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Will Menopause Make You Gain Weight

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Will It Make Me Fatter Or Fitter

Is Menopause Making You Gain Weight?

Since we often put weight on because our estrogen levels are low, usually we can keep that weight off or, at least, gain less by replacing estrogen. It makes sense, right? But then why do so many women say that they gain; weight on HRT?

Thats the million-dollar question but theres actually a simple and logical answer.

First, lets look at the facts about HRT and weight: A widespread look at HRT, the PEPI trial as well as other smaller studies found that while women on HRT did often put on a few pounds, those women who werent on HRT gained more weight. In fact, some studies have shown that many women actually lose; weight on HRT .

One possible reason: When youre in premature menopause, your estrogen levels drop so your body may try to up its fat content to store and produce as much estrogen as possible.

When you go on HRT during early menopause youre getting the estrogen your body would otherwise have had if youd entered menopause at the normal age.; The replacement of estrogen appears to reduce the bodys inclination to accumulate and store fat.

In addition, when your estrogen levels are low, you tend to put on weight in your middle more like a man. This accounts for the disappearing waistline that so many women in premature menopause experience.

When you replace estrogen, your body may revert to a more normal pre-menopausal weight-distribution, which for most women means putting weight on in their hips, thighs and lower abdomen instead of the middle.

Menopausal Symptoms Also Cause Weight Gain: Muscle Loss Caused By Lack Of Exercise

eAs you have learned already, muscle loss can lead to several other problems, including increased joint pain and be the cause of a lack of motivation for going out and doing exercise. Its also responsible for a lowered metabolism.;

A drop in estrogen levels can snowball into joint pain, lack of exercise, muscle loss and more weight gain. What can you do about it?

Effect Of Hormones On Menopausal Weight Gain

Menopausal weight gain averages about five pounds for many women, with about 20% of women gaining 10 pounds or more. This can begin during the period of perimenopause, a stage during which your estrogen levels begin to change, and progesterone declines in preparation for menopause.;

The age at which perimenopause occurs varies for each woman, ranging from the mid-30s to early 50s. For many women, menopausal symptoms like weight gain occur most intensely during this period.

Research suggests that normal estrogen levels help control body fat before menopause, but women may lose this protection as estrogen levels decline with menopause. The change may also contribute to increased fat storage by affecting the way your body uses sugars and starches, which can make it more difficult to lose weight.

The hormonal changes that occur with menopause can also affect the way your body gains weight. Younger women tend to gain weight around their hips and thighs. After menopause, youre more likely to add pounds around your abdomen, similar to the way men add weight.;

Recommended Reading: How Can A Menopausal Woman Lose Belly Fat

How Can You Lose Menopause Weight Gain

You can lose menopause weight gain the same way you can lose weight that isnt associated with menopause.

Restrict calories with a healthy diet. Exercise regularly, and aim for a combination of aerobic exercise to burn calories and strength training to build muscle. Prioritize your sleep.

Lastly, reduce stress. Stress can lead to things like overeating, excessive alcohol use, sleep disturbances, and other issues that can lead to weight gain.

Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help You Lose Weight

The Real Reason Menopause Can Make You Gain Weight

At this point, theres no solid evidence that taking or using hormones in prescription form can make a meaningful difference on the scale. Thats because an HRT regimen of estrogenor a combination of estrogen and progesteroneis aimed at improving quality of life, not melting pounds. Its used to manage menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness, Dr. Faubion says. Your doctor can help you determine whether HRT is a good choice for you by ensuring you fully understand the potential benefits and health risks.

Read Also: What Is The Last Period Before Menopause Like

Creating A Bujo For Habit Tracking

Every new habit has to be cultivated with attention and care – humans might be creatures of habit, but getting into a habit might call for some coaxing, self-control, and inspiration. If youre the type of person that gets inspired by artsy projects, maybe its time to look into starting a Bujo – or a bullet point journal.;

You can customize your goals, habits, and rewards any way you want – and besides, investing your time and creativity into a creative habit tracker will motivate you to keep up your new habits, even though its hard at the beginning.;

If you dont get a kick out of doodling, keeping track of your data can still be very helpful. Download a habit tracker app, or use a simple Google Calendar to set daily habit reminders. You can do it!;

This habit tracking calendar can be replaced with an app, or a pocket calendar if you prefer. The key is consistency!

So Why Should You Worry About Weight Gain During Menopause

Addressing weight gain isnt just about aesthetics. Increases in body fat and abdominal fat, in particular, can lead to a greater likelihood that a woman will develop certain health problems, including the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer

Menopausal and postmenopausal women who have excess fat around the midsection may also be more prone to breathing problems. They may find that they have less stamina than they once did as well.

