When I was researching The Menopause Book, I asked dozens of women to tell me their biggest gripes about this time of life. Weight gain was at the top of the list. Even women who had always been careful about their diet and exercised regularly were noticing the pounds creeping up. Others who were less careful found themselves really battling the scale.
When I talked to nutritionists, I found that this was a very real and common phenomenon. As you get older, your metabolism slows. That means you could eat exactly the same thing and still put on pounds.
Many of us are also less active as we get older for a variety of reasons. It could be aches and pains from arthritis or just fatigue. We're also busy and may find it hard to fit in exercise. Increasing inactivity is another contributing factor in weight gain. It can also raise your risk of heart diseases and other problems.
There is a solution: You have to be extra careful about what you eat. A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that four specific changes helped post-menopausal women lose pounds. They are eating fewer deserts and fried foods, cutting down on sugary beverages, eating more fish and eating out less often.
I think this is good news because none of these changes are that difficult. You don't have to give up desert or fried foods entirely - just save them for special occasions. I would cut out sugary beverages, however. Those are just empty calories. As for eating more fish and eating out less, these are also pretty easy changes to make.
Other strategies that have been proven to help with long-term loss are keeping a food journal, weighing yourself regularly and making sure to exercise at least several times a week.