The link between menopause and weight gain

  • By Sahana Rajan

The hormone, estrogen, maintains the body weight in women. When there is lower quantity of estrogen in your body, you tend to consume more and are physically less active. The reduction in estrogen also leads to low metabolism. The lack of estrogen also makes it difficult to use up starch and glucose efficiently. As you age, the mass of your muscles lessen while the fat amplifies. Since the muscle mass is reducing, your body cannot use up the calories as it was used to previously, and this makes it difficult to control your weight. Sedentary lifestyle with constant stress also results in changes in your eating patterns and this can contribute to your gaining weight during menopause.

While you cannot stop menopause from occurring, you could be proactive and adapt measures to not let the menopausal process take over your overall health. Firstly, make sure that you exercise daily. It does not have to be vigorous exercise. It is adequate to do moderate aerobic activity like walking for about 30 minutes every day to make sure that your waistline is not spreading beyond your shirt size. Jog or walk in a park, absorbing the nature around you and de-stress yourself, making the act pleasurable rather than monotonous.

An optimistic outlook is critical to lose weight. If you begin to see walking as a way to connect with the nature, you will be surprised to discover what Mother Nature can do for you. Walking is an act of reflection to ease and relax yourself.

Secondly, alter your lifestyle by taking up resistance training like yoga. This will reduce the rate at which the muscle mass in your body lowers. Thirdly, by the time you are 50 your body needs about 200 calories less than it needed when it was 30. Make sure you have a balanced diet, but stop snacking on oily or fried items. Take up fresh fruits and vegetables as staple companions. Also, have a lean protein and whole-grain diet. If you find it difficult to decide on a proper diet, visit a dietician and get a diet chart customized to the needs of your body. This would ensure that you do not have any nutrient deficiency and also manage your weight.

Include foods which have high amount of B-complex vitamins like lentils, bananas, potatoes, and turkey. This will reduce tumefying and retention of water. Moreover, B-complex vitamins help to deal with the other menopausal symptoms like mood swings, cramping, depression, and anxiety.