Menopause and Weight Gain

When a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, the opposite thing can happen to her appetite. It can increase! Experts have said that a menopausal woman can increase their appetite up to 67%. That’s a big increase! In addition, menopause and the increase in appetite is usually coupled with a slower metabolism, which naturally results in weight gain. This is the common reason why many menopausal women find themselves gaining weight, even if they were slim and healthy in their youth. The decrease in the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced, certainly can lead to many changes in a woman’s body, including weight gain. So too can other hormones. 

Hormones and Their Affect on Weight Gain

Estrogen

When a woman’s estrogen levels decline, her body works hard to counteract this problem by converting calories into fat. It does this in the hope of increasing the production of estrogen again. Unfortunately, the body’s fat cells are not capable of burning calories like muscle cells do and weight gain is the result.

Androgen

During the early stages of menopause, the hormone androgen increases, making it one of the culprit hormones for creating excess weight to the woman’s mid-section. This occurrence, which is accepted as being a part of menopause, is where the term ‘middle-age spread’ began.

Testosterone

The testosterone hormone plummets when a woman reaches menopause. This leads to muscle loss and a downward shift in a woman’s metabolism. This is because testosterone is crucial for the production of lean muscle mass. Calories consumed are used for this process. However, as testosterone levels drop along with the rate of metabolism, a woman’s waist circumference increases as the calories consumed are not being made into muscle, they are being stored as fat.

To control excess weight gain, you can take control. Once you know that menopause is on its way, be proactive by making necessary lifestyle changes.

• Evaluate Your Daily Diet

If you were not too conscious about what you ate in the past, now is the time to take note. Ask yourself a few questions in regard to your diet. Do you need to cut down on carbohydrates? Have you been eating more cake and less meat and plant-based foods? Is your caloric intake more than what your body needs daily? It is only when you take the time to evaluate your daily diet that you can make the necessary changes.

• Increase Your Physical Activity

Does your job require you to sit for eight hours a day? If so, then it would be wise for you to look for ways on how you can increase your physical activity as much as possible. If you can’t fit any physical activity in during work hours, then make sure you do some sort of aerobic activity when you can. Even using the stairs, instead of taking the elevator, is a great start. If you can, try to engage in strength training to further improve your metabolism and gain more muscle mass. It will keep osteoporosis at bay too!

• Be Checked for Thyroid Issues

If you do see yourself gaining weight, despite your tender-loving self-care towards your diet and exercise plan, it would be a good idea to make a visit to see your health care professional.

 
They may check (or you can ask to be checked) to see if you have any thyroid health issues. Symptoms of a thyroid problem may be there but be mistaken as just a part of getting older.

• Get your hormone levels checked

We offer discounted lab testing to determine your current hormone levels and methods to correct or restore those hormone levels including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, nutritional supplements, and non-hormone medications to manage side effects of hormone imbalances.


Just remember that gaining weight is not an absolute! You can keep your weight in a healthy range if you take the steps to help yourself. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help. Take control of your own health as it’s your responsibility. Contact us today for more information on ways to manage weight loss associated with menopause and other hormone imbalances! Visit us to learn more...

Marian S
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