Why Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain?


Women may find it harder to maintain their average weight as they age. A few years before menopause, during the perimenopausal period, weight increase frequently begins. As a woman enters her fifties, she frequently gains weight at a pace of roughly 1.5 pounds each year.

Do you know why menopause weight gain is a common concern among women experiencing this life stage?

It is often attributed to hormonal changes that can slow down metabolism and increase body fat, especially around the abdomen.

Weight gain with menopause is frequent. The good news is that there are methods to lessen weight gain and other menopausal symptoms. You can reduce it by being mindful of healthy eating practices and having an active lifestyle.

Also, Read 10 Best Protein Powder for Weight Gain

Menopause: What is it?

Your last period is during menopause. If you have gone a full year without getting your period, you have achieved menopause. Many women believe that putting on weight coincides with menopause. But age and lifestyle modifications are more likely to be blamed.

When does menopause weight gain begin?

Perimenopause, or the beginning of menopause, is usually the worst. You will continue to experience a menstrual period during perimenopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain could be present, and it could be changing. 

These symptoms, which can begin seven to ten years before menopause, are brought on by changes in your body’s production of progesterone and estrogen hormones. These hormonal changes and other elements may cause rapid weight gain.

When will menopause-related weight gain be over?

The weight won’t keep rising indefinitely. It does become stable. However, we see the most dramatic weight gain during perimenopause and the first few years following the last menstrual cycle, which can harm health and general welfare. 

Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory issues become more likely by the menopausal belly. In addition, the added strain on the joints causes arthritic problems that reduce mobility and make exercise more difficult.

What causes weight gain during menopause?

The various causes of weight gain during menopause are, 

1. Aging-

Women between 45 and 55 typically gain roughly half a kilo per year. Age-related muscle loss slows your metabolism and contributes to weight gain. Therefore, you are likely to put on weight if your diet remains the same.

2. Distribution of fat and estrogen-

The first effect of estrogen on the body is to increase muscle mass, which impacts metabolism or how your body consumes energy. You’re likelier to experience a slowed metabolism during perimenopause and after menopause since less estrogen equals less muscle mass. You don’t need as many calories to maintain the same weight if your metabolism is slower.

Reduced estrogen may also cause your body to store more belly fat than in other parts of your body, a condition known as the “menopause belly.” This can result in increased body fat and a heavier appearance without a change in weight due to the loss of muscle mass.

Also, Read Sauna and Weight Gain or loss: Facts and Tips

3. Signs of menopause-

Menopausal symptoms can make it more difficult to exercise and eat healthily, which may lead to weight gain. These symptoms include hot flashes, poor sleep, and low mood.

4. Pressures from daily life-

Various life stresses can make it challenging to prioritize your health throughout menopause—pressures at work or taking care of aging parents, for instance. Post-menopausal and perimenopausal weight increases are more frequently linked to lifestyle factors. 

Aging naturally results in declines in muscle mass and metabolism, similar to hormone changes. Therefore, it becomes particularly simple to consume more calories than your body requires and to store those additional calories as fat. However, lifestyle elements like what you eat, how much you consume, and how much exercise you receive can impact your weight.

5. Genetics-

Weight gain around menopause may also be influenced by genetics. You will likely develop abdominal obesity if your parents or relatives do.

Also, Read 10 Best Dry Fruits for Weight Gain

Why is it challenging to lose weight during menopause?

Why menopause weight gain is hard to lose varies from person to person, but hormonal changes, slower metabolism, and lifestyle factors can all play a role in this phenomenon. 

Menopause can lead to a slower metabolism and a shift in fat distribution, often causing fat to accumulate around the abdomen. Factors like age-related muscle loss and lifestyle changes can also contribute to the difficulty of shedding excess weight during menopause.

What is the risk of this weight gain?

Weight gain during the menopause might harm your health. Several health problems, particularly those involving your abdomen, are more likely if you are overweight, including:

  • Breathing difficulties.

  • Blood vessels and heart disease.

  • Diabetes type 2.

  • Additionally, carrying extra weight increases your risk of developing malignancies, such as breast, colon, and endometrial cancer.

What can you do to avoid gaining weight during menopause?

Menopause weight gain cannot be stopped or reversed by any miraculous formula. However, adhering to the fundamentals of weight management can assist.

1. Engage in regular exercise-

You can shed additional weight and maintain a healthy weight with physical activity, including aerobic exercise and strength training. Your body burns calories more efficiently when you put on muscle, which makes it simpler to maintain a healthy weight.

Experts advise moderate aerobic exercise for the majority of healthy adults. This involves strong cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging for at least 75 minutes a week and brisk walking for at least 150 to 200 minutes per week.

It is also advised to perform weight training exercises at least twice weekly. Increase your workout regimen to shed weight or achieve specific fitness objectives.

Schedule some time for self-care. Exercise can benefit you when you engage in enjoyable activities. This can involve exercising through hobbies like yoga or gardening. You might sleep better if you move more. It may be simpler to exercise more as a result.

2. Maintain a balanced diet-

Since you now require fewer calories, you should obtain them from whole foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats. They often contain fewer calories than processed foods, and their high nutrient content can help you stay energized even if you need to reduce your calorie intake to meet your goals.

Additionally, you might discover that concentrating on the structure of your diet, such as eating healthy meals at regular intervals and preparing healthy snacks beforehand, is beneficial. An additional tool for finding chances for healthy improvements is keeping a notebook to record your eating and drinking routines.

3. Get adequate rest-

Quality sleep will play a significant role in assisting your body in recovering between exercises if you intend to begin a new exercise regimen based on the above recommendations. Studies, however, also imply that your metabolism may be impacted by how much sleep you get. Sleep deprivation is associated explicitly with higher levels of the hormones ghrelin, which increases appetite, and leptin, which suppresses appetite.

Therefore, it may be helpful to check if you can improve your sleep hygiene by engaging in a relaxation technique like meditation before bed and refraining from liquids for a few hours beforehand if you’re having trouble sleeping due to menopause symptoms.

Also, Read 13 Essential Menopause Self-Care Tip

Does hormone treatment help in reducing weight gain?

Hormone therapy is the most commonly used treatment for hot flashes that lower quality of life. The fat that builds up around the midsection of the abdomen may also be redistributed with this procedure. Visceral fat is the name for that kind of fat. Additionally, hormone therapy may aid in weight management by enhancing sleep, which may result in a move to a healthier lifestyle.

Keep in mind that weight increase during menopause is normal. Accepting the physical changes that come with menopause might benefit your mental well-being. But by altering your eating and exercise routines, you can reduce weight gain. Commit to the making of a healthier you by making lifestyle adjustments.

Conclusion-

There are several changes you’re going through as menopause approaches. Your menstrual cycles are getting less regular. Your mood or sleep is getting worse. And even if your diet or lifestyle choices haven’t changed, you might notice that you’re gaining weight if you’re like many women.

Your physical and mental health may be affected if you suddenly gain weight or have other menopause symptoms. So, if menopause is causing you any discomfort, consult a professional. With a customized care plan, your primary care physician or a women’s health specialist, like an OB-GYN, can assist you in finding relief.

Also, Read How to Manage Symptoms of Menopause at 50?



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