A lot of women who experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 will notice several changes in their bodies and how they feel about themselves. The changes in hormone production within the body can significantly impact how the body responds to menopause.
One the complaints around the menopause transition is that weight gain being uncontrollable. Although not all women experience menopausal weight gain, a majority of them do, and there are quite a few reasons for the same.
What causes menopausal weight gain?
• Inactive lifestyle
By the time women reach their 50s, they have several responsibilities to look after, which may not leave them with enough time for exercise. Lack of enough physical activity and movement can cause women to gain weight. Add to this a poor diet, and women will notice significant weight gain in their abdomen region, as compared to hips and thighs.
• Loss of muscle mass leads to low metabolism
As we grow older, we tend to lose muscle mass, and our body tends to hold on to the fat we consume. Lower muscle mass slows down the rate at which the body utilizes the calories we consume – leading to a significant decrease in our metabolism. When the metabolism is affected, it becomes harder to maintain an ideal weight.
• Fluctuating estrogen levels
Menopause affects the female hormone estrogen by lowering its production in the body. Decreased estrogen levels can impact the body’s metabolism and slow down the rate at which the body uses stored energy. The body does not use blood sugar effectively, making it hard to lose weight.
Other genetic factors also determine how much weight a woman gains when she hits menopause.
What are the risks associated with menopausal weight gain?