So, on top of the hot flashes, mood changes, and sleep problems, you’re now gaining weight? Unfortunately for many, the answer to this question is yes. Weight gain is yet another uncomfortable side effect of menopause, which can add an aditional layer of discomfort for going through the menopausal transition.
Before we start, we first want to say that we hear you. Weight gain can be challenging and disappointing. And when it’s paired with the other dreadful symptoms of menopause, it can seem unbearable. We’re here for you, and we want to be one of your resources.
Why Do We Gain Weight During Menopause?
A Change in Estrogen Levels
Part of the reason why weight gain occurs during and around the menopausal transition is because of the substantial drop of estrogen levels in a women’s body. Changes in estrogen levels are strongly linked to weight gain, specifically around the abdominal area.
Because it’s Natural!
Although a decrease in estrogen levels can influence changes in weight, the most contributing factor of menopausal weight gain is the regular aging process and lifestyle habits that occur during this period of life. As you age, regardless of if you have experienced menopausal symptoms or not, your muscle mass decreases and your fat mass increases. This can inevitably lead to weight gain, as your metabolism continues to slow down with age.
How Can We Boost Our Confidence?
Move your Body
Regular physical activity will not only help reduce weight gain, but can also relieve some of the stress associated with the menopausal transition. Experts recommend that women should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, or roughly 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Consistent exercise can lead to a better sense of wellbeing, ultimately helping combat the frustrating symptoms of menopause.
Remind Yourself that you are Not Alone
No matter how severe your menopause symptoms are, we promise you that there are other women out there who can relate to you. Joining menopause support groups is an easy way to talk to other women about their experiences, ask questions, and gain support. Finding these groups is easy–simply search for menopause support groups in Facebook or Google, and hundreds will pop up.
Get Professional Help if Needed
While many women soar through menopause with almost no major problems, the majority of women face more severe symptoms. In fact, an estimated 20% of women will experience depression at some point during menopause. Weight gain and depression are also closely linked, making it even more important to be cautious about your mental health if you are experiencing fluctuations in weight.
Depression can lead to a loss of energy, constant feelings of tension and hopelessness, anxiety, insomnia, and much more. If you are feeling any of these emotions, it is important to reach out to professionals and seek help. Whether it’s a therapist, doctor, or another source of support, they can guide you through your menopausal jounrey with more tailered advice.