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Can Menopause Make You Lose Weight

Top Tips For Managing Weight At Menopause

Is Menopause Making You Gain Weight?

Has reading this far made you depressed and discouraged? Dont be. While you cannot prevent menopause, you can prevent some of its negative health impacts through diet and lifestyle changes.

Remember, however, good health is more than simply a number on the scale. As we have noted in other places on our site, you do not have complete control over how much weight you lose, how fast you lose it, and what body parts you lose it from. Managing these expectations is part of long-term success. Make sure you read our guide on setting expectations.

Update Your Healthy Sleep Strategies To Rest Better And Fight Weight Gain

Insomnia is an extremely common symptom of perimenopause, which is the period of time when womens bodies transition toward their final menstrual cycle. And according to the North American Menopause Society, that transition phase can last for four to eight years. All that time spent waking up unrefreshed means youre probably feeling too exhausted to head out for a workout, too. Its imperative to get sleep as you get older, says Peeke. One of the things that truly helps combat the menopot is high-quality sleep.

Inadequate sleep impacts our hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin and leptin become dysfunctional when you dont get enough sleep, so good luck trying to lose weight if you dont fix that problem, says Peeke.

Palumbo says that you should close your kitchen and brush your teeth by 7 p.m. This will keep you from eating late, which can keep you from getting restful slumber and cause you to pack on the pounds. You shouldnt be eating before you sleep, because it will interrupt your sleep, she says.

Aim for a minimum of seven hours of shut-eye, although this varies from person to person and over time. Keep your bedroom cool to offset hot flashes and night sweats, and turn off all glowing screens for at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. If you really cant fathom doing that, wear amber-lensed glasses to counteract the sleep-disrupting effects of blue light, or see if your device has an amber light setting, says Peeke.

Action Steps: Menopause & Weight Gain

The main approach that we need to consider is to regain this balance of hormones. For this reason, we really need to consider the adrenals as central to that restoration of balance.

That is where the Adrenal Reset Diet comes into play . The point of the diet is to regain an overall healthy cortisol slope. This results in high cortisol in the morning, and low cortisol at night, when you need it most and when you need it least.

When your cortisol slope is not optimal, it can be the key driver for many different symptoms in your body . The types of symptoms that can be included are:

  • Fatigue
  • Chronic ongoing stress
  • Changes in lifestyle

Bottom Line: If you are effectively able to disrupt any of these key issues, you are better able to regulate your cortisol slope and get it back to where it belongs. Think of it like a menopause metabolism reset.

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Weight Loss During Menopause Indicates Other Health Conditions

Menopause is marked by hormonal fluctuations that make you more susceptible to a wide range of health disorders and diseases. Estrogen is an essential hormone that protects the skin, brain, vagina, heart, and bones in women. With menopause comes a significant decrease in estrogen, and this has a profound impact on your health, especially when it comes to your heart and your bones.

If you are losing weight during perimenopause, menopause or even after, it is possible that it is really some adverse health condition, and not menopause itself, at play.

Menopausal women find themselves at the wrath of a wide variety of diseases and health conditions, and some of those may be responsible for causing weight loss.

Top Tips For Weight Loss And Perimenopause Symptoms Relief

How to Lose Weight During Menopause

It’s important to work out if your weight gain is due to physical or psychological factors . It may also be a combination of the two of them or other factors.

Once you have established this, you can work out the most effective method for weight loss. Start by:

  • Schedule rest into your daily routine. Taking time to relax can improve both physical and mental health.

  • Exercise regularly at least 5 hours per week. Over time you may notice that your body weight stays the same. However, this is not because exercise is ineffective, but because you are stopping the progression of weight gain. If you hadn’t exercised, you would have gained weight instead of staying the same.

  • Eat a more balanced diet. Add more fruit and vegetables to your meals and limit your intake of processed foods, sugar, and red meat.

  • Explore complementary therapies. Consider using an alternative remedy, such as herbal supplements, in conjunction with the above methods.

  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman’s Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause”. November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. “Menopause: What is it?” Patient Leaflet. 2007

Read Also: What Causes Vaginal Odor After Menopause

Does Hormone Replacement Cause Weight Gain

Another question that worries menopausal individuals is does hormone therapy cause weight gain? Scientific researches and clinical studies prove that hormone therapy for menopause weight gain is possible.

Hormone therapy for weight loss has its pros and cons. In most cases, women manage to get rid of the excessive fluid accumulation which is an inevitable part of fat-burning fitness programs. The increase of hormones that are responsible for the fat-to-energy transformation help to reduce belly fat and control the situation with floating. If a woman or a man relies only on hormone therapy weight loss, the outcome can be unsatisfying.