Also Check: What Is The Male Version Of Menopause

The Choice Is Yours How Will You Experience Perimenopause

We cant avoid growing older, and perimenopause will hit, maybe sooner than you realized. ;But you dont have to throw up your hands and accept changes you dont want like weight gain. ;Be proactive, make a commitment to yourself, and choose another way! You can change the course youre on at any moment and learn to maintain a healthy, happy body throughout menopause and beyond!

Reviewed by;Dr. Mark Menolascino, MD

Menopausal Weight Gain: How To Get Your Body Back

Menopause weight gain 7 reasons youre piling on the pounds

It is estimated that the average weight gain during menopause is about 10 to 15 pounds. Well, I must not be average, because I gained almost 30 pounds in less than a year when I slammed into menopause! Frustrated that I could not find a solution, I sacrificed myself as a human guinea pig and figured out how to lose it all in just 12 weeks.

To be successful, weight loss during menopause demands a new strategy. It takes more than cutting calories to lose weight during this life transition! I was surprised to discover, according to new research, that for many women menopausal weight gain is not entirely their fault.

The first culprit is aging. Both men and women lose muscle mass as they age, which can lower the body’s resting metabolism, therefore increasing the risk of weight gain and accumulating body fat around the waist.

Many women become less physically active in their 40s, 50s and 60s because life is busy; it’s a challenge to find time to schedule exercise. Less activity means less muscle mass, which means weight gain.

Now get ready for the double whammy: Aging plus hormone changes.

Studies claim that the perimenopause transition may contribute to increased fat in the abdomen, changing a woman’s shape from a pear to an apple with more of the fat disturbed around the waist. Here’s proof that weight loss is an uphill battle.

The list continues. Grab a glass of wine and settle in:

Food can set you free:

  • Fiber is your friend keeping you feeling full longer and regular.
  • Read Also: How To Control Menopause Mood Swings

    Weight Gain In Menopause: Why Does It Happen And What Can You Do

    All too often the “change of life” results in unwelcome changes in the number on the bathroom scale. Many women find that no matter how sensible their diet or how frequently they exercise, they still start packing on the pounds once menopause begins.

    This problem is primarily driven by estrogen loss that occurs during menopause. Estrogen loss causes a number of health issues, one of which is deterioration of muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, less muscle also means fewer calories burned, all of which adds up to a recipe for a slower metabolism.

    Speaking with CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, Dr. Lori Warren, a gynecologist and a partner with Women First of Louisville, said weight gain is one of the top complaints among her patients.

    “As a gynecologist one of the biggest things I’m asked is, ‘What is going on with this weight gain as I’m aging and going through menopause,'” she said. “And it kind of creeps up on women and all of the sudden they’re angry about it when they come in for an annual visit and they’ve gained 10 pounds and they say, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me that I might gain weight?'”

    Women need to understand that eating and exercising the same way they have in the past may not be good enough as they age.

    Hire A Personal Trainer

    Even if you have to splurge, there is nothing like a few sessions with a professional to set you right. Youll gain new confidence when you go to the gym – or if you prefer to exercise at home, you will get great tips on how to do so to the fullest extent of at-home possibilities.;

    Quite a lot of trainers specialize in an exercise that helps with menopause symptoms and is aimed at women who experience menopause.;

    Make sure to see who the right person is in your area!;

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    As If The Hot Flashes Mood Swings Night Sweats And Sexual Challenges Weren’t Enough Now You Can Add Weight Gain To The Menopausal Whammy

    As if the hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and sexual challenges weren’t enough, now you can add weight gain to the menopausal whammy. ;

    That’s right. In case you hadn’t noticed , women tend to gain about 10 to 15 pounds on averagefrom 3 to 30 pounds is the typical rangeduring and after menopause. And because our entire metabolic mechanism is different now, that weight is blessedly hard to take off.

    “I feel like my body has betrayed me,” said one of my patients.

    “Prior to menopause I was able to maintain a weight loss of 70 pounds. I see that 25 pounds have come back and nothing I seem to do is helping,” said another woman.

    Weight gain during menopause isn’t totally related to “the change.” Lifestyle, genetics, and, yes, hormonal fluctuation all play their respective roles, for better or for worse. But the weight goes on, and the way that happens is different from weight gain in previous years.

    So, if you’re accustomed to losing weight easilyor not gaining it in the first placethis development may come as a puzzling and unpleasant surprise. And if you struggle with your weight, be forewarned: The deck is about to be reshuffled, and that struggle may become harder yet.;

    The single bright spot is that you’re in a very big boat with a lot of other menopausal galsup to 90 percent of us gain weight during this transition, according to this article.

