Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why Does Menopause Make it Harder to Lose Weight?

If you're approaching menopause, menopausal, or dealing with weight gain after menopause, you've probably noticed that it gets harder and harder to lose weight as you age. (And, it was already pretty stinking hard!!) Understanding the causes of menopause weight gain can help you make a plan to get control of weight, so read on for some details that can help you out.

Why Does Menopause Make it Harder to Lose Weight?
Why Does Menopause Make it Harder to Lose Weight? image courtesy of Pixabay

Why Does Menopause Make it Harder to Lose Weight?

There are two main physical reasons why menopause makes it harder to lose weight: hormonal changes and changes in insulin resistance. 
Changes in Hormone Levels: As you go through menopause, your hormonal levels drop, as noted by The Beauty Insiders, and it's a double-whammy, too, because both estrogen and testosterone drop.

The drop in  estrogen packs extra weight on the center of your body and your hips, and the drop in testosterone takes away your drive, energy, and your body's ability to create lean muscle mass (which you NEED if you want to lose weight.)
Supplements, either prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal deliver a way to help your body regain a healthy hormonal balance as you go through menopause, and that balance can help your weight loss efforts.
Changes in Insulin Resistance: As your body progresses through menopause, the way it processes food changes, so you're not getting the same nutritional value and the soda, snacks, and sweets you were able to enjoy freely - or at least more freely - now take up residence on your frame.

Why You Need to Change Your Habits to Counteract Menopausal Weight Gain

Because your body begins to process the things you eat differently and because nature is working against you by packing weight on your body at the same time your energy is declining, you need to make some changes if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

  • Restore your hormonal balance. This can be done with supplements or prescription medications, and it's always a good idea to discuss your options with your doctor before trying anything new. (Even natural supplements can interact badly with other medications you are taking, and it's better to be safe.)
  • Cut sugar intake. If you  really have a sweet tooth, substitute processed sugar for fruit as often as possible - you need to be eating those fruits and veggies anyway. 
  • Cut fried and greasy foods. I know they're yummy, but they are heading straight for the body parts where you don't want them. You can still have some, because going cold-turkey feels like punishment, and if it feels like punishment, you're probably going to rebel and get a bunch of large orders, right? But really, reduce how much fried food you get - like - if you normally hit the drive through for a large order of fries a few times a week, make it a small order once or twice a week. 
  • Eat more light protein. WebMD recommends fish, and it makes sense, as long as the fish isn't fried, because fish is a great source of light, low calorie protein. (I throw eggs and peanut butter in this section, too.)
  • Get regular exercise. I bet you knew I was going to say that. Be creative, and look for activity that you enjoy, and look for ways to make the things you already do more active. I wanted to add that, because if it's fun, you're more likely to stick with it. And, if it's convenient, you're more likely to keep doing it. 
I know life is busy, and as human beings we like our comfortable eating habits and existing activity levels because change can be so darn hard....

I know nobody has time to fit anything else into the day, but you still need to do some exercises, so crank up the radio and jiggle around the kitchen to the music when dinner's cooking, or do some mini squats and lunges while you're doing the dishes. Fit in stretches while you're waiting on the last few minutes of the wash cycle to finish. Grab a pair of dumbbells and do some presses while you're waiting on a webpage to load. Anywhere you have a moment extra, you have a chance to increase your fitness level.

For me, cutting back on sugar and fried food is a challenge, even more than getting more active, and I don't like admitting that, but it's just a fact. Which parts of managing your weight are hard for you? Laure J

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