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It's springtime! Are you still waiting for that winter weight to melt? For many of us, winter means seeing a shifting scale.

Most people gain about one pound over the winter months, according to [Link Removed].

Regardless of what number you see on the scale, women's weight through [Link Removed] and perimenopause is largely determined by five factors: hormones, diet, exercise, stress, and genetics. Though we may not be able to control all of these factors on our own, a healthy weight is certainly within reach and should be an achievable goal.

Here are my five steps to help you shed those extra menopausal pounds:

1. Don't let your hormones get the best of you. [Link Removed] from Gunma University School of Medicine in Japan.

2. Quit dieting. Deprivation diets cause weight gain, not loss. Since they don't provide your body the energy (aka calories) it needs, they can cause your body to slow its metabolism to conserve resources, according to [Link Removed] for weight loss. My husband and I tried it with great success! At first I was reticent, as I would rather have a Pap smear than have to add up points. But if you use the Weight Watchers app, all the adding is done for you. No math needed! WW taught us a new way of eating that was size shrinking and life changing!

3. Exercise. Physical activity not only wards off weight gain, but keeps the body young. Exercising during and after [Link Removed] published in the Environmental Science and Technology. Wearing a pedometer—though it may seem geeky—could give you serious incentive to move more. So clip one on and start counting!

4. Slash stress. It's hard to relax, especially when you're going through the trials of menopause, but it's important for your mind and body to decompress. Stress not only tends to add weight around your belly but can also boost your appetite, creating a vicious cycle. High stress is a predictor of weight gain and can break your will to stick with a diet, according to [Link Removed] from King's College London. Here's my prescription: Find some form of exercise that makes you smile. Grab your lover or friend and take a walk, ride your bike or go to the gym. Take the time to read a book, watch a favorite TV show or simply enjoy your family and friends. Whatever helps you decompress.

5. Control your genes. No, not the "skinny jeans" you bought last September and can no longer squeeze your bod into, but your actual genetics. They play a huge role in weight at any age. If your female relatives developed curves in their later years, you probably will too—unless you do something about it! Yes, you can change your genes. Walking briskly for an hour a day can cut the genetic influence toward obesity in half, according to a [Link Removed] from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. However, a sedentary lifestyle (aka watching TV for four hours a day) increases the influence of your genes on weight gain by 50 percent, according to the study.

Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT! Remember: It's totally normal to suddenly find that you are a member of the sisterhood of the shrinking pants, especially if you're going through perimenopause and menopause. But it's never too late to start living a healthier life. Your brain and body will thank you and so will those clothes collecting dust in your closet. Take the first step! Go ahead—you can do it!


Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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