    Menopausal weight gain is different because:

    Why does this happen?;

    What Home Remedies Are There For Weight Gain

    Why You Gain Weight During Menopause: Ovation Wellness ...

    Most women try to counteract the weight gain at home, and if this is done correctly can be the most effective means of preventing the weight from building up.

    • Be careful with your diet what you eat is going to have a significant impact on your weight. Eat a healthy balanced diet containing plenty of protein, low starch vegetables and fruit which dont have a high quantity of sugar, such as pears and berries. Drastic dieting is unlikely to get you anywhere, as the chances of putting the weight you lost and more back on are fairly high. It is not good for your body. Maintaining a healthy diet is a more effective and healthier option
    • Keep your muscles toned – muscle is more effective at burning calories than fat. When you go through the menopause, your muscle mass naturally decreases, causing you to gain weight. Keeping your muscles toned is more effective at keeping the weight off than crash dieting
    • Exercise be honest with yourself about how much exercise you are really doing each day, especially in comparison with when you were 20 or 30 years younger. Exercise is the most effective way of burning calories with swimming, cycling or walking being among the most beneficial.

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    Ways To Beat Menopause Weight Gain

    As you enter midlife, you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more of a challenge. The hormonal changes of menopause can lead to extra weight gain around the belly area.

    Hormonal changes are not the only things that contribute to weight gain. Aging, lifestyle and genetic factors also play a significant role. As you age, you tend to lose muscle mass and gain more fat. This, in turn, decreases your metabolism. Therefore, if you continue to eat the same way you did when you were younger and do not increase your activity level, you will inevitably gain weight.

    Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating and lack of sleep may also contribute to menopausal weight gain. Hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, increase when you do not get enough sleep. Oftentimes, this results in increased snacking and calorie consumption. There are genetic factors as well. If your parents or other relatives tend to carry more weight around the middle, it is more likely that you will too.

    Menopause weight gain affects more than just your physique and how you feel physically. It can also affect your health. Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and various types of cancers. ;Here are five steps you can take to make weight loss easier during this time:

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    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.;

    Read Also: How To Relieve Menopause Symptoms Naturally

    Muscle And Bone Density Loss

    Lower estrogen levels not only can increase body weight but can also .

    According to a 10-year, multi-ethnic study on more than 800 premenopausal women, women lost around 10% of their bone density related to menopause, with 7% of the loss occurring during the perimenopausal and early menopausal years.

    Furthermore, menopause is associated with lower muscle mass. Studies suggest that women suffer a 1.17% muscle mass decrease and a 0.6% muscle strength reduction per year after menopause. Lower muscle mass is associated with,; making it easier to gain weight.

    Lower estrogen levels also lead to lower bone density,; leading to osteopenia or osteoporosis. This in turn leads to a higher risk of fractures, and poorer muscle performance, factors that make it harder for women to exercise, leading to increased weight gain and fat build-up.

    Eat Lean Clean And Green

    Perimenopause Weight Gain | What can you do about it?

    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 lean means reducing inflammatory fats like vegetable oils. Lean meats, fish, and healthy fats will provide energy and brain food.

    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.

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    A Guide To Menopause And Weight Gain

    It seems like women can’t catch a break – the period in their lives when menopause occurs usually coincides with other life events that can cause anxiety and stress – changes in career, taking care of aging parents, the empty nest syndrome, and the sudden realization that they won’t be young forever.

    ”The ’50s is a kind of fulcrum decade, a turning point in the aging process during which people, more sharply than before, are made to feel their age, says renowned sociologist David Karp, founder of Tumblr, who has spent years studying how hormonal and lifestyle transitions affect menopausal/middle-aged women.

    Why Is Menopause Weight Management Important

    There are a few important reasons for concentrating on weight management during menopause. While you could have gotten by having extra pounds in your younger years, its the post-menopausal years when you start seeing the effect of all that additional weight on your body.

    Whats more, once the process of menopausal weight gain is out of control, its hard to stop. There are a lot of associated risks of being overweight or obese for post-menopausal women in particular.;

    • Being overweight after menopause increases your chances ofinflammation, and having inflammation-related problems withjoint and ligament pain.;
    • Cardiovascular disease caused by obesity is the leading cause of death in post-menopausal women.
    • Increased weight putsstress on a weakened skeletal system, making it more prone tofractures.
    • Skeletal muscle is the largest insulin-responsive tissue in the body. Its loss leads toinsulin resistance and creates a cycle thats extremely hard to stop –muscle loss and fat gain. In turn, further fat gain leads to more insulin resistance.
    • Accumulation in belly fat causesoxidative stress and an increase in proinflammatory adipokines – also leading to insulin resistance.;

    Read on about how to get started with weight gain management during menopause.

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