How To Lose Weight During Menopause
Menopause is a time when women often find they tend to gain weight or that it is more difficult to maintain their usual weight. Weight gain during the perimenopausal period, the years leading up to menopause, is very common. There are a number of reasons for this weight gain, and different strategies can help to prevent or deal with the dreaded "middle-aged spread."
The most likely reasons for weight gain during and after menopause are: hormonal imblanace, decreased activity levels, diminished muscle mass, genetics, insulin resistance and stress.
Is Menopause Causing Your Weight Gain?
Menopause has been linked to weight gain for women during midlife. In fact, nine out of ten women ages 35 to 55 experience an increase in their body weights – the prime times for perimenopause and menopause – often due to the dynamics of changing hormones.
Symptoms of menopause weight gain can include:
Increase in belly fat
Increased stress levels
Less productive workouts
Less effective diets
Ways to lose weight during menopause
Get A Check-up
Whatever the cause of menopausal weight gain, there are a few tried and true strategies. But before you apply them, you should have a complete medical check-up. Among other reasons for weight gain are: thyroid problems, food sensitivities, fluid retention from heart or kidney disease and medication side effects. If your weight gain is due to one of these problems, no amount of diet and exercise are going to solve the problem. If your doctor determines the weight gain is related to menopause, you may want to consider stronger weight gain treatments.
Natural Menopause Weight Gain Treatments
Phytoestrogens are substances found in plants that mimic the effects of estrogen. Some women find that phytoestrogens are effective to help balance hormonal swings and may promote weight loss. A diet high in fruits and vegetables will contain phytoestrogens, but some foods and supplements have more than others. Ground flax seeds are an excellent source, with the highest known level of phytoestrogens.
Black or green tea supplements are one source to lose weight during menopause; supplements are preferred over the actual tea as you would need up to ten cups of tea a day. Cayenne pepper, ginseng and blue-green algae supplements are thought to increase your metabolism. Cranberries, strawberries and blueberries are also good sources of phytoestrogens.
Black or green tea supplements
The Basics in Weight Gain Management
There are a number of tried and true ways to treat weight gain. First, increase your activity. You should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. Some women find they need even more activity to lose weight. Weight-bearing exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis, which begins to be a problem for many women about the time menopause occurs. Strength training helps you maintain and rebuild lean muscle mass, which helps burn fat. You need at least two 30-minute sessions of strength training twice a week. Don't strength train every day; your muscles need a break to rest and heal. Many women find a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is more likely to cause weight gain; you may be more successful with a diet that controls carb portions.
Hormones for Weight Gain Treatment
In more severe cases, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often helps prevent or minimize weight gain during menopause. Estrogen affects a hormone call leptin, which helps you feel full and decreases appetite. Testosterone, a male sex hormone that women also produce in small amounts, may help you retain lean muscle mass. Testosterone can also help boost your energy levels, which makes you more likely to exercise. Most hormones are mass-produced, but bioidentical hormones can be targeted for your particular physical situation.
These hormones are compounded, or mixed, by a pharmacist and can be custom-blended as necessary. Bioidentical hormones are considered a form of alternative medicine and some physicians do not feel they are any more effective than conventional hormone replacement therapy. Remember, that HRT comes with some serious side effects, so make sure to consult with your doctor prior to starting hormone replacement therapy.