Weight gain in middle age: the latest from NAMS 2022

Whoever coined the phrase “Don’t mess with success” probably never went through menopause. A seemingly overnight diet and exercise routine that has helped you maintain a healthy weight for most of your adult life isn’t working like it used to.

“Weight gain in midlife often surprises women,” says Stephanie S. Faubion, MD, medical director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Although the age at which women reach menopause varies, many begin experiencing the year-long transition—and the symptoms that come with it—in their forties.

“Usually women come into my office and say, ‘I haven’t changed anything and I’m gaining weight.'” My response is, “That’s right. If you haven’t changed anything, you will gain weight in the middle of your life. Your body’s rules have changed. It’s very frustrating for women, but it’s predictable,” says Dr. Faubion, who is director of the Office of Women’s Health at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

To avoid weight gain, find new diet and exercise habits

At this stage in your life, you need to be more diligent than ever in your attention to your lifestyle, says Ekta Kapoor, MBBS, a researcher and physician in the Menopause and Women’s Sexual Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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