Gaining Weight Perimenopause

The years that lead up to menopause are in fact known as perimenopause, and this is the prime time when women tend to add on additional pounds, especially around the waist. According to MayoClinic, hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle and genetic factors may make women more inclined to gain weight around the stomach during perimenopause, and on average, women tend to gain one pound per year.


The experts say that there are other factors that contribute to being overweight and obese.

  • Genetics and aging possibly increase the risk of being overweight or obese, and individual, social and environmental factors as well as sedentary behavior also promote unfavorable health patterns.
  • Low socioeconomic status, low educational attainment, poverty and unemployment have also been associated with people who are overweight and obese among people of specific ethic groups.
  • Although epidemiological (population studies) data do not conclusively connect obesity to menopause, it is apparent that “cross-sectional examinations of data reveal higher rates” of significant weight gain during perimenopausal years, and women specifically gain visceral fat through menopause years (Keller et al).

However, getting older doesn’t mean you have to get bigger. There are ways to fight perimenopause weight gain. Research studies reveal that the more you exercise, the slimmer you’ll be even during the years your body makes the transition to menopause, and if you watch your diet a little more closely, you’ll be able to boost your results even further.

Here are some tips to help you drop those extra pounds and keep them off permanently. Perimenopause can be a stressful time for women because besides gaining extra pounds, they also experience other perimenopause symptoms that usually begin in their mid-forties, although some women may experience symptoms much earlier than or as late as their 50s. Fluctuating hormone levels are usually to blame for perimenopause weight gain, and unfortunately, most women notice they gain much of this extra fat around their abdomen, which can eventually lead to other health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Besides weight gain, especially around the waist, other symptoms of perimenopause include night sweats, dry skin, headaches and hot flashes. Being overweight or obese is associated with a myriad of health problems and “estimated to be responsible for almost 300,000 deaths each year and contribute[s] to annual healthcare costs of $117 billion in the United States” (Keller et al).

Most likely a multiple number of factors determine a woman’s propensity for weight gain during perimenopause. Hormone fluctuations, slowing metabolism, a high-carbohydrate and high-fat diet, sedentary behavior, socioeconomic and educational factors as well as cultural beliefs and other health related issues may contribute to perimenopause weight gain. Keep in mind that research studies typically don’t account for all variables, and women should always seek the advice of their doctor, especially about perimenopause weight gain. Women who are experiencing perimenopause should also be aware that they may possibly be suffering from hypothyroidism too, which can add even more pounds to a body that’s already being affected by changing hormones.

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