Vary Your Workouts And Try New Activities
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.
Oestrogen And Fat Distribution At Menopause
A change in hormone levels, mainly oestrogen, may influence body fat distribution.
Many women in perimenopause and early post menopause years gain fat mass as their oestrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body , while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen .
Animal studies have shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to unwanted abdominal fat, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.
What About Conventional Medicine
If you are really struggling to control your weight and have not found that home and herbal remedies are helping, it is important to seek medical attention. While your doctor may be reluctant to prescribe diet pills on the basis that it is the menopause causing you to put on weight, he will be able to work with you to find a solution.
It is important to remember that weight gain can have a serious impact on your lifestyle and health. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight are also symptoms of an underlying health condition such as low thyroid function, which will need to be treated by a doctor.
If you are worried about your condition or fear that it is causing you to have further health problems such as heart disease, then it is vital to seek medical attention.
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An Introduction To Weight Gain And Menopause
After the age of 40, the human body is susceptible to gaining, on average, one pound a year. When women reach the menopause, this average weight gain is likely to increase because of hormonal and physical changes which take place at this time. Many women feel self-conscious about this and attempt to crash diet to counteract the effect. However, these actions do not tend to be effective as eating too much is not usually the cause of weight gain during the menopause.
Many people feel that the weight they gain during the menopause is more noticeable because it tends to accumulate in one area of the body rather than be distributed evenly across the body. The most common place for weight to accumulate is around the tummy and this can be difficult to shift once there.
Why Do Some Women Put On Weight During Menopause
Reasons for why women gain weight during menopause include hormonal and behavioural changes, which can occur as a result of the other symptoms of menopause.
Oestrogen is known to have an impact on both metabolism and weight, so the changing levels during perimenopause can contribute to weight gain.
This can be made worse by the brain fog, joint aches or fatigue you may experience as well which, understandably, can change your exercise or eating patterns.
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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.
Menopausal Weight Gain And Adrenal Fatigue
If you suffer from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome , then there may be another answer to the question, why do you gain weight in menopause. The changes that occur with this disorder — hormonal imbalance, sleep disruption, and excess cortisol in particular — can make weight gain more likely and weight loss more difficult.
AFS can occur when youve been under stress for too long and the systems in your body that cope with stress start to break down and cause body-wide dysfunctions. This usually begins with overuse and malfunctions in the NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response.
The NEM stress response activates different functions in your body to help you cope with and resolve stress. It does this mostly through the adrenal glands, which release cortisol. However, when the NEM stress response is active over a long period, the adrenal glands can become fatigued. The long-term high cortisol levels also cause the bodys circuits to go out of balance. Thus, stress-related changes in the circuits become malfunctions that lead to problematic symptoms.
Weight gain can occur during AFS for several reasons.
One is the chronic fatigue that often occurs with AFS. No one feels like exercising when theyre always tired, resulting in decreased muscle mass and increased fat deposits. If youre like many people, then your eating habits may degrade at this time due to tiredness and attempts to overcome fatigue by increasing your sugar intake. This will increase any weight problems you already have.
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Why Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain
The hormonal fluctuations you encounter as you enter the menopause means that your body deals with the food you consume in a different way, all too often resulting in weight gain. Your metabolism reduces, which means that you store more calories than you will burn. This is only made worse if you are spending less and less time on the go or exercising.
When you go through the menopause, particularly if you are feeling somewhat stressed, the production of the hormone cortisol will increase. When your cortisol levels are high you are more likely to develop fat around the middle.
How Do You Get Rid Of Menopausal Belly Fat
Getting too distracted by everything else going on during menopause and paying less attention to your weight is totally understandable. There are also a couple diets that can melt those extra inches after youve finally finished menopause.
The Galveston Diet was created by Mary Claire Haver, MD, OBGYN, and is specifically targeted toward menopausal weight gain with a focus on inflammation-fighting food. This eating plan will have you consume high amounts of lean proteins and limit your intake of carbs. It adds in an intermittent fasting component as well, encouraging those following it to fast for 16 hours each day. That basically means youll pick an eight hour window in which you eat all your meals.
As for the food you eat during that window, Dr. Haver recommends anti-inflammatory options like lean, grass-fed protein from poultry, beef, and salmon. You can also have non-starchy vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and zucchini on the side, plus low-sugar fruits like blueberries and raspberries.
If that doesnt sound quite up your alley, another popular diet might be the way to go. Bret Scher, MD, medical director of Diet Doctor, explains that a ketogenic diet could be the best bet for post-menopausal women. The keto diet lowers insulin levels, which can become elevated as we age, says Dr. Scher. And when insulin is high, it encourages the body to store fat rather than burn it.
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Lifestyle Factors That Contribute To A Gain In Belly Fat After Menopause
What else can explain the increase in body fat that takes place after menopause? Its not just hormonal changes. How about lack of exercise? Women who have a tough menopause with hot flashes and fatigue may not feel motivated to exercise. Not staying physically active is a double whammy if youre trying to avoid menopause-related weight gain. Your resting metabolism is already slowing as estrogen levels fall. In fact, exercise becomes even more important after menopause! Some studies even show exercise helps with hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Some women also experience mood changes, including depression, and exercise is a lifestyle habit that helps fight depression.
How about sleep? We know that at least 7 hours of sleep per night is important for weight and appetite control. Even one night of too little sleep increases levels of the appetite hormone ghrelin and boosts cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Plus, chronically not sleeping enough places stress on the body and increases cortisol, another contributor to belly fat. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 60% of women have problems sleeping during and after menopause. Some have problems falling asleep while others experience fragmented sleep with frequent nighttime awakenings. Studies clearly show a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. So, its important to work on sleep hygiene during menopause to avoid weight gain and an increase in belly fat.
