Why do we gain weight during menopause?! It is so frustrating and it is a matter of fact for most of us. Even when we don’t change a thing with our exercise and eating, the weight simply loves to join up all around our belly.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy weight when your hormones are out of balance, but it’s not impossible. Keep reading as we explore the connection between menopause and weight gain, why it happens and how you can manage it..
What causes weight gain during menopause?
There are several factors that contribute to this awful collaboration of fat cells. We already know there is a hormonal imbalance, and along with it comes decreased metabolism, increased stress levels, hot flashes and so much more. The hormonal imbalance happens because we have decreased estrogen levels and throws off all the other lovely hormones which can lead to increased fat storage in the body creating truly unwanted weight gain.
It’s a viscous cycle and we know it!
According the the Mayo Clinic they suspect that weight gain is not hormonal changes alone. Instead, that it is related to aging as well as lifestyle.
As a normal process of aging, we tend to lose muscle mass and with less muscle, our metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories) decreases. When we continue to eat normally and don’t increase exercise enough, then the fat cells start congregating and having a party on our hips and belly.
Unhealthy eating habits contribute to weight gain as well. You may have been able to get away with it in the past decade, but no longer. The truth is that it all catches up with you and the toxins accumulate, the metabolism slows, and it just gets more and more difficult to shed the fat.
No getting enough sleep can also contribute to weight gain. When we are tired, snacking becomes a thing.
Is weight gain risky after menopause?
Yes, weight gain during menopause, especially around your midsection, can have serious health risks such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Keeping your heart healthy through exercise and nutrition will help keep you from gaining weight during this wonderful time in our lives.
How to lose belly fat after menopause naturally:
- Move your mASS every day including walking, stretching to help clear the toxins from your fat cells, resistance training to help keep your muscles strong and raise your metabolism. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is one of the best methods of exercise to help you burn fat and you can do it low impact.
- Catch some Zzzzzzz. Yes, sleeping is a priority when you are going through menopause and wanting to keep your figure. If you are struggling to sleep then build in some naps during the day vs snacks.
- De-stress throughout your day. Yes, do little things for yourself on a daily basis as you move through your day that remind you that you are loved and doesn’t include food. You could buy yourself flowers, take a long bath, drink your water, call a friend a catch up, listen to music that gives you joy, have a rampage of appreciation for one minute, take long deep breaths, dance, sing, pet a kitten or doggie and more. What else can you think of to bring peace to your day. Just do it.
- Eat your vegetables with every single meal. Fill up on veggies vs processed carbohydrates and you will feel more energy and see a shift in your waist line.
- Seek support from friends and loved ones who encourage a healthy lifestyle. Better yet, team up and make lifestyle changes together.
Food and fitness are just parts of the equation of losing belly fat during menopause, having a community of like-minded people such as your menopause sisters will help tremendously.
Join the VIP Menopause Support Group so that you can receive weekly newsletters filled with menopause support as well as education within the group.
Remember that successful weight loss requires a lifestyle shift in all areas of wellness from the food you eat, the drinks you are drinking, sleep habits, movement, and most of all, support from friends. They all work synergistically to help you cruise through menopause with grace, gratitude, confidence and ease.
~ Tina “Joyful” McDermott