Menopause is a wild ride of hormones that has severe effects on women’s physical and mental health. On top of all this internal change, the imbalance of all these hormones can result in weight gain. When combined with the body’s natural ageing process, having a slower metabolism and requiring fewer calories, it is easy to quickly pile on these extra pounds.
If you are dealing with stubborn weight gain due to perimenopause or menopause, remember you are not alone. Menopausal weight gain is much more common than you may think. Read our guide on how to lose weight during menopause, including non-invasive treatments that could help you slim down.
What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?
Menopause is associated with significant changes in the body’s composition and fat distribution, due to changes in oestrogen levels. Oestrogen is the most common female sex hormone which is essential for menstruation and pregnancy. When a woman enters the perimenopause stage, their oestrogen levels fluctuate; however, when menopause is reached, oestrogen levels drop considerably and ovulation no longer occurs.
Other factors of this hormone include controlling energy balance, body fat distribution and food intake, in addition to promoting the accumulation of subcutaneous fat. This is the layer of fat located beneath the skin’s surface, away from the body’s vital organs. The loss of oestrogen with menopause, therefore, is related to an increase in visceral fat.
Visceral fat builds up within abdominal cavities, this can be near several vital organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines, as well as developing in the arteries. In other words, this fat is dangerous and is often associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other significant health problems.
Without oestrogen to manage the distribution of body fat, excess fat ends up sitting around the body’s organs, away from the skin’s surface. With fat sitting deeper in the body, it is common for women to carry this weight on their bellies.
How Common is Weight Gain during Menopause?
During menopause, weight loss is more common than you may expect. Some women experience fluctuations in their weight as early as 10 years before they enter menopause, known as their perimenopause stage. It is around this time that the body goes through fluctuations in its oestrogen production, with some experiencing breaks in ovulation.
Consequently, many women report that they gained weight at or near the time of their menopause. The average weight gain is 2.2 ± 4.1 kg, and those who were previously overweight tend to gain even more weight throughout this phase.
When the drop in the oestrogen hormone is combined with additional factors, this weight loss can be emphasised. Other influences are:
- Fluctuations in Hormones
- Natural Ageing Process
- Loss of Muscle Mass
- Poor Sleep Quality
- A Developed Insulin Resistance
- Drop in Metabolism
Menopause will be different for every woman, with some experiencing more profound effects than others. However, it is worth remembering that weight gain is a common side effect.
Is Menopausal Weight Gain Risky?
Gaining weight after menopause poses a significant risk to your health. The accumulation of extra weight, particularly in the abdominal area, can lead to various health concerns such as respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, being overweight can increase your vulnerability to certain types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and endometrial cancers.
Can Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure?
Menopausal weight gain can also have an impact on blood pressure levels. As women enter menopause, their oestrogen levels decrease, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Additionally, any excess weight gained during menopause can further contribute to higher blood pressure levels.
Having high blood pressure can also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health complications. Therefore, it is important for women who are experiencing menopausal weight gain to monitor their blood pressure regularly and take steps to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure.
Why is it Hard to Lose Weight During Menopause?
Losing weight is possible during menopause, but it can be tricky. One reason for this is that as women age, their metabolism naturally slows down, which can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. However, by making lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, women can continue to maintain their weight or even lose weight during menopause.
Additionally, menopausal women may experience a decrease in muscle mass due to hormonal changes. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so a decrease in muscle mass can slow down metabolism and make it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Engaging in regular strength training exercises can help preserve muscle mass and increase metabolism.
Moreover, menopausal women may also experience changes in appetite and food cravings. By paying attention to hunger and fullness cues and making healthy food choices, women can help control their weight during menopause.
Tips for How to Lose Weight During Menopause
The importance of physical activity increases as the body ages. Therefore, it is essential for women during menopause to take steps to lose the weight gained during this transition. Read our tips on what’s the best way to prevent weight gain after menopause and how to stop menopause weight gain.
Start with your Eating Habits
The benefits of eating healthy foods extend beyond your belly fat to your mental health. In particular, try to avoid eating processed food and focus on fibre instead. Processed food has had its fibre extracted, which means it has low nutritional value. It is high in concentrated calories such as added fat, sugar, salt, and refined grains.
When you eat processed food, your blood glucose jumps, and your pancreas overreacts and releases too much insulin. Due to the extra insulin, your blood glucose ends up below normal, and it prevents fat from being released from fat cells. After that, your brain thinks that you are low on energy and makes you feel hungry, so processed food starts pushing you to eat more and burn fewer calories.
Learn to Manage Stress and Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown, stress is directly linked to gaining belly fat. If you’re stressed out, your brain starts releasing a particular hormone called “cortisol” that helps you cope with the stress. If you are under stress all the time, your cortisol level is always high, which causes fat from other parts of your body to move to your belly.
