If you belong to the group of many women who feel like they've gained weight due to menopause, there is hope! You may be wondering why your weight has gone to your abdomen instead of your hips, like when you were younger.
Oestrogen, a hormone your body produces, actually causes us to store fat on our hips. As we age, our bodies produce less oestrogen, and so the fat goes to our stomach instead of the hips. Unfortunately our bodies also tend to store fat and burn less calories due to the fact that we become insulin resistant with age.
The bad thing about storing weight around the abdomen is the increased health risks. These risks include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and some cancers.
The start of perimenopause is often the start of weight gain at the average of 1 pound a year. A good recommendation to avoid that is to keep your calorie level at 1,200 – 1,500 calories a day.
To help counteract the weight gain during menopause, there are several things you can do.
Eat a diet that contains fruit, vegetables, beans, grains, cereal, fish, extra lean meat and low-fat dairy.
Increase fiber intake.
Gradually reduce calories, your metabolism needs about 200 less calories than before.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol.
Keep fat intake between 20% and 35% of your daily calories
Get 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily – find something you like to do and stick with it!
Strength training to maintain and build lean muscle, use weights and resistance.
Your doctor may prescribe hormone therapy with estrogen to control menopausal symptoms. However, hormone therapy has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and that in itself may be reason enough to avoid it. I have been using a natural product called Estroven, which has been a great help to me during perimenopause and now during regular menopause.
Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program . You may not be able to take any natural remedies if you are taking HRT. Always ask your doctor if you have any concerns.