It isn’t at all uncommon for women (and men, for that matter) to put on a couple of extra pounds as they get older.
Our bodies change over time, are significantly impacted by the dietary and exercise habits we maintain (or lack thereof), but Father Time himself as a funny way of putting on a little bit extra around the middle as well.
At the same time, however, there’s something very real about menopause weight gain for women. Study after study shows that it is anything but uncommon for women to gain weight while going through menopause (and sometimes even more afterwards).
The good news is menopause and weight gain does not have to be an inevitability.
What Happens During Menopause?
Women – all women – inevitably have to go through the natural menopause process as they get older, usually around the age of 40 or so. Some will go through the process earlier and some of it later.
Menopause is the all-encompassing umbrella term to describe all of the changes that happened to a woman’s body after they stop menstruating. The early stage of menopause is a clear and obvious sign that the body has entered into the end of its reproductive cycles.
It also means that there are going to be some serious and significant biochemical and hormonal changes coming down the line.
Women can expect a number of different symptoms to begin manifesting as they go through the pre-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause process, symptoms that include (but are not limited to):
- Difficulty sleeping and in some circumstances insomnia
- Mood swings and emotional instability, caused in large part by hormonal and biochemical changes
- A lack of energy and overall fatigue
- Depression, anxiety, and a difficulty concentrating
- Overall feelings of anger, aggression, and irritability
- Significant changes to their libido
- Bladder control issues
- Joint and muscle pain
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
On top of that, women that are going through menopause should expect some weight gain to occur. This is especially true if they haven’t made any changes to their dietary or exercise habits as they go through these bodily changes.
Why Does Menopause Cause Weight Gain?
The number one factor behind menopause weight gain issues is linked directly to the hormonal changes your body goes through.
The biochemicals your body has to produce to go through the natural reproductive cycles (cycles that inevitably cause your period to happen) are going to begin to dwindle and eventually dry up almost completely – at least as far as their expression is concerned.
On top of that, you’re also going to begin to experience the impact of aging, a slowdown in metabolic activity, as well as a number of lifestyle and genetic factors that can lead to overall fat increases.
Combine all of that with a decrease in muscle mass and muscle tissue that naturally happens with age and a variety of other outside factors, and it’s easy to see why so many women put on a little bit of extra weight when they are going through this change.
How Long Does Menopause Weight Gain Last?
There’s no real “cut and dry” timeline as far as how long does menopause weight gain last, as each and every instance is going to be unique because of your underlying genetics, biochemical makeup, and lifestyle habits and dietary decisions.
For some women, the weight gain they put on after menopause is going to be permanent – were almost permanent. In fact, many women aren’t just going to put on a bit of weight during menopause but are also going to deal with post-menopause weight gain as well. This problem has a nasty habit of spiraling out of control if it left unaddressed.
For other women, however, they may not notice any real weight gain whatsoever – and if they do it may only be a minor amount for a very short duration of time. These women aren’t so interested in “does menopause cause weight gain” as much as what they can do to fight back against this weight gain and improve their lives at the same time.
Best Way To Treat Weight Gain During Menopause
There are a couple of different options you have available to help push back against weight gain before, during, and after menopause.
For starters, you’re going to want to research the best diet for menopausal weight loss results. This is almost always going to be a low-carb, high dietary fat and protein diet (something like the paleo diet, for example) that works to activate your metabolism, starve your body of new fat sources, and turn you into a fat burning furnace.
Secondly, you’re going to want to make a concerted effort to move all whole lot more, too.
If you’re worried about how much weight do you gain during menopause the best way to combat this is to start working out and exercising on a day-to-day basis.
Even getting in as little as 150 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking for 2 ½ hours) should be enough to keep most menopausal weight gain at bay – and help you improve your overall health and well-being in a number of other ways, too.
The best treatment for menopause weight gain is a combination of these two efforts. Clean up your daily diet and exercise on a more frequent basis and you’ll be doing pretty much everything you have to do to keep the menopausal weight gain off of your body permanently.
It’s also not a bad idea to limit your overall alcoholic intake on a regular basis, check your sweet tooth at the door (as much as possible) and strive to drink a lot more water – and get a lot more sleep – on a day-to-day basis, too.
If you’re putting all of these pieces of the puzzle together (particularly before you start to go through the menopause process) you are going to stand a great chance at never having to worry about menopausal weight gain at all!