Can you beat menopausal weight gain! Know how?
The last few months had been a little troubling as I had been doing everything to lose weight but always failing somehow. It is depressing – yes very depressing especially for someone who had been losing those extra kilos successfully till now. Though very clearly I know it is menopausal weight gain As an addition to that was the irregular and prolonged periods (well not that I haven’t experienced that earlier too, being a thyroid patient it’s a common thing) but then why this bloated muffin middle! Ahh! I hate that so much. And why this emotional vulnerability! Why this damn disturbed sleep with sweaty nights even during winters….!
There are so many questions around me and the answer only one —- “Darling, accept the fact, you are getting old. These are all symptoms of menopause.” Nahiiiii, yeh nahi ho sakta— abhi meri umar hi kya hai??? (Oh! Mamma, stop being your usual drama queen self.) –comes a shut up call from my daughter 😛
All right let me get serious now (Oh! Can I ever do that?) Well, I mean I can always try. 😉
When the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen which is usually in a woman’s 40s, it is called Perimenopause which lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.
So here is a checklist my gynecologist gave me of the symptoms related to menopause.
You may recognize perimenopause when you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Fuzzy thinking
- Low libido
- Heavy menses
- Difficulty in sleeping
How to beat menopausal weight gain
The hormonal changes of menopause makes to gain weight as decline in estrogen decreases carbohydrates tolerance and changes the way of digestion leading to more carbohydrate absorption and a raise in the fat storage hormone insulin.
The good news is that this weight gain can be reversed or at least controlled just like at any other age with the help of lifestyle changes and controlled eating habits. But it is always better to bring hormonal imbalance back to ease weight loss. Now there is a tricky situation here too as some women realized that they were putting on weight due to the hormonal meds too. Well meds can’t be challenged but yes we can surely try to maintain weight if not lose during this period.
Low Carb Way of Eating- Does it help??
It was observed that excellent nutrition and lowered carbohydrates helps women balance their hormones and heal naturally. A diet higher in protein and lower in carbs can be of great help but how much higher can you go with proteins will depend on your other health issues too like osteoporosis. Eating a very high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet means the body must use a lot of calcium, which will eventually be pulled from a woman’s bones. But yes it is possible to go “low carb” without being too restrictive. A good hormone-regulating diet consists of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent healthful fats. Higher fiber levels in the diet is another recommended addition.
Perimenopause and exercise
Perimenopausal symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, depression and other mood changes can bring in lethargy in women at this particular stage and lead to quick weight gain. Adding intensity to cardio workouts, doing more HIIT, mixing up physical routines and above all shocking your body with new exercises is the key to keeping weight under control during perimenopausal phase.
Remember ladies getting frustrated is not going to work at all so let us think of doing something that actually works with patience. I am opting for patiently keeping an eye over my calorie intake and burning religiously off…. Are you?
P.S – Reasons for sudden weight gain here.