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9 Ways to Lose Menopause Weight Gain and Belly Fat

Lose weight during menopause by reducing your calories, exercising more, getting enough sleep, and syncing up with your circadian rhythm.
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
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Menopause Weight Gain and Belly Fat: Why It Happens & How to Stop It 

  • Menopause weight gain and belly fat gain are caused by fluctuating hormones causing your body to store more fat around your belly and changes to your diet, exercise, and sleep. 
  • Prevent and lose menopause weight gain and belly fat by getting enough sleep, getting in sync with your circadian rhythm (your body clock), cutting your calories, and exercising more.  
  • The RISE app has a range of tools to help you get enough sleep and sync up with your circadian rhythm.

Menopause comes with many unwanted symptoms — think sleep problems, hot flashes, and mood swings. Another common complaint from this time of life is menopause weight gain. 

Not only can menopause cause weight gain, it also makes it harder to lose any existing excess weight. And weight tends to pile on around your belly, one of the more dangerous places to carry excess fat — not to mention the place most of us would rather not have it. 

The good news is it is possible to prevent and lose weight and belly fat during menopause.

Below, we’ll dive into how you can prevent menopause weight gain and lose any weight you’ve already put on. Plus we’ll cover how the RISE app can help you nail one of the key parts: sleep.

Disclaimer: The scientific literature uses gendered language when talking about menopause. We have used the term “women” in this article, but this advice is for anyone who wants to lose weight during menopause.

We Asked a Sleep Doctor

“Weight gain, especially around the belly, is common during menopause. And poor sleep is a contributing factor. Getting enough sleep is tough during menopause, though, so start with small changes. Try heading to bed 15 minutes earlier tonight.”

Rise Science Sleep Advisor and Medical Reviewer Dr. Chester Wu

How to Lose Menopause Weight Gain and Belly Fat?

Lose menopause weight gain by lowering your sleep debt, getting in sync with your circadian rhythm, cutting your calories, and exercising more. 

Research from 2023 states that managing your weight during menopause requires a  multi-pronged approach, which includes diet, exercise, sleep, and getting advice from a healthcare provider about mental health and gynecological care. 

Let’s dive into these steps in more detail. 

1. Lower Your Sleep Debt 

Sleep is important for weight loss at any time of life. But sleeping during menopause isn’t easy. You may experience hot flashes and night sweats, sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea, and trouble falling and staying asleep. 

Rather than stressing about each single night of bad sleep, focus on keeping your sleep debt as low as possible overall. Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you owe your body. It’s compared against your sleep need, the genetically determined amount of sleep you need. 

Low sleep debt can make it easier to lose weight and belly fat, and help you gain less to begin with.

You can pay back sleep debt by: 

  • Taking naps: Check RISE for the best time to do this. You don’t want to nap too close to bedtime or this may make it harder to fall asleep at night. 
  • Going to bed a little earlier: We’ve shared advice for how to sleep early here.
  • Sleeping in a little later: Keep this to an hour or so to avoid messing up your circadian rhythm (more on that soon). 
  • Improving your sleep hygiene: Focus on sleep hygiene habits. These can help you drift off quicker and wake up less often during the night, meaning you get more sleep in total. 

RISE can work out how much sleep debt you have and keep track of it as you pay it back. RISE can also guide you through 20+ sleep hygiene habits and tell you exactly when to do them to make them more effective.

RISE app screenshot showing how much sleep debt you have
The RISE app can work out how much sleep debt you have.

Heads-up: You may need more sleep than you think. RISE uses a year’s worth of phone use data and sleep science algorithms to work out your sleep need. When we looked at the sleep needs of 1.95 million users aged 24 and older, the median was eight hours. But 48% of users need eight hours or more sleep a night. 

We’ve covered whether women need more sleep here. 

We looked at the sleep needs of 1.95 million users aged 24 and older, the median was eight hours. But 48% of users need eight hours or more sleep a night. 
The RISE app can work out how much sleep you need.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep need here, view their sleep debt here and set up their 20+ in-app habit notifications here

2. Live in Sync With Your Circadian Rhythm 

Your circadian rhythm is your internal body clock. It runs on a roughly 24-hour cycle and helps to control your sleep-wake cycle. 

You can get out of sync with your circadian rhythm — through irregular sleep patterns once you give up work, for example — and this can lead to weight gain. 

Luckily, getting back in sync with your circadian rhythm, and staying in sync, can help you lose menopause weight and prevent further weight gain. 

