How to Lose Weight During Menopause

Weight gain is a common side effect of menopause due to women’s fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels, and can lead to further health problems down the road when left untreated. In the United States, about 30 percent of all women between the ages of 50 and 59 are obese.[1] If you’ve managed to gain weight throughout menopause, the best way to shed excess pounds is to exercise regularly, improve your nutrition, and practice a series of general healthy lifestyle habits.


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    Start exercising on a daily basis. Muscle mass tends to diminish with age, and most women tend to engage in less physical activity as they become older. Engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day on most days of the week to get started. All adults, including those over the age of 65, are recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to stay healthy and fit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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    Add strength training to your current exercise regime. Since muscle mass decreases with age, strength training can help rebuild muscle mass and decrease the risk for osteoporosis, which is a common side effect of menopause in aging women. The CDC recommends that all adults do strength training exercises that work all major muscle groups at least two days per week.
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    Improve your nutrition and diet. Your body’s metabolism tends to decline naturally with age, especially during menopause. Consume fewer calories by limiting alcohol intake, portion sizes, and processed or refined carbohydrates, and consume a higher amount of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, sources of lean protein, nuts, seeds, and legumes.[2]
    • Consult with your healthcare provider about taking calcium supplements to help strengthen your bones and prevent bone loss. Calcium can help decrease the risk for bone loss and osteoporosis, which is common in menopausal women.
    • Work with a dietitian or nutritionist to develop a meal plan that can help you lose weight during menopause. These types of health professionals can recommend the best types of foods and meal plans that can help you become healthier based on your age and health status.[3]
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    Manage and eliminate stress and stressors from your life. In some cases, factors such as divorce, retirement, the loss of a loved one, or children returning home can contribute to weight gain during menopause. Long-term stress can result in further hormonal imbalance, and lead to overeating, physical inactivity, and other health problems that increase the risk for weight gain. Do whatever it takes to manage and eliminate stress from your life as effectively as possible. For example, start practicing yoga, take relaxing bubble baths, or listen to soothing music throughout the day to help reduce stress.[4]
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    Seek weight-loss support from friends, family, and your healthcare provider. Surrounding yourself with individuals who support your weight-loss journey is an ideal way to experience the best success with weight loss. Involve your friends and family in your favorite sports, hobbies, and activities, or consult with your healthcare provider about joining a weight-loss support group.
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    Talk to your healthcare provider about undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy can increase your body’s diminishing estrogen and progesterone levels, and help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
    • Consider looking into bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in place of traditional HRT. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a type of therapy that mimics the effects of human hormones, whereas traditional HRT uses synthetic hormones derived from equine urine. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has been associated with fewer negative side effects for menopausal women.[5]


  • Find and stick to physical activities you enjoy doing the most to help yourself stay committed to losing weight. Gardening, walking with friends, and dancing are examples of fun exercises that can help you lose weight and keep it off during menopause.
  • Keep a food journal to help track your calories and nutrition choices throughout menopause. A food journal can help you determine the source of your weight gain, and can help you with controlling portion sizes and overeating.
  • Start using green-friendly household cleaning products. Studies have shown that pesticides, pollutants, and other chemicals commonly found in most household products can increase the risk for hormonal imbalance and weight gain. Look for household products labeled as “green-friendly” or “environmentally-friendly” made with organic or all-natural ingredients.
  • Take steps to manage type 2 diabetes as best as possible if you suffer from this health condition. Insulin resistance can disrupt your body’s overall hormonal balance, and can lead to further weight gain when left untreated or unmanaged, especially in menopausal women.


  • Don’t make any changes to your current diet or fitness regime, and don’t start taking medications or drugs to treat menopause or weight loss without consulting with your healthcare provider beforehand. Your physician can perform a full examination, and prescribe the necessary course of treatment for weight loss based on your personal health situation.

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Categories: Losing Weight | Women’s Health