Weight management is a process that demands a complex approach. Hormone therapy weight loss involves specialists who understand what the transition period is, its impact on the human body, and can find and delete barriers that prevent midlife people from normal life. Hormone replacement for weight loss needs a specific program that navigates a patient telling what and how to do and to take to achieve the desired results. Hormone replacement therapy and weight loss cannot exist separately without dieting, workload, variety of physical activities, and stress management programs.

Get Restful Quality Sleep

Many women in menopause have trouble sleeping due to hot flashes, night sweats, stress, and other physical effects of estrogen deficiency .

However, getting enough high-quality sleep is important for achieving and maintaining a moderate weight.

People who sleep too little have higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, have lower levels of the fullness hormone leptin, and are more likely to be overweight .

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Menopause Diet: Top 5 Foods That Can Make You Lose Weight

Menopause is the time in a womans life that begins once she hasnt had a menstrual period for 12 months. Her reproductive hormones decline and her ovaries no longer release an egg every month. Women may have mixed feelings about this time in their lives on the one hand, they no longer have to experience menstrual periods each month, but on the other hand, it comes along with unwanted symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and the dreaded weight gain. Most menopausal women gain weight because of several factors:

  • Hormone fluctuations lead to increased fat storage
  • Increased insulin resistance makes losing weight hard

However, with the right diet, women can fight the battle against weight gain and keep their bodies healthy.

How To Lose Weight In Menopause And Keep It Off

How to lose weight after menopause

Global Leader in Women’s Wellness and Menopause

The most common concerns expressed by my menopausal and postmenopausal patients are how easy it is to gain weight and how hard it is to lose weight. It’s a real challenge, so much so that many women believe menopause causes a shift in the body that makes it impossible to lose weight. But is this really the case?

A recent study tried to answer the question by examining the eating habits of 419 overweight and obese menopausal and postmenopausal women.

Some women were encouraged to make eating behavior changes through regular meetings with nutritionists, exercise physiologists and psychologists while the other “controls” received only limited health education.

After four years, 57 percent of the postmenopausal women encouraged to make lifestyle changes maintained at least a 5-pound weight loss compared with 29 percent of the controls.

What food changes worked best to get weight off and to keep it off? Eating more fruits and vegetables but fewer desserts and sugar-sweetened drinks, as well as less meat and cheese, were key.

I know you’ve probably heard this before. But now it’s a proven fact. And so is the reality that increased weight affects most menopausal women, and that this increases the chances of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, particularly of her hips and knees.

So how can you best use this information? Here are five steps you can easily take to lose weight in menopause and keep it off.

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Why Does Menopause Make It So Hard To Lose Weight

You can assume menopause if you havent had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Thats when you may find it very hard to drop fat from your frame. In fact, you may accumulate some extra fat even if you dont change your lifestyle whatsoever.

This mostly comes down to your hormonal production turning off. Both estrogen and progesterone drop to very low levels. Estrogen plays a vital role here and when it drops1:

  • Fat patterning changes:

A womans normal fat patterning is to have less abdominal visceral fat . The reduction in estrogen levels results in higher visceral fat accumulation.

Here comes a brand new set of fat-filled love handles!

  • Muscle mass loss accelerates2:

The drop in muscle mass means less daily activity, which means fewer calories burned, which means more muscle loss, which means fewer calories burned whichYou got the idea.

The cycle that drives me bugshit bonkers knowing that people still keep ignoring resistance training.

  • The loss of bone mineral density occurs3:

Thats one reason why women suffer osteopenia and osteoporosis4 more than us, men do.

Just like with muscle mass loss, this means less daily activity, which means fewer calories burned, which means more muscle loss, which means more fat gain.

Once again, the cycle that gives me a mild myocardial infarction thinking of people slothing on the couch instead of exercising.

  • Fat mobilization gets impaired5:
  • Insulin resistance develops6:
  • Sleep becomes inadequate7:

These Are The Reasons You Are Losing Weight During Menopause

As a woman begins to mature and her body starts to change, the idea of losing weight at an unwanted pace becomes startling. Simply put, as the menopausal period of life rears its head, shedding pounds and becoming skinnier become a daunting process.

losing weight at an unwanted rate usually leads to fatigue, mental fog and the inability to lead a normal life, it usually renders many women feeling powerless.

Fortunately for us, we now understand why this occurs and what steps we can immediately implement to rectify this situation. If youre beginning to notice the scale number becoming smaller and smaller, youll want to explore these topics to gain control of your weight.

