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Does Going Through Menopause Cause Weight Gain

Types Of Foods That Can Make Menopause Worse

Menopause weight gain 7 reasons youre piling on the pounds

Diet can impact a womans menopause symptoms in both a positive and negative way, says Best. Eliminating, or cutting back on, the following things can help improve how you feel.

  • Processed foods: The rule of thumb I tell patients is to eat as close to the natural state as possible, says Dr. Mandal. If it comes in a bag or plastic wrapper, try to avoid those kinds of foods because most likely those are very processed foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates: For instance, white rice, pasta, and potatoes, are linked to spikes in blood sugar and an increase in insulin resistanceand hot flashes. Instead, opt for whole grains such as brown rice. Cut back on sugary foods like cookies, cakes, and candy.
  • Alcohol: It can exacerbate menopausal symptoms. If youre drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a daymore than five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beerthat can not only make hot flashes worse but make you prone to the mood swings and irritability that can happen with menopause, says Dr. Mandal.
  • Spicy foods: They arent necessarily bad for you, but they can bring on hot flashes for some, so women may try cutting back on spicy foods if they notice worsening symptoms after eating them.
  • Ways To Prevent & Reverse Menopause Weight Gain

    When muscle mass decreases with menopause, a woman can burn 500 fewer calories per day. At that rate, she would gain 1 lb. per week or 52 pounds in just one year! Starting at age 30, women will naturally lose about 1/2 pound of muscle mass per year. By 50 years of age, that can be 10 lbs. of lost muscle, and likely fat has replaced what used to be muscle.

    We know that muscle burns about 3x more calories than fat. So, if muscle mass is increased , losing weight can be a much more realistic goal. Working out to gain muscle can help decrease the severity of weight gain, and can assist with weight loss. Try strength training exercises at least twice a week. Supplementing with DHEA can also help build muscle again. To slow down signs of aging, itâs important to maintain or improve lean body mass since aging begins in the muscles.17

    4. Switch the Workouts: Unfortunately, the body doesnât burn as many calories walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at age 55 as it did at 35. The same work no longer gives the same benefit. So, it may be time to change it up. Like a lifelong swimmer who barely breathes hard after a mile-long swim, the efficiency of being good at something is great, but it burns fewer calories. Changing it up by trying new classes and challenges may help overcome a workout lull.

    Keep Portions In Check And Time Your Meals Right

    Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you dont reduce the number of calories you consume, says Christine Palumbo, RD, a nutrition expert in Chicago.

    Its also this time in your life, Palumbo notes, when you may be easing up from the daily duties of preparing meals for your family, and you just want to take a break from the kitchen. She has cooked for 25 years, and is sick of it, and she just wants to go out to eat, says Palumbo. What happens then is that you will inevitably eat twice as many calories as you need at that meal, and its often accompanied by alcohol, which is also associated with abdominal weight gain. Order appetizers as entrees and ask for a to-go container for leftovers when you do indulge in a large main course.

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    Why Some Women Gain Weight Around Menopause

    Weight gain at menopause is very common.

    There are many factors at play, including:

    However, the process of menopause is highly individual. It varies from woman to woman.

    This article explores why some women gain weight during and after menopause.

    There are four periods of hormonal changes that occur during a womans life.

    These include:

    • postmenopause

    Hrt For Menopause Weight Gain

    3 ways to deal with menopause weight gain

    Hormone replacement therapy is believed to help with weight loss in some women.

    Women who undergo the HRT take advantage of modern medicine to boost hormone levels during menopause. There are numerous theories as to whether this therapy is good for weight loss or, on the flipside, promotes weight gain. However, there is no scientific evidence that HRT causes any of the two changes.

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    Where Do I Get Bioidentical Hormones

    Bio-identical hormones are not typically available through traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions because bio-identical hormones are not patentable and dosages are individually tailored to each womans hormonal needs unlike prescription hormones where there are only standard dosages that may not fit your needs. With compounded hormones custom-made in a compounding pharmacy, a personalized regimen is specifically formulated to treat each patient on an individual basis.

    Dr. Harpers is one of the most experienced physicians in the United States having utilized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in her personalized integrative health practice with over 10,000 patients over 20 plus years. She specializes in treating women during all stages of life with a special focus on women in perimenopause and menopause and her innovative and comprehensive solutions to health and hormones will allow each woman to experience renewed energy, restored youthfulness for a longer, healthier life. For more information please call our office 512 343-9355, email us at or visit our website ruthieharper.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

    What Can You Do

    Weight gain associated with ageing is not inevitable. There are a number of things you can do to maintain your weight as you age.

    1. Exercise

    Incorporate regular daily exercise, with a mixture of intensities and variety of activities. Try to include body-strengthening exercises two days per week.

