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 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.
Stop Middle Age Weight Gain
These are my 8 Tips to help you stop menopause weight gain. Estrogen deficiency, the state we find ourselves in once we are in menopause, is associated with insulin resistance and mid center weight gain. Even without changing our exercise routine or diet, women face an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, just by going through the normal stages of aging. For us women, it can feel that we have lost all control of our bodies. It is my mission to inform all women on the tips and tricks so they can navigate the aging process in optimal health, without weight gain or disease.
Diet For Menopausal Women Rich In Fish
Oily fish is a very rich source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids . Omega 3 helps reduce symptoms such as hot flashes and also prevents cardiovascular diseases, something very beneficial in menopause as it increases the risk. It can also prevent other pathologies closely linked to menopause such as:
- The dogfish
It is also advisable to take white fish that are much healthier, such as hake, monkfish or cod. At least four servings a week, just like white meats as we will now see.
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Meno Belly Is Real And Heres What Works To Get Rid Of It
Reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND
Finding it difficult to button up your favorite jeans? Midsection weight gain in perimenopause and menopause is real and frustrating. It often feels like this stubborn weight just isnt going anywhere, no matter how much you diet or exercise.
But heres the secret: when you deal with the underlying hormonal imbalance driving this weight gain, your body can finally let go of this weight and you can look and feel the way you want!
Dr. Mary James, ND, one of our Women’s Health Network experts, gives her tips for losing “meno belly” fat in her new video. Watch it now — or read the video transcript below for her easy steps.
If you are dealing with meno belly, the nickname for stubborn weight that often shows up around a womans midsection during perimenopause, I am here to help you understand why this is happening and more importantly what you can do to lose this weight.
Ways To Combat Menopause Weight Gain According To A Doctor
Here’s what a weight management doctor has to say about maintaining a healthy weightand losing weightafter menopause.
Hot flashes, trouble sleeping and mood swings. Welcome to menopause. But what’s up with the weight gain? Do you feel like you eat healthfully and workout but now there’s a layer of fat around your stomach that wasn’t there before? You aren’t alone.
Menopause weight gain is fairly common, and while some of it is hormonal or related to genetics, there are lifestyle factors you can control to help stop the gain and lose the weight. We spoke to Dr. Richa Mittal, MD, founder and medical director of Radiant Health, to learn why women gain weight during menopause and how to lose it.
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How To Stop Menopause Weight Gain
Last Updated: September 30, 2020References
This article was co-authored by Carrie Noriega, MD. Dr. Noriega is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and medical writer in Colorado. She specializes in womens health, rheumatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. She received her MD from the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her residency at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2005.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 30,296 times.
Many women have a difficult time maintaining their weight as they get older. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause may make this even more difficult. In addition, you might notice you tend to gain and store weight in your abdomen instead of hips thighs and other parts of your body which can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Although, going through menopause can make weight maintenance or weight loss difficult, many times the gain can be attributed to genetics, aging and other lifestyle factors.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source With the right diet, exercise routine and lifestyle you may be able to lose some weight or maintain your weight throughout menopause.
How Long Does Menopause Weight Gain Last
How much you might gain and over how long a time period is highly individual. A lot depends on your overall diet, activity level, and muscle toneand not just your menopausal status.
Some data indicates that weight starts to plateau when youre in your 50s and then drops in your 60s. Other research shows that women tend to keep gaining weight through their sixth decade of life.
How much of the weight gain is related to menopause and how much is related to the other aging factors isnt entirely clear.
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Hormonal Changes And Symptoms Of Menopause
As the transition to menopause gets under way, levels of certain hormones begin to decline. And lets just acknowledge: The resulting symptoms usually arent much fun. Still, knowing whats in store can help you better navigate this phase of life, and many menopausal symptoms do resolve once the body adjusts, says Stephanie Zeszutek, DO, FACOG, an OB-GYN and assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York. Here, Dr. Zeszutek explains the major hormonal shifts of menopause and some effects you might notice:
Progesterone: This hormone is generally the first to wane during perimenopause. This can set the stage for weight gain, plus vaginal dryness and menstrual spotting. Mood changes also may occur, along with a heightened susceptibility to depression or anxiety.
Estrogen: The next hormonal shift is typically a reduction in estrogen output, which can result in lower lean body mass , an increased percentage of body fat, and a greater resistance to the hormone insulin, which may lead to elevated blood sugar. Lower levels of estrogen also contribute to symptoms like hot flashes and headaches, and may play a role in depression risk, as well.
Testosterone: Levels of this hormone actually drop throughout your adult life. At menopause, testosterone is typically about half what it was at its peak. Testosterone helps retain lean muscle mass, so declining levels are associated with an increase in body fat, particularly in the belly region.
Menopausal Weight Gain Is A Problematic Health Risk
The pounds women put on at this time tend to settle around the abdomen, causing physicians to worry about health risks. This visceral fat can lead to problems with blood glucose and blood fat that can bring on diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases.
Since heart disease is a leading cause of death in post-menopausal women, the issue of menopausal weight gain is an important one for research.
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Burden Of Obesity In Menopausal Women
The problem of obesity is rising at an alarming rate, with disproportionately higher prevalence in female than male counterparts. This trend can largely be attributed to differences in age-specific reproductive cycles in women. A pooled analysis of international studies on menopausal obesity reports that almost 39% women undergoing menopausal transition are either overweight or obese. In the Indian context, the proportion of overweight/obese women increases from 4% at younger age to 34% at middle and older age. This steep increase in the prevalence of obesity in middle-aged women coincides with the initiation of the menopausal transition.
