Menopause can be tricky to navigate. Was “that’s an understatement” your first thought while reading that sentence? If so, this article is for you.
One of the more challenging aspects of menopause, aside from all the hormones that do a complete 180, may be weight gain.
Whether it crept up on you slowly or seemed to happen almost overnight, menopause (or even perimenopause) related weight gain can be challenging to lose. But it’s not impossible. In fact, with the right tools and support, you can lose weight and keep further menopausal weight gain at bay without all the frustration you’re probably feeling right now.
Read on to learn more about what causes weight gain during menopause and review some science-backed tips to help you with weight loss, weight management, and overall wellness during menopausal transitions.
During menopause, your body undergoes many changes, and there may be various reasons you may be gaining weight during this time (as well as during perimenopause). One main reason is all the hormonal changes that occur during this time, especially with lowered estrogen levels.
As the North American Menopause Society notes, although menopause may not be directly related to weight gain, it does have associations with changes in body composition and fat distribution.
As women age, they may start to exercise less, their metabolism slows down, and they’re more prone to issues like wider waistlines and abdominal fat.
So you may find that along with the night sweats, mood changes, and other symptoms of menopause, you’re also putting on weight. It can happen even if you stick to a healthy diet and keep up with physical activity.
There are a few reasons for this. A review of research on menopause and weight gain found that hormonal changes during menopause were associated with increased abdominal fat.
The authors also conclude that hormone therapy with estrogen and estrogen-progestin may help prevent excess weight gain during menopause. Again, this suggests that the weight change is hormone-related (for example, due to declining estrogen levels).
Another study illustrated that it’s not necessarily that menopause leads to general weight gain, but more specifically, abdominal obesity. The researchers in this study found that women in menopause had a greater waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio during this period.
Like the other study, these researchers found that women on hormone therapy did not experience an increase in waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio.
While more research is needed on the direct associations between menopause and weight gain, it’s a good idea to spend a little more time on weight management if you do find yourself gaining weight during this time.
All that excess weight you’re putting on during menopause can be challenging to deal with emotionally, but there’s more to consider here.
Unchecked menopause weight gain can impact your health, and excess body mass can cause a range of health issues, including but not limited to:
So, for overall health and wellness, focusing on weight management as you go through these natural changes is a good idea. Consider a few tweaks to an already healthy lifestyle, like making dietary changes and getting enough sleep. Here are a few tips to help you out:
The next logical train of thought would be to wonder whether hormone therapy is the key to managing weight gain during menopause (or preventing it altogether). It's a controversial topic. And while it’s something you should always discuss with your doctor, it isn’t as black or white as some think.
The verdict from early 2000 studies on hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, was that there was more harm than benefits for HRT.
Later re-analysis said the opposite: when done properly and in early menopause, HRT can help with menopausal symptoms and improve cardiovascular health and all-cause mortality.
If you work with a functional medicine doctor, you may know HRT is one option for menopause support. If you don’t, you can bring this topic up with your healthcare provider and determine if this would be a beneficial option for you.
While we don’t recommend specific diets, you can work with a healthcare professional to find foods that can help you during menopause. For some, research finds that the Mediterranean diet may be beneficial for managing menopause-related weight gain. If it suits you, it may be a good idea to work with a dietitian to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
One study investigated how a Mediterranean diet (MD) would affect weight and other health markers in menopausal women. In this study, they had menopausal women follow the MD, mimicking the diet of people living in Nicotera, a southern Italian town. It included lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, protein, and (of course) good quality olive oil.
Specifically, the macronutrient breakdown was:
There were variations in how much each person ate of what. Everyone is different, so work with your nutritionist to find the right ratios for your needs.
The authors found this diet may benefit more than just menopausal women’s waist circumference. These women experienced significantly improved body mass index or BMI (read our article on BMI to learn why this may not be the most reliable marker) and reduced overall body weight and fat mass. They also improved metabolic health markers such as LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
Improved metabolic health may have helped these women lose weight and become healthier, as that improvement has helped their bodies turn off their fat-storing mode.
If you’ve found it challenging to manage your weight so far (especially belly fat), incorporating foods from the Mediterranean diet may help give your body a gentle nudge.
Physical activity is another great way to lose weight and build muscle mass. However, some women exercise less and less as they enter menopause, which can also contribute to weight gain during this phase.
Metabolism also decreases, as does muscle mass. And when there’s less muscle mass, your body may burn fewer calories, and you find yourself putting on body fat more quickly than you did before.
The answer is to get a little more exercise. But you want to ensure you’re doing a mix of different workouts. Aerobic exercise can be beneficial, and so can strength training.
