Menopause & Weight Gain
As if weight gain isn’t something millions of women already struggle with on a daily basis, menopause shows up and packs a double whammy. As you get older, maintaining your usual weight is already difficult, but along with menopause come hormonal changes that can make you more likely to gain weight right where you dread it – around your abdomen.
What causes weight gain during menopause?
Once again, you can blame weight gain on your diminishing estrogen levels. Animal studies have shown that estrogen regulates body weight, and with lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be active less. Diminished estrogen levels may also lower your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body converts stored energy into working energy.
Weight gain during menopause can’t just be blamed on hormones alone, though. It’s also related to a variety of lifestyle factors. Menopausal women often exercise less than other women – possibly due to their fatigue and other symptoms – and muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. Since muscle burns fat, your body is burning less calories than it used to on a daily basis.
What can you do?
The good news is that weight gain with menopause isn’t inevitable. You can fight back with a healthy diet and regular exercise. As in every stage in your life, menopause is an important time to pay attention to leading an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet. Stick to healthy habits, and you can put a halt to unwanted weight gain.
- Exercise regularly
- Make healthy food choices
- Sign up for fun aerobic classes, like Zumba
- Hang out with friends and family with a healthy mind-set