As you age, your body changes, especially when you hit menopause. For many women, the transition to menopause is often accompanied by a few surprises — one of which might be weight gain.
If you've never dealt with weight struggles or have had a relatively healthy and active life, it can be frustrating to deal with this issue suddenly.
Understanding the connection between your hormones and metabolism, which shift during menopause, is the place to start.
At Dragon Healthcare Services and Med Spa in Springville, Utah, Joseph Dragon, FNP-BC, and our team is renowned for our holistic approach to women's health and can guide you through this transition. In this blog, he demystifies these changes and offers tips for living your best, healthiest life during menopause.
When women reach menopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps regulate the distribution and amount of fat in your body.
With less estrogen, fat accumulates around your midsection rather than in your hips and thighs. Simultaneously, aging slows down your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories and store more fat.
These factors combined often result in weight gain during menopause.
The first line of defense against menopausal weight gain is a healthy diet and regular exercise. A balanced diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains not only helps with weight management but also combats other menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
Regular physical activity, particularly strength training and cardiovascular exercises, can also help boost your metabolism and maintain muscle mass, which tends to decrease with age.
Stress often accompanies menopause and can worsen weight gain by disrupting hormonal balance. Mind-body practices like yoga and meditation are powerful tools for managing stress and promoting relaxation.
Weaving these practices into your daily routine can contribute significantly to maintaining a healthy weight during menopause.
Sleep plays a vital role in weight management. Lack of quality sleep can interfere with the balance of your hunger hormones, leading to increased appetite and potential weight gain.
Women who are menopausal may experience changes in their sleep patterns due to night sweats and hot flashes.
Adopting strategies to improve sleep hygiene — such as investing in cool, breathable sheets, maintaining a comfortable room temperature, and establishing a regular sleep routine — can improve your sleep, contributing to overall weight management.
Menopause and weight gain management is as much an emotional journey as a physical one. It's normal to experience a range of feelings — frustration, sadness, or even a sense of loss.
That's why cultivating a solid support network and prioritizing mental health is crucial.
Joining community groups, participating in therapy, or even sharing your experiences in online forums can provide much-needed emotional support and shared connection.
Menopausal weight gain is understandably frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. By understanding the changes in your body, implementing healthy lifestyle habits, and seeking professional guidance, managing your weight during this phase of life can be less daunting.
At Dragon Healthcare Services and Med Spa, we understand the complexities of menopausal weight gain and offer innovative treatments, including hormone replacement therapy, to address these specific body changes. Get started by booking an appointment today or calling 385-685-5114.