Menopause Weight Gain

Many women reach menopause weight gain and find that the waistbands of their pants and skirts begin to snug up a bit against their body. Unlike the normal monthly partial heaviness before a period, the few extra pounds doesn't leave at the end of the cycle. Gaining weight during menopause is a typical problem for many women.

In fact, a rough estimate is that women gain between 10 to 15 pounds during their perimenopausal years. To make matters worse, it doesn't distribute evenly over the body but lands right in the belly area. There are several reasons that could explain the tendency to weight more during this phase.

Causes of Weight Increase

The main reasons as of why many experience menopause weight gain are simply age and less muscle mass. As your body ages, you start to lose muscle mass much quicker. Moving muscle mass burns calories faster than moving fat, so you use fewer calories. Right along with this is a lower metabolic rate that occurs as people age. When you were in your twenties, just sitting still required your body to burn more calories than it does at 60. However, you probably still find yourself eating the same amount. Fewer calories burned combined with the same intake means more weight.

Heredity may be your enemy when it comes to menopause weight gain. Not only does your genetic predisposition dictate the amount of calories you'll burn or weight that you will gain, it could also point out in which part weight is likely to accumulate. While some people manage to have a more even distribution of their recently gained pounds, most women find that it just sits squarely on their abdomen.

Women who have a hysterectomy early in life tend to experience it ahead of time. Many find themselves gaining weight rapidly, sometimes caused by the period of inactivity. However, the change in the hormone balance is also one important factor. 

Risk Factors

The belly fat you put on does more than make you uncomfortable in some of your clothes; it can also affect your health. The belly fat from the menopause weight gain can lead to many health conditions like: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. The fat actively produces hormones that can affect your health. The excess they produce can promote resistance, one of the causes of diabetes or other problems that occur when there's an imbalance or change in your hormone levels.

While you might ache or hurt in new parts of your body due to aging, don't let that stop you from moving.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator to burn a few extra calories. Don't circle the parking lot for hours to find a location next to the door or the store. Instead, burn calories by parking in the first spot that you find and walking a few extra feet. When possible carry your own bags from the grocery rather than use a cart. Don't attempt too much at one time, but gradually increase the load you carry.

Change your eating habits.

Many people find that switching to a higher intake of vegetables and fruits while limiting meat, breads and refined sugars helps to keep the pounds at bay. Take smaller portions of the ones you want to limit. Eat fruits and vegetables as much as possible and avoid the heavy sauces. You'll be doing your body a favor in other ways besides weight loss.

The extra nutrients found in the fruits and vegetables can promote a far longer and healthier life.


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