    2. Weigh yourself but not too much

    Weigh yourself once a week at the same time and day to monitor the trend over time. Any more than this will only create a fixation with weight. Day-to-day fluctuations in weight are to be expected.

    3. Create positive habits

    Create positive habits by replacing negative behaviours. For example, instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media of an evening or turning on the TV and comfort-eating, replace it with a positive behaviour, such as learning a new hobby, reading a book or going for a walk.

    4. Eat more slowly

    Eat food away from technological distractions and slow down your food consumption.

    Try using a teaspoon or chopsticks and chew your food thoroughly as slowing down your food consumption reduces the quantity consumed.

    5. Switch off from technology:

    Turn off technology after dusk to improve your sleep. Blue light emission from phones, tablets and other devices tell your brain its day, instead of night, which will keep you awake.

    Lack of sleep can compromise your decision-making abilities which might lead you to make unhealthy choices that contribute to weight gain.

    6. Curb sugar cravings naturally

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    Watch Your Carbohydrate Intake

    Not all nutrients are created equal, and some experts believe that a steady diet heavy in unrefined carbs like pasta and bread are a significant factor for excess belly fat. Carbs are the enemy of the middle-aged woman, says Dr. Boling. If you are perimenopausal, look at how much sugar you are eating. Carbs turn into sugar in our bodies. Some turn faster, like candy bars, oatmeal burns slower, but eventually it all turns to sugar. If you are aware of how many carbs you are eating, you are going to do better. Research published in April 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease the risk of postmenopausal weight gain.

    Experimental Model Simulated Menopausal Sleep Issues

    Menopause Weight Gain: What Causes it & How to Prevent it

    To eliminate the variable of natural aging, the researchers studied 21 women who were premenopausal, meaning their hormone levels were not naturally reduced.

    They brought the women to the lab and allowed them two nights of blissful sleep. Then, for the next three nights they continually interrupted the womens sleep, repeatedly waking them with an alarm.

    We chose an experimental model of sleep interruption that is consistent with the type of sleep disruption experienced most commonly in menopause increased nighttime awakenings caused by hot flashes, but no change in overall sleep time and duration, Dr. Grant explains.

    In addition to this sleep disturbance, in 9 of the women the researchers also temporarily suppressed estrogen levels with a drug called leuprolide, to mimic the effects of menopause.

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    Avoid Excess Consumption Especially Snacks Nuts Alcohol And Keto Treats

    When metabolism slows during menopause, even consuming slightly more than you need can add to weight struggles. While a low-carb diet can help you keep consumption in check by reducing cravings and increasing satiety between meals, you can still go overboard on keto-approved foods.28

    Paying attention to food and drinks that contain little nutrition and/or lots of calories is important for women in menopause. That means be careful with keto desserts, fat bombs, bulletproof coffee, MCT oil, alcohol, low-carb fruits, and nuts. If youre really struggling, try eliminating dairy, such as eating lots of cheese and cream. Understanding hunger signals helps control excess consumption, too.

    Add Strength Training To Your Workouts

    According to the CDC, you need 150 minutes of cardio each week to stay healthy. Many women get the cardio part right but dont add the strength training part to their routine.

    If you dont add strength training into your life, your metabolism wont work as effectively as it could. The more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism works, making weight loss easier

    And after the age of 30, you start to lose muscle mass if youre not actively replacing it. Do your part to keep your body strong and your metabolism revved by strength training at least three times per week!

    You can use your own body weight with moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats or use dumbbells, kettlebells, or resistance bands. Try the below exercises for menopause belly and overall strength!

    Related:Beginners Guide To Strength Training

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    Questions Abound About What Causes This Shift In Body Composition

    Research, such as an October 2017 review in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, typically attributes this effect to the decline in estrogen levels brought on by menopause and to the fact that menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can interfere with exercise and other healthy lifestyle measures, along with natural changes from aging.

    Drops in estrogen alone are unlikely the sole factor in this weight gain, says Leilah K. Grant, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in medicine at Harvards Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston and an author of the new study. All women stop producing estrogen in menopause but only about half report gaining weight, she says.

    First What Is Menopause

    Understanding Your Menopausal Weight Gain

    Menopause marks the end of a womans menstrual cycles. It is defined as a full 12 months without a menstrual period for women over the age of 40.2 While the average age in North America is around 52, the hormonal changes can start in a womans early 40s and last into her 60s.3

    Research shows that the timing of menopause is a complex mix of genetics, ethnicity, geography, socio-economic status, and lifestyle factors. 4

    The symptoms of menopause are well known: hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, brain fog, headache, disrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, bloating, and more. Unfortunately, weight gain and increased body fat, especially around the abdomen, are very common complaints.5

    Its estimated that most women, without changing anything in their diet or lifestyle, gain an average of 2 to 5 pounds during the menopausal transition. However, some gain much more than this.6

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    The Truth About Menopause And Weight Gain

    Summer 2014

    To view a PDF version of this article, .

