Kittle: Don’t let menopause affect keeping a healthy weight

The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight…

Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge for most these days. The older we get, the more difficult it can be.

Studies have shown that 90 per cent of women experience weight gain between the ages of 35 and 55, not coincidentally during perimenopause and menopause.

The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily trigger menopause weight gain, however.

Instead, the weight gain is usually related to genetics, aging, as well as lifestyle .Therefore nutrition, and exercise become critical elements to maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the middle age spread and belly fat

What causes menopause weight gain?

According to the Mayo Clinic, hormones and weight gain are closely related. If your hormones are not balanced, you can gain weight, especially with too much cortisol or too little progesterone, testosterone or estrogen.

Hormone fluctuations in perimenopause and menopause directly impact your appetite, fat storage and metabolism.

It’s common for estrogen levels to diminish during menopause causing cessation of ovulation.

The decreased production of estrogen by the ovaries causes a woman’s body to search for other sources of estrogen.

Another source of estrogen is fat cells, so your body learns to convert more calories into fat, in order to increase estrogen production. This means weight gain.

It’s also common for progesterone levels to decrease during menopause.

Progesterone’s role in weight gain is more deceiving; low levels of the hormone do not actually cause you to gain weight, but instead cause water retention or bloating.

This annoying side effect makes you feel heavier and makes your clothes fit tighter. Testosterone in a women works to build and maintain muscle mass among other things.

These muscle cells work to burn calories in your body and cause a higher metabolism.

Levels of this hormone decrease during menopause causing the loss of muscle mass and hence result in lower metabolism. This also results in weight gain.

Insulin resistance and stress are also responsible for a woman’s difficulty or inability to experience weight loss during menopause.

Insulin resistance occurs when a woman’s body incorrectly converts every calorie into fat; this is an extreme case of estrogen correction.

Over time, your body resists the insulin produced in your blood stream and you therefore experience weight gain.

Genetics also play a role in menopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same

As we get older our muscle mass diminishes, while our fat increases.

Loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.

If you continue to eat as you always have and don’t increase your physical activity, you’re likely to gain weight.

But take heart, don’t be discouraged. Weight gain is not inevitable!

an take charge and reverse the course by paying attention to eating a healthy diet and stepping it up with appropriate exercises to kick start your metabolism and burn fat.

The exercise program for perimenopause and postmenopausal women should include aerobic exercise, strength training and balance exercises to build strength and maintain muscle and bone mass it is important to be aware of target heart rate range and should track the intensity of exercise for optimal results.

Research indicates that postmenopausal women, who engage in the comprehensive exercise program, benefit by maintaining a healthy body, bone density levels and good mental health.

Osteoporosis, the greatest ailment in older women, can be kept under control with exercise.

Even a moderate exercise schedule can not only keep the weight in check, but it also lowers the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which tend to show up liberally during and beyond menopause.

Just Posted

Road closures in effect

Kelowna - The Old Vernon, Rutland and Acland Road intersection will close Nov. 20

Wear neon for Glow Night

Kelowna - The annual Glow Night is back Nov. 18

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Most Read