Weight gain is a very common symptom of both perimenopause and menopause.
Women who have been a steady weight all their lives, might suddenly find they are going up at least a couple of dress sizes as they enter menopause.
Even women who have made efforts to lose considerable weight earlier in their lives, might find that they start to pack the pounds back on, for no obvious reason. It can be very disheartening, we spend a large chunk of our lives learning to love and embrace our bodies, then by the time we have finally accepted them, they start to change again!
So why do you gain weight during menopause?
Like most symptoms of menopause, weight gain does not affect everyone in the same way. For some it surprises them suddenly when they hit a certain age, for others the number on the scale creeps up slowly, and for a lucky few they might not even see that much of a noticeable difference. However, it is true that our metabolic rate reduces as we age. When we go through menopause we of course lose the production of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen loss causes our muscle mass to deteriorate, as well as a number of other health issues. It’s our muscles that burn calories, so a reduction in muscle mass slows down our metabolism, resulting in more fat.
Stress can also cause weight gain, especially around the abdomen. While stress is often linked to menopause, it’s important to recognise that in some circumstances, stress induced by other life events is causing the weight gain and not the reduction in estrogen. Our late 50’s can be a particularly testing time; your children might just be leaving the family home, you might be thinking about early retirement or downsizing. The list of things that cause us stress is endless, but more often than not, a significant weight increase for women around this age is typically due to menopause itself.
Reduce weight gain during menopause
Losing and keeping off menopausal weight gain can be a challenge. Especially if you are less active than you used to be, and even more so if you’re suffering from other symptoms such as low mood, anxiety or hot flushes. These things do not make us feel like exercising, and they certainly make resisting, treats even tougher! Eating a balanced diet and exercising 3-4 times a week will help you keep weight gain under control. We also recommend purchasing the LaBalance device if you haven’t done so yet. Our natural alternative to menopause treatment has been proven to help with up to 24 different symptoms of menopause, including weight gain. Find out how it works.