What causes the weight gain?
Although we don’t know the exact cause of weight gain during menopause, this common symptom is thought to be associated with the change in estrogen. This hormone influences the distribution of fat across the body. Fat is more likely to start to be stored around the abdomen, where it may have previously been carried around the lower body and hips.
However, it is also believed that ageing is an underlying cause of weight gain during menopause. As people get older, muscle mass in the body starts to decrease because we don’t work as efficiently as we did when we were younger. This is called ‘sarcopenia’. As muscle mass falls, you start to burn fewer calories which makes it difficult to maintain weight.
How to lose weight during menopause?
Menopause weight loss can be challenging. As your body changes, the best way to manage it is to make sustainable diet and lifestyle changes.
Staying active during menopause will help you keep weight changes under control. Find an activity that you enjoy, like yoga or swimming, or commit to taking regular walks, even if they are short.
Developing positive dietary changes is also a helpful way to lose weight. Reduce your alcohol intake, have at least one serving of oily fish each week (packed with healthy omega 3 fats) and increase your fibre by having plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Opt for plant-based meals and reduce excessive red meat intake.
Avoid crash dieting
Many women try to combat the weight gain with crash dieting. This approach is not sustainable and may make you more likely to put on weight in the long run. Rather, eat more slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
How to relieve bloating caused by Menopause?
Many women notice a feeling of bloating during perimenopause and menopause. Bloating is more common among women in these age groups. It may be attributed to the changes in hormones which increase sensitivities in the gut.
Hormone replacement therapy may also have an impact on digestion. Women also tend to have more sensitivity in the gut area, more readily noticing changes to pressure or volume in the digestive organs. Bloating could be associated with gas, constipation or even stress.