Every woman passes through the menopausal stage. It is a phase where the monthly cycle and ovulation stops permanently. Usually menopause phase begins between 40 to 50 years in a menstruating woman. Menopause brings about several changes in a woman’s life; they are both physiological and psychological.
Weight gain is one such problem experienced by many women. The deposition of fat is more around abdomen.Weight gain during menopause is often associated with change in estrogen level, less exercise, slow down of metabolic rate, loss of muscle mass etc.
The good news is that even though you are at risk of gaining weight during menopause, it is not unalterable. Making certain changes in your lifestyle and following them on regular basis will help in maintaining healthy weight.
What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?
There are several factors that contribute weight gain during menopause:
- Estrogen hormone has an influence on distribution of fat especially in women. The estrogen level drops during menopause and studies have shown that reduced level of estrogen is contributory for deposition of fat around waist and abdominal area.
- With growing age the metabolic activities slow down. As a result women have tendency for weight gain.
- As you age you tend to do less physical activity. Body is unable to burn fat as she remains less active.
- Many women during their menopause are stressed. Stress increases production of cortisol hormone. It is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. Raised cortisol level in blood circulation increases your appetite which in turn becomes a reason for accumulation of fat and unwanted weight gain.
- Often as you age your eating habits are altered. Women during this period have less physical activity and more time and freedom to eat food.
Natural Ways To Reduce Menopausal Weight Gain
Menopause comes in every woman’s life. Although there is risk of weight gain during this period, it is not impossible for a woman to reach ideal weight. The only thing required is commitment and modification in her lifestyle. Following certain steps will be beneficial.
- Take a glance at your eating habit. Commit eating well balanced diet. Avoid eating saturated fats and high calorie food. Eat less of sugary products. Avoid eating ice creams, cheese, butter, pastries, fast food and sweets. Reduce the amount of alcohol consumption.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. Include them in your daily diet. Consume whole grains and cereals. Eat lean meat and poultry instead of red meat.
- Instead of three large meals, eat 5 to 6 small meals spreading the portions throughout the day.
- Exercise daily to burn fats and calories to avoid weight gain during menopause. Weight gain is not the only risk during menopause. Osteoporosis and heart problems also increase with menopause. Regular brisk walking, remaining physically active will increase metabolism and help in maintaining overall health.
- Mild weight lifting will help in building lean muscle mass. It helps to burn more calories as well as increase bone density.
- Avoid consuming alcohol and eat small portion of meal at home before you go out to a dinner party.
- To address stress, practice yoga and meditation. It will help in fighting post menopausal depression as well as reduce production of cortisol that triggers unwanted appetite.