Lifestyle: Nutrition

Combating Menopause Weight Gain - RD-Approved Tips

Menopause Weight Gain Menopause Weight Gain

Do you feel like since you’ve entered menopause, the scale is creeping up every time you look? As a weight loss dietitian, I often see this in my menopausal clients. While menopause weight gain may feel inevitable, it is possible to prevent or reverse it.

Keep reading to learn how to manage menopause weight gain and feel your absolute best during this time. 

What Causes Menopause Weight Gain? 

Most people think menopause weight gain is primarily from a decrease in metabolism. While this is one factor, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Here are some of the other reasons. 

Hormonal changes 

Estrogen levels decline during menopause, which can lead to weight gain, particularly around the belly area. Lower estrogen levels may also make it harder for the body to properly utilize glucose (i.e. sugar) from your diet.  

This can increase blood sugar levels, which is associated with more fat storage in the body. 

Decreased muscle mass 

During this state of life, you may also find your muscle mass starts to decrease. As muscle mass decreases and fat mass increases, your baseline metabolic rate slows down. This contributes to weight gain over time if not addressed. 

Lifestyle factors 

Aside from hormonal changes, your lifestyle habits can also directly lead to weight gain during menopause. Changes in diet, lack of sleep, reduced exercise, and higher stress levels are just some of the factors that can lead to weight gain. 


Just like some people are more genetically susceptible to being overweight, some women are more predisposed to weight gain in menopause. 

How to Prevent Menopause Weight Gain 

No matter what your situation or genetic makeup is, you have the power to prevent your weight from creeping up during menopause. Here are the best ways to do this. 

1. Up your protein

Muscle loss is one culprit for a slowed metabolism, so keeping your protein intake high is one way to maintain and build more muscle mass.  

Include quality protein sources at every meal and snack such as chicken breast, turkey, salmon, tuna, eggs, tofu, dairy, beans, lentils, and nuts.  

You can also fill in the gaps in your diet by using a protein powder. Garden of Life’s organic and plant-based protein powders and protein bars are a convenient and delicious way to supplement the protein in your diet.† 

2. Increase strength training

Many people neglect strength training and prefer cardio. While cardio is effective for burning fat, strength training is just as important for building and maintaining muscle.  

Strength training exercises can be a combination of free weights, machines, and bodyweight exercises. It’s recommended to perform at least 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps targeting different muscle groups at least 2-3 days a week. 

3. Prioritize sleep

Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your metabolism and hunger hormones, especially during menopause. This is why aiming for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is essential. 

You can do this by creating a more relaxing bedtime routine. Set a daily wind down alarm 30 minutes before bed to remind you to shut the screens off, read a book or meditate, and prepare yourself for bed.  

Garden of Life also offers several supplements for sleep support to complement your sleep routine such as magnesium and CBD Sleep. 

4. De-stress

Chronic stress can lead to overeating, less exercise, and weight gain during menopause. You can get a better handle on your stress by taking a few minutes every day to do something for yourself.  

This could be reading a book, going for a walk, or doing 10 minutes of yoga. This will keep you in a better headspace, which helps support healthier habits. 

5. Limit alcohol

It may be an unpopular opinion for some, but alcohol is not weight-loss-friendly. Not only does it have a lot of calories and sugar, but it can also negatively affect your eating, exercise, and sleep habits. It’s best to avoid alcohol if possible, but if you are going to have a drink it’s recommended to stick to no more than one drink per day. 


Menopause is a natural life transition that can come with weight gain. Instead of giving in to it, take menopause as an opportunity to reassess your health habits and prioritize your well-being.

This includes improving your diet, embracing strength training, prioritizing sleep, and practicing daily self-care. And if you need a little extra support, Garden of Life's Herbal Menopause Support† has you covered. 

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