Weight Gain Over 50 and the Menopause Belly is Inevitable

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Weight Gain Over 50

Being over 50 comes with many surprises and changes. Aging gracefully is more than a notion, but we keep going.  One lovely surprise is the weight gain and the menopause belly or the muffin top. It seems to come out of nowhere. All of a sudden your favorite clothes don’t fit and your scale is on a larger number. Weight gain over 50 and the menopause belly is inevitable.  Let’s take a look at why the weight gain and menopause belly occurs. Then let’s talk about how to contain that belly.

You probably wonder why all of a sudden your weight increases. The amount of calorie intake has not changed, so why are you gaining weight. Many think that it is because of hormonal changes due to menopause. However, it is not the only reason for the weight gain.  Some scientists and researchers say the gain is usually related to aging, lifestyle, and genetics.

Age and Muscle Mass

As you age muscle mass decreases and fat increases. Muscle mass decreases the rate of which your body uses calories. Along with these changes of shifting hormones, muscle mass, and fat you have not changed your exercises and diet. Thus, you now have a menopause belly.

Plus you now have a decline in estrogen. It causes fat cells in your abdominal area to store more fat. The next thing you know you have an extra five to ten pounds. Menopause belly or some call it the menopause muffin is now your reality. However, don’t take it too lightly because the extra weight can increase your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems and various types of cancers including breast, colon, and endometrial.

Now that you have a new friend hanging over your pants, let’s talk about a few things to control the size of the menopause belly. Your health is a priority!

Healthy Eating

The first priority is to eat healthily and decrease your calorie intake. When you are young it is possible to eat what you want and exercise a little. Remember as you grow older your muscle mass decreases and turns to fat. If you continue to eat hamburgers, fries, fried foods, and junk foods some body parts will expand. Also, if you drink soda and sugary drinks they are filled with calories.

Some suggest that your calorie intake should not exceed 1600; however, you must consult your doctor for advice. If you think that you don’t eat very much, begin to keep a food diary. Write down every morsel of food and drink that you eat each day. Then review your journal. You will be in for a surprise. Also, there are some great apps to help you eat healthily and lose weight such as Lose It, My Fitness Pal, Fat Secret, Yazio, Fooducate, and My Plate Calorie Tracker.

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Get Fit

Staying fit is the second priority. Step up your activity and lead a healthier lifestyle. You need cardio exercises to burn fat, but do not overdo it. Again consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Get up, start walking, swimming, yoga, or something to get you moving and physically active. Fitness trackers can help to track your movement and stats. 

Weight gain over 50 and the menopause belly.
It’s important to stay physically active as you age.

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There are many trackers to choose and fit different budgets such as Fitbit, Garmin, Misfit Ray, Apple Watch, and Motiv. While you are getting fit, check your posture. Like your mom used to say, “Stand up straight!” Slouching only makes the menopause belly look larger than it is. Good posture also helps your stomach and back muscles. Practice standing up with your shoulders back and chin up.

Sleep Better

Another priority is to get enough sleep. During menopause, many women are unable to sleep through the night. As your hormonal levels decrease, unfortunately, one symptom is insomnia. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re tired and less active. Consequently, less activity can lead to weight gain.

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Try to change some personal habits to help you to sleep better.  According to Healthline.com here are a few things that you can do to combat insomnia.

  • Keeping your bedroom temp as cool as you can handle. A solid recommendation is around 65°. Cooler rooms make you more likely to hibernate well.
  • Shutting off any lights. This includes alarm clocks and cell phones. The buzzing and blinking lights of a cell phone can alert your brain even when you’re asleep, and you’ll be waking up at odd hours without any clear explanation.
  • Stopping any unnecessary sounds. Turning off the radio, removing ticking clocks, and shutting down appliances before you tuck in can help lull you into a good night’s sleep.

Now there are apps to help you track your sleep habits or practice meditation. Here are a few to get you started: Sleep Cycle, Apple Bedtime, Calm, Pillow, Pzizz, and Headspace.

Growing Older

Growing older has its ups and downs.  Your weight may increase but it doesn’t have to become out of control. No one wants the menopause belly or muffin top. Take a moment to assess your situation, health, and lifestyle. Afterward, make changes based on what is best for your physical and emotional health. Remember to consult your physician for advice and support before making dietary changes or exercise goals.  

Weight gain over 50 and the menopause belly is inevitable. It’s important to remember that your 50-year-old body is not the same as your 20-year-old body. Don’t be ashamed of your menopausal body. Aging gracefully includes loving yourself, body, and mind. You are beautiful. Now let’s stay healthy!

Additional Resources

Menopause Weight Gain: Stop the Middle-Aged Spread


5 Key Ways to Lose Weight After 50


7 Ways to Lose Weight After 50


Older Health Facts


Is it Normal to Gain Weight After 50


The biggest reason you gain weight has nothing to do with your metabolism


Exercise Tips for Women Over 50


Menopause Belly and How to Fix It


Tips on How to Lose the Belly Fat After Menopause


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