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Why the Middle Age Spread Happens in Women and What to Do

Let’s be honest: no woman wants to gain weight. However, it appears easier to put on weight and more challenging to lose it as you get older. Carrying additional weight increases the chance of developing breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

So, why do women acquire weight as they get older? What can be done to avoid it? In this essay, we’ll clear the air on what causes middle-age spread and what may be done to stop it. Continue reading!

Why the Middle Age Spread Happens

1. Lower metabolic rate​

In both men and women, the body’s metabolic rate naturally lowers with age. When you burn fewer calories, you gain more pounds. Regular exercise can help you enhance your metabolism and maintain your shape.

2. Less muscle mass​​

As you age, you lose muscle mass, and fat takes over. Staying active seems to help, however. Even if you don’t lose weight, exercise can keep the weight gain to a minimum.

3. Less activity​

Without exercise, we naturally lose muscle mass and look downright flabby. Engaging in regular exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight it also keeps your muscles strong, your heart healthy, and your bones strong.

4. More stress​

Being stressed (including worrying about your weight) can cause you to increase appetite and eat more—especially of the wrong things. Focus on getting more exercise and making healthy choices to ward off stress.

5. Hormonal fluctuations​

As a woman gets older, hormone levels fluctuate, which can also play a role in weight gain. Estrogen levels, for example, drop-in women as they age, which can cause them to lose muscle and gain fat, especially around the middle. In other words, it’s not just about calories in and calories out for women over 50.

How to Prevent the Middle Age Spread

1. Eat a balanced diet and watch portion sizes

​Make sure you eat a balanced diet by filling a third of your plate with vegetables and fruits, another third with whole grains, and the final third with lean protein and healthy fats.

Carefully watch your portion sizes, and limit your calorie intake to 1200 per day. The fewer calories you eat, the more likely you are to lose weight.

2. Team up with a buddy to make healthy lifestyle changes.

​Your partner can be your best weight loss buddy. Having a friend or family member with whom to share your weight loss journey will keep you on track.

3. Keep to a regular exercise routine

​It’s easier to keep to a healthy routine if you’ve got a regular workout schedule. Commit to burning a minimum of 500 calories per day by hitting the gym.

4. Watch your alcohol intake

​A glass of wine or beer in the evening might sound like a good idea, and it can be, if you limit yourself to two drinks.

Alcohol contains empty calories and will only enhance your calorie intake. Drink water, 100% fruit juices, or herbal tea instead.

5. Take supplements

​Taking certain supplements can help you to lose weight and reduce cravings. Make sure you take a multivitamin, as well as fish oil and vitamin D to help keep your heart healthy.

If you experience hot flashes and night sweats, try taking evening primrose or black cohosh supplements. Some women find that taking certain supplements in the morning or evening helps them.


​Don’t let your middle-age spread get out of hand. Instead, make sure you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and watch your alcohol intake. That way, you’ll keep the weight gain to a minimum and be in the best shape of your life.

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