Menopause Weight Gain
As women age often maintaining their usual weight proves more difficult, and many women do gain some weight around the transition into and during menopause. Weight gain associated with menopause is not is avoidable however, and it is reversible with mindful healthy-eating habits mixed with an active lifestyle.
Causes Of Menopause Weight Gain
Hormonal changes associated with menopause may make a woman more apt to gain weight around the abdomen than around her thighs and hips. But, hormonal changes do not necessarily directly cause weight gain during menopause. The weight gain is actually typically related to the aging process, combined with genetic history and lifestyle.
For example, as people age they often lose muscle mass, and body fat has a tendency to increase. As muscle mass diminishes metabolisms slow down accordingly. So, depending on daily activity and lifestyle this can present challenges to maintaining optimal weight. If eating habits are not adjusted to respond to the metabolism slowing down, weight gain is likely.
Genetic factors, such as how close relatives store/carry weight in the abdominal area of the body can indicate how your body might respond. But lifestyle is usually a parallel aspect of this. Lack of exercise and sleep, and unhealthy eating habit can contribute to weight gain at any time of life, but more easily in menopause.
Risks of Weight Gain With Menopause
Weight gain connected to menopause can have some serious health implications. Extra weight, notably in the midsection, can increase risks for many health issues such as breathing issues, type 2 diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease. General excess weight can increase risk for some kinds of cancer such as colon, endometrial, and breast cancers.
Weight Gain Prevention With & After Menopause
While there is no magic or perfect formula for prevention or reversal of weight gain associated with menopause, adhering to to simple weight-control basics can do a lot:
- Increase Physical Activity: Aerobic exercise, stretching, and strength training, can help with weight loss and with maintaining an ideal weight. As muscle mass is gained the body will start to burn calories more efficiently.
- Change Eating Habits: Once in menopause maintaining your current weight can mean consuming about 200 less calories a day than you did earlier in your life. Reduig caloric intake without overlooking nutrition, be mindful of what you are drinking and eating. Consume more vegetables, fruits, super-foods, and whole grains. Choose foods that are less processed. Generally, a plant-based diet is considered healthier than other diets.
- Reduce Sugar Inake: Added sugars are responsible for significantly more calories a day in an average American diet. These added sugars and calories often come from sugar-sweetened beverages, like soft drinks, energy drinks, flavored waters, juices and sweetened tea and coffee. Foods that are high in dietary sugars such as cookies, pies, cakes, candy and ice cream should only be consumed in very small doses, if at all.
- Reduce Alcohol Intake: Alcoholic beverages have lots of sugars in them and so increase caloric intake. Limiting your intake will reduce calories, as well as other possible health benefits.
Successful weight loss, at menopause or during any of life’s stages will require committed changes exercise and dietary habits. Focus on healthy lifestyle changes and enjoy a happier you.