Find Out How Menopause May Affect Your Life And What The Canberra Menopause Centre Can Do For You
Based at SHFPACT, the is a dedicated service for those seeking information, support and medical management of menopause symptoms. Menopause is the stage of life when periods cease. This occurs when the ovaries are no longer producing eggs, and is a natural life event. Menopause has three stages: perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause.
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Hormonal Changes Change How Your Body Stores Fat
The hormonal changes that come with menopause may change how your body stores fatfrom storing it around your hips and thighs to your abdominal area. Hormone levels in a menopausal woman can therefore influence body fat or the location where excess weight is stored. Menopause may increase the fat surrounding organs like your liver, intestines and other organs, which is different from subcutaneous fat, the belly fat right beneath the skin. Both may draw extra attention to waist circumference, but visceral fat is associated with certain health risks. While these changes can cause your body to store fat in a different place, they dont necessarily make you more likely to gain weight.1 Weight gain during menopause is more often caused by a combination of lifestyle factors and how our bodies naturally change with age.
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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Menopause Can Cause You To Gain Weight Find Out Why This Is And What You Can Do About It
Hormonal and physical changes during the menopause make many women more likely to gain weight. This can often be a demoralising experience that leads to many encounters with fad diets and other quick fixes. However, our menopause expert Eileen Durward endeavours to explain why drastic dieting is not always the answer and what can be done.
How Do You Stop Weight Gain At Menopause
1) Stabilise blood sugar
When we eat too many refined carbohydrates such as white bread, mashed potatoes, sugary drinks, alcohol, cakes and biscuits, we promote an immediate blood sugar rush. The pancreas is stimulated to secrete large amounts of insulin to regulate the blood sugar. Excess blood sugar over long periods of time eventually leads to insulin resistance.
In general insulin and blood sugar levels are better regulated by a diet of unrefined whole foods that include long-acting carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Complex or unrefined carbohydrates are processed slowly over a longer period of time and require a small amount of insulin for metabolism. A diet high in unrefined carbohydrates helps to balance hormones and alleviate many symptoms of menopause and perimenopause as follows:
- Reduced fatigue, better quality sleep and more energy
- Better ability to sustain exercise
- Clearing of brain fog
- Better ability to build muscle
- Less hunger ability to control portion sizes and cravings
- Less symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
- Clearer skin
3) Exercise more
4) Eat less and eat the right foods
We need 200 fewer Calories per day in our 50s than in our 30s or 40s. We need to eat plenty of lean protein such as chicken and fish, as well as plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. We also need to establish regular eating habits.
Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar including alcohol.
Menopause Weight Gain: A Gp Explains Everything You Should Know
Including the causes and medically-approved ways to slim down
Along with hair loss, brain fog and mood swings, weight gain is one of the more unwelcome symptoms of menopause. But it’s also one of the most common with hundreds of Google searches every month which is why we went straight to a doctor to find out the facts around menopause weight gain.
Dr Cat Hyatt, a GP based in Dorset, often answers questions from female patients in her surgery around menopause weight gain and the reasons for it.
Here, Dr Hyatt explains the biological and behavioural changes that can cause weight gain during perimenopause and menopause and shares the medically-backed suggestions she makes to help women feel themselves again.
Lifestyle Changes May Not Always Be Enough To Control Biologically Driven Body Changes
You spend hours in the gym every day. You eat nothing but grilled chicken, fish, and salads. Yet the numbers on the scale don’t budge or worse, they slowly creep up, along with your waist measurement.
Welcome to menopause.
“The change” actually does bring changes for many women, including weight gain that can resist even the most diligent efforts to reverse it, says Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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Weight Gain & Menopause: What Can You Do
Long gone are the days when you could pair your burger with a milkshake. Now it may seem if you even look at an ice cream cone, it goes right to your waistline. Our mothers dubbed it the middle-age spread and is the common weight gain women experience during menopause.
If you feel like the weight wont budge no matter what, youre not alone. Joylux is a menopause company that aims to help women maintain their intimate wellness during their menopausal years. We can help you uncover why many women experience excess weight gain during menopause and what you can do about it.
Tips For Weight Management
Despite all of the supplements and other supposed solutions to menopause weight gain that are available these days, theres no magic formula for stopping it. Under your doctors supervision, you can minimize menopause-related weight gain with a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating fewer calories, exercising regularly, and building muscle.
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Menopause And Weight Gain Take Their Toll
Due to a change in body fat distribution and increase in waist circumference, menopause can also increase your risk of other health conditions.
Following menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen helps to keep your blood vessels dilated relaxed and open which helps keep your cholesterol levels down.
Without estrogen, or with lower quantities, your bad cholesterol starts to build up in your arteries. This can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Having less estrogen also results in a loss of bone mass, putting you at risk of the disease osteoporosis, which makes your bones more prone to fractures.
Menopause Diet: Foods For Menopause
A menopause diet – which involves eating the right foods for menopause – can help to ease the menopause weight gain we all experience as we reach our mid-life.
So which are the right foods for menopause?
As is correct for anyone hoping to lose weight, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and starchy fibres, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, is always preferable.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, women who are post-menopausal are also at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, so keeping your heart healthy is imperative during and after the life stage. Post-menopausal women should avoid saturated fats, instead replacing them with things like olive and sunflower oils and spreads.
Oily fish should also be eaten twice a week, whilst salt intake should be kept to an absolute minimum. And of course, alcohol should not be consumed to excess – the NHS recommends no more than 14 units a week, with alcohol free days too.
To find out more about the food and supplements you should be taking during the menopause, .
But most importantly, it’s important to remember to love and accept your body as much as you can, even if you are working on improving your health in this way.
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