Nearly, 401 million perimenopausal women in our country will be predisposed to the risk of menopausal obesity by 2026. Obese women at this stage are exposed to the dual burden of menopausal symptoms and metabolic complications of obesity for the rest of their life. Weight gain at this stage can be partly attributed to the lack of awareness among middle-aged women toward their health-related issues as they prioritize the wellness of their family members over their own. This neglect impedes the initiation of any weight loss intervention by them, further aggravating the problem of weight gain. The massive proportions of menopausal women and the affected number of life years due to obesity and its consequences make it an issue of public health concern.
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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How To Avoid Menopause Weight Gain According To Experts
FYI: Your pre-menopause routine might not cut it.
Unless you’ve never experienced the horror that is hormonal acne or fits of rage around that time of the month, you know that, as a woman, hormones can take quite a toll on youand that rings especially true once you hit menopause.
While, yes, menopause isn’t all bad , the side effects, like hot flashes and mood swings, aren’t exactly a welcome development. Another not-so-great side effect? Weight gain.
That’s right, going through the change can make your body put on some extra poundsbut why, and is there any way to make sure you maintain a weight you’re comfortable with once you hit menopause? Health spoke to experts to find out what you need to know about menopause weight gain, and which changes to your diet can benefit you during this transitional phase.
Problem #: Less Activity
Want to hear some truth? You probably move less that you used to. Take a real assessment of your daily activities and see what you come up with. And its not just exercise, though well get to that in a moment. But daily activity actual steps get less and less as we age. In the teens and twenties there still sports activities and running around with friends. In your late 20s and 30s your often chasing your kids and taking care of their many needs. Even into your 40s theres still plenty going on with family and career and life. However as we get into our 50s, 60s and beyond the days tend to be more sedentary and we can become more comfortable and at ease with staying home in the evening rather than being out and about. Usually this turns into more couch time. Its normal for our daily routines to become more relaxed when we get older. Our lives become slightly less active and most of us simply dont burn as many calories in middle age as we did during our busy early adult years. As we age, aches and pains in our body also start to add up. When you move less, you lose muscle and gain more weight. And that leads to the dreaded E-word exercise. Simply put, women in their 50s, 60s and beyond get less exercise which means less muscle and more fat. Thats simple science. Get moving not only for weight management but to keep your joints and bones healthy.
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Menopause Weight Gain: Why It Happens
Getting older and becoming less active causes loss of muscle mass, which slows down the metabolism. According to experts, it’s this, rather than the menopause itself, that bears the brunt of the responsibility for weight gain in middle age. However, fluctuating hormone levels also play their part.
New evidence suggests that plummeting estrogen levels may encourage us to eat more and exercise less, lowers the metabolic rate, and increases insulin resistance, making it more difficult for our bodies to deal with sugars and starches.
Our hormones also influence fat distribution. Perimenopause weight gain is often associated with the laying down of fat around the abdomen and internal organs, as opposed to the hips and thighs. Feeling stressed? Stress hormones like cortisol promote the growth of that pesky spare tire. It’s not simply a cosmetic issue, either – the more inches you add to your waistline, the higher your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers.
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, explained, “‘The change’ actually does bring changes for many women, including weight gain that can resist even the most diligent efforts to reverse it.”
“Women often assume that they are the source of the problem when it comes to anything regarding their weight.” But that’s not always the case with menopause weight gain – with our hormone fluctuations – among other things – certainly not helping the problem.
How Can I Stop Menopause Weight Gain
For those just who are just beginning to enter perimenopause or menopause and looking for ways to stop the weight gain before it takes over, there are thankfully some simple tips out there.
Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, co-author The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness , explained to TODAY that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to avoiding menopause belly fat. However, after spending decades observing women and their experiences with the change, she shared some insights that can help.
Ward suggests switching to a plant-based diet. More specifically, A balanced eating plan rich in plant foods supplies the right mix of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. She says this will promote better health in women, particularly those ages 45 and older who may be going through the menopause transition.
If nixing meat entirely doesnt appeal to you, Ward also recommends the Mediterranean diet and says it may even help women experience fewer menopause symptoms. In this case, the idea is to eat meals rich in whole, non-processed foods, including nuts, seeds, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and moderate portions of protein from things like beans, eggs, dairy products, fish, and chicken.
Recent studies have shown that combining both ideas for a plant-based Mediterranean diet is especially beneficial for weight loss and boosting heart health, so you might want to give them both a try!
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Solution: Eat Quality Food And Less Sugar
Reduce your daily sugar intake for your waistline as well as your hot flashes. Natural sugar found in fruit is better for you because its accompanied by fiber this helps your body break down the sugar more easily as opposed to artificial sugars. Make sure your diet is filled with dark, leafy greens, brightly-colored vegetables and fruits, lean meat and fish. Go organic to avoid preservatives, pesticides and chemicals that disrupte your horomones. Choose foods that reduce inflammation in the body and avoid those white, starchy or sugary carbs that spike blood sugar and end up getting stored as fat. Want to know exactly what it takes to eat clean? Download our best-selling Clean Eating Guide below!
Getting older holds many positive and exciting new changes. However, it also holds its own challenges. Dont make weight gain one of them. Keep a positive attitude and do what you can to stay healthy and strong. You can always check with your doctor if something seems out of whack or just not right. Rememberits your body and you have the power to feel great in it.
Causes Of Weight Gain During Menopause
As the years progress, metabolism slows, setting the physiological stage for weight gain. Although age itself can lead to weight gain, women approaching menopause have particular cause for concern. As a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate prior to menopause in preparation for the end of menstruation, they are likely to experience weight gain.
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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.