Many women see their weight balloon when they enter the menopause stage of life. It can even begin during perimenopause, which is the period leading up to menopause. Commonly this weight gain is accompanied by other symptoms like night sweats, moodiness, loss of energy and diminished sex drive. It's all thanks to a drastic shift in hormones, but you can fight back.
Menopause brings with it a decrease in metabolism which means that if women continue eating the same way that kept them at a healthy weight before, they may still gain weight after menopause. According to Dr. Oz, after 40 your metabolism winds down 5% every 10 years. Managing your weight after menopause is a combination of boosting your metabolism and getting the right nutrients for your changing body.
According to The Doctors, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help minimize and fight the body changes of menopause. They say to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because they contain phytoestrogens and boron which help the body hold onto estrogen. Also, they say to work foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads into your diet to help digestive function. They also say to avoid high sugar foods that contribute to spikes in insulin and fatty foods like chips that raise bad cholesterol. According to Dr. Oz, estrogen loss causes insulin levels to go up and thyroid levels to go down, which will make you feel hungry more often so fight hunger with healthy snacks like nuts rich in healthy fats.
Exercise is also critical because of several reasons. It boosts seratonin levels which combats depression and is a mood booster. When you're feeling down, going for a run is a much better solution for your body and mental health than sitting down with a pint of ice cream. Muscle burns 3 times more calories than fat cells, which means loss of muscle mass causes weight gain and an inability to shed pounds. Muscle mass loss is common with aging, so working out can help to combat this loss.