Mid-Age Does Not Have to Mean Weight Gain

Written by Paul Wolf

Exercise and cutting calories sounds boring, but it's a sure fire way to keep the pounds off during menopause.

The question keeps changing but the answer is usually the same: Diet and exercise. That's the prescription when it comes to preventing a frustrating side effect of menopause: weight gain.

Dr. Andrew Weil on Wellness and Happiness
A good diet and regular exercise are surefire practices to avoid cardiovascular disease in later life.
A University of Pittsburgh study finds weight gain does not have to accompany menopause.
The combination also keeps expanding waistlines in check. 

Exercise and a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet can prevent weight gain during menopause, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Watch this video on a great fitness routine.

The focus of the study, which tracked 535 women over four-and-a-half years, was the well-recognized connection between diet and exercise and better cardiovascular health.

On the weight-control front, the women who were dieting and exercising lost weight, on average, 0.18 pounds. The control group gained 5.2 pounds, which squares with the norm of about a pound a year of weight gain during midlife.

The inactive, non-dieting group measured no change around the waist, while the lifestyle intervention group actually lost an inch.

"This study proves that weight gain in middle age is preventable using a behavioral approach," said Laurey Simkin-Silverman, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology and co-investigator on the study.

"Weight gain, especially if accompanied by an increase in waist circumference, has major implications for cardiovascular health. But through increased leisure-time physical activity and a low-fat, reduced calorie dietary pattern, women in this study have dramatic success in avoiding this middle-age weight gain."

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