Is It True That Menopause Causes Women to Gain Weight?

menopause cause weight gain

Have you ever heard that menopause cause weight gain? You can be sure you are not alone. Women usually undergo menopause at an average age of 51 years. Many start off their menopause at age 45 to 55. Statistics show that women gain weight when they are in their menopausal years (averagely around age 50 to 59). 

Studies show that a woman at this age gains a pound per year. With such statistics, many end up concluding that the weight gain is as a result of menopause. In this article we seek to get a clear understanding of whether it is menopause that causes the addition of weight among menopausal women or there could be some other factors, there are some facts about menopause that you should know.

Shift in Fat Storage from Hips to Stomach

menopause cause weight gain

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During the puberty years, more fat is deposited around the thighs so that there is more broadening of the thighs. This is also as a result of the rising estrogen hormone levels in the body during puberty. But with the coming in of menopause, the levels of estrogen start to deplete. Hormonal imbalance in women is common during this phase. At the point of menopause with very low estrogen, the body starts to deposit more fat around the abdomen area. 

Scientific explanation says that the body views fat that is especially in the abdomen region as a possible source of estrogen and therefore more and more fat continues to be deposited. So definitely there is a shift in the way the body carriers the weight but this may not necessarily affect the amount of weight carried in the body. 

Unfortunately, weight gain around the abdominal area is associated with many health risks such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. 

With advancing age, especially during the menopausal phase, metabolism rate reduces, which contributes to the impending weight. 

Factors That Lead to Weight Gain

menopause cause weight gain

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Sleep

Many adults around the age of menopause have great difficulty falling asleep and even remaining asleep. This could in turn affect the appetite during the day. Most women complain of feeling hungry before meals and feel less full even after eating. For adults, it is important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 

The Composition of the Body

This refers to the composition of bone, water, muscle and fat comprising a particular body. With aging muscle mass decreases whereas fat increases. This change translates to a slowed down metabolism for a woman. This means fewer calories are burned and more fat is deposited on the stomach region.

Physical Activity

Physical activity directly affects the amount of calories that the body burns. An increased level of physical activity will translate to less weight gain. Strength training results in building muscle mass and their more calorie burn for the body. It is important for middle aged women to do 150 minutes of aerobic exercises every week and also 2 sessions of strength exercises.

Eating Patterns

Eating habits directly affect the amount of weight gained by any individual. By menopause time, there are a lot of changes that occur in the lives of menopausal women. For instance, many adults already have their children old enough to be on their own and therefore have an empty nest life. 

This could radically affect how one takes in their meals. Some women may fail to eat dinner or breakfast as regularly as they did when the children were around. Such inconsistencies could slow down metabolism.

Another point to consider is that at this point there is not as much activity as before but there is a great possibility for a woman to continue taking in the same portions of food as before. The excess calories are deposited as fat around the belly and contribute more to weight gain.

It is important that a menopausal woman watches out for the amounts of portions she takes in and be sure to eat 3-4 small meals a day consistently so as to put a check on weight gain.

Stress

During menopause, there is a reduction in the supply of estrogen and therefore less control of the hormone cortisol. This may lead to higher levels of appetite as well as more stress.

Managing Weight Gain During Menopause

menopause cause weight gain

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It is important to manage your weight especially during menopause so as to avoid diseases. Below are few measures that you can follow:

Eat Healthy

A healthy diet plan can work wonders in preventing menopause-induced weight gain. Besides, it is always good for your overall well-being.

To start with, ensure you have a balanced meal with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, diary that are low in fats and take in healthy fats. Foods with isoflavines like soya, tofu and edamane are sure to supply the plantform of estrogen there causing less fat deposits of fats around the belly. Critically consider quitting alcohol.

Portion Control

Read the food labels and be sure to serve proper portions; half of your plate should have non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of the plate whole grains and another quarter of lean meat.

Also Read: Zero Calorie Foods: 13 Low-Calorie Foods That Are Surprisingly Filling

Exercise

Simple aerobic exercises can be tremendously helpful in keeping that weight gain in check. Pick up light and moderate exercises for thirty to forty minutes that can be easily managed and fitted in your daily routine. In fact, it can also be useful in maintaining your bone health and boosting your metabolism activity. You could alternatively try newer ways such as yoga to improve your quality of life post-menopause.

Supplements

If you’re struggling with post-menopausal weight, you could try some of the top menopause supplements to ease some of the symptoms and avoid putting on excessive weight. 

To sum up, some lifestyle changes and enough sleep can help reduce the chances of weight gain before, during, or after menopause. Supplements such as Menoquil can help in managing menopause-associated symptoms. Menopause is a crucial phase that affects mental health too and weight gain may hamper self-confidence. It would be prudent to seek help from a doctor if you’re struggling with any of these symptoms.