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Can Menopause Cause You To Gain Weight

Oestrogen And Fat Distribution At Menopause

Perimenopause Weight Gain | What can you do about it?

A change in hormone levels, mainly oestrogen, may influence body fat distribution.

Many women in perimenopause and early post menopause years gain fat mass as their oestrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body , while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen .

Animal studies have shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to unwanted abdominal fat, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.

Stick To Whole Grains And Greens Stay Hydrated And Exercise

For most of my mother’s life, she was able to keep to a healthy weight with little effort, but perimenopause changed that. She was surprised to see that she was gaining weight.

My mom wasn’t alone in this. Weight gain during perimenopause is a concern for a lot of women. So I reached out to Dr. Barb Depree, director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council to find out how to manage this concern.

“The approach to weight maintenance in the menopause transition doesn’t sound much different than other times, generally speaking,” said DePree, “but the effort required is increased.”

How perimenopause impacts weight gain

During perimenopause which typically starts around age 40 your estrogen levels start to fluctuate, so your body starts to look for an estrogen replacement and finds one in fat, which produces estrone, the weakest version of the three types of estrogen, which also include estradiol and estriol.

“Fat is a source of estrogen,” DePree said. “So the body is very efficient in providing a ‘replacement’ . . . the body deposits fat very readily, especially in the midsection.”

Food and nutritional supplements can’t replace estradiol, the strongest of the three forms of estrogen. The only way to get it back is with hormone replacement therapy, which comes with some health risks.

What to eat and why

The first thing women should do is to take a look at the foods that make up their diet.

How To Reduce Menopausal Weight Gain

While your risk of weight gain during menopause is higher, it doesnt mean its inevitable. Research indicates that women who succeed in preventing menopausal weight are those who remain active in the years leading up to and beyond menopause. Adding weight-resistance exercises and strength training to build muscle mass can also help increase your metabolism.

Changes in diet and eating habits can support the benefits of exercise. Your body needs about 200 fewer calories in your 50s than you did in your 30s and 40s. If youre struggling to establish healthy habits, you may benefit from nutrition counseling or medical weight management to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Avoiding or minimizing weight gain during menopause can help reduce your risk of health problems associated with obesity. It can also improve your self-confidence and lead to a better quality of life during menopause and beyond.

Find out more about weight gain during menopause and what you can do to remain healthy as you age. to schedule a medical consultation today.

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Why Is Menopause Weight Management Important

There are a few important reasons for concentrating on weight management during menopause. While you could have gotten by having extra pounds in your younger years, its the post-menopausal years when you start seeing the effect of all that additional weight on your body.

Whats more, once the process of menopausal weight gain is out of control, its hard to stop. There are a lot of associated risks of being overweight or obese for post-menopausal women in particular.

  • Being overweight after menopause increases your chances ofinflammation, and having inflammation-related problems withjoint and ligament pain.
  • Cardiovascular disease caused by obesity is the leading cause of death in post-menopausal women.
  • Increased weight putsstress on a weakened skeletal system, making it more prone tofractures.
  • Skeletal muscle is the largest insulin-responsive tissue in the body. Its loss leads toinsulin resistance and creates a cycle thats extremely hard to stop –muscle loss and fat gain. In turn, further fat gain leads to more insulin resistance.
  • Accumulation in belly fat causesoxidative stress and an increase in proinflammatory adipokines – also leading to insulin resistance.

Read on about how to get started with weight gain management during menopause.

How Does Menopause Affect Sex

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The loss of estrogen during menopause can change the tissues of the vagina, causing them to become thinner, dryer and less flexible. This can lead to vaginal irritation and painful intercourse, which can seriously interfere with the ability to become aroused and enjoy intercourse. Unlike other menopausal symptoms, which improve over time, vaginal symptoms will worsen if not treated. There are a number of non-hormonal and hormonal treatment options that are safe and effective. In some cases, pelvic floor physical therapy and sex therapy can be helpful. The UChicago WomanLab website provides information on vaginal moisturizers, lubricants and pelvic floor physical therapy along with vaginal estrogen treatments.

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Balance Your Hormones To Stop Weight Gain

Hormonal changes during menopause cause weight gain, so balancing your hormones during menopause can help stop weight gain.

Your hormones are connected to your metabolism, which controls how much weight you gain and lose. As your hormones rage out of control during menopause, your metabolism is affected, and you can gain weight. Controlling your hormones helps prevent menopausal weight gain and help you lose weight.

Hormones such as cortisol, oestrogen and progesterone promote weight loss by signalling to your body how much fat should be spent as energy and how much should be stored as excess weight.

Natural remedies such as herbal teas can help naturally balance your hormones to encourage weight loss.

