What is menopause?
Menopause is the state which marks the end of the fertility for women. Menopause is said to occur when the women doesn’t have menstrual cycles for 12 consecutive months. During and after menopause, various changes occur in a woman body. One of the profound and commonly observed change is weight gain.
Why women gain weight during and after menopause?
Women going through menopause or after menopause tend to gain weight. Post-menopausal weight gain can be attributed to several factors which act conjointly:
- Insulin is the hormone which assists in fat storage in the body. The more insulin the
body has, the more fat it retains. Estrogen helps combat spikes in insulin. But the level of
estrogen declines as before and during menopause it results in fat storage.
- A decrease in physical activity also leads to weight gain. With aging, muscle mass
reduces and fat increases. The rate of the muscle mass loss is directly proportional to the
rate at which the body utilizes calories. Therefore, maintenance of healthy weight
becomes increasingly difficult if the women continue to eat as per previous diet habits
and does’nt increase her physical activity.
- Another symptom of menopause is troubled sleeping, which is further linked to weight
- With increasing age, women become insulin resistant which makes weight loss more
- Genetic factors can also contribute to the menopausal weight as it runs in families.
- During the midlife when the menopause occurs, women are likely to take medications for
various disorders. Medicines like antidepressants have also been proven to promote
Why it is essential to lose menopausal weight?
Menopausal weight gain may lead to several critical effects on a woman’s health. It increases the likelihood of development of cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and certain cancer types specifically the hormone dependent. Losing the weight can reverse many of these complications and improve the prognosis of diseases.
Why is it difficult to lose the menopausal weight?
Losing weight becomes even more challenging after menopause as the previous steps taken for weight loss tend not to work after menopause. A range of factors including Hormone changes, stress and the aging process act as barrier in weight loss.
How to lose the menopausal weight?
One of the most crucial aspect to remember for managing menopausal weight is lifestyle modification. It comprises of dietary habits, behavioral changes and regular physical activity.
As it is read and heard several times that a calorie deficit is required to lose weight, yet it remains toughest to achieve. Specifically, during and after menopause, number of calories a woman burns during rest, reduces. Therefore, it becomes essential to become more active physically.
Instead of drastically cutting down calories, it is recommended that women should practice dietary restraint, such as watching portion sizes. This is because limiting calories to low levels causes loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate. It may also lead to bone loss which increases the risk of osteoporosis. It is also advised to limit alcohol intake as they increase the calorie count.
Successful weight loss at any stage of life requires permanent changes in diet and exercise habits. It must be remembered that that your body is the only place you live in and therefore it must be taken care of very well.