Menopause weight gain is natural and really nothing to worry about (unless it is a rapid weight gain). If you are normally a very slim person or are naturally athletic or active it can feel very jarring to suddenly be putting on the pounds however it will generally be very slow. If you suddenly experience rapid weight gain or weight loss you should visit your doctor immediately.
Naturally, you should start to gain around 1 -2 pounds a year, with the average weight gain being in the region of ten to fifteen pounds during menopause. This is natural and is your body’s response to changing hormone levels…so don’t fret about it!
Key Points of Weight Gain During Menopause
- Weight gain is normal for the majority of people during menopause. You may have to adjust your diet and exercise levels with guidance from your doctor as you travel through the stages of menopause.
- Stress and anxiety over menopause and its effects on the body may cause some people to turn to more comfort foods as a coping method.
- Keeping a healthy diet is going to be key in improving overall symptoms of menopause including weight gain.
You may be eating exactly the same foods as before but your metabolism may slow down and not burn as many calories as before. The change in hormones can cause stress and anxiety and when anxious or stressed many people comfort eat. At the same time, the body can react to stress by turning calories into fat as it expects to be without food for a while, the so-called famine effect. The extra weight can actually be beneficial in helping to reduce hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis.
The diet industry will have us believe that weight gain is simply a case of calories in versus calories out. This is not true, particularly in perimenopausal and menopausal women. Hardly a month goes by without some scientific discovery about the role that hormones play in our lives and in the case of women approaching menopause, these hormones are in turmoil.
One problem that some women have been encountering has been caused by switching to artificial sweeteners in an attempt to reduce calorie intake. These fool the body into thinking that there is a large amount of sugar in the body which can in turn result in insulin resistance. This will actually result in more body fat being formed.
The best response to the added pounds is to just accept it and enjoy your new body shape. If you really want to help keep your weight in check then have a look at your current diet and see if you can make it healthier. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to reduce most of the symptoms of menopause.
Starting a regime of light regular exercise can also help. Avoid working out too much, but regular walks and cycling can really help with the symptoms and at the same time keep your weight gain in check. Menopause weight gain is natural and is something that should be embraced not stressed over.
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Do not take the content of this article as professional medical advice. It's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.