Are you experiencing unexpected weight gain during menopause? This can be a very confusing and worrying time, especially when it was never an issue. You may have tried numerous diets and felt frustrated and helpless in the face of this sudden change. While weight gain is a common occurrence for women going through menopause, understanding why it occurs, as well as what steps to take to better manage your weight during this period in life, could help you cope with unnecessary worry or stress regarding your body’s changes.
Read on to learn some helpful information on what may be causing unexpected pounds to creep onto your scale and outlines strategies for taking back control of your body — and health — during this special time in your life!
Weight Gain During Menopause
During menopause, hormones change significantly, which can cause an increase in appetite and cravings for sweet or fatty foods. Metabolism slows down due to a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in fat stores, further contributing to weight gain.
Why Does Weight Gain Occur During Menopause?
One of the main reasons why women gain weight during menopause is hormone changes. During this time, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, and testosterone levels increase. This change in hormones has been linked to an increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain. Additionally, as these hormones decline, so does the body’s metabolism rate, meaning it becomes harder for the body to burn calories as efficiently as before.
Women often experience higher stress levels during this time due to life changes such as children leaving home or retirement from work. Stress can cause an increase in cortisol levels which can lead to a decrease in energy levels and an increase in cravings for unhealthy foods. These dietary changes can contribute to unwanted weight gain during menopause.
As people age, they become less active due to joint issues or other health concerns that make physical activity difficult or uncomfortable. Additionally, older adults tend to consume more processed foods which are often high in sugar and fat content, which can cause unwanted weight gain if not monitored carefully.
As we age, our bodies become less able to absorb nutrients from food as efficiently as when we were younger, so it is important to ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet. Also, many women find that their taste preferences change during menopause, so they may be more likely to reach for unhealthy foods high in sugar or fats instead of healthy options like fruits and vegetables, which can lead to additional weight gain over time.
Some people are predisposed to having higher levels of fat storage which can contribute to increased weight gain over time. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone with a genetic predisposition will struggle with their weight; lifestyle choices still play a large role! Eating healthy and exercising regularly can help counteract genetic influences on your body composition.
How to Combat Weight Gain
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you maintain your weight during menopause. Try to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity is key for maintaining a healthy weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day.
- Manage stress levels: Stress can contribute to increased appetite, leading to unwanted weight gain, so it is essential to manage stress levels through activities such as yoga or meditation.
- Get sufficient sleep: Adequate nightly sleep is essential for overall health and wellness, including proper hormone regulation and metabolic function. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted rest per night.
- Track progress: Monitoring your weight and other health markers can help you stay on top of any changes that occur during menopause. Keep track of your progress in a journal or app!
What Can Help Balance Hormones & Ward Off Weight Loss
- Healthy Fats: Consuming healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can help balance hormones and ward off weight gain.
- Herbs & Supplements: Certain herbs and supplements, like black cohosh and dong quai, may be beneficial for hormone regulation. Talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
- Adaptogenic Foods: Foods with adaptogenic properties, like maca root or ashwagandha, can also help balance hormones during menopause.
- Exercise Modifications: Low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming may be more comfortable during menopause due to joint changes. Additionally, strength training can help improve muscle mass which helps the body burn calories faster!
Let CleopatraRX Help You!
Menopause can be a difficult time for many women. You may experience changes in your body that you don’t understand and aren’t sure how to cope with. Weight gain is a common symptom during menopause, but it doesn’t have to be something you just accept. There are things you can do to manage your weight during this time.
At CleopatraRX, we specialize in helping women through menopause. We offer hormone replacement therapy and other treatments that can help ease the symptoms of menopause, including weight gain. If you’re struggling with managing your weight during menopause, fill out the form below to contact us at CleopatraRX and learn more about our services.