Menopause is the final menstrual period in a woman's life. It marks the end of the reproductive years in a similar way that the first menstrual period, beginning at puberty, marks the start. As a woman approaches menopause, the production of hormones such as estrogen by the ovaries starts to slow, eventually to a level where menstruation will cease altogether.
About 90% of menopausal women gain some weight between the ages of 35 and 55. But you shouldn't necessarily blame yourself for this newly acquired weight – research now shows that weight gain during menopause is caused by shifts in your hormones, not over eating.
As a result of the change in hormonal levels women can suffer a variety of symptoms associated with menopause. One of the most disturbing symptoms is weight gain and an overall change in the shape of the body. It is important to keep in mind that weight gain during menopause is normal and to be expected.
Though some pharmaceutical companies with vested interests push drugs, pills and supplements as the primary solution for hormonal imbalance and weight gain, it isn't always the best solution. Before making a decision about taking synthetic hormones to deal with the symptoms of weight gain, one should be aware of other treatment methods such as natural medicine and lifestyle approaches.
Approaches for Dealing with Weight during Menopause
There are three basic approaches that are usually considered for treating menopause symptoms. These are categorized as: lifestyle changes, alternative medicine and drugs and surgery. In order to deal with menopause without the weight loss pills, supplements and products you should always start with the least risky approach – lifestyle approaches.
It may be difficult, but it is important to learn to accept weight gain and menopause as something natural and even healthy. A little extra weight can help to lesson other symptoms associated with menopause, like anxiety and hot flashes. During menopause, weight gain is regulated by your body, and helps prepare you against osteoporosis and other illnesses. Instead of detesting your new body, try to be more accepting of yourself. Focus on being healthy and active, not trying to fit into your old clothes. Here are a few tips to help you lead a healthy lifestyle:
Eat a balanced diet. Avoid refined sugars and eat fruits and vegetables.
Avoid crash diets. Starvation only causes your metabolism to slow down, causing you to gain more weight later on.
Don't lose large amounts of weight. Being very thin can lead to an increased chance of developing osteoporosis.
Limit your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. These can exacerbate water retention.
Remain active. Do aerobics to increase your metabolism and burn fat. Do activities such as walking and cycling to increase muscle mass and ward off osteoporosis.
It is important to note that whilst many women put on excess weight during menopause, in some cases this could be a sign of a more serious health condition. Get checked by a medical practitioner if you feel your weight gain is out of control. Excessive fat can lead to an increased risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.
Alternative remedy treatments have proved to be effective in weight loss during menopause, and often target the issue of hormonal imbalance. It is often the case that the best results are achieved by combining lifestyle changes with alternative medicine treatments. More specific treatments including supplements and products for weight gain can be found by clicking on the following link.