Aerobic exercise, or cardio, includes running, swimming, jogging, and even walking. It gets your heart rate up, pumps feel-good hormones in your body, builds endurance, and burns calories. Aerobic exercise can also be good for the heart.
Strength training includes using weight training (including your own body weight) for different exercises such as squats or deadlifts. It can help increase muscle mass, which we lose as we age (age-related muscle loss is known as sarcopenia).
You can always start small, for example, by getting in those 10k steps daily. And then progress from there.
And if you already get enough steps in and are running or jogging weekly, it may be time to incorporate a little bit of strength training into your regime.
Physical exercise helps manage menopausal (and general midlife) weight gain and menopause-related symptoms like back pain and hot flashes.
A general recommendation is to get in at least two hours of combined exercise each week for menopausal and postmenopausal women.
Also, activities that may make one prone to falling or injury are not recommended since they can lead to bone fracture. This is why a bone mineral scan can be important for women in menopause.
Adding some low repetition jumping exercises to your routine can actually help maintain bone mineral density and prevent progression to osteoporosis.
Last but certainly not least, here’s a tip that’s a little less science-focused but more heart-centered.
Even though it feels like you’re on a mission, you’re not alone. Women around the world feel the same way.
So don’t be afraid to reach out to your community or loved ones for support.
If you don’t relate to those in your immediate surroundings or they find it difficult to understand what you’re going through, you can join a support group that resonates with you. Some great menopause support groups include:
Finding one may take time, but you can search for support groups in your local area that meet up in person. Or, if you’d like to keep things virtual, there are some great ones on social media platforms (like the ones linked above). You can even create your very own menopause support circle!
Another great idea is to have a workout buddy or accountability group where you can check each other’s progress and cheer each other on.
You can also lean into your healthcare team or nutritionist for support. Many people find that nutritionists, functional medicine doctors, or other alternative medicine practitioners can offer motivation and behavioral support for longer-lasting change and health benefits.
A great way to track your weight loss journey during menopause is to utilize 24/7 glucose data from devices such as CGMs.
The best part of the CGM Program with NutriSense is that you can use the monitor with an innovative app that tracks your blood glucose levels. There’s also a team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists who help you understand the data and work with you to help you achieve your health goals.
Dietitian and author of "Heart Disease Cookbook" Katie Reines discusses using a CGM to help balance blood sugars and hormones to manage and reverse health conditions.
Technical writer, competitive ballroom dancer, and seven-year veteran of the carnivore diet, Linda Salant talks about using the CGM to get clarity on how a unique diet could affect blood sugar levels.
Founder of health and fitness brand Shack Fit, John Shackleton is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He talks about using the CGM to "check under the hood” and see how his physiology was responding to certain foods.
Athletic trainer Shaye Reynolds talks about feeling stuck on her health journey, and how NutriSense and the CGM Program helped fine-tune her wellness routine and have a better understanding of her diet and workout practices.
If you're gearing up to travel or spend more time outdoors this summer, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and hydrated in the sun.
When Christine Aochi was diagnosed with prediabetes, she knew she had to start focusing more on her health. She tells us how the CGM and dietitian support with NutriSense helped her to lower her blood glucose levels, lose weight, and enjoy her food.
Charlotte LaGuardia, MS, CNS, CDN, is the owner of virtual nutrition practice, Thrive East. She talks to us about using data points and experiments with a CGM to make informed decisions about health and wellness.
Elite athlete and founder of Pure Massage Boulder, Tracey Jacobs is committed to her health. She discusses using the CGM with dietitian support to help maximize performance and elevate her workouts.
Jennifer Brumit loves the CGM because it helps her add to what she already does to stay healthy. She talks about why she thinks everyone should be using one to educate themselves and boost overall wellness.
Donating blood can save a life, and these donations are needed more often than you may think. Read on to learn how autoimmune conditions affect your eligibility to donate.
As a new mom, you may be eager to regain your pre-pregnancy body, but it's essential to take things slow and follow postpartum diet guidelines. Read on to discover dietitian recommended postpartum guidelines to losing weight.
Alongside a healthy diet, adding certain nutrients can help with achieving optimal blood glucose levels. Here are nine supplements that help your body do just that!
We asked our Nutrition Team to help us debunk 14 popular nutrition and lifestyle myths. Here's what our dietitians—and the research—say about these age-old myths.
You may have always considered oatmeal to be a healthy breakfast option, but is it really that good for you? Let’s break down the different components of oatmeal and find out.
To help you make the most of the warmer weather, we asked Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD, and Nutrition Manager here at NutriSense, to share a few of her favorite summer soup recipes.
Insulin resistance can create a variety of health issues and lead to type 2 diabetes. Here are nine effective ways to improve insulin sensitivity for improved metabolic health.
