Aside from the hormonal imbalances manifested by hot flashes, mood swings etc., one of the hardest things to accept about menopause is the uncontrollable weight gain. It’s no wonder most women have a hard time accepting their once toned body turning into a flabby mess.
Unfortunately, these body changes occur even if you’re exercising regularly and watching what you eat. Most women become desperate because no matter what they do, they’re only putting on weight.
Well, menopausal weight gain is normally attributed to 4 factors blended into an acronym – STOP:
– Stress and Emotions
– Out of Balance Hormones
– Poor Sleep
1. Stress And Emotions
What makes stress one of the major culprits for many health issues including menopausal weight gain is the fact that it results in high cortisol levels and eventually in adrenal fatigue.
This makes the body go into survival mode and the cortisol receptors in the abdomen store fat. Excessive stress also triggers unhealthy food cravings and the body compensates further by releasing neuro-hormonal factors that put you in survival mode, which leads to inflammation and weight gain.
Toxin buildup in the body is another contributing factor to menopausal weight gain. Toxins are everywhere – in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the environment we live and work in. This toxic overload not only stresses the liver, but also the digestive track, both of which play crucial roles in maintaining the body’s balance and reducing inflammation.
Inflammation, on the other hand, leads to a hormonal imbalance, which raises your risk of disease. Also, it compromises the body’s immune response to food sensitivities and infections. Inflammation also leads to internal swelling and causes weight gain.
3. Out Of Balance Hormones
Hormonal imbalances are the main indicator of menopause. As estrogen levels decrease during this time, the body tries to hold on to that little estrogen by increasing fat storage around the mid-section. In addition, underactive thyroid and insulin resistance, both of which account for increased fat storage are also symptoms of menopause.
4. Poor Sleep
Sleeplessness is another side effect of menopause most women have to put up with. The thing is out-of-balance hormones cause night sweats, which seriously affect sleep quality.
And, that’s not all. Changes in neuro-chemical balance resulting from low serotonin have negative impact on mood while lower melatonin levels affect sleep. These changes also increase two very important hormones that help regulate appetite and weight – leptin and ghrelin.
5 Tips To Prevent Menopausal Weight Gain
1. Address stress and emotional challenges.
2. Reduce toxic overload through a well-balanced diet, drinking filtered water, and staying away from environmental toxins as much as possible.
3. Optimize hormonal balance.
4. Don’t over-exhaust yourself with strenuous physical exercise and starvation.
5. Learn how to help your body regain its proper function.