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! 


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Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen, menopause education is a mission. Spurred by her own experience struggling with the symptoms of menopause, Dolgen has devoted the last ten years of her life to helping other women during this often difficult time. While she’s not a doctor or scientist, she’s “talked the talk” with countless menopause experts, so that she can “walk the menopause walk” and share the keys to this menopause kingdom.

Together with her son, Jack, she created a FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause, a comprehensive guide to all things menopause—the symptoms, the treatments, and the long-range effects on a woman’s health. Dolgen shares the expertise of numerous specialists to replace confusion and embarrassment with medically sound solutions, presented in an entertaining and informative way. There you will find detailed descriptions and treatments for the symptoms you or your loved one may experience, from hot flashes and mood swings to mental fogginess and loss of libido, and lots more in between.

In addition to sharing the latest research and proven treatments, Dolgen offers guidance to finding a menopause specialist who’s right for you, and she provides a clear explanation of what tests to ask for. You’ll also learn about the latest studies on hormone replacement as well as alternative therapies and remedies. Finally, Dolgen shares the real-life experiences of women—and those who love them—as they traverse the crazy ups and downs of perimenopause and menopause.

As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, and her Menopause MondaysTM Blog was born.

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 has been #1 on Dr. Oz Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, / Menopause Mondays was named first on the list of the “Best Menopause Blogs” by Healthline. Ellen was honored to be asked to be one of the first regularly featured bloggers on HP50 and so began her syndication on many other health sites.

Ellen produces health and wellness programs for businesses, healthcare institutions, and other organizations. She facilitates Menopause Mondays Parties throughout the Country. 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. In 2015, Ellen partnered with Pfizer on a series of menopause videos with the fabulous award winning Kim Cattrall for their “Tune in to Menopause Campaign.”

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

Click here to read Ellen's full bio 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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