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How To Manage Weight Gain In Menopause

Three Reasons Why Weight Loss Is Not The Answer To Managing The Effects Of Menopause

Menopause Weight Gain & how to lose it – Eileen Talks Menopause

If youve done some research into how to prioritise your health during menopause, youll know that a lot of the information centres on preventing or addressing weight gain. Ugh!

Changes in body weight and shape around menopause are common and completely normal, caused mainly by changing hormone levels. The main hormones affected by menopause are estrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone .

One physical change you may notice as menopause approaches is your body shape. Prior to menopause, fat is mostly around the hips, thighs and bum. When estrogen levels begin to drop as menopause begins, this can lead to weight gain around the abdomen.

While this may be aesthetically undesirable to some, this weight gain is actually your body trying to help you! While the majority of estrogen is produced by the ovaries, fat cells can also produce estrogen. When ovarian function slows down with menopause, and estrogen production with it, additional fat stores can help to relieve some of the effects of menopause caused by estrogen deficiency.

Many health professionals blame the symptoms and increased health risks associated with menopause on the increase in fat around the abdomen. While there is some evidence to support this theory, there is also a whole host of reasons why our team at Embody Health London doesnt recommend weight loss as a solution.

How Does The Stress Hormone Cortisol Sabotage Weight Loss

How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain? First of all, heightened cortisol is linked to overeating. Ever notice how you eat when youre stressed? A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher than normal cortisol levels were linked to overeating and weight gain. Another study links elevated cortisol levels to an increase in belly fat.

Remind Me Again What Is Menopause

Technically, menopause is a point in time, marking 12 months since your last period. So, when people say they’re “going through menopause,” that means they haven’t actually hit menopause yetthey’re actually experiencing perimenopause, or the lead-up to menopause.

That also means women experience the majority of their symptoms during perimenopause, which can last, on average, for four years.

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Time Meals And Snack Right To Counter Mindless Eating

Its not just;what;you eat when you are following a mid-life diet that matters, but also;when;you eat. Midnight ice cream binges and potato chip raids, for example, are generally bad ideas and would be a poor choice even during the light of day. But the general message on food timing is clear: Dont eat too much too late, Peeke says. Eating later in the evening is murder for trying to keep weight off.

Another way to keep snacking calories in check is to avoid mindlessly nibbling throughout the day or falling into the dreaded afternoon snack trap. What a menopausal woman does from 3 p.m. on every day can determine how big her belly is. Thats when most women tend to overeat and oversnack.

To help rein in your snacking, Peeke says to start paying attention to your circadian rhythm. Eat during a window of 8 to 12 hours a day, and then dont eat for the rest of the time. Experts find this imperative to take care of weight at any age, but especially during menopause, she says.

Shrink Belly Fat With Tai Chi Or Quigong

How to stop Menopause weight gain

Maybe youve never tried it or perhaps youve seen a group of people practicing tai chi together in a public park but a recent research study from Hong Kong showed that this Chinese discipline of low-impact meditative movements could help trim waistlines in middle aged and older adults. This study,;published in the June 2021 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that people age 50 and older with central obesity who practiced tai chi for 12 weeks shrunk their bellies as successfully as those who participated in aerobic exercise and strength training for the same amount of time. The study authors wrote that tai chi health benefits similar to those of conventional exercise and thus provides an alternative and more amenable exercise modality for middle-aged and older adults to manage central obesity.

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Inflammation Or Leaky Gut Syndrome

The cumulative stress of modern living takes a toll on our health and especially on our digestive tracts. A compromised gut means increased levels of toxins in the body that fuel inflammation, contributing to weight gain, and promoting premature ageing.

Leaky gut also known as increased intestinal permeability or hyperpermeability is a condition in which the intestinal lining loses its integrity and we dont process our food correctly. It can increase our cravings for sugars and we dont excrete excess estrogen, leading to hormonal imbalance.

Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight In Menopause

Menopausal women are impacted by many contributing factors when it comes to unwanted weight gain, including estrogen deprivation, mood disorders, and sleep disturbance. Basically, there are more things working against us, and our ability to maintain a consistent weight, than usual.

Mental health can also play a big role in your ability to lose weight. For instance, feeling overwhelmed, down, or discouraged can be a hindrance in making positive changes and achieving goals. Remember, depression, sadness, the blues, are all symptoms of menopause, and many women are affected.

If you are experiencing depression, sadness, or the blues, seek professional support to help you overcome these common symptoms during menopause.

