Subcutaneous Vs Visceral Fat In Menopause
Belly fat isnt just annoying, it can be linked to poor health factors. The fat you can pinch is called subcutaneous fat. But the fat that appears around your stomach is often visceral fat, which is fat that surrounds your organs within your abdominal wall.
This type of fat puts you at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. High levels of visceral fat can result in increased insulin resistance, which may lead to glucose intolerance and even type 2 diabetes.
You want to minimize your belly fat not just to look and feel your best but to stay healthy for years to come.
Why Did I Feel Like I Was Going Mad During Menopause
Helen hopes that other women experiencing similar symptoms such as low mood, anxiety and brain fog will not immediately think they too are going mad, but that these issues may be linked to hormonal changes in the body, and crucially, can be treated and will pass. I found it very difficult at times, says Helen.
Top 7 Hormones That Affect Weight Loss During Menopause
Most of our lives, as women, are spent comparing ourselves to others. Those we see on tv, our friends, family, and co-workers are all used to guide us toward deciding what is good and beautiful.
About the time we begin to accept the way we look, the way we feel, and decide to stop comparing ourselves to others our bodies begin to take a turn for the worse. The weight begins to build again and we donât feel as good about ourselves.
This is because perimenopause has taken hold with its hot flushes, headaches, and weight gain. You are not alone â this is a very common occurrence that many women experience.
Although itâs common, it is not mandatory.
Keeping the 7 hormones that most affect weight loss during menopause balanced will help you avoid those unwanted symptoms.
Estrogen & Progesterone
Known as the two primary hormones in women, estrogen, and progesterone work together to keep the female reproductive system function properly. While estrogen is the hormone that controls your mood, it also maintains cortisol, insulin, and other metabolic hormones.
The counterbalance is progesterone, which encourages calming and sedating effects in the brain while keeping your insulin and thyroid hormones balanced.
What happens when unbalanced? â The most common result is known as estrogen dominance. This may cause mood swings, irregular periods, fat gain from changes to the hormones that control your metabolic rate.
Leptin & Ghrelin
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Does Menopause Cause Emotional Changes Too
Yes. Emotional symptoms can begin as early as the perimenopause time frame. Difficulty with memory , irritability, mood swings, increased anxiousness and depression are commonly experienced. These symptoms often cause significant distress and can negatively affect personal and professional relationships. Some patients say the emotional toll is the most distressing. A history of depression or anxiety disorder is a risk factor for recurrence or exacerbation of symptoms during the menopause transition. Lifestyle modifications such as exercise, relaxation techniques and dietary changes can help. For those experiencing severe symptoms, seeing a therapist and possibly taking medication like mood stabilizers or hormone replacement therapy can help.
Make A Plan To Stay Active
With age, many people let exercise fall to the bottom of their priority list. Maybe it’s because they’re busy, maybe it’s because they’ve become less body conscious with age, or maybe it’s due to comfortable ruts.
Regardless, the priority shift away from activity can have consequences. Many experts believe midlife weight gain has more to do with lifestyle than with hormonal factors related to menopause.
So your plan to lose weight after menopause should include a program to stay active. You may want to invest in a fitness tracker or activity monitor to make sure you’re getting enough movement to slim down or stay lean.
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The Best Way To Lose Weight During Menopause
The onset of menopause, the point when a woman hasnt had a period for the past 12 months, and the bodily changes that occur in the years leading up to it can trigger a number of symptoms, including weight gain. During perimenopause or the menopausal transition, production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone shift, which causes a redistribution of fat to your belly. Weight gain and an expanding waistline are common complaints during this period, according to Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian and co-author with Hillary Wright of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness.
Aging reduces your calorie-burning capacity and a reduction in estrogen often results in extra belly fat, Ward told TODAY. She also cautioned that the shift in estrogen levels can also have consequences for bone and heart health. So, even if your main goal in dieting during menopause or perimenopause is to lose weight, there are other factors to consider.
