November 28, 2023

Whoever coined the phrase “Don’t mess with success,” had probably never gone through the transition to menopause. Seemingly overnight, a diet and exercise routine that’s helped you maintain a healthy weight for most of your adult life isn’t working the way it once did.

“Weight gain in midlife often surprises women,” says Stephanie S. Faubion, MD, the medical director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). While the age at which women reach menopause varies, many start to experience the years-long transition — and the symptoms that come with it — in their forties.

“I commonly have women come into my office saying, ‘I haven’t changed anything, and I’m gaining weight.’ My response is, ‘Exactly. If you haven’t changed anything, you will gain weight in midlife. The rules of your body have changed.’ It’s very frustrating for women, but it’s predictable,” says Dr. Faubion, who is the director of the Office of Women’s Health at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

To Avoid Weight Gain, Find New Diet and Exercise Habits

In this stage of your life, you have to be more diligent than ever in your attention to your lifestyle, says Ekta Kapoor, MBBS, a researcher and physician at the Menopause and Women’s Sexual Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


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