Possible causes and tips for staying healthy

Overview

As we age, we notice a number of changes in women’s bodies. Weight gain is one of them, and menopause is a major cause of this. According to several studies, women gain an average of five pounds during menopause. This blog attempts to answer why it happens and how a woman can stay healthy and fit even after menopause.

How Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain?

If you’re breathing a sigh of relief that you’re no longer dealing with the monthly cramps of menstruation, menopause has other plans. It not only hits you with mood swings and hot flashes, but also with weight gain. Menopause marks less production of estrogen and progesterone necessary for conception and reproduction, resulting in the end of a woman’s childbearing age. Estrogen controls body weight in humans. The reduction in production can affect women’s metabolism, causing more fat to be stored.

It is crucial to understand that weight gain associated with menopause does not happen suddenly. Weight gain is gradual and the risk of weight gain can be increased by other factors as well. As we know, menopause occurs in older adults, and their age is a contributing factor to weight gain. Most adult women are less physically active after a certain age. This lack of exercise can lead to weight gain.

Everyone tends to lose muscle mass as we age. This lowers the metabolism and leads to weight gain. As we age, the amount of energy we use also decreases, resulting in less weight loss without any change in our exercise regimen. To lose weight, we may need to increase the intensity and duration of our workouts.

What are some additional reasons for weight gain?

While menopause can be the cause of weight gain, other variables can also contribute to weight gain after a certain age. For example, you may find it difficult to maintain your weight during life transitions, such as children leaving home or a divorce, when you stop smoking, don’t get enough sleep, consume large amounts of alcohol, take certain medications such as antidepressants, and have relationship or work problems. Genetics can also play a role in stressful times. You may find it challenging to control your weight during menopause if your mother is experiencing the same issues.

So while menopause can cause weight gain, it’s not the only factor at this time of life.

Menopause will definitely add a few inches to your waistline. But more than the cosmetic effect of weight gain, attention should be paid to the other adverse effects on your health. It can increase your risk of depression, osteoporosis, breast, endometrial and colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and may worsen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes or hypothyroidism.

What steps can be taken to manage weight gain during menopause?

Weight gain does not happen the next day of menopause. It happens for a variety of reasons and there is no specific way to avoid this natural process. But with the help of a healthy lifestyle and under the guidance of your doctor, you can reduce the weight caused by menopause. This means taking in fewer calories, exercising regularly, and building muscle. Below are some steps to reduce weight after menopause

Benefits of aerobic activity

To achieve an optimal weight level, it is advisable to increase aerobic activity for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes every week. Various methods can be tried to achieve this. For example, you can try changing up your routine by trying out new workout DVDs and classes, taking a different path that is more challenging and interesting, and finding an exercise partner to help you stay motivated.

Diet modification

According to several studies, by the time you turn 50, your body may need 200 fewer calories per day than it did when you were younger. So it’s important to avoid foods that can give you extra calories, such as sweetened drinks, sugary foods, and a high-cholesterol diet.

Exercise for muscles

Losing muscle mass is a major problem older adults face, and this can be reduced by performing strengthening exercises. In addition, it can help you regain the muscle mass you lost due to lack of activity. Resistance training can also help prevent osteoporosis.

Your workout can target the arms, legs, glutes, and abs, among other muscle groups. It is crucial that you do not overdo it to avoid injury. Keep in mind that aerobics and strength training are two different exercise routines. Strength training doesn’t focus on working your heart and lungs, but it does build muscle, which helps burn calories. So incorporate both exercises into your routine.

Limit alcohol

Controlling alcohol intake is also important in weight management, as it can add extra calories to your body.

When to go to the doctor

Some lifestyle changes before menopause can help women manage the changes they may face afterward. But some experience weight problems after menopause despite significant lifestyle changes. If you are facing such problems, consult a doctor to know the underlying condition. Check if you are gaining weight despite reducing your calorie intake and exercising regularly. If so, it could be an indication of certain underlying health conditions.

Conclusion

It cannot be said with certainty that all women gain weight after menopause. Some may not. But taking control of your weight can be very helpful. Start making lifestyle changes even before you hit menopause and make it a habit. You will likely see a difference once you start exercising more and eating better.

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