One of the biggest concerns for women about to enter menopause is weight gain. How true is it that you gain kilos? Can we avoid it? Here we detail it.
Many women wonder if they gain weight during menopause. First of all, we have to know that menopause is a time in a woman’s life in which the cessation of menstruation occurs. It often occurs after the age of 45 and has hormonal consequences.
In this stage, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. A woman is considered to have reached menopause when she does not have a period for a period of one year. However, it is a process that comes with other physical changes that are worrisome.
One of the main fears of women about this stage is the possibility associated with weight gain. Next, we will reveal what is true in this fact, the mechanisms involved, and what we can do to prevent it. Do not miss it!
Hormonal changes during menopause
To answer whether you gain weight during menopause, it is important to note that a series of important hormonal changes occur during this period. Although these could be related to weight gain, the truth is that experts link it more with aging itself.
Muscle mass decreases as we get older, especially in the absence of regular exercise. This loss of active tissue leads to a significant reduction in caloric expenditure and, consequently, low weight gain without altering dietary behaviors.
This study from the journal “Climacteric” suggests that “hormonal changes could be related to fat mass gain in the abdominal area.” Also, he proposes estrogen therapy as a solution to this problem.
However, it also concludes that more studies are necessary to corroborate this type of therapy’s body composition efficiency.
How to prevent changes in body composition?
Hormonal changes and loss of muscle mass must be compensated to avoid unwanted weight gains. To improve the metabolic rate, the best is a plan of strength exercises that prevent active tissue loss.
Also, the scientific literature ensures that regular exercise in postmenopausal women is essential for preventing problems such as osteoporosis. From the nutritional point of view, it is necessary to take a series of measures to provide the nutrients that the body needs without producing an energy imbalance.
It’s a great way to cut off a good handful of calories a day without unduly high effort. It is best to skip breakfast, as hormonal cycles produce less appetite in the morning.
Likewise, studies ensure that these types of dietary protocols are positive for preventing complex diseases and the appearance of type 2 diabetes.
The decrease in carbohydrate consumption
The function of carbohydrates is fundamentally energy. In menopausal women, unless they are subjected to a resistance exercise plan, these nutrient needs are diminished.
For this reason, it is positive to reduce carbohydrate intake and slightly increase protein intake. This strategy will help prevent muscle loss.
Now, strict ketogenic diets can be difficult to follow in many cases. Also, its fiber deficiencies can be a problem for intestinal health. However, we can carry out a low-carbohydrate diet without these drawbacks if we know how to choose their source.
Consuming whole grains and unprocessed foods will provide the necessary amount of fiber for the body. Also, according to different studies, the consumption of fiber is related to the prevention of cardiovascular risk.
Choose fresh and seasonal foods
In such a sensitive stage of life from the hormonal point of view, it is necessary to ensure the supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There is no better ally for this function than fresh food.
Leaving aside industrial products, we will improve the supply of micronutrients and reduce trans fatty acids and chemical products.
Also, the regular appearance of fruits and vegetables in the diet will provide the number of antioxidants necessary to fight against aging and free radicals.
If you want an extra contribution of these nutrients in your diet, keep in mind that the scientific literature lists blueberries and berries as one of your best allies.
So do you get fat during menopause?
The process of changing body composition during the menopausal period is totally avoidable. Despite some hormonal changes and aging, which can negatively affect fat gain, there are methods to compensate for these imbalances effectively.
Eating a healthy diet rich in fresh produce, along with the practice of regular strength exercise, will prevent the appearance of unwanted abdominal fat from the age of 45.