Lots of women find that during perimenopause, they find themselves gaining weight. Typically, women facing menopause put on about 10-15lbs of fat and it tends to gather around their tummy and hips. You could be one of the women who think that this marks a positive transition in your life.
In reality, there aren't many women who see weight gain around their middle as being positive. Instead, this sudden piling on of weight signals a hormonal imbalance and can cause negative emotions and upset.
Heard of the “middle-age spread”? Lots of people see this as an inevitable part of getting older.
Until now, women had to accept their lot and see this as being inevitable. However, medical advancements mean that physicians and scientists can begin to address the imbalanced hormones that cause weight gain. Now they can start to advise women on how to prevent and treat these changes.
Before you reach perimenopause or menopause, your body's estrogen levels can mask problems that exist in bodily functions. As you age you are exposed to environmental and food-based toxins, hormonal fluctuations, and lifestyle changes that all have an effect on how you are feeling now.
Your self-esteem can take a major dent if you don't pay attention and try to negate the effects.
You might try going down the usual low-calorie diet and regular exercise route, only to find that the weight still piles on. I'm here to tell you that you don't have to put up with this. What we are going to do is to examine the reasons behind your weight gain in order to identify what is affecting your body.
By doing this you can take steps to remove the excess weight or make sure that your weight gain is limited to just a couple of pounds at most.
Lack of Exercise
Your hormone levels will fluctuate just before and during the menopause, but this isn't necessarily the reason behind gaining pounds. Other things to consider include feeling stressed out and emotional, and physical factors.
An example is that women at this stage in their lives have been found to exercise less than at other times. One reason behind this is that they have a jam-packed day and can't find the time to squeeze in an hour of exercise a day.
You may find yourself lacking motivation to workout, as any spare time you do have seems better spent relaxing.
Back to the hormonal imbalance theory, stress is a factor that affects your hormones negatively. This can cause things like hunger pangs and in-satiety. It may seem obvious, but more calories in means more inches around your waistline. If you can find a way to reduce your stress level, your hunger can and will reduce.
One of the signs of aging is a reduction in metabolism. Every decade you age, your metabolism slows by 2%-4% which doesn't seem like much, but when you consider that at 50 your basal metabolic rate is 12% lower than it was when you were 25, you can see what a difference it can make.
What this means is that you will need to eat fewer and fewer calories as you get older. The weight can creep gradually. Maybe you'll only notice a couple of pounds a year creeping on, but it ll adds up.
We have to look at your genes in order to determine what's causing extra inches. Look to your parents as an example: did they carry extra weight on their stomach and hips? If so it'll probably be predetermined to happen to you too.
Side effects of this weight gain can be serious medical conditions like having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin-resistant diabetes, and even problems with your heart. There is even evidence to suggest that your risk of female cancers like breast cancer can significantly increase. (1)
You can take control of this problem by making just a few sensible and intuitive changes toy our lifestyle:
- If you aren't already, schedule some cardio and weight training into your everyday plan. This will guard against heart problems and strength training, in particular, will help you to put on muscle that burns calories even when you are resting.
- Track what you eat with an app or even a pen and paper. It doesn't have t be fancy. You might not realize exactly how much you are eating. This task can be a real eye-opener.
- Get your thyroid tested by your physician as it can be impacted by hormones and estrogen reduction that happens during perimenopause. (2)
- Eat more sensibly by getting plenty of fruit and raw vegetables into your everyday diet, and try to minimize processed foods. Try to reduce high carb products like bread and pasta. These can be a real problem for causing your body to resist insulin.
- Most importantly, don't accept the “middle-age spread” and give in to it. What you should do is use the tips in this article, alongside sensible choices like sleeping well and drinking plenty of water, to really make a difference.
- Consider using a safe, gentle, and effective diet pill. Some women are really against diet pills, thinking they will make them feel jittery, but if you go down the route of using fat blockers like Proactol XS, you can be assured that the gentle and natural effects will make you lose weight without jitters.
(1) Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention: Association of Gain and Loss of Weight before and after Menopause with Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer in the Iowa Women's Health Study
(2) Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Thyroid function and energy intake during weight gain following treatment of hyperthyroidism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10204837
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