How To Prevent Weight Gain During Menopause
For many women, menopause represents a turning point where fertility, youth and vitality are replaced with low hormones, low energy, mood swings, and the inevitable weight gain. Associated with these changes comes the increase in risks for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and osteoarthritis.
However, rather than accepting these potential outcomes, we now know that with the right diet, lifestyle practices, and by re-achieving hormonal balance, menopause doesn’t have to mark the end of a woman’s youthfulness. You can ward off hormone related weight gain and disease risk, and continue to look and feel healthy as you age naturally. Here are some strategies to make that happen:
1. Eat a diet rich in protein and unsaturated fatty acids, and low in refined carbohydrates and sugars.
Reduced estrogen production from the ovaries during menopause shifts the accumulation of fat to favor unhealthy abdominal fat often referred to as a muffin top. In the presence of estrogen, fat cells will normally respond by burning fat; however, when estrogen levels decrease, the cells store the fat rather than use it for energy. Avoiding too much sugar and starch, which promotes fat storage, will offset the increased tendency for fat storage that arises.
Estrogen is also involved in maintaining a strong metabolism which is necessary to process carbs and sugar. With reduced estrogen levels, too much sugar or excess carbohydrates will be stored as fat rather than converted to energy. A diet that focuses more on protein, healthy fats, fiber, and non-starchy vegetables will help to prevent the storage of fat around the middle.
2. Exercise Regularly – Lutenizing hormone, which rises during menopause stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which promotes weight gain. Regular exercise can reduce excess cortisol.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep – Too much cortisol can also affect sleep patterns, which is frequently a problem in women going through menopause. And a lack of sleep can also impact weight. Sleep, on the other hand, can reduce excess cortisol. If sleep is a problem, supplements like L-theanine, melatonin, or 5-HTP can promote relaxation and induce sleep.
4. Replace Hormones Replacing or maintaining reproductive hormones like estradiol, progesterone and testosterone to premenopausal levels with bioidentical hormones that function the same as our own hormones is a safe and effective treatment for minimizing the symptoms and outcomes of menopause.
When taken in the right amounts as confirmed by regularly testing levels, and in the right balance to minimize the risks associated with an imbalance; they will help to slow the aging process, keep energy levels high, support brain function, preserve muscle mass, help maintain bone density, and help prevent the weight gain associated with ‘middle-aged spread.’
Taking a proactive approach to your health through simple diet and lifestyle practices and a more targeted approach with bioidentical hormones will help you to maintain your youthfulness and vitality through menopause and beyond.
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