You can get in sync with your circadian rhythm by: 

  • Keeping a consistent sleep schedule: Even if you no longer have to wake up for work or the kids, aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. RISE users with consistent sleep times have lower sleep debt than those with inconsistent sleep times, so a regular sleep schedule can help you get enough sleep, too. 
  • Eat at regular times: And avoid eating at night or too close to bedtime.
  • Go to bed during your Melatonin Window: This is what we call the roughly one-hour window of time when your body’s rate of melatonin production is at its highest. Melatonin primes your body for sleep, so going to bed during this window can help you fall and stay asleep at the right time for you. This is even more important as we age as our bodies begin producing less melatonin the older we get.

RISE predicts your circadian rhythm each day, so you can see when your body naturally wants to wake up and go to sleep. 

RISE app screenshot showing your energy peak and dips
The RISE app can predict your circadian rhythm each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen here

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3. Make Changes to Your Diet 

It’s easy to eat more and eat unhealthier during menopause. But even if you haven’t made any changes to your diet, your body may be burning fewer calories than premenopause. 

To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, or burn more calories than you consume. In general, experts recommend overweight women going through menopause eat 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. To be in a calorie deficit during this time, it’s recommended you cut your calories by about 500 to 750 a day. More research needs to be done into how diets can help menopausal women, however. 

As well as keeping an eye on your calories, here are some other diet changes you can make: 

  • Try eating five to six small meals throughout the day: Instead of skipping meals and then overeating in one sitting.   
  • Make sure you’re eating enough fiber: One study found fiber intake tends to decrease through menopause, and this can lead to weight gain.
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet: A 2020 study found it could help menopausal women lose fat mass. The Mediterranean diet includes whole grains, fruits, veggies, fish, olive oil, and legumes.
  • Increase your protein intake: Research shows eating more protein can slow how much muscle mass you lose with age and it can help with fat loss.
  • Reduce your carbs: One study on postmenopausal women found a low-carbohydrate diet may help decrease the risk of weight gain, whereas a low-fat diet may actually promote weight gain. 
  • Consider supplements: Natural remedies and supplements may help ease menopause symptoms and sleep issues, which can boost your weight loss efforts. For example, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been shown to reduce hot flashes and overall menopause symptoms. St John’s Wort, fennel-valerian extra, vitamin D, and ginseng are other supplements to consider. 

4. Eat for Better Sleep 

What and when you eat can affect your sleep, and getting enough sleep can also help make eating healthier easier — a win-win for weight loss. 

Here are a few diet changes that can help your sleep: 

  • Cut down on or avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods, which can trigger hot flashes and cause sleep loss. 
  • Try a fennel-valerian extract supplement. A 2023 study found fennel-valerian extract helped to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes and improve sleep disorders in postmenopausal women. 
  • Eating too close to bedtime can keep you up. As a general rule, aim to be done with dinner two to three hours before bed. RISE can tell you when exactly to have your last meal of the day to make sure it doesn't impact your sleep. 

You can learn more about what time you should stop eating before bed here. 

RISE app screenshot showing when to have your last large meal
The RISE app can tell you when to have your last meal each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can set up their avoid late meals reminder here.

5. Do More Exercise 

Exercise is important for weight management at any stage of life. But as studies have found physical activity and overall energy expenditure decrease during menopause, it’s especially important during this time to ensure you’re burning more energy than you’re consuming. 

As well as burning more calories, exercise can help you fall asleep faster and it can reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia, and menopause symptoms like hot flashes.

Menopausal women are usually advised to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This should include aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. A 2021 paper suggests people with obesity should do higher doses of exercise, however. 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also help with weight loss and fat burning. 

As well as cardio, incorporate resistance training or strength training into your routine two to three times a week to maintain bone and muscle mass.

And a 2018 meta-analysis found yoga helped to reduce menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and mental and physical symptoms. 

Tempted to skip the gym? Regular exercise plus dietary changes have been shown to be the most effective combo for weight loss during menopause, more so than just making dietary changes alone.

Bonus tip: Avoid high-intensity exercise within an hour of bedtime as this can keep you up. If this is your only time for physical activity, opt for something gentle — like yoga — and keep the lights low to make sure bright light doesn’t keep you awake. 

We’ve covered more on the best time to work out here. RISE can tell you when exactly to avoid late workouts. 

RISE app screenshot reminding you to workout
The RISE app can tell you when to skip late workouts.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can set up their avoid late workouts reminder here.

6. Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy — also known as HRT — helps improve menopause symptoms by increasing the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in your system. 

Research is divided on whether it can help you lose weight, so more studies need to be done. But there are some promising findings out there. 

One study found hormone therapy was linked to fat loss, a decline in waist-to-hip ratio, and an increase in fat oxidation (the process of breaking down fats) three months after treatment.

Another paper states some HRT treatments can prevent menopause belly and weight gain. And yet another paper states estrogen therapy and estrogen-progestin therapy can help reduce overall fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and lower the rate of development of type 2 diabetes.  

Even if HRT doesn’t help you lose weight, it may help improve some of the menopause symptoms that make weight loss harder — like sleep disruption. 

7. Manage Stress and Anxiety 

To improve your anxiety, stress, sleep, and (hopefully) weight loss efforts, try managing your mood. 

You can do this by: 

  • Experimenting with relaxation techniques: RISE can guide you through relaxation exercises like progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing. And we’ve covered breathing exercises that can help ease anxiety and stress, and help you fall asleep.
  • Doing a brain dump: Write down everything on your mind or tomorrow’s to-do list. Write them in RISE and you’ll get a reminder the next day. 
  • Having a relaxing bedtime routine: Wind down before bed by doing relaxing activities like reading, yoga, or listening to calming music. You might not have to avoid screens, but make sure you’re not consuming stressful or stimulating content.  
  • Getting professional help: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help both anxiety and insomnia.

You can learn more about how to sleep with anxiety here. 

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8. Speak to a Medical Professional 

Sometimes, we need an extra helping hand with weight loss. Behavioral therapy, for example, can help you set goals, control emotional eating, and stick to diet and exercise regimens. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) may help with sleep problems caused by menopause.  

You can also speak to a doctor about other menopause-related health issues that may be making weight loss harder, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep apnea

You may also be prescribed medication to help with weight loss, like Ozempic or Wegovy, the brand names for semaglutide. 

9. Consider Bariatric Surgery 

Bariatric surgery is considered as a treatment option for those who are very obese. 

One bariatric treatment option called a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass has been shown to help postmenopausal women lose up to 50% to 60% of their excess body weight in one to two years after treatment. 

How to Prevent Menopause Weight Gain and Belly Fat?

You can prevent menopause weight gain and belly fat by: 

  • Lowering your sleep debt
  • Getting in sync with your circadian rhythm 
  • Making changes to your diet
  • Eating for better sleep 
  • Doing more exercise 
  • Trying hormone replacement therapy 
  • Managing stress and anxiety 
  • Speaking to a medical professional about weight management 
  • Starting healthy habits in perimenopause (more on those below)

Start Healthy Habits in Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the time before menopause. And this is the ideal time to make healthy changes to prevent menopause weight gain and belly fat gain. 

Research shows physical activity and protein and fiber intake decrease during menopause. The researchers concluded that the findings “support the importance of focusing on the early perimenopausal years, with the goal of increasing physical activity and encouraging healthy dietary choices to prevent weight and visceral fat gain in menopausal transition.” 

Heads-up: Visceral fat, often referred to as belly fat, is found deep within your abdomen and around your organs. It’s the most dangerous kind of fat and, unfortunately, the hardest to lose. It’s been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

Even if you’re at a healthy weight, weight gain can be prevented before and after menopause by increasing physical activity and making long-term changes to your diet.

You can also begin focusing on sleep more during this stage, knowing that some sleep disruption may be coming up as menopause symptoms — and general age-related sleep problems — get worse. Start incorporating sleep hygiene habits into your day, keeping your sleep debt low, and living in sync with your circadian rhythm as best as you can.

Even if you’re past the perimenopause stage and deep into menopause, it’s never too late to make changes that can make a difference to your waistline and prevent further weight gain. 

What Causes Menopause Weight Gain and Belly Fat?

Menopause weight gain can be caused by many factors including hormone fluctuations, burning fewer calories, eating unhealthier, not getting enough sleep, living out of sync with your circadian rhythm, menopause medications, and aging. 

Weight gain isn’t just undesirable, it comes with many health risks. It ups your odds of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, and death. In the short term, it can also be a source of stress and sleep loss — which, ironically, can both cause more weight gain.

To make matters worse, women tend to gain belly fat in particular during menopause (hence the term menopause belly) and a higher waist circumference is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic disease. 

A 2023 paper highlights that menopause weight gain and body composition changes can make hot flashes worse. This may disrupt sleep further and cause more stress — both of which can contribute to even more weight gain.  

