If women want to avoid gaining weight in their fifties, they should make lifestyle changes in their forties. In a new study published in the journal Menopause, researchers at the University of North Carolina recruited 72 women between ages 35 to 60. Twenty-four were premenopausal; 24 were perimenopausal; and 24 were postmenopausal. The women in perimenopause, a transitional phase that typically starts when women are in their forties, were found to have more weight accumulated as fat rather than muscle. They also had greater fat deposition in the abdominal region. Fortunately, the researchers also found that the women’s metabolisms were most flexible during perimenopause. If these women could improve their diets, especially eating more protein and fewer carbs, as well as increase both aerobic exercise and weightlifting, they might see the greatest benefits in weight and fat loss in the coming years.