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A Safe Way Of Treating Weight Gain

Implementing Lifestyle Changes:

  • Eating small, frequent meals with lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats
  • Combining regular cardio workouts with muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Getting enough sleep and reducing stress with meditation or deep breathing
  • Finding an accountability partner for encouragement

And Taking Herbal Supplements:

    Con un aumento de 0,7 kg por año a lo largo del proceso de transición hacia la menopausia, es probable que las mujeres enfrenten diversos retos, tanto fÃsicos como psicológicos, desde problemas de imagen corporal hasta enfermedades cardÃacas.1 Afortunadamente, existen formas de contrarrestar el sobrepeso en la menopausia, disfrutar de buena salud y recuperar la confianza la imagen corporal durante esta etapa de la vida.

    Siga leyendo para explorar las mejores opciones de tratamiento para el sobrepeso, desde las más naturales hasta las convencionales, e ingrese a esta nueva fase con un peso adecuado y un óptimo estado de salud.

    Avoid Excess Consumption Especially Snacks Nuts Alcohol And Keto Treats

    How Can I Stop Weight Gain During Menopause

    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.

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    Why Women Gain Weight During Menopause

    If youre going through perimenopause, you might be wondering why your weight has started to go up even though you havent significantly changed your eating habits.

    You might wonder are you eating too much sugar, as it seems like you only have to look at a sweet treat and gain 2 kilograms, which complicates the challenge of how to lose weight during menopause.

    So, does menopause cause weight gain and how to lose weight after menopause? If youre looking for the answers to these questions, you need to first understand the reasons why women gain weight during menopause.

    In reality, theres no single reason why you cant control your weight during and after menopause, but some of the reasons why managing menopause weight gain can be challenging are:

    • Changing hormones
    • Poor sleep
    • Excess stress

    If youre a woman undergoing menopause, here are some ways in which menopause and weight gain often go together and how you can prevent weight gain due to menopause.

    The Risks Of Weight Gain After Menopause

    Many of the risks of weight gain are well known: high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, to name a few. Extra fat at your waistline raises these risks more. Unfortunately, a bigger waistline is more likely after menopause. If you now have a waist measurement of more than 35 inches, it’s time to take steps to reverse this trend.

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    Solution #: Hormonal Optimization

    Hormone replacement therapy has been shown in several trials to enhance body composition. However, before considering HRT, you should consider the dangers and benefits, as well as other systems that may need to be improved .

    Speak to a healthcare professional who is integrative in their approach to treating menopause weight gain and other menopause-related symptoms. You might also want to ask them about natural hormone balancing supplements such as Wild Yam Root which can be used as a progesterone booster.

    Top Tips For Managing Weight At Menopause

    Menopause and Weight Gain

    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.

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    Know Your Metabolic Biomarkers

    The following labs give you a baseline of your metabolic health. Any doctor can do these labs. The normal range is pretty wide so be aware of the optimal range. You could have a fasting glucose of 99 and be told you are within normal range. One point higher than that and you are prediabetic so the conversation and awareness needs to begin as soon as you fall outside the optimal range.;

    • Fasting glucose: normal ranges are 65-99mg/dL. Optimal 65-87mg/dL
    • Fasting insulin: normal 3-25 uIU/mL. Optimal < 5
    • Fasting triglycerides: normal <150 mg/dL, optimal <100
    • HsCRP measures inflammation. Normal <3mg/L, optimal <1
    • HgA1C normal <5.7, optimal <5.5
    • Uric Acid normal range 3.1-7.9mg/dL, optimal < 5.5
    • TSH normal range 0.35-5.50 uUI/mL, optimal 1-2.

    What Risks Are Associated With Menopausal Weight Gain

    Since menopausal weight gain is typically seen in the mid-section, it does raise your risk of several health problems. These health risks include breathing problems, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease.

    Cleveland Clinic reports that many of these health risks are associated with extra visceral fat in the belly. Below are some things you can do to prevent menopausal weight gain.

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    Why Weight Gain Often Happens After Menopause

    What is it about menopause that makes it so hard to keep off the weight? It’s likely a mix of factors related to menopause and aging.

    The impact of estrogen. In animal studies, estrogen appears to help control body weight. With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active. Reduced estrogen may also lower metabolic rate, the rate at which the body converts stored energy into working energy. It’s possible the same thing happens with women when estrogen levels drop after menopause. Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a woman’s resting metabolic rate. This might help slow weight gain. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight.

    Other age-related factors. As women age, many other changes happen that contribute to weight gain. For example:

    • You’re less likely to exercise. Sixty percent of adults aren’t active enough, and this increases with age.
    • You lose muscle mass, which lowers your resting metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.
    • The rate at which you can use up energy during exercise declines. To use the same energy as in the past and achieve weight loss, you may need to increase the amount of time and intensity you’re exercising, no matter what your past activity levels were.

