Battling Weight Gain in Menopause

The inevitable weight gain in menopause shows beside new aches and pains, hot flashes and irrational emotions. These extra pounds really do not help the situation. Weight gain in menopause is easier to pack on and harder to get rid of. Let’s take a look at why that is so.

Weight gain in menopause happens as a result of a combination of events. Menopause signals the slowing down of hormone production in a woman’s body. In fact, it exacerbates a whole host of systems that are slowing down, including metabolism. If you were not very active before, with menopause, you may slow down even more. Less activity and no change in your diet is the number one culprit of weight gain in menopause.

Another cause of weight gain in menopause is a change in the way the body now stores fat. Prior to menopause, fat was stored just under the surface of the skin, above the internal organs. This fat, while unsightly, tends to be easier than the fat that is now stored viscerally with the onset of menopause. You see, weight gain in menopause means that the fat is now being stored under the abdominal wall, in and around the organs. This fat is much tougher to get rid of. It also interferes with your hormones and blood glucose levels.

Now, one might think that restricting food intake would be a wise thing, but one would be wrong. The last thing your body needs to think is that famine has set in. As a survival mechanism, the body stops burning fat for fuel to a high percentage in order to get through the famine. Famine doesn’t generally happen to most people in this day and age, but one’s body does not know that. If you begin to restrict food, your body will react by not releasing fat. So the key to avoiding weight gain in menopause? Eat!

Eat well, but choose your foods with special consideration. The important thing to realize after menopause begins, is that a change in diet will be necessary. Eating lots of roughage (fruits and vegetables) will keep the elimination process operating at peak efficiency and drinking lots of water will flush toxins away, as well as fat.

The other important factor is activity levels. If you were very active before menopause, this should pose little problem for you. But if you had a rather sedentary life before menopause, then weight gain in menopause is going to happen unless you change your activity levels. The easiest thing to do is to go for a walk, which, while not only fairly easy to do, is quite cheap. A good pair of walking shoes, and your own neighborhood or local park, and you’re set.