10% of premenopausal women tend to gain weight very much during this period, sometimes 30-40 extra pounds, because of the significant decrease in estrogen and testosterone overproduction.
Sings of perimenopause and menopause
According to medical diagnosis, menopause occurs after 12 months from the official end of the menstrual cycle. Some women may experience symptoms at the age of 40 or even 35, but the real menopause period stars naturally one year after the last menstruation. The most common reported symptoms of postmenopausal are: depression, insomnia, hot flashes, hypertension, bone and muscle pain, vaginal dryness and skin wrinkles.
Insulin resistance and fattening
A particular concern of doctors across women at menopausal age is how insulin resistance disrupts fat metabolism. When cells aren’t unable to absorb the excess glucose, the liver is forced to turn it into fat and fat cells are laden with glucose receptors, causing a vicious cycle.
Ironically, while insulin resistant women tend to gain weight, their body cells actually feel a constant glucose starvation. Symptoms are characterised by fatigue and a lust for eating heavy foods rich in carbohydrates, looking for more energy.
These fat cells are small estrogen factories. This is precisely why weight gain brings an estrogen dominance that causes so many symptoms in the early stages of menopause and perimenopause.
Risks of gaining weight at menopause
Women at menopause are more vulnerable to fattening because of hormonal disorders that occur in the body. Every extra pound can cause muscle and bone disorders, inevitably triggering heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis or breast cancer.
The importance of diet during menopause
A new diet, adapted to the new requirements of the body will greatly improve the symptoms of menopause and maintain the body weight at a healthy level.
Menopause diet should aim for maintaining a normal weight. Regular physical activity is highly recommended, as it increases the overall body tone.
Avoid saturated fats (such as dairy fat) and eat good fats instead, such as vegetable oils (olive, canola or primrose oil) and seeds (especially flaxseeds).
Try to reduce as much as possible foods that contain many calories, artificial sweets, salty or spicy foods. These lead to heart disease. Instead of unhealthy sweets, menopausal women can eat fruit or sweet cheese with honey.
Fried food should be out of your diet. Cook everything by steaming, boiling or baking without oil. It’s better to avoid snacks between meals. It promotes weight gain and may cause type II diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart deseases.
Weight loss menopause diet that promises miraculous effects are not trusty. Losing weight rapidly may lead to serious disturbances in blood sugar levels. Remember that doctors recommend small and frequent meals. This rhythm helps you keep your hunger under control and and thus allow you to manage body weight.