Menopause and weight gain – is there anything you can do?
Weight gain is one of menopause’s most frustrating symptoms and can easily derail our self-confidence. But is there anything we can do to combat it? Why does menopause cause weight gain in the first place? Here I explore all as well as provide you with some handy recommendations to help you keep those extra pounds at bay!
Why does menopause cause weight gain?
As women approach the menopause a number of changes can take place due to the falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone. This can lead to symptoms such as weight gain, hot flushes, bloating, muscle and joint pain and emotional turmoil such as low mood, irritability or depression. As a result of falling oestrogen and progesterone levels, menopausal women tend to lose muscle mass and gain weight.
Although menopause does not directly cause weight gain, falling levels of oestrogen can change how and where we store fat. What’s more as we get older our rate of metabolism drops meaning that we can’t burn through calories in the same way that we once did.
During the menopause exercise has also been shown to be extremely beneficial for helping to reduce the frequency and severity of menopause symptoms including hot flushes, weight gain, weak muscles and irritability to name a few. Usually the cause of these menopause symptoms occurs as a result of falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone.
Support your metabolism
When it comes to difficulties with losing weight it is easy to declare that slow metabolism is the culprit. However, weight gain is a complicated process, and although it’s tempting to blame excess weight on your metabolism, this isn’t always the case. A combination of many factors including genes, diet, sleep, physical activity and stress can all play a role in our weight and metabolic rate.
It’s true that metabolism is connected to weight control although it’s only part of the whole picture. Boosting your metabolism alone won’t be enough to help you to lose weight – the age old ways of having a balanced diet and regular exercise are still the best ways. However, if you feel you need a bit of metabolic support kelp is one supplement you might consider turning to.
Kelp contains iodine which is essential for the manufacture of thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for supporting our metabolism, energy levels and also our weight management. Kelp is one of the richest dietary sources of iodine. Kelp can also boost overall nutrition and health since it is full of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Made from naturally occurring Pacific Sea Kelp and rich in naturally occurring iodine A.Vogel's Kelp tablets can help you when you’re feeling sluggish or if you have slow metabolism and need a little bit of extra support.
Our diet during menopause isn’t just important for preventing weight gain, the process of menopause itself places extra stress on the body meaning that our nutritional needs go sky-high! First and foremost be sure to get as much fruit and veg into your diet as you can, aim for at least 5 portions although some experts now recommend 10 portions over the initial 5. Your protein needs are also higher during menopause so be sure to include more of it in your diet. This can be tricky if you’re vegan, vegetarian or don’t particularly like meat or fish however, if this is the case, we have a range of vegan-friendly protein powders that I’d recommend investigating.
Hydration, like fruit and veg, is a fundamental must in any diet. Sadly, our beloved coffee and tea don’t count because they contain lots of caffeine and can even trigger those pesky hot flushes! Many of us can find water on its own a little bland, so I’d recommend making things more interesting by infusing some fruit with it too.
The key with diet is moderation, I believe that if we restrict our diet too much we often end up craving the foods that are maybe not so good for us. It’s important to bear in mind that there are potential foods that can aggravate other menopause symptoms such as sugar, alcohol and refined, processed foods.
Usually these foods are also the ones most likely to cause weight gain. If you’re struggling with your diet during menopause and aren’t sure where to begin, seeking the advice of a nutritional therapist is often a great place to start. They will be able to identify any problem areas and make sure that you’re getting all the right nutrients that you need during this time.
Can a natural remedy help me?
Unfortunately I can’t tell you that there is a natural remedy out there that will help you to manage weight gain caused by menopause because there is no such remedy. However, if you take steps towards supporting yourself and your oestrogen levels throughout the menopause you may find that the effects of weight gain minimal. A.Vogel’s Menopause Support tablets are perfect for supporting you throughout all stages of the menopause. They contain soy isoflavones which mimic the actions of oestrogen in the body helping to balance out your hormones to provide you with just that little bit of extra support.