Diet and Weight Loss

What Causes Weight Gain in Menopause and How to Control It

There is one thing sure about menopause, and that is the fact that it doesn’t come unannounced.

As a matter of fact, menopause begins a few years before you actually notice it. And this pre-menopause phase is known by the name perimenopause.

However, it’s hard to find out when this perimenopause phase starts. It’s like that because it can last from several months to several years.

The most common indicator of this phase is the change in the menstrual cycle. For sure you will feel some changes in your period, the cycles might become longer or shorter, and you might begin to skip periods.

When it comes to weight gain, it seems that it goes together with menopause. But, you should know that you can prevent and control weight gain.

All you need to do is understand more about the connection and find out what causes weight gain. Read on to find out more.

Weight Gain Starts During Perimenopause

Weight gain is actually a menopausal symptom which starts during the perimenopause. According to clinical studies, women in this phase gain around 5 pounds.

But according to one study around 20 % of the participants note to have a weight gain of more than 10 pounds. According to other studies, American women have notable weight gain after they turn 40.

Reduced Estrogen Levels

The estrogen has an important role in fat storage and distribution. The levels of estrogen drop as you the amount made by the ovaries begins to fluctuate and as you begin to enter into menopause.

Deficiency in estrogen can cause metabolic dysfunction which can lead to havoc in the way your body handles fat. Due to this menopausal women usually have extra weight around the abdomen.

Increased Appetite Due to Hormonal Changes

Once you enter menopause, you will notice that your appetite starts to increase. This is due to the hormonal changes in your body.

This happens because ghrelin which is known as the hunger hormone is notably higher in menopause.

Weight Gain Due to Stress

Stress might be one reason for weight gain during menopause. The body stores additional fat in times of external or internal stress as part of the survival mechanism.

You should know that when you are under stress, the body makes hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. The adrenaline gears your body for fight or flight, and the cortisol stimulates the body to store the extra energy and fat in case of crisis.

Moreover, the rage of hormones might provoke you to eat more and have cravings.

How to Deal with This

The best thing is to consult your doctor and follow his/her advice. Also, it’s essential to get enough sleep, exercise regularly and follow a healthy and balanced diet.

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