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So What Do I Need To Do To Lose Weight In The Menopause

Here are my top 5 tips you can work on to help you balance your hormones and adapt your diet and exercise regime as you move into menopause:

  • Moderate your intake of carbs: what your body could process and use up in your 20s and 30s, you might not be able to use now without putting on weight. Aim to have 1 meal per day without starchy carbs. At this meal have a good handful of protein (meat, eggs, fish, cottage cheese, beans, pulses, tofu combined with half a plate full of non-starchy veg or salad. The rest of the time focus on slow carbs no more than a handful per meal of sweet potato, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, wholewheat pasta or rye bread.
  • Make sure you manage your stress: as well as your exercise schedule, make time each day to do some deep breathing, stretching, yoga or mindfulness to help moderate the cortisol response. We can all manage 5 to 10 minutes per day.
  • Move, move move! If youre not much of an exerciser and have become increasingly sedentary, make sure youre moving on a daily basis. Avoid sitting for hours and hours at a time. Get up once an hour, work at a sit-stand desk, go for a walk at lunchtime or after supper. Aim to get 10,000 steps per day.
  • Increase your intake of healthy fats: youll need these to support healthy cholesterol balance, as well as getting your cells to listen to all your hormone messengers. Include 2 to 3 portions daily of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds , oily fish and olive oil.
  • Foods To Eat During Menopause

    Pin on Diet &  Weight Loss In Menopause

    A menopause diet plan involves a few key steps:

  • Eat a well-rounded diet rich calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Increase your consumption of fruits, greens, colorful vegetables, and dairy productssuch as yogurt, cheese, and milk. The decline in estrogen as women go through menopause obviously increases their risk for certain things like osteoporosis, so getting foods rich in calcium is very important, says Soma Mandal, MD, womens health specialist and author of Dear Menopause, I Do Not Fear You.
  • Consume omega-3 fatty acids.Research shows that omega-3s can decrease the frequency of hot flashes and the intensity of night sweats. There are times when you can supplement omega-3s, but I really encourage my patients to get their omega-3s first through food, which includes fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna and vegetarian sources like flax seeds and chia seeds, says Dr. Mandal.
  • Add foods containing plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens. Broccoli, cauliflower, dark berries, chickpeas, and soybeans can help mimic estrogen and reduce some menopausal symptoms, says Dr. Mandal.
  • The following foods can help strengthen bones and relieve menopause symptoms:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and kale
  • Yogurt
  • Chickpeas and other legumes
  • Soybeans or foods like tofu, tempeh, and soy milk
  • If you find you cant take in enough of these nutrients through a healthy diet alone, a calcium and magnesium supplement may be beneficial during this time as well, says Best.

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    How Can You Get Rid Of Menopausal Belly Fat

    Theres no magic formula or food that can specifically target the size of your mid-section. You cant spot-reduce fat, Dr. Faubion says. Heres what can help reduce belly fat: steady, sustainable weight management that happens holistically. That encompasses the tips in this articlegetting good sleep, moving your body regularly, and managing stressas well as eating a nutritious diet filled with a range of whole foods.

    Hormone Therapy May Help Fight Insulin Resistance Metabolic Syndrome And Other Risks

    The finding of this study adds to growing knowledge of how hormonal therapy may avert certain health risks. Preclinical data has shown that either surgical menopause or declines in estrogen accelerates fat accumulation, primarily visceral, or abdominal, fat. This increase in abdominal fat has been shown to be associated with insulin resistance and higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, both of which increase the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society . Previously, in the Womens Health Initiative, hormone therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of abdominal fat and new onset diabetes with fewer heart events for women who started hormone therapy between 50 to 59 years of age, she continues.

    Hormonal therapy is used to treat vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, plus vaginal dryness, problems with sexual function, and urinary symptoms, as well as preventing bone loss and fractures, the NAMS spokesperson points out.

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    Read Also: Which Of The Following Best Describes Possible Symptoms Of Menopause

    Other Symptoms Associated With Menopause

    Although many women tend to focus mainly on the weight aspect of menopause, there is a range of symptoms that can make it even harder.

    Here are some common signs and symptoms of menopause:

    • Irregular menstrual periods to the cessation of periods
    • Hot flushes episodes of sudden heat in the face and chest making the skin reddish and sweaty
    • Reduced sexual function or libido
    • Vaginal dryness

    A Calorie Deficit & Physical Activity

    How to Lose Weight in Perimenopause

    Your body doesnt fuck around. Itll not tap into stored fat unless you consume fewer calories than you burn. You have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. Its non-negotiable.

    A metric shit-ton of studies shows that postmenopausal women lose fat just fine so long as a calorie deficit is applied.

    Ive written so much about calorie intake to lose weight that writing more about it would make me want to start taking a set of steel toes to peoples shins. Read this or start my 8 Week Nutrition Education Program.

    Next, strength training is CRITICAL for postmenopausal women9. Its non-negotiable too. Itll help you avoid age-related muscle loss and limit bone mineral density loss.

    Get yourself a properly heavy resistance training program . No half-assing your training, mkay?

    Get in touch with me if you need a workout routine or read what are 6 womens weight lifting laws.

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    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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