Weight loss during menopause possible with lifestyle coaching
Lifestyle coaching for weight loss is similarly effective for women of all ages, but peri- and postmenopausal women may have more trouble reducing waist circumference and body fat percentage, according to findings presented at the North American Menopause Society annual meeting.
“Most women who are overweight or obese can benefit from a lifestyle coaching program that encourages small, healthy changes in diet and physical activity,” Silvina Levis, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a staff physician and investigator at the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) of the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, told Endocrine Today. “However, postmenopausal women might require a longer or more intensive program to attain the same benefits as premenopausal women concerning the reduction of waist circumference, loss of body fat and preservation of muscle mass.”
Levis and colleagues recruited 19 premenopausal women (mean age, 34.4 years; mean baseline BMI, 31.7 kg/m2) and 21 perimenopausal or postmenopausal women (mean age, 55.1 years; mean baseline BMI, 30.9 kg/m2) for a phone/video conference-based weight-loss coaching program. Participants were recruited from the Miami VA Women’s Clinic and received strategies and education on proper nutrition and physical activity via one-on-one coaching. The researchers assessed BMI, lean mass, waist circumference and body fat percentage after an average of 62 days among premenopausal women and after an average of 56 days among perimenopausal or postmenopausal women and compared these assessments with those taken at study entry.
BMI was reduced by –0.41 kg/m2 for women in both groups. Lean mass was reduced by –0.76 lb for both groups as well. Body fat percentage was reduced by a numerically larger number for premenopausal women (–0.96%) compared with perimenopausal and postmenopausal women (–0.41%), but this difference did not reach statistical significance. Similarly, waist circumference was reduced by –3.5 cm among premenopausal women and by –1.4 cm among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, but this difference missed statistical significance.
“Most peri- and postmenopausal women gain, on average, 1 lb per year, predominantly as central abdominal fat. Central obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease more than general obesity,” Levis said. “Our work demonstrates that small, healthy changes in diet and physical activity can help most women lose body fat and decrease their waist circumference, regardless of their menopausal stage.” – by Phil Neuffer
Levis S, et al. Abstract P-39. Presented at: North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting; Sept. 25-28, 2019; Chicago.
For more information:
Silvina Levis, MD, can be reached at email@example.com.
Disclosure: Levis reports no relevant financial disclosures.