Dealing With Weight Gain After Menopause
A lot of women gain weight as they age, it’s perfectly normal and, some say, even healthy. However, some women can add significant pounds, especially after they cross the menopause threshold. If you are going through such a phase, don’t despair. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a healthy weight after menopause.
Why do women gain weight during menopause?
There are four main contributing factors to the increased weight in women going through menopause:
- Hormonal changes
- Sarcopenia (muscle loss with aging)
- Lifestyle factors
As you age, your muscle mass reduces, which makes your body accumulate calories since they won’t be needed as before for energy production. It will become more challenging to maintain your current weight if you don’t exercise or change your eating habits.
Hormonal changes result in the build-up of fat around your abdomen more than your thighs and hips. On genetics, if your family has a history of weight gain for women who are beyond menopause, then it may affect you too.
Poor lifestyle choices such as unhealthy eating and sleep deprivation also play critical roles in increased weight.
How to prevent weight gain after menopause
Eat less and eat well
Be keen and pay more attention to how you nourish your body. Reduce your intake of fatty foods and sugars and stick to healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables.
Plant-based diets are far healthier than all other options. Change your regular cooking oil and use healthier alternatives such as olive or coconut oil. Go for low-fat dairy products and try to include more fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Control your alcohol intake
Alcoholic drinks contribute to excess calories in your diet, and they significantly increase your chances of gaining weight.
You don’t need to do vigorous gym activities or extreme workouts. Moderate aerobic activities can produce great results. You can also go for more fun options, such as engaging in group-sports with other women your age.
The tricky thing about exercise is that you must remain consistent. Keep doing it until it becomes a habit, and you will have an easier time sticking to the routine. Working with weights is extra important as we age, for it is essential for healthier bones. It also helps build muscle mass, to counteract the muscle atrophy and help you burn more calories as well as be stronger and more vital.
Get quality sleep
A lot of women have trouble sleeping during menopause because of night sweats and hot flashes, among other factors. Unfortunately, getting little sleep induces a ‘hunger hormone’ which can easily make you eat more at night.
The result is that most of the calories and fats from those foods will be stored in your body and increase your weight. Therefore, endeavor to come up with regular sleeping routines or methods to cope with insomnia during menopause.
Studies have related psychotherapy to helping people fight insomnia. This could, therefore, come in handy in helping you have better and longer sleep if you have restless nights where sleep is hard to come by.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, comes with a lot of health benefits and one oft hem is that it increases your estrogen levels. The higher the levels of this hormone, the fewer your menopause symptoms will be, and the better your sleep quality.
Stress affects your health adversely at any age. In addition to giving you restless nights that add to your weight gain, they also raise your cortisol hormone levels. Cortisol has been linked with increased abdominal fat in women.
Take stress reduction measures such as yoga classes or identifying and dealing with or avoiding your stress triggers.
Extra tips to try
- Eating foods rich in fiber – these foods will increase your insulin sensitivity, and they can lower your appetite hence aiding you in minimizing your food intake.
- Increasing your protein intake – proteins reduce muscle mass loss and leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied than other foods.
- Drinking green tea
- Practicing mindful eating – work on your relationship with food so that you control the quantity and quality of your meals.
It’s vital to deal with weight gain after menopause because of the adverse effects it can have on your health. Being significantly overweight exposes you to risks of developing conditions such as hypertension, breathing difficulties, diabetes, blood vessel diseases, and congenital illnesses. There’s no need to stress or obsess about it – you can use these suggestions to make sure you keep a healthy weight and keep taking good care of yourself. You deserve it!
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