    There are many transitions that a body goes through during life that make us susceptible to weight gain. Some are shared by both genders: arriving at adolescence, entering your elder years, or undergoing a stressful life event. Others are exclusive to women: having a baby, then having a second or third baby, and going through menopause.

    The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data found that:

    • 51.7 percent of women ages 20-39 were classified as overweight or affected by obesity
    • 68.1 percent of women ages 40-59 were classified as overweight or affected by obesity

    The 40-59 age range also happens to correlate with the same time that most women are perimenopausal. As we age, we start losing our muscle mass, and fat storage tends to increase. This change in body composition puts us at higher risk for metabolic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes.

    So, you may be thinking Im destined for failure! But this isnt true. There are many things that go into weight gain during this phase. Many of these can be modifiable. In this article, well describe what menopause means for you and your body. Well look at how menopause and other contributing factors can affect your weight and what we CAN do to minimize the potential health threats.

    So, what exactly is Menopause?
    Menopausal Transition or Perimenopause

    During this stage, you may experience symptoms such as:

    • Hot flashes
    • Mood changes
    • Weight gain

    How Do I Stay Fit During Menopause

    Now that were monitoring our calories and opting for smarter meal choices, we need to begin a training routine that not only fights back against menopause symptoms, but assists our body. Before starting your fitness journey, remember this: Menopause and weight loss are not mutually exclusive. With enough will power and determination, we can remove unwanted weight loss from our lives and sculpt the body of our dreams.

    During our womanly change, our bone strength begins to dwindle and the chances of developing arthritis rises. The way that we can fight back against this occurrence is by incorporating a strength-training routine into our daily habits. Located below are a few exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home or gym to build lean muscle and bone density:

    • Walking with light dumbbells
    • Hiking
    • Bike riding

    Each of these practices, when performed on a day-to-day basis, make menopause and weight loss easier to manage!

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    Fat And Sugar Metabolism

    Recent studies also suggest that the way your body metabolizes fat changes during menopause.

    ZOE scientists are currently exploring the relationship between menopause and your bodys metabolic responses. Their evidence suggests that it isnt just fat metabolism that changes during this time.

    They found that during fasting and after eating, blood sugar, blood fat, and inflammation markers were higher in post-menopausal women than in those who have not yet experienced menopause.

    Understanding how menopause may affect your bodys metabolic responses may help you avoid unwanted weight gain during this transition. Take ZOEs personalized quiz to discover your unique blood sugar and blood fat responses after eating and to find out which microbes live in your gut.

    How Can You Lose Menopause Weight Gain

    Lose Weight During Menopause I Causes of Perimenopause Weight Gain

    You can lose menopause weight gain the same way you can lose weight that isnt associated with menopause.

    Restrict calories with a healthy diet. Exercise regularly, and aim for a combination of aerobic exercise to burn calories and strength training to build muscle. Prioritize your sleep.

    Lastly, reduce stress. Stress can lead to things like overeating, excessive alcohol use, sleep disturbances, and other issues that can lead to weight gain.

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    A Drop In Estrogen Levels

    Changes in levels estrogen contribute to weight gain.

    Estrogen is one of the primary sex hormones in females. It plays a role in:

    • physical sex characteristics
    • regulating cholesterol levels

    During menopause, estrogen levels dip substantially.

    Low estrogen during menopause does not directly cause weight gain, but it may lead to increases in total body fat and abdominal fat. Doctors associate excess weight during middle age with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Hormone replacement therapy may reduce the tendency to gain abdominal fat.

    Find A Friend Or A Group To Exercise With

    To attack belly fat and any other menopause weight gain, youll need to burn between 400 and 500 calories most days of the week from cardiovascular exercise, such as walking briskly, jogging, bicycling, dancing, or swimming, Peeke says. Need motivation? Find a friend who needs to exercise as much as you do, and set a date to work out together. Research published in April 2015 in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that actively looking for a new workout partner and exercising together is beneficial for both exercise and emotional support.

    If you dont have a buddy to join you on your weight loss mission, it may be time to try a group fitness class at your local gym or community center. Data published in November 2017 in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine found that participating in regular group fitness classes resulted in a significant decrease in stress and a rise in physical, mental, and emotional quality of life compared with exercising regularly on your own or not engaging in regular exercise at all.

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    How Much Weight Do You Gain During Menopause

    During the whole menopause period, women are likely to gain between 10 to 15 pounds on average. The range, however, can vary between three to 30 pounds. Women who were already overweight can experience more weight gain.

    Ive heard it from so many women: They feel like their bodies have betrayed them when it comes to losing weight at this stage. This can pose a challenge to women accustomed to losing weight quickly. But theres somewhat of a silver lining: Theres a massive boat of gals sailing the same waters, as almost 90% of us tend to gain weight during this period.


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