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?
The weight gained during menopause can negatively impact your health in many ways. Considering that the fat gets stored around the mid-section, women who gain a significant amount of weight during menopause are more likely to develop health issues like –
• Type 2 diabetes
• Heart disease
• Blood vessel complications
• Breathing problems
• Increased risk of breast, colon, and endometrial cancer
How can women tackle menopausal weight gain?
The lowered metabolism that comes with menopause is the main culprit behind weight gain. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to follow a healthy diet. Eating smaller portions of food and maintaining a well-balanced diet can keep the body functioning smoothly. Women must also limit their sugar and alcohol intake. In addition to this, it is very important to add more daily movement to keep the body healthy. Including a 30-45-minute walk into your daily schedule can keep your heart healthy, while burning off the excess calories and helping you maintain an ideal weight.
Menopausal weight gain can prove to be dangerous if not treated early on. To know more about how you can manage menopausal weight gain, refer to our ‘Metabolic Balance’ program for effective weight loss.