Menopause and weight gain are closely associated with each other. Women undergoing menopause seem to suffer the unwelcome results of weight gain. Nearly every woman struggles through it during perimenopause and menopause. A woman gaining from 10 to 15 pounds during this stage in her life is not unusual. What makes it even worse is that various studies also show that weight gain before and during menopause can actually increase the risk of breast cancer in women.
There are many factors involved that allow women to gain weight during menopause. One of them is hormonal changes with age. During menopause, women begin to experience having lower levels of estrogen in the body. Estrogen has been linked to weight gain in menopausal women along with the decreasing levels of testosterone.
Another factor that has a role in weight gain among menopausal women is the development of insulin resistance. This can occur during the menopausal years when the body becomes inefficient in metabolizing every calorie taken in, eventually converting it into fat. Eating mostly processed and refined foods can make the body resistant to insulin that is being produced in the bloodstream over time. This is being cited as one of the causes of weight gain in women after the age of 40.
Another probable reason for weight gain in women during menopause is stress. Stress is a major factor involved in weight gain during menopause. When stress hormones are produced in the body, they signal it to go into storage mode, making weight loss even more difficult. The stress hormones enable the body to undergo what is also known as the “famine effect”. In this stage, the stress hormones lead the body into thinking that it won’t be getting food again for a long time so that it shifts to storing every calorie it takes in, thus causing weight gain.
It can be very difficult for women to undergo weight loss during menopause. What most women can do is to learn how to accept weight gain during menopause as a natural thing. Weight gain during this period of a woman’s life is not entirely bad. Weight gain may even provide some good. A little weight gained may help in lessening anxiety as well as hot flashes that are also the usual symptoms that is associated with menopause. Weight gain during menopause is also a means of the body to prepare itself from osteoporosis or other types of illnesses.
There is a way that women may be able to do in trying to keep weight gain during menopause in check. Eating a balanced diet may help make weight gain during menopause a benefit instead of a burden. Women should avoid the consumption of refined sugars as well as processed foods and instead fill up their daily diet with fruits and vegetables.
Women undergoing menopause and weight gain should also try to avoid crash diets. It will only make things even worse as starving the body will only cause one’s metabolism to slow down and cause even more weight to be gained in the process. In the same way, women during this stage in their lives should avoid losing large amounts of weight.
Drastic weight loss or becoming very thin during menopause can result in increased risks of developing osteoporosis later on. Remaining active may help in increasing metabolism and burn some of the fats in the body during or after menopause.