Trying to naturally balance your hormones using teas such as this organic Hormone Balance Tea Equilibre is a good option because it contains Ashwagandha, which is proven to help balance hormones. This is combined with other ingredients like Burdock root and papaya to further promote fat burning for weight loss.

Check out this article to know better about menopause teas for weight loss.


Fluctuating hormones during menopause cause unnecessary weight gain as your body changes how it burns and stores fat. Balancing your hormones helps prevent weight gain and can encourage your metabolism to lose weight. Herbal remedies like teas are a good way to balance hormones naturally.

Eat Lean Clean And Green

What you eat during and after menopause is just as important as when you were a growing child. Cut out processed foods and cut back on carbohydrates.

Now that you know how a reduction in estrogen affects blood sugar, its important to not overload your new tolerance. Sugar that isnt used is stored as fat.

Eating lean means reducing inflammatory fats like vegetable oils. Lean meats, fish, and healthy fats will provide energy and brain food.

Eating clean means avoiding chemicals, including those used in the raising of conventionally-grown produce. Organic, natural, non-GM foods devoid of preservatives and other additives will nourish your body without further taxing it with added toxins.

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Does Hrt Cause Weight Gain

While menopause and aging are undoubtedly associated with weight gain, you may wonder if the new numbers on the scale are the result of HRT. This is common many women assume that HRT and weight gain go hand in hand and that a few extra pounds are nearly inevitable while in treatment. If youve experienced menopause so far without weight gain but started to gain weight as soon as you started HRT, you may even be toying with the idea of stopping treatment altogether. But the relationship between HRT and weight gain is far from clear.

Contrary to popular assumptions, most women experience no changes in weight as the result of undergoing HRT. A systematic review of 22 high-quality randomized clinical trials concluded that there was no significant difference in weight between menopausal women who were treated with HRT and those who were not. This suggests that you might gain weight as a result of menopause, but that undergoing HRT will probably not cause additional weight gain.

Risks Of Menopause Weight Gain

Menopause and Weight Loss

People are three times more likely to be obese or have metabolic syndrome after menopause than before it.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol and lipid levels, and excess abdominal fat. Sixty-five percent of American women age 40 to 65 are obese, as are 74% of women over age 65.

Some of the health risks associated with this excess weight include:

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Taking The Next Steps Toward Health

If HRT doesnt cause weight gain, where does that leave women undergoing HRT who are having a hard time maintaining a healthy weight? The short answer is that youre probably better off taking the hormones than you would be without it. In fact, researchers have found strong evidence that HRT can prevent the shift in body fat proportions that typically accompanies menopause and mitigate some of the metabolic downregulation that occurs as a result of menopause, especially in energy-intensive places like the heart.

Nonetheless, theres a good chance that youll gain weight as a result of menopause, aging, and the associated lifestyle factors if you dont increase your level of physical activity and decrease your caloric intake. Working with a practitioner who combines an in-depth understanding of menopause and hormone replacement therapy with an integrative approach to treatment can help you create a comprehensive plan to optimize both your physical and emotional well-being. With the right tools and support, you can take charge of your health and enhance your confidence as you enter this new phase of life.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases.

Menopause And Weight Gain

Jump to: What is menopause?What causes weight gain during menopause?How to manage weight gain during menopauseTake home message

Many women report noticing weight gain during menopause. Menopause is a natural change that affects all women at some point in their lives.

During menopause, the body undergoes many different changes and hormonal shifts. These shifts, combined with sleeplessness and increased stress levels, can lead to weight gain.

However, there are strategies we can put in place to try and minimise the effect of these changes on our weight. This guide explores evidence-based information on what causes menopause-related weight gain and ways to manage it.

The body goes through significant changes during menopause, so its important to be kind to ourselves and focus on self-care. Although weight is one marker of health, our mental health, fitness, and happiness are equally important. Focusing on those factors will make managing any potential weight gain easier.

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Are You Experiencing More Joint Pain In Winter

Its the punchline of many jokes: I feel the storm coming, my bad leg hurts!. It doesnt help that its often said by a stereotypically ancient person. But is this a myth or is it actually true? And do you have to be in your hundreds to feel the weather’s effect on joints? The answer might surprise you.

A lot of people feel pain in the joints when the weather turns, especially in wintertime. Whats to blame?

Changes in air pressure – some people can tell the pressure is changing because of achy joints. This change causes joints to expand, making everything around them hurt. This can be especially painful in areas affected by arthritis.

Thickening of joint fluid– this makes joints stiff and not as flexible, but also more sensitive to pain.

How to protect yourself against weather-caused joint pain?

There are a few ways in which you can help yourself if you are experiencing specifically weather-related joint pain. The simplest way is to dress warm and not let the cold affect you.

