October 18 is World Menopause Day, a time in the lives of women stigmatized by all the symptoms we experience and that often surprise us due to the lack of information, but of which we must be aware so as not to affect our daily life and our sexuality. As is the case of obesity that arrives at that stage, which we will talk about today.
Menopause is a stage in a woman's life, which occurs around the age of 50, marked by the cessation of menstruation and fertile life. Added to this is the natural aging process that is progressive and universal, in which our quality of life and functionality are directly related to our genetics, lifestyle, environment, access to quality health services and our inherited pathological history.
On this occasion we will talk about the weight gain that we can suffer with the arrival of menopause, due to the changes in metabolism that occur at this stage, and what we can do to control it.
During menopause it is possible that we gain more weight and obesity exposes us to a series of diseases and negative consequences for our health. Therefore, it is important that you know how to combat obesity when menopause arrives.
Causes of obesity in menopause
It is a complex situation because there are several possible causes. On the one hand, the estrogen deficit that occurs with the arrival of menopause causes us to accumulate fat around the abdomen. And on the other hand, age, as we get older we increase our caloric intake and decrease our energy expenditure, since aging also slows down our metabolism and, therefore, makes us gain weight more easily if we continue eating the same way.
Muscle mass normally decreases with age , while fat increases. And the loss of muscle mass slows the rate at which your body uses calories (metabolism), making it much more difficult to maintain weight.
In addition, there is usually a progressive reduction in physical activity over the years, which can cause weight gain if food intake is maintained.
estrogens and obesity
Decreased estrogen levels have also been associated with:
- Hormonal changes that occur at menopause , since leptin is a protein secreted in adipose tissue that informs the brain of the amount of energy reserves we have and estrogens are involved in its regulation.
- Increased appetite , since the feeling of satiety is regulated by estrogen.
- Increased desire to eat fats and carbohydrates in postmenopausal women, due to decreased activity of opioid peptides.
Other possible causes according to various investigations are:
- Women who do little physical activity , who have little muscle mass, or who have an eating behavior that tends to disinhibit diet are more likely to develop obesity or aggravate it.
- A very late first pregnancy , short lactation periods or excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
Consequences of obesity for health
As estrogen decreases, fat in the abdominal area increases. The weight and fat gain that obesity implies has very serious consequences for health:
- Development of insulin resistance , leading to type 2 diabetes.
- Increased arterial hypertension and increased cardiovascular risk. In addition, when it comes to surgical menopause or early menopause, it means spending more time without the protection that estrogens provide to the heart.
- appearance of breast cancer . The relative risk of suffering from breast cancer remains higher in women with a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 25 both during perimenopause and postmenopause.
- Increased intensity and frequency of menopausal symptoms in obese women, such as vaginal dryness, irritation or dysuria. For this reason, we always recommend using a quality intimate gel such as Zenzsual's daily, to keep the area hydrated and avoid the ravages of dryness.
- Risk of suffering from other pathologies such as osteoarthritis, respiratory and cardiac dysfunction, venous insufficiency, certain neoplasias, sleep apnea, etc.
- A benefit of obesity occurs on bone mineral density . The risks of osteoporosis and fractures decrease as body mass increases.
Tips to combat obesity in menopause:
Believe it or not the recommendations are the same as for women who have not reached menopause:
- Reduce calories ingested: Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Choose more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish.
- Eat a lot of fiber to avoid constipation: fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help you evacuate and promote intestinal regulation.
- Reduce the consumption of fats : and those that you consume, that are unsaturated. Choose avocados, raw olive oil, or raw or roasted nuts.
- Avoid unhealthy foods such as saturated fats, ultra-processed, sugars and also limit alcohol consumption.
- Forget about snacking on pastries and sweets: it is possible that the body now asks for more sugar. You can try to change the sweets for chopped fruits with natural yogurt.
- Increase daily physical activity . A moderate-intensity exercise program (stationary bike, treadmill, Zumba, yoga, or Pilates) for 45 minutes, 5 days a week, will help you significantly lose intra-abdominal fat. It is also important to do some form of strength training to gain muscle and burn calories more efficiently.
- Swimming is beneficial , since you work the whole body in general and especially the abdominal area. In addition, it will help you refresh those uncomfortable hot flashes.
- Find activities that are fun and make you feel good : go for a walk with friends, read a book, meditate, or sign up for a class that gets you out of the house. Take time for yourself: rest .
- Drink plenty of fluids: especially water, between 1.5 and 2 liters a day, to help the body drain unnecessary waste and fill you up, so your caloric intake will be less at mealtime. Also, your skin will look brighter.
- Avoid juices or juices bought in the supermarket , because they have added sugar or sweeteners that will not help you. Instead, try cold infusions, or flavored water with lemon or lime juice.
- Relax your mind from obligations to be calmer and rest better at night.
- Sleep well: avoid insomnia in menopause by sleeping in a ventilated room without electronic devices. Taking advantage of all the hours of sleep will make your body have more energy during the day, so it will be easier for you to exercise, have a clear mind and more positive moods.
- Ask for help : if you consider that it has been a difficult process and you need advice to obtain the desired results, seek professional help. An endocrinologist, a nutritionist, a gynecologist and your family doctor will give you a broader vision of the situation you are experiencing, the changes in your body and possible actions to avoid gaining weight.
Nutritional supplements such as Bye Bye Menopause can help you reduce the symptoms of this stage, because it contains a 100% estrogen-free and soy-free natural vegan formula that regulates your hormones and frees you from the terrible discomfort of menopause, thanks to a combination of Zinc, Angelica Gigas Nakai, Phlomis Umbrosa, Cynanchum, Wilfordii, Succinic Acid, black pepper, Melatonin, among its main ingredients.
Do not get depressed if you see that you are gaining weight in menopause!
Stay firm with healthy habits and a good diet to avoid weight gain, seek professional help, that your body will respond lovingly and wisely, always with the focus of seeking aging with well-being.
We invite you to visit our online store TuSaludIntima to learn about Zenzsual's feminine care products and connect through our social networks, where we always publish videos, promotions and informative tips for your feminine health and sexuality. Follow us on our social networks @tuSaludintima @DoctoraKlaraSenior and @Tu_Ginecologa.