How to Cope With Unwanted Weight Gain During Menopause
Menopause brings with it a host of physical and psychological changes. But the one that many women dread is the middle-aged spread. Weight gain during menopause is incredibly common and very normal.
Studies show that approximately 90% of women will gain between 10 and 15 lbs during this life stage. However, there are ways that you can combat this and stay happy and healthy.
How Your Body Changes Through Menopause To Trigger Weight Gain
As the body transitions into the menopausal phase, estrogen production levels take a sharp decline. Women then become more prone to weight gain due to their lower estrogen levels. However, aging and an increasingly slow metabolic rate play a role in weight gain too.
Simple Ways To Naturally Prevent Weight Gain During Menopause
Even with all the hormonal changes that come alongside menopause, traditional methods for weight loss can still be effective in the process of burning fat:
- Move more – Exercise will always be one of the most effective ways to naturally lose weight. Find a form of movement that you enjoy, and make it a part of your weekly schedule.
- Lower your carbohydrate intake – Carbs play an important role in giving you energy, but too many can facilitate faster weight gain. Try to lower your carb intake to make the weight loss process easier to manage.
- Avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine – All three of these things can contribute to weight gain, especially over the age of 40. Avoiding them can help you retain lean muscle.
All in all, losing weight happens when you burn calories. To burn calories, you need regular physical movement, a diverse, energy-focused diet and a healthy sleep regime.
Medicinal Vs. Holistic Approaches To Menopausal Weight Loss
The weight loss medication industry is mammoth and much of it targets women, particularly those past middle age and seeking easy yet effective ways to shift fat.
However, despite the advertising of many miracle elixirs, the medicinal approach to weight loss often comes with negative side effects that disproportionately impact other aspects of health.
For example, some appetite-suppressant medications designed for weight loss cause health problems such as high blood pressure, nausea, insomnia, and anxiety or depression. All of which are issues likely already experienced due to aging and menopause.
Taking a holistic approach to weight loss is generally considered the safer, more sustainable option, meaning you can use them for an extended period with more effective long-term results.
A holistic approach to menopause weight gain simply means avoiding synthetic or “quick fix” weight loss medication and turning to natural ones instead.
Alternative Methods Of Managing Weight During Menopause
Despite all the hormonal upheaval of menopause, there will always be ways to support your health and ward off unwanted weight well into your later years.
Committing to a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re feeling out of touch with exercise, don’t be afraid to start off small and simple. Cardio, swimming, dancing, running, and even Tai Chi all make great options.
- Get proper sleep
Sleep plays a crucial role in hormonal and weight management, and it influences emotion, work performance, and overall health and well-being. 63% of menopausal women feel tired or drowsy at work, highlighting the toll that hormonal changes take on the body and the impact of a lack of sleep.
- Adjust your diet
The combination of exercise and a healthy diet is the sweet spot of holistic weight loss. Focus on eating whole grains and nutrient-dense fruits and veggies for a varied diet that gets digested easily and gives you energy.
- Practice self-acceptance
It may feel overwhelming to see your body go through so many changes, but try to embrace them and find acceptance. After all, your body is your home, you may as well be comfortable in it.
Accepting & Embracing Change
Beauty, and more importantly, self-worth, is not defined by size. It’s defined by how you see yourself.
As the symptoms of menopause rage on and you find new ways of coping with your changing body, remember to pause and appreciate it. Healthy habits and self-love are the new sexy!
Written By: JoAnn Daniels