Did you know your gut influences how well your brain functions? Here are our top dietitian approved tips to boost gut health for improved cognitive functioning.
Catherine Staffieri discusses the impact of glucose on hormones, perimenopause and menopause, weight loss and the incredible benefits of using a CGM as a tool to help you feel your best.
To discuss how a health coach can incorporate this in their practice, Health Coach Academy invited Carlee Hayes to the show.
This week, we’ve compiled some of our favorite podcasts that go beyond nutrition. Here are 20 wellness-focused podcasts to add to your queue.
Are BCAAs worth it? This post digs into 30+ years of research to answer this question. The answer may surprise you.
Menopause can be a difficult journey, so we've compiled some of the most effective, science backed tips to help you with menopause-related weight gain.
Father’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re celebrating your dad, a father figure, or another cherished loved one, helping them take care of their health can be the ultimate gift.
Here's a helpful list of some of our favorite low-carb snacks that can help you keep your diet varied and full of healthy nutrients.
Whether you're looking for low GI summer snacks or healthy sweet treats, this post has got you covered. Here are tasty low glycemic index recipes everyone will enjoy!
Wondering if grapes are safe for people with diabetes to include in their diet? Read on to find out.
Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?
We sat down with Kara Collier, our co-founder and VP of Health here at NutriSense, to take a closer look at how CGMs work and what you need to know about these devices before using one.
Are carbs and sugar the same? In this post, we break down the key differences between the two and share the benefits of complex carbohydrates.
Read on to learn more about DOMS, how long it can last, and then pick from our list of the best breakfasts to help beat that post-workout soreness, support muscle building, and encourage fat loss.
When it comes to lowering blood sugar levels, not all supplements are created equal. From ginseng to aloe vera, here are some of the best supplements to help avoid high blood sugar and encourage blood sugar control.
Bloating that results from a surgery can sometimes be an unexpected part of the recovery process. Is there anything you can do to reduce bloating or prevent it from happening? And what causes this bloating anyway? Read on to find the answer to these questions and much more to help you combat your post-surgery swelling.
Learn why fiber is classified as a carb and how to increase your intake of this health promoting nutrient.
Did you know Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease? Read on to learn what it's like living with PD plus discover treatment options.
From rosemary water to dry scooping, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of?
As great as sugar tastes, including too much of it in your diet can lead to certain health problems. Read on to learn more about the role sugar plays in keeping your skin healthy.
Read on to see which podcasts our dietitians recommend if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and health.
Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that can affect your health in various ways. Read our article to learn how it impacts blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!
Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.
Excited to fire up the grill this summer? Read on to learn if grilling is healthy for you plus check out the NutriSense Nutrition Team's favorite grilling recipes for the season.
Did you know that your gut health can impact your blood glucose levels? Explore ways to improve your gut health for optimal glucose levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause swelling and joint pain. Learn more about how it develops and how other health conditions affect its onset.
We’ve hand-picked the best weight loss apps available. Here are the thirteen best weight loss apps.
An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.
Struggling to stick with a health-promoting diet? Here’s how to make it enjoyable so you can reap the benefits.
VP of Health and co-founder of NutriSense Kara Collier discusses reaching optimal health through blood sugar regulation, what a continuous glucose monitor is, and who might benefit from using it.
In this episode of Zero to CEO, Jason Sherman talks to Dan Zavorotny about how to turn your idea into a 120 person team in 2.5 years.
Body mass index is a term you may have seen tossed around quite a bit in the health world. You may know that it’s a way to measure body fat, but with so many new tests for measuring overall fitness and health, is BMI still reliable?
If you're watching your glucose levels, traditional BBQ staples may not be the best choice. Here are some recipes that will help you enjoy a Memorial Day meal without a blood sugar spike.
Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health; here are tips, tools, and apps to improve your mental wellbeing.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. Learn if you can check your blood sugar at home without a meter.
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself from sunburn and sun damage. But how do you choose the right one for adequate sun protection?
Learn how Japanese water therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and detoxification.
Do you often feel anxious or upset but can’t pinpoint the cause of your low mood? Here's how to reconsider a few common routines and then work on small changes around them to build good habits.
Do you spend all your free time scrolling through social media? If you can’t remember the last time you went offline, you may need a digital detox.
When it comes to bone health, good nutrition is absolutely critical. Read on to learn what osteoporosis is and why some foods may increase your risk of or worsen the condition.
Fitness tracking apps give you valuable insights into your exercise routines. Here are the top fitness apps for Android and Apple for this year.
One of the best ways to get all the mental and physical benefits of nature is by flexing your green thumb. Read on to learn more about how gardening can benefit your health.
From soft drinks to candies and cereal to salad dressings, many food products contain food additives. Read on to find out more about eight common additives, and how they affect your health.
