Menopause is inevitable. And whether women like it or not, the hormonal imbalance and the effects it comes along with is just as inevitable as the age and condition that causes it. The phase is known to be the cause of the sudden swings in the mood and the commonly drastic changes in the physicality of woman around 40.
Weight gain. This is the one effect of menopause that women in their late 30s nearing their 40s dread the most. Increase in weight is one of the earliest and most noticeable symptoms of women’s menopause. Being a woman already means being more conscious for the physical appearance than the members of opposite sex are. Women fuss about getting wrinkles and laugh lines. A woman’s figure has always been important. Some women going through menopause often get depressed because they no longer feel attractive, or at least as much as they used to be. But, of course, the raging hormonal imbalance also has a great deal to do with the depression.
Fewer Hormones, more Hormones and other Challenges
Like all the other menopause symptoms, the decreasing level of hormonal production in the woman’s body is more often than not responsible for the sudden gain in weight for a woman going through menopause. During this stage, a woman’s ovaries begin to produce a reduced amount of estrogen, causing the body to find the estrogen it needs from other parts of the body. The body’s fat cells are estrogen producers. So to increase the level of estrogen, during menopause the body works extra hard in converting calories into the needed fats that will produce the needed estrogen.
The testosterone level in a woman’s body also drops during menopause. Yes, testosterone. Women have this kind of hormones too. Testosterone helps the body in making tough muscles from calories that the body consumes. Compared to fat cells, muscle cells burn more calories. In this way, testosterone actually has a great influence in the body’s metabolism. More testosterone means more muscles. More muscles means a higher metabolism. Menopause causes less testosterone so there will be fewer muscles to burn the calories. Hence, the woman’s body gains weight.
Added weight or a bulge in a woman’s stomach area or the mid-section is also caused by another hormone called androgen. During this stage women will notice a rapid accumulation in their middle section. This is because during menopause, the woman’s androgen level actually increases.
Resistance to insulin may also cause weight gain throughout menopause. After some time the refined and processed foods could cause insulin resistance. When this happens, the body turns into fat every calorie the body ingests by mistake. Hence, a woman undergoing menopause gains weight.
Weight Loss is not Impossible
Losing weight or that unwanted excess baggage could be hard at this stage in a woman’s life. Weight loss may not be as easy to achieve when a woman is on her menopause years as it was when she was younger but it is not impossible.
There are several things a woman in her 40 can do to lose weight. The first key to weight loss is a diet that is well balanced. Starving yourself will not do the job. It will only cause your body’s metabolism to slow down so keep away from crash diets.
Eat healthy. Keep your intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine to the minimum. Excess of the above mentioned in through menopause may worsen the body’s tendency to retain water.
Exercise. Get yourself into a program for weight training or aerobics. Develop muscles that can help in burning unwanted fat. This will also increase your body’s metabolic capacity. You can just a habit that involves physical activity to keep your body moving. Walking is an excellent example.
The key to getting through menopause is remembering that weight gain is normal during at this time in your life. It is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact being able to lose weight while going through a difficult stage is definitely doable, especially with a program full of great tools and motivation.