Weight Gain after Menopause

Published:January 12th, 2012


As women get older, maintaining weight becomes more difficult. This is because of both dietary and hormonal changes. In a woman’s life cycle, the most noticeable weight gain happens during the menopausal period. Though the occurrence of menopause cannot be avoided, you can control your weight gain from happening by having a healthier lifestyle and following some dietary control.

Causes of menopausal weight gain

Certain factors can lead to the occurrence of weight gain during the menopausal period. The hormonal changes occurring at the time of menopause is one precipitating factor which makes you more prone to weight gain around your abdomen.

However, this is not the sole reason behind the weight gain. It is also related to the lifestyle and genetic predisposition of women. For instance, menopausal women live a sedentary lifestyle and exercise less compared to men of their age. The muscle mass tends to weaken with age and the body composition shifts to more fat and lesser muscles. If you exercise less, more fat will be accumulated and the rate of calorie consumption is slowed down. The weight is further aggravated if you do not tone down your diet.

The genetic factor is one big factor that contributes to menopausal weight gain. You are more predisposed to gaining weight if your parents or relatives have excess weight in the abdominal area.

Some stressors also contribute to weight gain. Examples are divorce, death of a loved one or other life-changing major events.

Risks of Menopause Weight Gain

Gaining weight after menopause is a serious matter since it can pose risks to your health. Your excess weight can lead to serious health problems such higher levels of cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. In effect, these can lead to development of more dangerous complications such as cardiac diseases and occurrence of cancer such as breast and colorectal cancer.

How to Prevent Weight Gain after Menopause

Preventing weight gain during the menopausal period can be a challenging task. You need to do some basic things in order for you to achieve a healthier weight. These include:

  • Exercise more. Include a physical activity in your daily routine. You can set a healthy exercise routine for at least 30 minutes daily. This is enough to improve your muscle strength and tone. In addition, you can have better stamina which and will also lose unwanted fat in your body especially in the abdominal area.
  • Eat healthy and less. Stick to fruits and vegetables and refrain from eating food high in fats such as creams and sugars. You may need to cut down your daily calorie intake to 200 calories less because as you age, the body can metabolize lesser calories. Never skip meals as this can lead to overeating, thus accumulating unwanted fat in your body.
  • Have a strong support system. It is essential that you gain support from your friends and loved ones in achieving your goal. A good influence is good for your lifestyle and daily habits.

While losing excess weight during the menopausal period, it is important that you have the self-discipline in altering your lifestyle and habits into a healthier one. Stick to your goals and have a sense of control in whatever you eat and drink.

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