How NOT To Gain Weight During Menopause

Ellen Dolgen -Cooking HealthyRemember the days when you could eat anything without gaining an ounce? If those days are nothing more than a distant memory—along with your skinny jeans—don’t blame yourself. Blame estrogen (or a lack thereof).

One UT Southwestern Medical Center study shows that estrogen receptors in the brain help regulate appetite, energy expenditure, and body weight. So when estrogen levels take a nosedive during perimenopause and menopause, hunger increases, the metabolism slows, and fat starts hanging out around the waist. Worse than going up a size in the fashion department, gaining as little as 4.4 pounds after age 50 could increase your risk of breast cancer by 30 percent, according to Mayo Clinic.

Luckily, lifestyle factors can play a major role in resisting your entry into the sisterhood of the shrinking pants!

Here are my three steps to help you ward off those extra menopausal pounds:

1. Eat up. Stop the starvation-diet madness! In one University of Pittsburgh study of 465 overweight and obese postmenopausal women, those who simply ate more fruits and vegetables while reducing their consumption of desserts, meat, and cheese dropped pounds and (get this) maintained their weight loss for four years. My recommendation: Weight Watchers. At first, I was leery about joining (I would rather have a Pap smear than have to do math!), but when I gave the app a go, I realized the app did all the adding for me, and I learned a new size-shrinking and life-changing way to eat and live.

2. Take a walk. Strolling about for just an hour a day can cut your genes’ propensity towards obesity in half, according to a study from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.  What is the easiest way to get moving?  Strap on a pedometer. Though it may seem geeky, in a recent Indiana University study, when people wore pedometers for 12 weeks, they reduced their daily sitting time by 17.5 percent and increased their activity levels—losing an average of 2.5 pounds. So clip one on and start losing weight!

3. Say Ooom. High stress is a predictor of weight gain and can break any woman’s will to stick with her diet, according to research from King’s College London. Meditation can help. A recent study published in Health Psychology shows a direct link between increased mindfulness and decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Try these easy meditation strategies.

Menopausal weight gain is about more than numbers on a scale. It’s about a body out of balance. So get your balance back by visiting a menopause specialist, tracking your symptoms, and getting the help you need and deserve. Before you know it, you won’t even long for the days when you can eat anything without gaining an ounce. You’ll live a healthy life—and reap all of its waist-whittling, stress-slashing, energy-boosting rewards!

Reaching out is IN!  Suffering in silence is OUT! 


Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen is an outspoken women’s health and wellness advocate, menopause awareness expert, author, and speaker.

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

Menopause MondaysTM is a platform from which Ellen reaches the true needs of her readers through varied and substantive discussions of menopause, women’s health, and the modern woman’s life today as a menopausal woman. Her weekly newsletter provides readers the most current menopause news and research. With her updates,women gain access and the knowledge needed to take charge of their health and happiness. Her motto is: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

In addition to Ellen’s ever-growing social media presence, has fast become “the place” on the web for informative and entertaining women’s menopause and wellness engagement. Ellen is #1 on Dr. Oz Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 Mondays was named first on the list of the “Best Menopause Blogs” by Healthline. Ellen is also a regular contributor to over a dozen leading women’s health blogs.

Ellen has founded a women’s health and wellness program that provides corporate education events for businesses, healthcare institutions, and other organizations. She produces and facilitates Menopause Mondays PartiesTM for organizations across the country. In addition, she works with pharmaceutical companies in helping them to have new point of view in order to better understand and address women’s health needs. Ellen chaired a social media roundtable for Novo Nordisk in 2012. In 2013, Ellen was a key spokesperson for GLAMTM (Great Life After Menopause), a non-branded campaign sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

Ellen serves on the Community Advisory Board of Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla and has chaired and served on various boards and committees for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, San Diego Hospice, Brandeis University, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, NARAL, the Phoenix Heart Ball, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Angel Charity for Children, Brewster Auxiliary, and Handmaker Home for the Aging. Ellen’s lifelong commitment to philanthropy through board representation, fundraising, and event organization continues with her founding of her weekly newsletter, Menopause MondaysTM, which promotes viable women’s health practices and wellbeing for women around the world.

Ellen has appeared on the “TODAY Show”, “TODAY Kathie Lee & Hoda”, “The Katie Show,” “NBC Nightly News”, “The Rachael Ray Show,” “The Doctors,” Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, NPR’s “Tell Me More,” Doctor Radio, and dozens of regional and national media outlets. In 2011, she appeared in a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” Ellen was one of the first regular contributors to debut on The Huffington Post’s “Huff/Post50,” which targets 116 million Americans over the age of 50.

Ellen is the founder and president of Menopause MondaysTM and is a principal of Dolgen Ventures.

Like Ellen Dolgen on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, connect with her on LinkedIn, Google+, and Klout, watch her videos on YouTube, and subscribe to her newsletter.


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