Menopause Weight Gain: How to Avoid Gaining Weight During Menopause
Menopause is the time in which a woman's menstral cycle ends. It is determined when a woman has not had her menstrual cycle for one year and typically occurs in the mid-fifties. There are many symptoms that are associated with menopause including hot flashes, mood changes, difficulty sleeping and weight gain.
Reasons for Weight Gain
Weight gain can begin when women experience peri-menopause. It is a common problem in women who are menopausal. Women can gain an average one pound per year and with hormone levels out of control, it is difficult for women to maintain a healthy weight. Hormones change the way in which your body stores and breaks down fat causing quick and easy weight gain. Age is also a factor in the equation of weight gain at menopause. As women age they are less active and their metabolism slows down. Menopause lowers the amount of energy a woman has, making it difficult to get motivated. Other explanations for the weight gain include:
- Less exercise while menopausal: More is needed as one grows older
- More food intake which can turn to fat if not used for energy: the extra calories that are turning to fat need to be used because the less inactive a person is the less muscle they will have.
Muscle is need to burn fat and the smaller amounts of it the more fat there will be. Genetics are another reason for weight gain. A person is more likely to be heavier if family members were at the same point in their lives.
Why You Should Avoid Weight Gain
Weight gain should be avoided at all costs due to the damaging tolls it takes on a person's overall health. Higher weight can lead to higher levels of cholesterol which is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and problems with insulin which can be risky for developing type II diabetes. Another serious risk in weight gain while menopausal is breast cancer.
Avoiding Weight Gain During Menopause
There are various ways to avoid weight gain during menopause which include:
- Getting exercise regularly, which could include doing things you already enjoy. For example, if you walk, go a longer distance or walk at a faster pace. Make a goal of getting at least 30 minutes of movement each day. The more muscle built the more fat it will burn.
- Decrease the amount of calories taken in each day. Metabolism already slows as a person gets older; therefore your body needs less. Be aware of when your hunger is satisfied and do not overeat.
- Change overall diet. Lower amounts of dietary fat. Foods with these have high amounts of fat which are high in calories. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help cut calories.
Weight gain can be difficult when menopause takes place but can also be avoided if the right steps are taken. Being aware of the problem is half the battle; women are vulnerable to it while in that stage of their lives. Weight gain during menopause can be stopped if the right measures are taken by being active and eating right. Sources: http://health.discovery.com/centers/womens/menopause/mplifestyle.html http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128 http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/HQ/01076.html