What You Need To Know About Medical Weight Loss
For many menopausal women, the above lifestyle changes could be easy. For others, they can seem almost impossible. If you have tried some of these techniques and failed, or youre not sure where to begin with forming a weight loss plan, now is the time to contact Doctors Best Wellness and find out more about medical weight loss.
Medical weight loss is an approach to managing your weight that focuses on doctor-supervised plans that involve FDA approved medications, diet, exercise, supplementation, behavior modification, and often hormone optimization. Particularly for menopausal women who are struggling with their weight, HRT will be combined with other treatments and lifestyle changes all with the goal of helping you to achieve and maintain your ideal weight for optimal health.
At Doctors Best Wellness Center, our medical weight loss plans have helped patients who have failed to achieve significant and lasting weight loss after trying almost every other diet doctor or diet plan in the South Florida area!
If you are a woman going through menopause and are struggling with weight loss, why not contact us today at 475 6388 and let us design a medical weight loss plan that is right for you!
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Get Involved In Clean Living
Your metabolism functions to the best of its ability when your hormones are balanced. One of the best ways to create this balance is with clean living. Toxins are in your cleaning products, cosmetics, water and food.
Items that have toxins are filled with chemicals. This can result in your health and weight going into a state of havoc. The solution is to get involved in clean living.
To get started with clean living, you want detox your body. Detoxification is when your body flush out harmful chemicals and toxins. It is recommended that you detox one to two times a year.
However, it is more beneficial to detox your body on a daily basis. Daily detoxification means thinking about the food you eat, the air you breathe and the water you absorb and drink. You can jumpstart this process by going through a guided cleanse with a health care professional.
Clean living is a lifestyle change. You have to change the products you use for cleaning. Lemon juice and baking soda is an alternative to choosing cleaning products with chemicals.
You even want to think about the type of moisturizer that you put on your face. Many face creams are filled with chemicals. Olive oil is a natural moisturizer that you can use as an alternative.
It is important to extend cleaning living to your foods. You do not have to eat a complete organic diet, but you want to eat as clean as possible. It helps to avoid foods with antibiotics, hormones, preservatives and pesticides.
Why Menopause Makes Weight Loss So Hard
Menopause officially starts when a person hasnt had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Around this time, it may be very hard to lose weight.
In fact, many people notice that they actually start putting on weight during perimenopause, which can begin a decade prior to menopause.
Several factors play a role in weight gain around menopause, including:
- Hormone fluctuations. Both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage .
- Loss of muscle mass. This occurs due to age, hormonal changes, and decreased physical activity .
- Inadequate sleep. Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain .
- Increased insulin resistance. Women often become insulin resistant as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult (
Whats more, fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to the abdomen during menopause. This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease .
Therefore, strategies that promote the loss of abdominal fat are particularly important at this stage of life.
Menopause may lead to hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass, poor sleep, and insulin resistance. These effects may, in turn, increase the risk of weight gain.
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Top Tips For Managing Weight At Menopause
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.
How Can I Lose Weight During Menopause
Weight management is a complex topic and not just about what youre eating, says Nicki. Its possible to avoid weight gain and even lose weight, but you need to identify the root cause. For instance, HRT can replace low hormone levels, but if you dont manage your stress then its not going to help your weight.
Plus, if your thyroid isnt optimal, your metabolism is going to be very slow and its going to be very hard to lose weight, she explains.
If there isnt an underlying health issue, then Dr Mukherjee says its absolutely possible to lose weight during menopause.
But because your metabolism is slower than in your younger years, it can feel harder, she says. A combination of increasing movement to burn more calories and limiting your calorie intake, especially from high sugar and processed foods, will help a lot. Intermittent fasting such as the 16-8 diet plan suits some people, she suggests.
