IPerhaps the most challenging aspect of menopause, for women, is weight gain. Women who never gained a pound since high school suddenly find themselves thick in the middle and puffy in the face. Of course, not every woman gains weight but we do see a high incidence and for the women who do gain weight, I write this up.
Besides the fact of aging, this dramatic shift in appearance is challenging for women, no longer feeling attractive and slumping with poor self esteem and possible embarrassment.
It’s an aspect of culture’s unfairness that men are out there looking for younger women while their wives and many middle-aged women are making the best with what they’ve got.
In 2012 there was a large study carried out by the International Menopause Team affirmed that, with menopause, hormonal shifts change the distribution of body fat, making it more likely to accumulate in the abdomen, which can increase risk of heart disease and insulin resistance.
In 2013, the May clinic looked at this closely and observed that at a cellular level, there are two enzyme that store and synthesize fat ,which are more active in post menopausal women. I couldn’t find a name for the enzymes but, hopefully, science with explore which enzymes tame these enzymes down so they no longer sabotage many women’s guts.
It is facts that as hormone activity decreases, as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, all healthy hormone activity slows and so does metabolism.
For this reason, there was another study published in 2012 n the journal titled, Menopause. 17,000 postmenopausal women were involved. They were not taking any hormone therapy. One group was watched as they continued their diet of typical American fare while the second group was put on a diet of healthy foods, such as more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. A year into the study, the women who had been following the healthier diet were three times as likely to lose weight and had fewer hot flashes.
In a further study on this phenomenon, 535 premenopausal women followed a low calorie diet of about 1300 calories a day and burned 1000 to 1500 calories weekly through physical activity.
These women continued this study for 5 years and saw greater reduction in their waistlines
These studies point to the fact, that, due to a shift in hormones with menopause, metabolism does slow down. In order to maintain our health and waist size, it’s best to make some changes too – in diet and exercise style.
Our bodies function most efficiently with less stress and more TLC. As we get older, we have the opportunity to drive this lesson home!