Middle age and weight challenges

Weight management is challenging in our “middle-age” years. Whether because of genetics, aging, hormones, lifestyle, or “life changes,” it is tough for many to lose weight and harder to keep from re-gaining it in these years, according to BeWell at Stanford Medicine.

While many men deal with similar issues, women face the additional mid-life challenge of menopause. Is mid-life weight gain inevitable, permanent, irreversible? Or are some of the factors temporary and can be better managed? To learn more, BeWell spoke with Marcia Stefanick, PhD, professor of medicine and obstetrics/gynecology at Stanford Medicine.

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Does weight gain during middle age result from aging or temporary hormonal changes?

It is challenging to tease apart age-related changes in weight and body composition from changes related to menopause. Age is certainly associated with an increase in body fat and decrease in skeletal muscle mass that the majority of women, and men, experience in middle age. There are both biological, including hormonal and lifestyle, explanations for these changes. Of course, the menopausal transition which all women undergo represents a particularly challenging period of metabolic and physiologic change.

Can you explain what actually happens during menopause, in terms of the physiological transition, and why weight gain is so commonly experienced?

1 Comment

Filed under cardio exercise, middle age

One response to “Middle age and weight challenges

  1. During menopause, many women gain weight. There are many factors at play, including hormones and slowing metabolism. Many women think that their hormones might be to blame, but this is false. Weight gain does happen during menopause, but it is unclear if this is caused by an estrogen deficit or the general aging process.

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