Depleting hormone levels mean even women who have maintained a healthy weight, may notice changes to their shape, and the rest of us just put on even more weight - and can’t shift it! Plus, piling on the pounds particularly around the middle, increases the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer post-menopause. A pretty good incentive to shift it…
“Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)”, Joe Tex's disco ditty may get us swinging our hips, yet now is the time to start doing a little more than just that.
There’s a cocktail of hormonal loss at work, impacting on weight gain and/or our inability to lose it during menopause. Oestrogen fluctuations slow our metabolism and cause mayhem in the fat storage department, making us hard-wired to gain weight, usually as belly fat. Then as progesterone levels dip, we retain water, making us feel bloated. See our Feeling Bloated advice if this sounds like you.
Testosterone, which previously helped build muscle mass, burning calories in the process, drops too. Typically, we gain a pound a year from the start of the perimenopause (usually in our early forties), which means by the time we make it to the other side of menopause we could be carrying an extra 15 pounds. And in our experience, no-one thinks to tell you this!
And the good news is….
Taking steps to address weight management should have a knock-on effect on your general health. You’ll feel healthier, look better and hopefully feel happier too.
The best ways to manage menopause weight gain
With a little action, and more than a little willpower, you can grab your body back from the grips of menopause mayhem.