There are some really good physiological reasons for menopause weight gain. What may have worked for you before, might not work for you now, and even if it does – weight loss can be lot harder.
Menopause Weight Gain Due to Lack of Progesterone
The two major female hormones are oestrogen and progesterone.
Progesterone is protective against excess fat storage, unless you’re totally shooting yourself in the foot with poor eating choices. Progesterone levels decline much sooner and faster than oestrogen as a woman approaches menopause.
Because of this imbalance you become ‘oestrogen dominant’ and this leads to getting a bit thick around the middle, and stubborn belly fat. It can also be at the root of ‘unexplained weight gain’. You’ve made no changes to your diet and exercise, but you’re piling on the pounds. Or previous successful weight loss strategies don’t work now. This is because your body doesn’t respond anymore due to changing hormones.
Other tell-tale signs of low progesterone and consequent relative high oestrogen include:
- Hot sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Water retention and bloating
- Anxiety, stress, and depression
Early on your periods might remain fairly regular, but your cycle could be getting shorter.
Weight Gain Due To Under Active Thyroid
Another common culprit for menopause weight gain are thyroid issues.
Thyroid function can decline as you get older, and it’s really susceptible to the growing number of toxins in our food and environment.
The cleaner you can be with your diet the better. Also, reducing exposure to chemicals will help. In particular consider what you put on your skin – how natural are the products you’re using? Another common everyday chemical exposure is cleaning products. There are more natural brands to choose.
Weight Gain & Stress
Ongoing stress can lead to weight gain, and can make it very difficult to lose weight.
Menopause can be really stressful! If it gets layered on top of a whole heap of other stress it can really tip the balance towards weight gain.
Insulin The ‘Fat Hormone’
Insulin is crucial when it comes to how much body fat you have.
The more insulin your body releases (in response to your eating choices) the more fat you will lay down.
Insulin is something you can bring under control yourself, which will be a BIG help in your weight loss efforts. Learn more here.
Want To Learn More?
You can see – menopause weight gain has a lot to do with hormones!
Some of this you can sort out yourself with better diet and lifestyle choices. But remember – what worked before may not work now because your body needs more care, and different things than before.
Other parts of the puzzle are going to need some help from a doctor who is ‘up on hormones’.
I may do an online course later in the year (2019), to dive in a lot deeper about weight issues during and after menopause. Leave a comment or get in touch if you’re interested – if there’s enough interest I’ll do if, if not I won’t because these things take a lot time and effort.
If you’re on my menopause list you’ll be the first to know about the course if I do it. If you’d like to be on that list all you need to do is download my free menopause guide.
Have a great week!