Yes, it’s a subject many of us take care to avoid, but in terms of weight loss woes we think it’s an issue worthy of exploration.
If you’re between the ages of 35 and 55 and you’ve been noticing an extra Kilo here and there, you might be happy to find that you’re not exactly alone. In fact, about 90% of menopausal women gain some amount of weight or experience changes in their body shape at the very least, so this process is to be completely expected and is natural. In saying that though, their are many ways that you can control the amount of weight that you do gain during this period and ways of ensuring that you do not put on additional excess weight on top of this. The first step is knowing what causes weight gain during menopause so that you’re more informed and well prepared to tackle the annoying situation if and when it strikes.
One of the biggest causes, which is no surprise to us, is a shift in your hormones as they can have a direct affect on weight loss in terms of metabolism and your appetite. Luckily though, what you decide to eat to some extent can always help to correct these hormonal imbalances.
For instance, during menopause your body can start to build what is called insulin resistance which can be caused by a high intake of processed foods after a long period of time. Basically, what insulin resistance does, is trick your body into thinking that every calorie intake is fat. So one small thing you can do to prevent this ladies, is to cut down on those processed foods and ensure that your food intakes consist of natural whole foods comprising of as many proteins and carbohydrates as possible.
Although hormones play a part, like most weight loss issues, a variety of lifestyle factors also play a huge role. This is good news though, because it means that you have more power to grab the reins and take control.
For instance, changes in the body more often than not lead to increased stress. Stress of course, can be linked to weight gain if you indulge in high calorie foods to relieve your emotional needs. How do you tackle this? Identify your comfort foods and keep them at bay by removing them from your home and office. Also, minimise stress by ensuring that you get eight hours of sleep a night, take time out for yourself every few days to relax and exercise regularly. Take any one of these changes into account and your bound to see a difference, no matter how big or small it may be- everything counts.
On the topic of exercise, research also suggests that women going through menopause tend to exercise less as muscle mass naturally reduces with age. This is a concern because if you don’t work to replace the muscle you have lost, you’ll find that the ratio of fat to muscle in your body will be much greater. So being mindful of this fact, try to fit in some cycling or a brisk walk wherever possible.
In a nutshell? Menopause marks a whole new phase of life, and with it a new lifestyle (if needed). Ultimately, we suggest a well balanced diet of natural whole foods, looking after yourself by minimising stress and keeping active!