in your regular schedule.

2. Eat Right

Exercise is just one half of the weight-loss equation, and the other half is on your plate. Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber can help you burn more calories and keep your metabolism functioning at optimum levels. Eliminate sugary drinks, high-fat and other processed foods from your diet.

3. Lift Weights

The body starts losing muscle density around age 40, and strength training can help protect your muscles. Besides cardio, include weight training in your exercise schedule. There are plenty of free fitness apps that can help you track your exercise routine.

4. Sleep More

Yes, by sleeping more, you can reduce the fat accumulating on your waistline. Have a fixed bedtime schedule and stick to it. When you sleep more, your body feels well-rested and burns more calories helping you avoid piling on those extra pounds. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of high-quality, undisturbed sleep every night.

5. Reduce Stress

When you get stressed, the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and corticotropin go haywire, releasing extra doses into the bloodstream. This causes an increase in appetite, making you binge on junk foods, leading to weight gain. So, you need to avoid getting stressed. Take up a hobby or do something that interests you to lower your stress levels.

Don’t Hesitate To Seek Support

Gaining weight during mid-life can make you feel anxious and depressed. Remember that you’re not alone, and menopausal weight gain is a common issue that affects millions of women in the US. Avoid crash diets and other fads that do more harm than good.

The best way to find a sustainable solution is to approach your GP. Book an appointment with Dr. Noelle King, a leading gynecologist in Portland. Remember that you can beat menopausal weight gain by making the right lifestyle changes. We’ve got an expert health care team to lend you a helping hand. We can help you manage menopausal weight gain and also help you deal with other menopausal symptoms. Schedule your appointment today!