Menopause is a normal part of every woman’s life. Weight gain during menopause is a common problem that one may experience. There are many reasons behind it. Here are the reason behind weight gain during menopause and ways to tackle it.
Menopause can lead to weight gain in women
- Menopause can bring many changes on a woman’s body
- A woman may gain weight during menopause
- Increase your physical activity during menopause
Menopause is a normal condition that women experience as they grow older. Women go through a series of changes, both mentally and physically, after she stops getting her periods. Women may also gain weight during that period. As they age, they might find it difficult to maintain weight. It has been seen that many women tend to pile up those excess kilos during their menopause transition. It happens because putting on weight is unavoidable during menopause. But it is possible to battle the bulge if one adheres to a healthy lifestyle and inculcating good eating habits.
Reasons behind weight gain during menopause
During menopause, the hormonal changes might make a woman more likely to gain weight around areas like abdomen, hips, and thighs. However, hormonal changes alone are not responsible for piling up those excess kilos during menopause. That weight gain is tied to ageing along with lifestyle and genetic factors. Moreover, the muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while the percentage of fat increases. Losing muscle mass tends to slow the rate at which your body uses calories (BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate). That’s why, it gets it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. If a woman continues to eat as she always has and doesn’t increase her physical activity, she is likely to become fat.
Furthermore, genetic factors can also play a vital role in menopause weight gain. In case, your parents or other close relatives have that extra weight around the belly region than you might also put on those excess kilos. Not only this, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain. This is so because if one fails to get enough sleep then that woman may end up loading herself up with a greater number of calories which can invite weight gain.
Also read: 7 Common Symptoms Of Menopause
Oestrogen levels affect weight during menopause
The most common reason for low oestrogen is menopause. This is when a woman’s reproductive hormones tend to decline, and she stops menstruating. Hence, women may gain weight during that time. As said earlier, one of the reasons why people might gain weight around menopause is fluctuating hormone levels. Oestrogen is a cardio protective hormone and lack of oestrogen can lead to health issues like diabetes and heart disease. They may be less active and have less muscle mass due to those changing oestrogen levels. This indicates that these women burn fewer calories during the daytime.
All you need to know about the problems associated with weight gain after menopause
Menopausal weight gain can invite a plethora of health issues:
- Excess weight, especially around the midsection
- Increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and various types of cancer, including breast, colon and endometrial cancers.
Ways to prevent weight gain after menopause
1. Stay physically active: Start doing aerobic exercise or strength training which will help you lose weight. It is recommended to opt for aerobic activity like brisk walking, jogging for at least 150 minutes a week. Likewise, one should opt for strength training exercises at least twice a week.
2. Inculcate good eating habits: One must eat properly to maintain a healthy weight and watch your calorie intake.
So, to lower calories without compromising on nutrition, pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Here are some tips-
1. Diet should incorporate enough milk and milk products for adequate calcium requirement during this phase of life
2. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains particularly that are less processed and loaded with fiber
3. A plant-based diet is healthier than other options
4. Try opting for legumes, nuts, soy, fish and low-fat dairy products
5. Cutting down on red meat, or chicken can be a good idea
6. Limit your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, flavored water, and tea and coffee
7. Furthermore, other foods like cookies, pies, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream and candy can also be the culprits that may cause weight gain
(Dr. Sanchita Dubey, Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Motherhood Hospital, Noida)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.