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Menopause and Muffin Tops!

This is a question I get ALL.THE.TIME! If you are like me (a woman close to 50) who doesn't want to accept gaining 10-20 lbs as "normal" around this transition to menopause, you are looking for things you can do! I know I am!

First, let's talk about why we can weight as we approach and transition into menopause. Here are 5 reasons...

  1. Hormonal Changes: As women age, the level of estrogen in their bodies decreases significantly, and this hormonal change can lead to weight gain. Estrogen plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and appetite, and its decline can cause metabolic rate to slow down, leading to weight gain.

  2. Muscle Loss: As women age, they tend to lose muscle mass, which can slow down their metabolism, leading to weight gain. In addition, reduced muscle mass means that women are burning fewer calories during physical activity, leading to further weight gain.

  3. Decreased Physical Activity: Women tend to become less active after menopause, which can lead to weight gain. This decrease in physical activity is often due to a range of factors, including aging, job changes, and other life circumstances.

  4. Poor Sleep: Many women experience poor sleep after menopause, and this can lead to weight gain. Research shows that lack of sleep can affect hormone levels, increase appetite, and decrease energy levels, which can all contribute to weight gain.

  5. Poor Diet: Women may also experience changes in their dietary habits after menopause, which can lead to weight gain. Some women may start indulging in food more often, while others may become more sedentary, leading to additional calorie intake and reduced energy expenditure.

Some of those may apply to you, and some may not. Maybe you do a good job keeping your diet clean and staying active, but still notice weight gain. Unfortunately, some of these things are out of our control. Let's break it down a bit...

As Estrogen dips, our insulin has to work harder. It becomes less sensitive. If insulin is elevated, it's very hard to lose weight. We are not as carb tolerant as we were with higher estrogen levels. We may need to change our macros and eat more healthy fats, more protein and less carbohydrate.

In terms of Muscle loss... We can't do anything to stop these. Lifting weights is essential women appoaching, going through and post menopause. Don't be afraid of heavy weights. Good things happen with heavy weights for most women!

In terms of sleep, this can be effected by our cortisol or stress hormone levels. Cortisol levels are deeply impacted by our adrenal glands (our stress handling system) which works extra hard during this menopausal transition which is about a 10 year process, not an overnight event. We may need to look at ways to better manage stress by eating more frequently to keep blood sugar level and NOT exercising in ways to cause stress hormone to increase.

I know there is a lot there... I just wanted you to know that you are not alone if you struggle with this issue and that there is hope. I've seen success in my own life by making some tweaks and helped many women do the same.

I would love to listen and see if I can help if you have questions about your situation and how you analyze all of those variables and create a winning plan. Just click below and I'll give you a short, free call!

To your health,

Dr. Jeni

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