Dealing with Menopause Weight Gain
Weight gain might just be one of the most common complaints of women as they transition into menopause. As your age pushes past 50, it may seem like maintaining your pre-menopause weight becomes more and more difficult.
But while gaining weight as you enter your menopausal years seem inevitable, it doesn’t have to be. Today, we’re talking about the causes of menopause weight gain, the risks associated with it, and how you can keep your body weight in check for a healthier you. Read on for our menopause weight loss tips!
Understanding the Link Between Menopause and Weight Gain
Menopause is a normal part of aging for women. During the years leading up to it, women will experience symptoms such as changes in their monthly cycles and hot flashes as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
This menopausal transition (also called perimenopause), can affect women in various ways. This may include changes in the way the body uses energy and the way it stores fat cells. Physically, this may manifest as weight gain particularly around the abdominal area.
There can be a number of factors that contribute to weight gain around menopause, including but not limited to:
· Aging. As we grow older, we tend to lose lean muscle mass. In turn, the body slows the rate at which it burns calories. This can make it easier to put on extra kilos and more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
· Hormones. Declining estrogen levels can contribute to the accumulation abdominal and visceral fat as you go through menopause.
· Reduced Physical Activity. Older adults are less likely to consider engaging in regular exercise. This reduction of physical activity lowers the rate at which our bodies burn calories. When compounded overtime, this sedentary lifestyle can contribute to weight gain in your menopausal years.
· Sleep Issues. Menopause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, and increased anxiety can affect the quality of your sleep. Research suggests that lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain.
How to Prevent Weight Gain During Menopause
Gaining an unhealthy amount of weight as we age can have serious implications on our health. Excess fat, especially around our mid-section with menopause weight gain, can increase our risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
However, there are certain lifestyle changes you can do to keep the unwanted weight off during this time. This includes:
Engaging in Physical Activity
Moving more makes it easier to control your weight. You should always remember to do physical activities such as walking to keep your body burning calories efficiently.
Consume Fewer Calories
The key to menopause weight loss (or at any age) is maintaining a caloric deficit. This means you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products to keep your body nourished without racking up extra calories.
Be Mindful of Your Sugar Intake
Excess dietary sugar from sugar-sweetened beverages and from desserts like cookies, pies, cakes, and doughnuts can significantly increase your caloric intake and cause unwanted weight gain during menopause. Make sure to eat them sparingly to keep the unwanted weight off.
Doing some self-care
It doesn't have to be your birthday or Valentines day to do some self-care. You must schedule some time for it every week! Self-care and self-love are very important for mental wellness especially during this time when your body goes through a lot of changes.
Talk to Your Doctor
Reaching out to a healthcare professional for your concerns about your body during menopause can be very beneficial. They can give you useful advice on nutrition and exercise and they may also help with determining if you need certain medication to prevent becoming overweight.
Losing weight and keeping healthy during menopause and beyond
Menopause can be one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life particularly in the aspect of controlling their weight. Factors such as hormonal changes, aging, and lower quality sleep can contribute to the accumulation of fat and menopause weight gain.
When left unchecked, this can lead to higher risks for health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, certain forms of cancer, and even heart disease.
The good news is with adequate lifestyle changes, you can prevent the negative effects of menopausal weight gain and even keep the unwanted fat off. You just have to be mindful of your eating habits and your exercise levels. Don’t forget to seek medical help especially if you are concerned about your health during his time.
Another thing that really helps is having a good support system during this time. Aside from family and friends, you need a community that understands you and your needs. This is where we can step in. Here at BodySlims, we have a supportive community (just check out our Facebook page!) that encourages one another as we journey together to work on the best version of ourselves, and yes, even during menopause!
Interested to be a part of the BodySlims community and start your transformation?
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