The Link Between Menopause and Weight Gain

Most women who have gone through menopause can testify that it’s not a pleasant time of life. However, the problems aren’t limited to night sweats and mood swings. Weight gain is a common result of both perimenopause and menopause. It’s estimated that most women will gain a pound a year during this time. Are the two situations really interrelated? Let’s find out.

Most experts believe that the hormone levels that are brought about by a woman’s change in life are one cause of weight gain. On the other hand, this is not the only factor that causes a woman to gain weight. Your lifestyle and age also contribute to the changes that your body undergoes over the course of time. Some of the reasons for weight gain are exercising less and eating more. Because of this, your body burns fewer calories because of its reduced physical activity. The composition of your body changes as it builds up more fat and less muscle, a result of a slower metabolism. Genetics is also a factor for weight gain. If your parents are naturally stocky, there is a good chance that you will inherit the same body type.

Since extreme increases in weight can cause health complications, it could compound the symptoms associated with this condition. Experts have proven that women who gain more than 20 pounds after menopause are more prone to breast cancer by approximately 20 percent. But women who lose weight have a better chance of avoiding breast cancer. Those who lose about 20 pounds reduce their risk for breast cancer by 23 percent.

If you want to avoid gaining weight and maintain your good health during this phase of your life, it is suggested that a balanced diet in conjunction with daily exercise should be undertaken. Daily exercise can increase your metabolism, thus enabling you to burn more fat. Moreover, muscle mass can be increased through strength training, which further increases your metabolism and builds up your bones as well.

The benefits of a proper diet are well documented. However, it has been noted that in order to maintain your weight as you age, your body will need 200 fewer calories a day. This fact applies to women who are in their 40’s. If you are eating a healthy diet at the start of perimenopause, you will not gain as much weight as you would normally do once you have fully entered the phase.

We should all accept the inevitable changes which will happen to our bodies. If you think that your body will stay like it is right now, think again. We may hate the fact that our bodies will lose the firmness of youth, no matter what we do. But the best approach is to work at controlling the aspects of your health that can be improved.