Q8. Why do you put on weight during the menopause?

A8. Most women gain weight during the menopause which is due to shifting hormone levels at that time. They find that they gain an extra pound or two each year of the menopause.

Your hormones are widely fluctuating which causes a change in your body composition. This occurs in both men and women and shows itself as a tendency to gain weight and a loss of muscle mass.

This change means that women will gain weight around the stomach rather than the hips, thighs and buttocks. Body fat increases even if weight remains the same.

Plus a reduction in muscle mass means a slowing down of the metabolism and this affects the woman’s ability to burn off calories.

The old adage applies here: if you consume more calories than you expend then weight will be gained. But if you expend more calories than you consume then you will lose weight.

If calorie intake equals calorie output then your weight will remain the same.

Lifestyle is another factor: a less active lifestyle combined with extra calories or a poor diet will lead to weight gain.

Not every woman who goes through the menopause will gain weight but many do so.

Find out more in our menopause symptoms section.


Menopause FAQs

  1. What is the menopause?
  2. What age do you start the menopause?
  3. What is a ‘premature menopause?’
  4. What is the ‘perimenopause?’
  5. What is the ‘premenopause?’
  6. What are symptoms of the menopause?
  7. Can you become pregnant whilst going through the menopause?
  8. Why do you put on weight during the menopause?
  9. What are hot flushes?
  10. My mother started the menopause at the age of 46, will I do the same?
  1. What are mood swings?
  2. Why do women lose interest in sex during the menopause?
  3. Can you still be sexually active after the menopause?
  4. Why do women fear the menopause?
  5. What is HRT?
  6. Why is there so much controversy around HRT?
  7. What treatment is available for the menopause?
  8. How likely am I to develop osteoporosis?
  9. How long does the menopause last?
  10. What is the ‘postmenopause?’

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