How to Lose Weight After Menopause

You can lose weight after menopause, contrary to popular opinion.

You may have heard weight gain in middle age is unavoidable, or that weight loss is impossible after the transition. However, research has shown it is possible to lose weight after menopause, and it's a smart choice if you're overweight and want to improve your health.

Mother and daughter on nature walk
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Prevent Post-Menopausal Gain

Researchers don't know exactly why some women gain weight in midlife. Scientific studies have shed some light on factors that may have an impact, though.

A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that physical activity level and body fat are strongly connected in women between the ages of 50 to 59. 

Women who maintained high levels of aerobic physical activity gained less fat. So if you're concerned about your weight during perimenopause and beyond, staying active may be the best way for you to prevent extra pounds. 

You need three kinds of exercise to lose weight or stay slim. If you only have enough time during the day to do a brief workout, a brisk walk followed by a few weight-bearing strength exercises will help you maintain your figure.

If you're trying to slim down, try to do some exercise on most days of the week so you burn enough calories for weight loss. You can learn how many calories you need by using the weight loss calorie goal calculator below.

Make a Plan to Stay Active

With age, many people let exercise fall to the bottom of their priority list. Maybe it's because they're busy, maybe it's because they've become less body conscious with age, or maybe it's due to comfortable ruts. 

Regardless, the priority shift away from activity can have consequences. Many experts believe midlife weight gain has more to do with lifestyle than with hormonal factors related to menopause.

So your plan to lose weight after menopause should include a program to stay active. You may want to invest in a fitness tracker or activity monitor to make sure you're getting enough movement to slim down or stay lean.

Getting More Exercise

You may want to consider joining a gym or taking steps to lose weight at work with the help and support of your job mates. If you're retired, you can start an exercise program at home.

Women who are very physically active prior to menopause are the women who are very physically active during and after menopause. So what does this mean for you?

It's a good reminder to make vigorous exercise a regular part of your life at every stage. Don't wait until you need to lose weight to start an exercise program. Do it now. Get support from your family, involve your kids, do what is necessary to stay fit and active. It will pay off in the long run.

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3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sims ST, Kubo J, Desai M, et al. Changes in physical activity and body composition in postmenopausal women over time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(8):1486-92. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828af8bd

  2. Jull J, Stacey D, Beach S, et al. Lifestyle interventions targeting body weight changes during the menopause transition: a systematic review. J Obes. 2014;2014:824310. doi:10.1155/2014/824310

  3. Sternfeld B, Dugan S. Physical activity and health during the menopausal transition. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2011;38(3):537-66. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2011.05.008