October 18th every year is world menopause day. The day is held to raise awareness of the menopause and the health conditions that can accompany this natural stage of a women’s life.

For a lot of patients that we see who are entering the menopause, they have come to us because they have started seeing their weight increase and can’t seem to control it.

It is a common fact that a lot of women gain weight when they enter the menopause, and it is estimated that you can gain approximately 5lbs during this stage of your life.

However, if you are already carrying excess weight, you may find that you gain a lot more weight when you are going through the menopause.

We want to assure you that menopause weight gain doesn’t have to be an inevitability.

Whether you are perimenopausal, in the menopause or postmenopausal, we hope that this blog will show you a little more about how you can look after yourself and either lose, or prevent excess weight gain with some helpful weight loss and health tips.

 

 

Stages and Symptoms of the Menopause

Depending on your stage of menopause, there will be varying symptoms that you may experience.

There are 3 stages of the menopause:

Perimenopausal

At this stage, you will notice that your cycles become irregular, but will not have stopped completely. You may experience some symptoms associated with the menopause, but you will not have yet entered the menopause.

Menopausal

This stage is when you no longer have a menstrual period as your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing oestrogen. This stage is usually diagnosed when you have had a full 12 months without a period.

Postmenopausal

A woman becomes postmenopausal when you have not had a period for over 12 months and symptoms that are associated with the menopause start to ease.

The length of each stage will vary for each woman. The length of perimenopause is approximately 4 years, but some women may experience this stage for more or less time.

 

 

Symptoms

When you are entering the menopause, you may get some, or all, of these symptoms:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Difficultly sleeping
  • Reduced libido
  • Problems with your memory or concentration
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes – anxiety or low mood
  • Heart palpitations
  • Joint pains, aches or stiffness
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Recurring UTIs
  • Weight gain

 

 

Reasons the Menopause Causes Weight Gain

Menopause weight gain affects so many women because of the drop in oestrogen levels.

Our fluctuating hormone levels can affect the way that our bodies are storing fat and the way our body manages food can also change during menopause, meaning we burn less calories than we did pre-menopause.

The weight we gain during menopause also doesn’t distribute across our bodies in the same way that it did before either.

Where pre-menopause, your weight would more-or-less evenly distribute across our whole body, when we enter the menopause, our weight tends to gather around the middle as visceral fat, and crucially, around our vital organs, which can prove to be dangerous.

Additionally, our bodies require less energy, but we don’t tend to reduce our food intake and once we have hit the menopause, there is an inclination to move less as our joints and muscles become more prone to aches and fatigue – all adding up to weight gain!

 

What Can You Do To ‘Beat’ The Menopause Weight Gain?         

We know that menopausal weight gain can have negative impact on your health and can increase your risk of breathing issues, heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach to maintaining a healthy weight in menopause and beyond, there are some simple ways that we can try and stay in good health and within our healthy BMI range.

 

Eat smaller portions

Once you are in, or have been through, the menopause, you require much less energy / calories, so by reducing our portion sizes, we can help stop some of the weight gain we might see.

 

Eat a balanced, healthy diet

Make sure that you are getting at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and that your meals are nutritious and healthy. Avoid takeaways too frequently and switch to low-sugar or sugar-less drinks.

 

Watch your alcohol intake

Alcohol is full of empty calories and can add hundreds of calories to your diet each time you have a glass of wine. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink will help halt too much weight gain.

 

Keep moving

It can be really tempting to reduce your exercise when your muscles and joints ache more, but keeping up your activity not only helps with your weight loss, but your mobility too.

It also helps where we might experience a reduction in muscle mass during menopause, to keep your muscle density high.

 

Keep stress levels low

This is easier said than done in a lot of cases, but stress releases the hormone cortisol, which can lead to more abdominal fat deposits. During high stress times, we can also turn to food for comfort and find ourselves falling into unhealthy habits again.

Where needed, talk to those who can help reduce your stress levels to keep you healthy.

 

 

If you, or anyone you know, is suffering with symptoms or menopause weight gain, get in touch with us at The Slimming Clinic.

Because our online weight loss programmes are delivered by doctors, we know how to look after your health and how to approach your weight loss, no matter what stage in life you are at.

Give us a call to speak to a member of staff about your symptoms and the goals you want to achieve with your health, or book and pay online now for your EXCLUSIVE £35 online booking fee – saving you £15. 

 

We will help you look better, feel better and achieve your dreams!

For more information call us on 0800 917 9334

 

The FIRST STEP to becoming the NEW YOU is the hardest.

Check your BMI Now and then let us HELP you the rest of the way