It is a well-established fact that obesity and menopause are directly related to one another. How are these two conditions interlinked? Will one always trigger the other? As women will naturally encounter the symptoms associated with menopause, it is completely understandable that they may be concerned about gaining excess weight.
The point of this article is to adequately address a handful of straightforward questions. For instance, what is the average weight gain in menopause and will everyone experience such an outcome? Are there any ways in which an increased body mass index (BMI) can be controlled to an extent? Let’s first take a look at a bit of science before moving on to highlight some common tips and suggestions.
Obesity and Menopause: Causal Factors
Gaining weight during and after menopause is often referred to as the “middle age spread” due to the fact that menopausal symptoms usually begin to manifest themselves between the ages of 45 and 55. In fact, studies have shown that women may gain between five and eight per cent of their baseline body weight during this time. There are several reasons why weight gain is a common occurrence.
The first is associated with the hormonal changes that take place within the body. While both male and female hormones will fluctuate with age, women are particularly at risk. This arises from the fact that any weight gain tends to deposit itself around the midsection, making such changes more visible to the naked eye and even impacting levels of self-confidence.
Another factor involves lifestyle changes during this same time period. Older women may be less likely to adhere to a strict exercise program. Their menopause symptoms could also lead to bouts of lethargy. It can therefore become quite difficult to find the motivation to actively engage in activities that might otherwise help to burn excess calories.
A final metric that should never be taken for granted involves lean muscle mass. As women age, they naturally lose a certain percentage of their lean mass. This presents a twofold problem. First, losing muscle causes the body’s metabolism to slow over time. Secondly, these muscles will often be replaced with fat stores.
It is also not entirely uncommon for women to experience an additional bout of after menopause weight gain due to energy levels and a basal metabolic rate that might require a bit of time to recover from the aforementioned hormonal changes.
How Can You Control the Effects of Weight Gain During Menopause?
To be perfectly clear, some women experience only mild symptoms while others will notice that they seem to gain weight on a daily basis. This will depend on other factors such as genetics. While obesity might not necessarily exacerbate your symptoms, this can lead to other age-related issues such as type 2 diabetes, poor blood circulation and even heart disease. Still, there are several ways in which you can keep your body mass index in check.
Try to move more and to exercise on a regular basis. Gaining lean muscle mass will increase your body’s metabolism. As a result, you can process calories more efficiently. It is likewise possible to target specific areas of your body (such as the midsection) that are prone to accumulating fat.
Your body will not require as many calories as were required when you were younger. While frustrating, this is simply a fact of life. It is therefore wise to modify your diet accordingly. Experts recommend consuming 200 fewer calories than what were normally consumed before you began experiencing menopausal symptoms. A menopause weight chart can also help keep track of your progress and monitor your dietary habits.
Avoid Unhealthy Substances
Limit your intake of processed sugars and reduce (or eliminate) alcohol from your diet. Both of these substances are laden with calories, and they will contribute to weight gain. Note that they may also negatively impact your glycemic index; causing abnormal blood sugar spikes that can lead to cravings.
A Natural Part of Life
It can be challenging to deal with the onset of menopause, especially if you notice changes throughout your body. This is why a growing number of women are choosing to implement the strategies outlined above with a Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon. Not only will such an apparatus limit your food intake, but it can help to deal with pesky cravings while still ensuring that you receive crucial vitamins and minerals.
While obesity and menopause are both facts of life, there is no reason why we should allow either one to control our self-esteem or overall happiness.