Cleaning out my closet recently, I tried on some old jeans that were from my premenopausal days. While they fit most everywhere, they clearly would not zip up! How frustrating! Though weight gain and menopause do NOT have to go hand in hand, for me there was another factor. Back in my 30s and young 40s I never thought twice about taking a little ephedra (Diet Fuel) to help boost my energy through my long days of working out, and yes, to help keep my weight just where I liked it. Along with peri-menopause, I started to notice I was grinding my teeth at night, and my heart rate was higher than I was comfortable with AND the bad press about ephedra started coming out. I stopped taking them and over the course of the next few years, I put on a stubborn 10 or so pounds. I do NOT attribute this as much to menopause as I do stopping those little metabolism boosters…though I am certain it’s a combination of both. In any event there are things we can do to help fight the menopause weight gain. Once again, the same “diet” that is good for everything else, is helpful at this stage as well…lots of fresh veggies, fruits and lean protein. In fact, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen suggest going vegan/vegetarian which will eliminate virtually all saturated fat and cholesterol (well, let me clarify–a vegan diet will do that, a vegetarian diet, not as much). And though I believe everyone in the entire world should strength train, doing it after 50 will help combat the automatic loss of muscle mass that occurs at this age. Finally, getting that all important cardio work in is paramount. Walking, bicycling, and any type of aerobic class will satisfy this component. So though menopause is a fact of life, don’t be blaming it entirely for your weight gain. As we age we have to accept that some change is undeniable but that doesn’t mean we can’t work a little harder to not let that change defeat us!