    How Can You Get Rid Of Menopausal Belly Fat

    3 weight worries during menopause & how to manage them

    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.

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    Get 7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep A Night

    “From observational data, less than 6 hours of sleep is associated with an increased body mass index and 7 hours appears to be the goal to hit,” explains Dr. Mittal. Lack of sleep can increase ghrelin and decrease leptin . This is why you may find yourself snacking more when you are tired.

    Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night and if it’s proving difficult to do so, set systems in place to help like charging your phone outside the bedroom, getting an alarm clock and turning off screens after a certain time.

    Pathophysiology: Mechanism Of Menopausal Obesity

    The mechanism of the development of obesity in menopausal women is outlined in . The continuous depletion of the follicular ovarian pool during menopausal transition lowers estrogen production with a relative increase in androgen levels. This hormonal imbalance alters energy homeostasis by regulating hunger and satiety signals. Estrogen inhibits the action of hunger signals, preventing events of excessive calorie consumption. It is postulated that during the menopausal transition because of fluctuating estrogen levels, its effectiveness to modulate hunger hormones is reduced. Menopausal women experience more intense hunger signals encouraging increased food intake which promotes weight gain.

    Mechanism for development of obesity during menopausal transition

    The hormonal imbalance during menopause also promotes the higher accumulation of fat in the abdominal region. Low estrogen levels along with high androgen levels lead to redistribution of fat present in the gluteal and femoral regions to abdominal regions of the body, favoring abdominal obesity. Besides, higher abdominal obesity is an independent risk factor for future metabolic complications.

    Menopausal obesity is primarily driven by hormonal imbalance and its effect on energy balance. Some other crucial factors, such as unhealthy eating behavior, sedentary lifestyle, and secondary causes might also account for the differences in personal weight gain trajectories among these women.

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    Resistance Training Or Strength Training

    Resistance training or strength training during menopause helps with fat loss because it adds muscle, which increases your metabolism.

    The importance of strength training during menopause cannot be understated as it also helps with hormone balance, especially estrogen and insulin.

    Different types of resistance training include:

    • Free weights using dumbbells or barbells
    • Weight machines that you typically find at your gym
    • Medicine balls weighted balls
    • Resistance bands like giant rubber bands, like the ones used in a Pilates studio provide resistance when stretched. They are portable and can be adapted to most workouts. The bands provide continuous resistance throughout a movement
    • Your body weight can be used for squats, push-ups, and chin-ups.

    You can do specific weight training classes or do these on your own at home or in the gym. Pilates is also a great way to do resistance training as are some more physical yoga practices, e.g., Ashtanga, Power Yoga.

    Vary Your Workouts And Try New Activities

    Menopause & Weight Gain Connection 1

    Its easy to get into an exercise rut, and even easier to fall out of the habit of exercising at all. But at this stage of your life, not getting your move on is not an option. Ideally to keep your weight in check, youll be working out three or four times a week with the injection of some HIIT and it only needs to take 15 to 20 minutes, says Peeke. Its extremely effective at keeping excess body levels of fat down, and make sure to get in some weight training, even if its just using your own body weight.

    So potentially take a Zumba or barre class. See what all your buddies are talking about and join them one weekend for a beginner class at a CrossFit center. Give PiYo a go . There are so many different exercises to try, youll be able to find ones you like and stick with them.

    Or maybe youll enjoy the chase of trying out new workouts regularly. According to;research published in the;Journal of Sport Behavior, adding variation to your exercise routine may be the most successful way to make you stick with it. Any kind of physical activity is better than none at all, but if your body gets too accustomed to a routine, it wont burn belly fat as efficiently as when you first started working out.

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    Engaging In Physical Activity To Promote Healthy Ageing

    Physical activity is recommended for all adults at all ages, including women during the menopausal transition and after menopause .; Current Australian physical activity guidelines for adults 1864 years, define physical activity as any activity that increases breathing rate and heart rate. Potential benefits of physical activity for postmenopausal women include:

    • improving blood lipids and blood pressure
    • improving physical abilities strength, coordination, balance and endurance
    • reducing the risk of osteoporosis
    • reducing the risk of falls
    • reducing the risk of chronic diseases

    To help improve blood pressure, cholesterol, heart health, as well as muscle and bone strength, the recommendation is for women to do either:

    • 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity weekly (eg brisk walking, recreational swimming, dancing, household tasks like cleaning windows/ raking leaves or pushing a stroller.
    • 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity weekly .

    To maintain balance, muscle strength and bone health, weight bearing exercises and resistance training is required on 2-3 days per week .

    To obtain greater benefits and help weight loss, avoid unhealthy weight gain and to reduce the risk of cancer, 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity weekly or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity weekly is required.

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