Midlife Weight Gain: What's Healthy, What's Not?

We’re not talking vanity-those extra pounds are downright dangerous.

By Joan Raymond
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Photograph: iStock

Your first step is to offset the age-related metabolic decline by reducing calories. Generally a decrease of about 200 calories a day as you enter menopause should help you maintain weight as you get older, Utian says. You might also consider switching your source of calories. A Women’s Health Initiative study found that women
who ate a low-fat, high-carb diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, after menopause were less likely to gain weight than women who ate more fat, according to lead author BarbaraV. Howard, PhD, a senior scientist at MedStar Research Institute, in Washington, D.C. (For more tips, see “Six Ways to Beat Belly Fat.”)

“If a little weight gain can hurt health, a little weight loss can really help,” says Yvonne Braver, MD, a women’s health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Drop just a few pounds, and your blood pressure and cholesterol might fall into normal ranges, giving you a much healthier future.”

For how to upgrade your diet and exercise plan, see "Lose Your Thirty-Something Weight Gain."
 

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