Coping With Perimenopause Weight Gain
Oh those hormones!
Perimenopause weight gain is often be experienced by women as young as 35 and can continue until the mid 40ès with the cessation of the menstrual cycle at menopause.
The metamorphosis of your body shape often begins here and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep those pesky pounds from creeping on...especially on your hips, thighs and belly.
If you find yourself struggling to understand the changes that are taking place in your body during perimenopause, here's a look at weight gain during this period, its causes and what you can do to control it.
Symptoms of Perimenopause : Sudden Weight Gain
During perimenopause (or pre menopause) your hormone levels will begin to change and for some women this may trigger an intense biological effect on their body.
The early symptoms of menopause (perimenopause weight gain being the most common) is normally first seen around the hips, thighs and belly before any other part of the body.
It follows a specific 'C' pattern where the pounds start piling on around the abdomen.
Causes of Perimenopause Weight Gain: Perimenopause and Belly Fat
The all important female hormone is responsible for ovulation at the peak of your child bearing years.
At menopause, the production of estrogen in the body is reduced dramatically. The body starts looking for alternate sources of the hormone.
Since fat cells are known to produce estrogen, your physiological systems work on converting an increasing number of calories into stored fat.
Unfortunately, this not only adds to pounds but also slows down the metabolic rate as fat cells burn less energy and at a lower rate than muscle tissue.
Imbalances in Estrogen (and high cortisol levels) are often main cause of belly fat.
This is the second in line when it comes to essential female sex hormones. Like estrogen, the level of progesterone is also reduced drastically.
This in turn has a direct impact on the amount of water retention in the body.
The annoying side effects of progesterone reduction include bloating and constipation which can impact the digestive process and lead to weight gain.
Yes, we do have some testosterone. While this is a typically male hormone (men have more), its role in a woman’s body is responsible for the creation of lean muscle tissue.
Since muscle tissue burns more calories than adipose tissue (a fancy word for fat), testosterone is essential to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Unfortunately, the production of testosterone is also reduced in response to the diminishing levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Since lower metabolic rate equates to weight gain, testosterone reduction plays a role in your expanding waist circumference.
Androgen is the hormone that is to be blamed for the fat tissue being formed in the abdominal area. Androgen will cause you to go from having a pear shaped body with wide hips to a more apple shaped body with an expanding mid section.
Controlling Perimenopause Weight Gain
If you’ve been experiencing sudden, unexplained weight gain it’s time to see a doctor.
That being said, there are certain things you can do yourself to help regain some control over how your body reacts to these sudden changes.
Ditch the crash diets...forever! :
There’s huge difference between healthy eating and starvation. The latter will only lower your metabolic rate further, leading to more weight gain.
Eliminate or drastically reduce all processed simple carbohydrates out of your diet.
Take A Good Quality Natural Menopause Supplement:
There are several excellent natural menopause supplementchoices that can help to reduce the impact of hormonal fluctuations. I've found that they are also very effective for helping to avoid perimenopause weight gain as well.
Limit Your Consumption of Stimulants :
Alcohol and other habit forming stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine only serve to exacerbate water retention in the body.
Get Busy...Become Active :
Now is the time to begin some form of regular exercise activity. It will not only help to keep you in shape but will also minimize the impact of cortisol in the body and help in keeping both stress and depression at bay.
While perimenopause weight gain can be a challenging phase, there’s absolutely no reason to suffer in silence wondering what you can to do about it!
Naturopath and hormone expert, Dr. Holly Lucille co-produced a very informative mp3 series on maintaining hormone health called "NaturaPause".
She has also co-authored the book, "Creating and Maintaining Balance."
I personally own both the mp3 set and her book and I can say her work was truly enlightening.
Dr. Lucille addresses perimenopause weight gain and focuses on the issues around our changing hormones. She even offers up some great tips on how to navigate smoothly through this period in a way that creates both vibrant health and natural balance.
Many women will begin to experience pre menopause symptoms years prior to reaching the menopause stage.
Menopause and Weight Gain
Menopause and Weight Gain
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Red Clover Health Benefits
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