As women grow older, many experience menopause weight gain. When both men and women get older and less active, there is a tendency to gain weight but there is something unique about the menopause for women.
This happens because a women’s body produces less estrogen, the female hormone, in the post menopausal stage of her life. The distribution of weight on a woman’s body changes at this time to be more like a man’s which means that it is focused on the belly rather than the hips. Low estrogen may also be the reason for some extra weight gain, or at least a tendency to put on weight more easily. Dieting can become more of a struggle, too.
Weight and the Menopause.
Post menopause weight gain does not mean that you should stop trying to have a healthy body within a normal weight range. It is possible to avoid menopause weight gain if you are mindful of the potential problems and resist the temptation to eat too many high calorie foods. It is also important to keep up your levels of exercise.
This is important for other reasons as well as avoiding menopause weight gain. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy heart at a time of life when the risk of heart attack for women rises significantly. Women of childbearing age who have fat on their hips rather than their belly have a lower risk of heart attack than men, but that changes at the menopause when more fat is stored on the torso.
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT can prevent these changes and help you to avoid menopause weight gain. However, it is only available in consultation with your doctor and it is not recommended for everybody because there can be other risks associated with it. Besides, you cannot put off the menopause forever.
Avoiding Menopause Weight Gain.
1. Eat healthy with more fresh vegetables and fruit and less foods which contain fat and sugar, like processed and packaged foods.
2. Exercise regularly and maintain your muscle mass with strength workouts. It’s natural that you tend to exercise a little less as you grow older, but it’s important not to stop. Muscle that is not taken care of will turn to fat.
3. Try to accept that there will be some changes in your body at this time. If your weight is within the normal range, do not worry if your weight increases a little. This is redistribution of weight, not gain. If you are overweight, avoid crash diets and find a healthy eating plan that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
No matter what stage you are in life, the healthiest option for losing weight is to make changes that will allow you to lose weight slowly on a healthy eating plan that does not ban any foods completely, but allows you to incorporate occasional treats.
If you suffer from any health conditions, do consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss or fitness program. Your doctor will also be able provide more advice on menopause weight gain and what is best for your individual circumstances.