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Is Weight Gain A Sign Of Menopause

How Can I Prevent Weight Gain In Post

Menopause Weight Gain / Bloating

Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle after menopause is an important goal as weight gain especially around the trunk is associated with an increased risk; for all chronic degenerative diseases. Focusing on a proper exercise regime, nutrition, getting adequate sleep and following a balanced and biochemically identical hormonal replacement therapy program treatment can help you not only counteract postmenopausal weight gain but improve other menopausal symptoms as well.

What Is Menopause Exactly

First things first: Menopause refers to the life stage when a person is no longer menstruating. It officially begins 12 months after you get your final period, which generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Menopause can also occur with surgery that removes the ovaries, a procedure commonly performed with hysterectomy.

For menopause that happens with aging, the two- to eight-year period leading up to that milestone is known as perimenopause. This phase is marked by declines in levels of ovarian hormones and, for many people, the start of some noticeable symptoms and changes, including with respect to weight.

Confronting The Reality Of Weight Gain & Menopause

Youve gained a few pounds.. Your body looks different. Youre noticing a new, very annoying, roundness to your tummy. Your waistline seems to have disappeared. The scale is becoming your enemy yet youre not doing anything differently than you used to. You might find yourself asking: What is going on?!

Lets start with something that drives me and many other women in early or premature menopause crazy: Many books and articles insist that women put on weight during menopause because theyre older.

Its not a function of menopause, they argue. Its a function of aging. Your metabolic rate drops as you age, which accounts for the weight gain. In addition, older women are often more inactive.

Well, maybe this applies to the average woman in menopause who is in her 50s. But what if youre in your 20s or 30s and you start noticing the creeping weight gain and new thicker body contours? I know I did.and dozens of prematurely menopausal women Ive spoken with have seen it happen to them as well.

Were not; middle-aged. Were still young. So, regardless of what the books say, it cant be age that causes these changes. And it isnt. Its your hormones, plain and simple.

Core Lesson

If youre going through an early menopause theres a good chance youve noticed your weight going up even though theres been no change in your diet or exercise habits.

Recommended Reading: Menopause And Dizzy Spells

Get Your Levels Checked By Your Gp

If you can relate to any of these symptoms and your symptoms are affecting the quality of your life in any way, which they no doubt are if youre reading this, then please do seek medical advice. Request to get your hormone levels tested along with your bloods to check for any nutrient deficiencies that could also be affecting how you are feeling.

In addition there are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help balance both your hormones and help you manage your symptoms.

The decision whether H.R.T. is suitable for you is very much an individual decision based on your individual circumstances and medical history. Its something you should discuss directly with your doctor and no-one else.

Types Of Foods That Can Make Menopause Worse

Pin on Menopause

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.
  • Also Check: Menopause Dizzy Spells

    Act Now To Lose Weight During Menopause

    One of the breakthroughs in the newer ways of fighting weight gain during menopause is the Menopause Belly Diet which is truly remarkable in terms of consistency, research, and the results that are achieved through it.

    However, everyone cannot follow the belly diet due to various reasons. People may be suffering from specific health conditions, and such a diet may become too intense to follow.

    At such a time, a general approach is recommended to lose weight, such as fasting, incorporating high-intensity workouts, indulging in strength training, tracking the calories, etc. The only thing that a woman needs to remember is that whatever she decides to do, she needs to stick with the plan until the desired results are achieved.

    1. Say NO to Carbs

    It is scientifically proven that when the body has surplus glucose or carbohydrates in its system, it tends to store a large portion of them as fat. The slower the metabolism, the more is the reason for this process to result in weight gain. Therefore, a sluggish metabolism with a high carbohydrate diet is one of the most dreaded combinations.

    So, if you are looking to stay slim or lose weight, Cut the Carbs from your diet drastically, especially during menopause.

    2. No Day Without Cardio and Strength Training

    The most noticeable change in the body of a woman during the menopausal stage is muscle loss.

    3. Sleep Eight Stay Great

    4. Say YES to Alkaline Diet

    5. Pay attention to mental health

    Level Up Your Sleep Game

    In addition to helping you wake up energized and refreshed, high-quality sleep supports long-term weight management, according to a 2017 literature review in the journal Sleep Medicine Clinics. Even if you cant avoid every hot flash, creating a consistent bedtime routine and setting up your sleep environment can help optimize your ZZZs. About an hour before youd like to be snoozing, try winding down by dimming the lights, taking a bath, and/or cracking open a good book. If you have control of a thermostat, adjust your bedroom temperature to about 65°F, a thermal sweet spot that seems to keep sleepers comfortably warm without overheating. Your beds comfort factor matters, tooif your mattress feels lumpy or your pillows are flat as pancakes, some upgrades might be in order.