It happens due to the structure of belly-fat cells, which is slightly different from fat cells in other parts of your body. Furthermore, fat cells are more sensitive to adrenaline. In terms of physiology, belly fat is more “helpful” in coping with stress because fat cells release their stored energy more quickly.
You can learn to manage stress before it gets too severe. You can effectively manage stress in many different ways. Usually, the best stress management plan includes a mix of stress relievers that address stress physically and psychologically.
Better sleep, for instance, means better stress management. Have you ever noticed, when you’re well-rested, you’re less hungry? Getting quality sleep is an essential part of your weight regulation system. Poor sleep messes with the hormones in your brain – leptin, and ghrelin, which control appetite. In this case, your appetite increases, and you are less likely to resist temptations and control the quantity and quality of your food.
Increase Physical Activity
Fortunately, you can regulate the amount of belly fat stored in your body by increasing your physical activity. Physical activity can also help you to cope with stress.
Did you know that most of the energy you burn is just to keep your body going? Even people who exercise a lot still burn most of their calories by just staying alive. In some measure, the amount of energy you need to stay alive depends on your body’s muscle-to-fat ratio.
Muscle cells burn more calories in normal activities than other cells do. So, If you put on muscle and start burning more calories without eating more, you’ll be burning your stored fat.
Have you tried Body Shaping and Contouring?
Menopausal weight gain can be stubborn; diet and exercise might not be enough. But, VIP Italia electrostimulation technology will take your muscles to the gym, and the more you do the more you’ll see the results.
One of the primary purposes of using VIP Italia’s Transion is to solve the overweight problem. The Transion deliberately acts on targeted muscles and tissues through micro-electrical impulses. It makes them contract and induces bending and twisting moments that can’t occur when doing physical activities. The technology imitates how the central nervous system causes muscles to contract. Naturally, your brain, through the central nervous system, sends electrical impulses to stimulate muscle movement. Electrical muscle stimulation artificially stimulates the muscles to contract. Transion causes the body to burn calories, similar to vigorous exercise activity and reduces weight.
Our Isogei treatment is an effective way to put on more muscles. It is excellent for firming and toning the muscles, which can help not only with a slimmer, more athletic figure but also provides a noticeable lifting effect, helping your skin and body look young.
Since the lymphatic system serves as a central part of the immune system, lymphatic drainage helps treat many health problems and acts as a stress reliever. Our Linfogei function provides aesthetic lymphatic and venous drainage. It helps reduce swelling and puffiness with a visible appearance of cellulite reduction.
Lipo Line Function
Our Lipo Line Function is a non-surgical procedure that can be performed instead of liposuction. It breaks apart fat deposits under 1 MHz ultrasound cavitation, thus reshaping the body’s contours. Lipo Line is perfect for those suffering from menopausal weight gain because it targets fat cells, and prevents cellulite progression.
Please, don’t take your health for granted. Take proper care of your body and mind, especially during menopause, when most women are very fragile and exhausted.
We provide an effective and lasting solution to stubborn menopausal weight gain. It can target different body areas and work to reduce cellulite, providing body shaping and toning while strengthening abdominal muscles. These treatments cause the body to burn calories, similar to vigorous exercise activity, making them perfect for helping fight the effects of menopause safely and easily. Learn more about our range of body contouring devices to help combat your menopausal weight gain here. For more information, get in touch.
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During menopause, a woman’s body experiences a decrease in the production of oestrogen, which can lead to changes in body composition, including weight gain. However, it is also possible for women to lose weight during menopause.
By adopting a healthy diet and exercising regularly, it is possible to maintain or lose weight. Body contouring sessions can be combined to help achieve results quicker, giving you the boost you need.
The best way to lose menopause belly fat is by adopting a healthy lifestyle. You can achieve this through the following:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress levels
- Getting enough sleep
- Exploring body contouring procedures
There is no one-size-fits-all “best” diet for menopausal women, as nutritional needs and preferences vary from person to person. However, a balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats is generally recommended. It’s also important to stay hydrated and limit processed foods, added sugars, and saturated and trans fats. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help develop an individualised plan.
The fastest way to lose weight during menopause is through a combination of a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise, and potentially body contouring treatments.
Yes, menopause can make you lose weight, but it is not a guaranteed outcome. Weight loss during menopause can occur due to a decrease in oestrogen levels, but many women experience weight gain from the same cause. However, other factors such as changes in metabolism, lifestyle habits, and genetics can also affect weight during menopause.
There is no definitive timeline for how long menopause weight gain lasts, as it varies from person to person. However, with proper diet and exercise, it is possible to manage and even lose weight during and after menopause.
Menopause can affect the brain in a number of ways. Fluctuating hormone levels can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia, which can in turn affect cognitive function. Research also suggests that menopause may increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in some women, although the extent and causes of this relationship are still being studied.