Menopause is characterized with significant hormonal changes in the body. This is the final state of physical transition in a woman's body. Menopause brings with it, a plethora of physical and emotional issues. Weight gain is amongst the most common cause of concern in perimenopausal and menopausal women. Almost two-thirds of all menopausal women are plagued with this issue. Women typically tend to gather fat around the belly area, as against hips and thighs, which are the usual places of fat deposition. However, weight gain need not be inevitable as there are certain measures which can help you to keep that unsightly fat at bay.
Causes of Weight Gain
Hormonal changes cannot be considered entirely responsible for the weight gain. There are other physical and physiological factors, which also contribute to it. Menopause or perimenopause is usually the time when the woman has fulfilled almost all of her responsibilities. She may or may not be working full-time, her children are grown ups, and have a life of their own.
Besides, she has attained a financial independence which allows her to lead a comfortable lifestyle. This makes her relaxed and happy, which reflects on her body in the form of weight gain. On the other hand, this may be a difficult period for some women, who may have to deal with estrangement from kids or other similar issues. The stress takes it toll, and the result is weight gain.
As you grow old, your metabolism starts to diminish. There is also a natural reduction in the muscle mass. The body replaces the muscle mass with fat, hence the weight gain. Menopausal women also tend to be less active than younger women. This is the reason they have a tough time shaking those pounds off. Genes also contribute a great deal in determining the weight gain.
Following are a few simple ways to keep your weight in check.
» Reduce Your Calorie Intake
As you grow old, your calorie requirement decreases. In that case, if you continue with your normal diet, it can still account for overeating. Thus, you need to cut down on your intake of calories as you age. Ideally, you should shave off 15% of calories from your daily calorie intake. Since your body does not need these excess calories in the first place, you would not experience any undesirable effects.
» Eat Healthy
You might have managed to look skinny in spite of all the junk food that you gorged upon all these years. However, as menopause hits you, you start experiencing the ill effects of unhealthy food habits. Healthy eating is not optional during this period, but it should become a way of life. Healthy diet also prevents you from heart diseases, and other lifestyle hazards specific to middle or old age.
» Increase Your Activity
As mentioned above, menopausal women are less active, which often contributes to weight gain. If you have never been into exercising all your life, then this could be a good time to start. Your body will need some sort of activity to stay fit as you mature. Yoga, jogging, swimming, and working out in the gym are some ways that will enable you to lose excess fat. Some fun activities such as water aerobics and dancing, can also keep you healthy and fit.
Remember, in spite of all these, you may have trouble getting back into your pre-menopausal shape. Hence, keep your expectations realistic, and focus on healthy living rather than weight loss.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.