Menopause is something that every woman has to face at some stage in her life. The age at which a woman attains menopause may vary – normally between the age of 45 and 55 -, depending upon various biological factors. A woman need not look upon her menopause as a foreboding sign, a sign that she is past the reproductive stage, past the age of looking attractive to the opposite sex and that she might not interest her partner any more. If she has to counter menopause weight gain too, it can’t get worse than that. However, there are ways to overcome all these fears. Actually, most women should welcome menopause with open arms, since it is the time to say goodbye to those painful and anxious moments of premenstrual syndrome, month after month, for almost thirty years or more!
Does a woman really gain weight during menopause? Some do, but not all of them. The reasons behind menopause weight gain are biological and emotional. There is another angle to the weight gain, other than these two. When women are in their twenties and thirties, they are physically active such as, going to work, taking care of home and family, concentrating on workout and intake etc. – trying to stay slim and trim during younger years is very normal in most women – , thus managing to keep weight gain at bay. By the time they are in their forties, a sluggish attitude towards personal appearance sets in – children are grown up and there is less physical strain – and menopause too happens around that time, leading to the inevitable weight gain and they happily pass the blame on menopause! If they continue to concentrate on their diet and workout when they are into forties, even if there is a slight weight gain owing to hormonal imbalance, it is less noticeable.
The biological changes happening in a woman’s body during this period may cause menopause weight gain. The drop in hormone production – other than androgen – and decrease in hormonal activity is in fact, the reason behind reduction in muscle mass and increase in fat cells. During menopause, there is an increase in androgen production which is responsible for accumulation of fat in all the wrong places, mainly the middle region. Another theory says that during menopause, the body exhibits insulin resistance, which is responsible for converting calories into fat. This weight gain may cause emotional stress and many women go into depression and become less active physically, leading to further weight gain, thus making matters worse!
Despite the above stated reasons for menopause weight gain, there are ways a woman can keep those extra pounds away. You need to have a positive outlook towards life and accept the changes in the body with equanimity. Take a balanced diet – avoid getting into starvation mode – consisting of important nutrients along with minerals and vitamins. Work out regularly and if need be, try to shed the extra fat under supervision from a professional trainer. Socialize more, catch up with your friends and expand your horizon by taking up new hobbies or pursuing those that were abandoned years ago.
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