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    Help Im Heading For The Menopause And I Cant Control My Weight

    This article has been written by Sally Norton, a UK-based medical doctor and weight-loss consultant.

    With two-thirds of us overweight or obese, and all of us ladies facing the menopause at some stage, the double whammy of weight-loss struggles and menopausal woes is going to face a lot of us. Many women feel that their weight gets harder and harder to manage the older they getand yet, several scientific studies show no convincing link between weight gain and the menopause itself.

    After 15 years as an NHS weight loss surgeon, managing hundreds of women who were really struggling with their weight. I noticed a pattern. Many of them were women in their 40s, starting to run into trouble sleeping, thinking straight, multitasking, or generally just coping with life. And they were increasingly depressed with their weight loss struggles after years and years of failed diets.

    A fair number had been started on anti-depressants but these were women who just couldnt understand why they were losing their normal joy in life, their superwoman ability to manage everything that family, work and life in general was throwing at them and they put it down to their weight.

    I thought there was more to it than just their weight and general low mood, so I started investigating the link between weight, hormones and the peri-menopause.

  • There is some evidence that lower levels of fat-burning brown fat may contribute to the middle-age spread area being heavily researched at the moment.
  • How Do I Practice Mindfulness

    Menopause Weight Gain / Menopause Symptoms and Menopause Relief – Dr Maura McGill

    Mindfulness is simply the practice of being in the present moment. Why does that change us so much? Because we are mostly daydreaming, disconnected, on our devices, or in our own fantasy world.;

    Sometimes we’re distracted by our daily tasks, our jobs, deadlines, appointments, and meetings.;

    We think of what others think of us, and when menopause hits, we can be distracted by thoughts of how quickly time passes and causes us to question our decisions – should we have had kids, should we not have had kids, did we have too little, too much, too late, too early? After all, menopause signifies that the time for certain life decisions has passed.

    Mindfulness helps us put all of that aside and realize that the present moment is something beautiful that we have to appreciate – we live only in the present, no matter what age we are.

    Its very exciting, knowing that mind-body techniques have worked for menopausal symptoms; I think its very exciting, building on what we already know,;

    Says a Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr. Richa Sood, after conducting significant research on the effects of mindfulness on the symptoms of menopause.

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    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!;

    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

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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.

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    Inflammation Or Leaky Gut Syndrome

    Pin on Menopause and Beauty Blog

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

    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.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Is There A Pill For Menopause

    What Is Menopausal Weight Gain

    Weight gain as a symptom of menopause is not the same as weight gain caused by overeating and lack of activity.

    You may be going to the gym, exercising, eating healthy food, but still finding it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

    You may find that despite not changing your eating or exercising patterns, the weight is piling on. The extra pounds are not caused by something wrong that you are doing, but because of the shifting hormones in your body when it starts going through perimenopause.;

    In fact, the;National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; found that 68.1 percent of women ages 40-59 were classified as overweight or affected by obesity in the US, whereas only 51.7 of women aged 20-39 were overweight.

    Studies show that the average weight gain in the perimenopausal transition is around 5 pounds. However, many women report weight gain of 10-15 pounds. This is especially true if the woman was already overweight before perimenopause.

    Some women find that although the scales do not show an increase, their body shape begins to change, and the pants that used to fit them may become tight around the waist.

    Every woman is different and will experience perimenopause in her own way, but weight gain seems to be one of the more common perimenopausal symptoms.

    Foods To Eat During Menopause

    Struggling with Perimenopause, Menopause, Hormonal Changes and Weight Gain? What To Do.

    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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    Other Factors At Play

    We dont yet have a clear understanding of all the factors that lead to weight gain during perimenopause and menopause, but here are several ones that do.;

    LOSS OF LEAN MUSCLE MASSThe documented loss of lean muscle mass,3;leads to a decrease in metabolism how much energy your body uses. This may lead to weight gain even if you havent made any changes to what you eat or how much you exercise.;

    SLEEP DISRUPTIONDuring this time many of us struggle with sleep disruption, which is linked to hormonal changes, and this too can impair metabolism. In addition, sleep deprivation affects the part of the brain that evaluates hunger and increases the desire for weight-gain, high-calorie foods.4 In one study, researchers looked at the brains of people experiencing sleep deprivation and saw neuronal responses thats at the level of brain cells to high-calorie food.5


    Depending on what is on your plate during these years, it may afford you less time and to exercise. Additionally, juggling many responsibilities often leads to increased stress. Chronic stress causes a rise in cortisol, a hormone is known as the stress hormone and cortisol impairs metabolism.


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