Here’s more on what causes this menopause weight gain. 

Fluctuating Hormones

TL;DR: Fluctuating hormones during perimenopause and menopause can cause weight gain, more hunger, and your body to store more fat around your belly.

During menopause, your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone and your periods stop. But this change doesn’t just happen suddenly. You’ll start getting menopause symptoms — including weight gain — during perimenopause, the transition period before menopause. 

Perimenopause can begin four to six years before your periods fully end. During this time, your levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate and begin to fall, and declining estrogen and progesterone have both been linked to weight gain. 

Testosterone levels also decrease as you age, and low testosterone can also lead to weight gain. 

Research shows, however, that menopause may not directly cause weight gain, but it can change your body composition. Hormone imbalances change your body fat distribution and your body becomes more likely to store fat around your midsection. This can lead to more menopausal belly fat. 

Estrogen also stops hunger signals. When estrogen levels fall, you may experience more intense hunger signals and be more likely to overeat. We cover hormonal changes and other reasons you might always be hungry here.

Burning Fewer Calories 

TL;DR: Menopausal changes may cause your body to burn fewer calories before, during, and after menopause. And you may do less exercise during this time.

One study looked at middle-aged women over a period of four years. The results showed they gained subcutaneous body fat with age. This is the type of fat that sits just below the skin that we can see easily. 

But women who went through menopause during this time also had an increase in total body fat and visceral body fat. As a reminder, visceral body fat is the kind of fat that sits deep within the belly, around your organs. 

What was the reason for this belly fat gain? The study found physical activity decreased significantly two years before menopause and remained low. But the fat gain isn’t just down to women doing less exercise. 

Energy expenditure across a 24-hour period and during sleep decreased with age, but the decrease in energy expenditure during sleep was 1.5-fold greater in the women who went through menopause.  

Fat oxidation also decreased by 32% in the women who went through menopause, but didn’t change in those who remained premenopausal throughout the study. This may predispose menopausal women to gaining more body fat.

The study found visceral fat gain increased significantly about three to four years before the onset of menopause — the same time estrogen levels fall. And changes in energy expenditure could be down to the fact that postmenopausal women no longer have the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, which burns about 100 calories a day. 

That may not sound like much, but the study stated that if perimenopausal and postmenopausal women don’t cut their calorie intake, the decline in energy expenditure with menopause “is enough to result in significant weight gain over time.”

Burning fewer calories may be one of the main culprits behind menopause weight gain. Other research states perimenopausal women lose lean body mass and more than double their fat mass. This continues to happen until two years after menopause, and this is influenced more by reduced energy expenditure than by increased energy intake. 

Eating More and Eating Unhealthier 

TL;DR: You may eat more food and choose unhealthier food during menopause.

Eating more calories may not be the main reason women gain weight during menopause, but it may still be to blame. 

We already mentioned how declining estrogen can lead to higher levels of hunger. The study above also found what women were eating changed, too. The menopausal women ate less protein and fiber, which could impact how full they felt and lead to overeating.

Mood changes, stress, anxiety, and depression are common during menopause and these feelings can also lead to overeating or eating unhealthy comfort foods. 

Plus, sleep problems are common during menopause, and when you’re sleep deprived, your hunger hormones are disrupted, which can lead to more hunger and overeating. You also have less self-control, so tend to reach for processed junk foods. More on that next.

Sleep Loss 

TL;DR: Not getting enough sleep can cause weight gain, and sleep problems are very common during menopause.

Not getting enough sleep causes you to gain weight and, unfortunately, a lack of sleep is common if you’re battling the symptoms of menopause. You can learn more about menopause sleep problems here.

All this means it’s easy to build up sleep debt. When your sleep debt is high, you tend to: 

  • Eat more calories 
  • Eat more unhealthy foods and have more cravings 
  • Burn fewer calories — your energy expenditure is lower after a night of short sleep 
  • Store more body fat, especially belly fat 
  • Have less energy, so you may exercise less 

A 2023 study found greater experience of menopausal symptoms was linked to more changes in sleep night to night, especially more time awake during the night

And a small study presented at the 2021 Endocrine Society’s annual meeting looked at premenopausal women. They got two nights of uninterrupted sleep and then three nights of interrupted sleep when an alarm went off for two minutes every 15 minutes. 

Some of the participants then went through this sleep disruption again while taking a drug that suppresses estrogen to similar levels menopausal women would have. 