Gradual and sustainable approaches are best, but you should be aware that these will not result in the rapid weight loss we all want once we decide to shed some pounds, she adds. Be mindful that one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. So its not easy for anyone eating normally to lose weight.
Patience and persistence is the key to success.
Dark, leafy greens are ideal if youre following a menopause diet plan.
What Can I Do
A range of lifestyle changes can make symptoms more tolerable. Hormone replacement therapy can be used by many women to help control these symptoms, however some women cannot take HRT due to other health problems, whilst others choose not to. The decision to take HRT or not should be discussed with your doctor. For all women, diet and lifestyle changes can help with symptoms. This can include taking dietary supplement products.
How To Lose Weight In Menopause And Keep It Off
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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Menopause Symptoms Worsen Weight Problems
“During the menopause transition, night sweats, sleep disturbances and problems with mood are common and may affect a woman’s ability to adhere to a healthy diet and regular exercise program,” Pinkerton says. “Whether you are just trying to stay awake or combat a low mood, the candy bar may seem like a great energy booster.”
Similarly, she says, an exercise class may be a bit too daunting after a night of not sleeping well. The combination of poor food choices and lack of movement can lead to a gain around your midsection.
Tips For Managing Weight After Menopause
Gaining weight with the onset of menopause is a common experience. Your doctor can help you assess your weight with respect to your overall health. Whether youre trying to lose or maintain weight, the following simple strategies may be useful in supporting your wellness journey during this life stage.
1. Prioritise protein
Research suggests that eating more protein throughout the day may help you maintain your lean muscle as you get older. Protein-rich foodssuch as fish, eggs, legumes, lean meat and poultryalso play a key role in making meals feel satisfying, which could make you less likely to get the munchies at other times.
2. Eat meals mindfully
On busy days, it can be tempting to multitask as you scoff down a breakfast wrap or poke bowl. But you may find your meal more satisfying if you are fully present while enjoying ita practice known as mindful eating. One small study found that when people heard a prompt to focus on the aroma, flavour and texture of their lunch, they ate fewer snacks later that afternoon than volunteers who didnt receive the audio nudge. In addition to savouring every bite, try setting aside some time in your day to enjoy your meal without distractions and lay down your fork between bites.
3. Put the scale in perspective
4. Reduce stress
5. Level up your sleep game
6. Build your strength
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Importance Of A Calorie Deficit
To lose weight, a calorie deficit is needed.
According to some research, a womans resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories she burns during rest, declines during and after menopause .
Although it may be tempting to try a very low calorie diet to lose weight quickly, eating so few calories can sometimes make weight loss harder.
Research shows that restricting calories to low levels causes loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate
So while very low calorie diets may result in short-term weight loss, their effects on muscle mass and metabolic rate will make it hard to keep the weight off.
Moreover, insufficient calorie intake and decreased muscle mass may lead to bone loss. This can increase your risk for osteoporosis .
Adopting a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained long term can help preserve your metabolic rate and reduce the amount of muscle mass you lose with age.
A calorie deficit is needed for weight loss. However, cutting calories too much increases the loss of lean muscle, which accelerates the drop in metabolic rate that occurs with age.
Here are four nutritious diets that have been shown to help with weight loss during and beyond the menopausal transition.
There Are A Few Reasons Way Menopause Causes Weight Gain And Its Not All About The Metabolism At Least Not Directly
You see, research indicates that menopause actually changes your body composition. It takes away muscle, and gives women more fat. And that fat is redistributed around the midsection, that well-known muffin top that so many women try to get rid of.
At any rate, this muscle loss slows your metabolism, leading to weight gain. In addition, before menopause, estrogen improves insulin sensitivity, and both estrogen and progesterone control the negative effect of cortisol. During and after menopause, when estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your cells may become resistant to insulin, a known risk factor for obesity. Plus, with cortisol no longer controlled, belly fat accumulates even more.
But despite all the changes of menopause, there are some changes you can make today to increase your metabolism and lose weight.
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