Menopause, a natural part of aging, involves the loss of period for at least 12 months. Most women enter menopause between the ages of 45 and 50.
During menopause, one of the most notable effects is a reduction in estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to a number of changes in the body. Not every menopausal woman experiences the same symptoms, but most experience hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and insomnia.
However, one particularly noticeable change is weight gain. Although not all women gain weight during menopause, many do. Below, we asked our expert, Christopher Serrano, MD at Serrano OBGyn, about why weight gain occurs in menopausal women and how to prevent it from happening.
Possible causes of weight gain during menopause
Menopause can affect your metabolism in several ways.
Both low and high estrogen levels increase fat storage. Muscle loss and decreased activity levels also increase your risk for weight gain, as they reduce the body’s caloric maintenance level.
Also, poor sleep is linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. Therefore, women who experience insomnia during menopause may gain weight easier.
How to prevent weight gain during menopause
There are several ways to go about preventing weight gain during menopause. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Eat a diet higher in protein to prevent muscle loss and maintain lower levels of insulin (the fat-storage hormone).
- Cook from scratch using fresh organic ingredients to avoid endocrine disruptors such as pesticides that may worsen a hormone imbalance.
- Engage in strength training to prevent muscle loss and bone loss.
- Ask a specialist about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to optimize estrogen and progesterone levels.
Not everyone is a good candidate for HRT. However, women who are good candidates may be able to prevent weight gain and manage the other symptoms associated with menopause. HRT is also used to reduce the severity of hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings.
Get professional help for menopausal weight gain
Dr. Serrano can combat menopausal weight gain in two ways: body sculpting treatments and HRT.
Body sculpting treatments are non-invasive treatments that eliminate stubborn pockets of fat in specific areas, such as the chin, arms, abdomen, back, and legs. These treatments involve the use of devices emitting either radio waves, light waves, or ultrasound waves that destroy fat cells, allowing you to enjoy a more sculpted look.
Dr. Serrano offers HRT for menopausal women who want to prevent the symptoms associated with menopause and don’t have a history of blood clots or cancer.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out the best way to stay fit after menopause.