Compared to normal sleep, interrupted sleep caused a significant reduction in the rate of fat utilization. And this drop in how the women’s bodies used fat was also seen when they had lower estrogen levels, but got normal sleep. 

“Our findings suggest that not only estrogen withdrawal but also sleep disturbances during menopause may contribute to changes in a woman’s body that could predispose midlife women to weight gain,” said lead researcher Leilah Grant. “Helping women sleep better during menopause may therefore reduce the chances a woman will gain weight, which in turn will lower her risk of diabetes and other related diseases.”

Sleep apnea is also common around this time of life; 47% to 67% of postmenopausal women suffer from the sleep disorder. A 2023 study states postmenopausal women have a “substantially higher risk” of sleep apnea.

It’s easy to gain extra weight if you have sleep apnea due to the poor sleep and hormone changes that come with the sleep disorder. 

You can learn more about sleep and weight loss here and sleep apnea and weight gain here. 

Check RISE to see if you’ve got sleep debt. If so, this may be contributing to your menopause weight gain or it can make losing weight even harder 

Data from RISE users shows that women tend to have more sleep debt on average during the early postmenopausal years of ages 50 to 59 than at any other life stage. The only exception is the age range of 18 to 23.

From the age of 30 onwards, women generally have more sleep debt than men, with the disparity peaking in the 50 to 59 age bracket. However, this gap begins to narrow from age 60 onwards. It's crucial to note we cannot infer causation from this data and our customers may not accurately represent the general population, as they use RISE to combat fatigue and increase energy levels while adopting healthier sleep habits to minimize sleep debt.

Age Who has more sleep debt? Percent difference
18-23 Men 2.8%
24-29 Same amount 0%
30-39 Women 2.5%
40-49 Women 1.3%
50-59 Women 3.5%
60+ Women 1%
Overall Women 1%

We’ve covered more on female sleep problems here. 

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Living Out of Sync with Your Circadian Rhythm 

TL;DR: Living out of sync with your circadian rhythm can mess with your hunger hormones and cause weight gain.

Beyond sleep loss, you may also be experiencing circadian misalignment during menopause. This is when you’re not living in sync with your circadian rhythm. 

You can be out of sync with your circadian rhythm if you’ve got an irregular sleep schedule. This can happen because of shift work, or losing your routine once work and family life are no longer dictating your sleep times. 

You can also be out of sync with your circadian rhythm if you’re living at odds with your chronotype — your natural tendency to go to sleep and wake up earlier or later, or be an early bird or night owl. 

Women are usually more morning people than men before 40, but this switches later in life. Your chronotype can also shift earlier as you age. So, you may be sticking to your same old sleep schedule, but your body is naturally wanting to sleep at an earlier time. 

The bad news is circadian misalignment can lead to weight gain and make weight loss harder. One study looked at participants who were about 12 hours out of sync — this might be you if you work night shifts — and found they had a 17% decrease in leptin, the hormone responsible for making you feel full. 

You don’t need to be that much out of sync to gain weight, though. A 2021 study found mice who were three hours out of sync had higher blood sugar levels, fattier livers, and gained more weight than mice who were in sync. 

You can learn more about how being out of sync with your circadian rhythm can lead to weight gain here. 

Menopause Medication 

Many women turn to medication to deal with menopause symptoms — like antidepressants to treat low mood or hormone treatments to solve some of the issues low estrogen and progesterone cause. But these medications may come with weight gain as a side effect. 


TL;DR: Aging can cause your body to burn fewer calories, and it makes exercise and sleep harder.

Menopause can cause weight gain, but so can simply getting older. 

The amount of lean mass you have decreases with age and this can cause your basal metabolic rate — the number of calories your body burns to do basic functions — to decrease. Research also shows this loss of lean mass happens during menopause, aging aside. 

With less lean mass, you’ll burn fewer calories day to day. And if you consume the same amount of calories as before, you may be in a calorie surplus, which can lead to weight gain. 

Women can also become insulin resistant as they age, which can cause type 2 diabetes and weight gain, especially around the belly. 

You may also do less exercise as you age due to health problems like stiff joints, lower back and knee pain, or declining muscle strength. 

Unfortunately, menopause may be contributing to some of these problems. Declining estrogen can impact your bone health. This can contribute to back, knee, and joint problems, as well as osteoporosis, which increases your risk of fractures — and that’ll definitely stop you from working out for a while.

Older adults may also find it harder to get the sleep they need, which can cause sleep loss and weight gain. 