Here are some other simple ways to better manage this:

  • Exercise is the cure for so many ailments that its not surprising that its on this list as well. Building up your muscle will relieve the stress on your joints and they will get the benefit of much-needed support.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight is also a great way to reduce stress on the joints.
  • Keep active throughout the winter period – go on walks, to the gym, or do some cardio at home. Make sure you stretch your joints before exercising.

Control Your Portions For Consistent Weight Loss

12 Ways to Conquer Perimenopause Sudden Weight Gain ...

As you reach menopause, your body requires fewer calories, so you will gain weight faster if you eat the same size portions. Controlling your appetite and eating smaller portions is essential for menopausal weight loss.

The sudden change in your body means fewer calories are burnt each day. For every unburnt calorie, your body stores it as fat. This means that if you are eating the same size portions at every meal, you will start to put on weight.

Experts say you burn 200 fewer calories a day when you reach menopause. The best way to adjust to your new calorie limit is to have smaller portions at each meal to adapt to your body’s natural menopause weight gain. Having smaller portions instead of a restrictive diet means you can still enjoy all your favourite foods without overindulging.

Using natural appetite suppressants such as herbal teas can help you manage hunger and reduce portion size for weight loss as they have naturally suppressing properties.

The most popular appetite suppressing teas include mint, hibiscus, fennel, ginger, and green tea.

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Menopause And Weight Gain Take Their Toll

Due to a change in body fat distribution and increase in waist circumference, menopause can also increase your risk of other health conditions.

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Following menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen helps to keep your blood vessels dilated relaxed and open which helps keep your cholesterol levels down.

Without estrogen, or with lower quantities, your bad cholesterol starts to build up in your arteries. This can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Having less estrogen also results in a loss of bone mass, putting you at risk of the disease osteoporosis, which makes your bones more prone to fractures.

How Menopause Can Lead To Weight Gain

Jennifer Hofmeister, an OBGYN physician assistant at Banner Health Clinic in Loveland, CO, said there are a few factors that combine to make weight gain more likely as you approach menopause:

  • Less estrogen. During perimenopause, your ovaries dont produce as much estrogen. Low estrogen levels decrease your metabolism, and make it more likely youll store fat, especially in your belly.
  • Less muscle mass. As you age you lose muscle mass, which also decreases metabolism.
  • Poor sleep. Its common for perimenopausal women to have trouble sleeping, and a lack of sleep increases your cortisol or stress hormone levels. When you dont sleep well, youre more likely to make poor food choices and skip your workout.
  • Poor diet. If youre busy with work, family, and other commitments at this stage of your life, youre more likely to grab fast food or processed food to save time.
  • Avoiding exercise. You may scale back your workout routine if you find it leads to hot flashes.

The sad truth is, during perimenopause and menopause, these changes mean that if your diet and exercise remain the same, your weight could increase.

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Tips For Menopause Weight Loss

Whether youre just starting perimenopause or have already bid a fond farewell to your last period, its never too late to get your eating back on track. These strategies can help you avoid weight gain after menopause.

  • Look at the big picture. You cant avoid your metabolism slowing down. But thats rarely the only factor contributing to weight gain, says Dr. Pattimakiel. Maybe recurring knee pain is interfering with your exercise plans. Or your busy caregiving schedule doesnt leave much energy for planning and cooking healthy meals. By identifying the hurdles to a healthier lifestyle, you can brainstorm ways to sidestep them.
  • Keep track. Its easy to lose track of the chips you munch mindlessly in front of the TV or not realize how much oatmeal youre eating every morning. A food journal can help you keep tabs on how much youre really eating and identify reasonable places to cut back.
  • Focus on healthy calories. Build your meals around healthy calories like lean proteins and veggies. Try to cut back on the not-so-healthy fare. It can be harder to burn starchy carbs like bread, pasta and baked goods, so be mindful of cutting back or avoiding those, Dr. Pattimakiel says. Beverages, too, are often a source of sneaky calories. To cut back, reach for sparkling water in place of wine or soda. Add a splash of milk to brewed coffee instead of ordering a latte.
  • Menopausal Weight Gain: 4 Hormones Other Than Estrogen That Need Your Attention

    Menopause and Weight Gain – And what you can do to help reverse it!

    Our bodies are constantly changing. Your metabolism now isnt what it was when you were three, nor is your body chemistry. As we age, things change whether we want them to or not. Among the many changes are than those that occur at middle age, such as the ever-dreaded menopause weight gain.

    Menopause is the natural process by which women leave child-bearing age. As the physical changes of the process begin and continue, many women experience the consequence of weight gain. Understanding that this is common and what causes it will help you to address any unwanted pounds to help you keep your youthful health and appearance.

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