According the researchers, weight gain may become a serious issue regarding the status of your health and increasing risk factors for potentially dangerous illnesses. While many women pack on a few extra pounds and seem to suffer few consequences, there are others who experience health complications that may have been lessened or avoided by managing weight gain during menopause.
Does menopause cause weight gain?
Menopause is only responsible for packing on extra body fat in the abdominal region. So the answer to this question is yes, but only minimally.
What are the causes of weight gain?
The aging process is the number one cause of weight gain during menopause. The reasons for this are that as the body ages, a natural decline in lean muscle mass occurs. This triggers a response within the metabolic system to start burning calories more slowly. If you are still consuming the same amount of calories and have not increased your levels of exercise or physical activity, then you will begin to gain weight.
In addition to the aging process, any lifestyle changes can also contribute to weight gain. Some women believe that if they start skipping meals to shed the extra pounds that are appearing, it will result in weight loss. When healthy and useful fuel for the body is not consistently consumed, the body goes into what is known as starvation mode. Calories are burned at an even slower rate as the body doesn't know when it will see it's next meal. Another contributing factor to weight gain is a poor diet. This includes eating large portions or including excessive amounts of saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugars and alcoholic beverages.
If you have family members who gained weight during menopause, you may have a genetic predisposition towards weight gain. This can be blamed on genetics, lifestyle similarities or a combination of the two. A sluggish thyroid condition can also be responsible for weight gain that cannot be explained by other factors.
Risks of gaining weight during menopause
Weight gain and particularly obesity are factors that can make menopausal a higher risk for several potentially serious health conditions. Cardiovascular disease is associated with high cholesterol levels and obesity. This risk in increased dramatically when estrogen levels are in fluctuation and continues on through the post menopause stage.
Due to hormone fluctuations, women are also at a higher risk for developing diabetes and other blood sugar disorders. Weight gain ups the ante by adding an additional risk factor in this area. The risks for cancers are also increased when weight gain is combined with menopause. Women who maintain a healthy body weight are taking a risk factor for these illnesses out of the equation during and after menopause.
How to maintain a healthy weight during menopause?
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the best known way to maintain a healthy weight during menopause. Include the recommended amounts of lean proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains for fiber to keep the digestive system healthy, and low fat dairy products for adequate supplies of calcium. Avoid skipping meals to keep your metabolism from sagging. Combine a healthy diet with regular exercise to further boost the metabolism and strengthen your heart muscles, and you continue to reduce risk factors for health issues later.
If you begin to gain weight during menopause this is a condition that definitely needs your attention. Since the main contributing factor of weight gain is age, followed by lifestyle, it occurs just around the time of life that can cause the highest risk for developing serious health problems. By making changes to your current lifestyle habits, you can start to take off any extra pounds that you have acquired, and then maintain a healthy body weight. Eating the right foods consistently and combining this effort with a regular exercise regime will help to keep your metabolism running at a normal rate, allowing you to burn calories instead of retaining them.
Maintaining a healthy body weight during menopause will contribute to the improvement of your overall health during and after menopause. You'll not only feel better, but you will reduce your chances of developing serious illness.