While many studies show menopause causes you to gain fat independently of age, it is hard to fully control for the effects of aging. 

And speaking of things we can’t control, gaining abdominal fat during menopause may also come down to genetics. If you have family members who carry more fat in the belly area, you’re more likely to as well — thanks, Mom. 


TL;DR: Stress can cause emotional eating, sleep loss, and your body to store more fat around your belly. 

Menopause can be a stressful time of life, making it hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

You’re not only battling symptoms and coming to terms with growing older, you may also be caring for elderly parents or grandkids, have symptoms like brain fog that makes work feel harder, low libido that puts a strain on your relationship, or anxiety and depression caused by fluctuating hormones. 

You may suddenly become an empty nester or are retiring, which can cause stress or, at least, a change up to your routine. 

But all this stress and anxiety can impact your weight. They may cause emotional eating or overeating, and the stress hormone cortisol can cause your body to store more fat, especially belly fat. Stress and anxiety also make it hard to fall asleep. RISE users say stress and anxiety are the biggest barriers stopping them from getting a good night’s sleep. But this means you may rack up sleep debt, which makes you more likely to gain weight and makes losing weight even harder. 

Plus, there’s the simple fact that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to reach for comfort foods and choose Netflix over the gym. 

What is the Average Weight Gain During Menopause?

There’s no set amount of weight you’ll gain during menopause. On average, research shows women gain about 1.5 pounds per year during their 50s and 60s. Other research shows women gain 2 to 5 pounds during the perimenopausal transition, but 20% of women gain 10 pounds or more. 

You may gain more weight during menopause if your diet, exercise, and sleep are contributing to weight gain. And you may continue gaining weight if you don’t make lifestyle changes. 

How Long Does Menopause Weight Gain Last?

How long menopause weight gain lasts can vary. Research shows you may gain weight during the perimenopause transition, which can start four to six years before your periods fully end. And other research shows you may gain 1.5 pounds each year in your 50s and 60s. 

Menopause weight gain may last longer if you don’t adjust the number of calories you’re eating, the amount of exercise you’re doing, or the amount of sleep you’re getting. 

Prevent and Lose Menopause Belly and Weight Gain

Whatever you call it — meno belly, middle-age spread, menopot, or plain old weight gain — putting on weight and belly fat during menopause is common. But there are some steps you can take to prevent it or lose any weight or fat you’ve already gained. 

In short, focus on getting enough sleep, staying in sync with your circadian rhythm, eating fewer calories, and doing more exercise. 

All of these steps are easier said than done, but the RISE app can help. RISE works out how much sleep debt you have and keeps track of it as you chip away at it. And the app predicts your circadian rhythm each day, so you can work to sync up with it. 

If sleep has become tricky during menopause, RISE’s 20+ personalized sleep hygiene reminders can make falling and staying asleep easier. 

It works fast, too — 80% of users report better sleep within five days.

Summary FAQs

Menopause weight gain

Menopause weight gain is caused by a change in your hormones, body fat being stored more around your belly, burning fewer calories, eating more, and sleeping and exercising less. You can prevent and lose menopause weight gain by cutting your calories, exercising more, getting enough sleep, and getting in sync with your circadian rhythm.

Why does menopause cause belly fat?

Menopause causes belly fat because changes in hormone levels cause more fat to be stored around your belly. Burning fewer calories, eating unhealthily, exercising and sleeping less, and living out of sync with your circadian rhythm can also contribute to more belly fat during menopause.

How do you get rid of weight gain during menopause?

Get rid of weight gain during menopause by cutting your calories, exercising more, getting enough sleep, and syncing up with your circadian rhythm.

How to get rid of menopause belly naturally?

Get rid of menopause belly naturally by cutting your calories, exercising more, getting enough sleep, and syncing up with your circadian rhythm.

How long does menopausal weight gain last?

How long menopause weight gain lasts can vary. Some research shows you may gain 1.5 pounds each year in your 50s and 60s. Other research shows you gain 2 to 5 pounds during the perimenopause transition, which can begin four to six years before your periods fully end. You may keep gaining weight or keep this weight on if you don’t make lifestyle changes like cutting your calories, doing more exercise, getting enough sleep, and syncing up with your circadian rhythm.

Is it possible to lose weight during menopause?

It is possible to lose weight during menopause. Focus on eating fewer calories and eating a healthy diet, doing more exercise, getting enough sleep, and living in sync with your circadian rhythm.

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