Many people experience symptoms akin to menstrual cramping even when they are not on their periods. It’s surprisingly common, and various factors can contribute to it. Read on to find out what some of these are.
Read on to learn more about vitamin D-rich foods and what you should include in your diet to make the most of this vitamin’s health benefits.
It’s important to protect your skin from the harsh effects of the sun’s rays, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to wear sunscreen. But what is sunscreen, and how does it work?
The world loves rice. It’s a staple food in many cultures and can have various health benefits for some. But does it cause your glucose to spike?
Kara Collier and Dan Zavorotny talk continuous glucose monitors on the Mind Pump podcast.
Dry needling is a therapeutic technique used by physical therapists and healthcare practitioners in an effort to alleviate pain and help restore movement in the body. Read on to find out more.
Wondering what the healthiest fast food options are? Here are some of the healthiest choices at fast food restaurants, according to dietitians.
Many people try crash diets to lose weight fast, which may provide some short term results but don't work for the long haul. Here is a realistic timeline for healthy weight loss.
Tracking nutrition has never been easier due to instant access to nutrition tracking apps. Here are the best ones.
Learn more about irritable bowel syndrome, and see what popular IBS-friendly diets people follow to ease their symptoms.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause pain, discomfort, and interfere with daily tasks. Explore effective ways to prevent and manage it.
Fermented foods have a range of health benefits. Read on to learn more about what they are and why you should be adding them to your diet.
Stress can negatively affect your entire body. Here are thirteen different ways to reduce stress in your life.
Here are the eleven best physical and mental health apps available in the app store.
On this episode of Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli, Carlee Hayes, Nutrition Manager at NutriSense, discusses the company’s digital platform that aims to help others discover and reach their health potential.
In this episode of Rejuvenaging with Dr. Ron Kaiser, Carlee explains how to cut through the online nutrition industry's noise, why we shouldn't look for a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition, and how CGMs work.
Should you be drinking your fruits? Read on to find out more about juicing, whole fruits, and why one may be better for you than the other.
Do you know what a rambutan is? Learn more about this blood-glucose-friendly tropical fruit and why you should add it to your diet.
Learn about the health benefits and risk factors of adding organ meats to your meals, and try our favorite recipes using these nutritional treasure troves.
Read on to learn more about five of the most promising developments in cancer research.
Learn more about meditation, how it positively impacts blood sugar, and how you can start incorporating it into your routine.
Salads don't have to be boring! Our Nutrition Team recommends nine delicious, nutritious salads to help you find your favorite.
Can't decide on the perfect gift for Mother's Day? Pick from a list of ideas to find a healthy, but still exciting gift this year.
Some research suggests that eating soy may reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Read on to learn whether that's true and find out more about the other health benefits of soy.
Did you know that 23.5 million Americans live with autoimmune conditions? Learn more about the symptoms and causes of celiac disease and what you can do about it.
It's no secret that positive thinking can improve your mood and help you cope with difficult situations. Review our article to see how a positive outlook may also benefit your physical health.
When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.
Though most of us may never encounter these, these health conditions are still fascinating to learn more about. Read our article to find out more about nine of the most fascinating, unusual health conditions.
Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.
In this 20-minute conversation, Dan shares how he’s putting a Rockstar in every seat. And mistakes to avoid along the way.
Kara, registered dietitian, and co-founder of NutriSense, discusses how blood glucose levels are a core marker of metabolic health. She dives into the health consequences of fluctuating blood glucose levels, and what levels to look fasted compared to post-meal.
Today on the podcast, Kara Collier, RDN, LDN, CNSC, discusses revolutionizing preventative healthcare. It’s her mission to empower people with the knowledge to effectively monitor, optimize, and sustain their own metabolic health.
Losing weight is typically easier for men than women, biologically speaking, but it's still challenging! Here are 11 simple yet effective tips for losing weight for men.
Review our helpful article where we discuss the best times to eat if you are trying to lose weight.
Whether you're looking for weight loss tips or to learn more about metabolism, a little reading material can go a long way. To help you get started, here’s some books on metabolic health, recommended by our Nutrition Team.
NEAT can’t replace the benefits of intense cardio or strength-training workouts but like any physical activity, it has many overall health and fitness benefits. Read on to find out everything you need to know about NEAT.
On this week's episode, Shannon describes the comfort, cost, usability, and education she experienced using the continuous glucose monitor program from NutriSense.
On this episode of the Making Bank podcast, Dan Zavorotny discusses how he started the company “NutriSense” and how it reached a 150 million dollar valuation in 26 months.
Carlee Hayes talks to This Podcast Burns Fat! about the important role blood sugar plays in weight management.