Menopause Weight Gain: How To Get Rid Of It
Exercise Physiologist, Carol Espel explains that Things shift when you start to go through menopause, but your ability to shape that is in your hands. Theres something you can do about it! Carol is the Fitness and Program Director at Pritikin Longevity Center who works with many guests, men and women, struggling with belly fat, and knows exactly what works. Newer science says going through menopause doesnt have to involve weight gain.
Focus On Diet Quality
Overall, diets that are high in a variety of whole foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals promote healthy hormone levels.
Hormones such as insulin, cortisol and sex hormones can be negatively affected by a lower-quality diet, such as one that has lots of refined carbohydrates along with hydrogenated and saturated fats from fried foods, fatty meats and highly processed foods.
To reduce elevated insulin levels, eating better-quality carbohydrate sources and less carbohydrates overall may help.
Higher-quality carbohydrates tend to be lower on the glycemic index, minimally processed and higher in fiber. Examples include whole grains such as 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat, rolled or steel-cut oats and barley, pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and berries.
There is also some evidence that low-carb diets can help lower elevated insulin levels.
Eating too much or not enough is also not desirable from a hormone perspective: Overeating can cause insulin levels to rise, while undereating or chronic dieting negatively affects levels of cortisol and sex hormones.
How Does Estrogen Impact Weight Gain
Produced within the ovaries, estrogen is responsible for optimal functioning of all female reproductive organs. Estrogen promotes the storage of fat for healthy reproductive years. When estrogen is balanced, the right amount of fat helps carry out female reproductive functions. However, when theres too little or too much estrogen, weight gain often results.
Overweight women typically have high amounts of estrogen, as do women in the first half of pregnancy. Then theres perimenopause and menopause, which are characterized by a notable decrease in estrogen. Its during this time that some women opt for hormone replacement therapy to replace declining estrogen levels.
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How Do Hormones Affect Your Weight
Your weight is controlled by hormones thats a fact. Yes, working out and eating healthily will play a huge role, but one of the reasons these things help you lose weight is the impact they have on your hormones.
Put simply, hormones have a strong influence on your appetite and fat storage. Various hormones are responsible for functions that can affect these things. For example, insulin is one of the main fat storage hormones in your body. If you eat too much particularly refined foods and sugary treats insulin levels rise. When this happens, elevated insulin levels can cause obesity by making cells in your body store more fat than normal. As such, reducing insulin levels and keeping them in a healthy position can stop you from gaining too much weight.
Furthermore, you have two other key hormones that influence your appetite: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your fat cells and makes you feel full. It signals to your brain that youre no longer hungry and dont need to eat. This stops you from overeating and storing excess fat in your body. By contrast, ghrelin does the opposite it tells your brain that you feel hungry. Reduced leptin production will lead to increased ghrelin production, making your brain think youre hungry all the time. Youre never satiated, so you constantly eat, eat, and eat. As a result, you put on weight and struggle to lose it because you always feel the urge to eat.
Your Fat Distribution Has Changed
It is always worth paying attention whenever there are changes in or to your body. Specifically in the case of weight loss, if you have noticed that you are carrying weight in a particular area that you did not previously or are losing weight in some areas of the body or not others, it can be indicative that the hormones that regulate fat metabolism may be elevated.
Changes in the female sex hormones can also impact the distribution of both fat and muscle in the body, and be suggestive of changes in hormone levels over time.
People hold fat in different places. Image: iStock.
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How To Get Cortisol Under Control
Tips for maintaining healthy, balanced cortisol levels include the following:
- Consider what relaxes you. Is it meditation? A walk in the park? A bubble bath? Engaging in a creative project? Find what relieves stress for you, and integrate it into your daily routine.
- Exercise regularly, and give yoga a try if its not already part of your workout regimen. The synchronized breathwork that accompanies a nice, flowing vinyasa routine calms the nervous system and reduces cortisol all while giving your body and mind a thorough workout.
- Listen to your favorite music. A 2011 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that patients who listened to instrumental music during surgery had lower cortisol levels than a control group.
- Get enough sleep at night. Have you ever noticed how easily stressed and anxious you become on days when youre sleep deprived? This happens because during a night of deep, restorative sleep, your body is working to balance all hormones, including cortisol. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine explored how sleep deprivation impacted helicopter pilots on a 7-day emergency medical duty. Findings suggested it was sleep deprivation not the act of emergency medical care that elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels.
How Hormones Make It Hard To Lose Stubborn Fat
Sometimes diet and exercise arent enough to lose stubborn fat. Aging causes your hormone levels to change, and hormone fluctuations make it tough to burn fat and keep it off.
So, despite eating healthy and following an exercise program, you may still have unwanted fat because of your hormones. If thats the case, Dr. Jay Trussler may have the answer for you. Read on to learn how hormones affect fat loss and how to address the issue.
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How You Can Lose Stubborn Fat
Eating right, getting plenty of exercise, and balancing your hormones is a surefire way to burn fat. One problem with this, however, is balancing hormones may not be a simple task, especially for women going through menopause.
It takes a lot of discipline and self-control to exercise and stay on a healthy diet. For this reason, its also common to lose motivation when stubborn fat doesnt go away. Fortunately, once you reach a healthy weight, despite what fat may remain, there are options to remove that stubborn fat.
WarmSculpting with SculpSure® is a safe, nonsurgical body contouring service that melts away stubborn fat. Dr. Trussler uses this procedure, at his Machester office, to heat up and destroy fat cells, without the need for incisions or surgery.
If you live an active, healthy lifestyle, but still have unwanted fat, its time to see Dr. Trussler. He can help you reach your aesthetic goals with safe, effective procedures designed to remove stubborn fat.
To schedule your WarmSculpting with SculpSure treatments, please call our Manchester office at 931-451-8284 or request your appointment. We can also conduct an initial consultation in our Monteagle clinic if desired.
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Behaviour And Obesity Hormones
People who are obese have hormone levels that encourage the accumulation of body fat. It seems that behaviours such as overeating and lack of regular exercise, over time, ‘reset’ the processes that regulate appetite and body fat distribution to make the person physiologically more likely to gain weight. The body is always trying to maintain balance, so it resists any short-term disruptions such as crash dieting.Various studies have shown that a person’s blood leptin level drops after a low-kilojoule diet. Lower leptin levels may increase a person’s appetite and slow down their metabolism. This may help to explain why crash dieters usually regain their lost weight. It is possible that leptin therapy may one day help dieters to maintain their weight loss in the long term, but more research is needed before this becomes a reality.There is evidence to suggest that long-term behaviour changes, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, can re-train the body to shed excess body fat and keep it off. Studies have also shown that weight loss as a result of healthy diet and exercise or bariatric surgery leads to improved insulin resistance, decreased inflammation and beneficial modulation of obesity hormones. Weight loss is also associated with a decreased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and some cancers.
How Can I Stop Gaining And Start To Lose Weight After 40 Instead
Although there is a strong link between hormones and weight loss, it is possible to reverse the runaway train. Thus bringing your body back to a level of health and energy that you had before you hit your mid-life spread.
Making small yet sustainable changes to your daily routine can result in big changes on the scale. If youre wondering how many calories you should eat daily to help accelerate weight loss you can try a weight loss calculator. Here are some simple things that you can implement starting today to start to lose weight after 40, get rid of unsightly belly fat and take control of your health once more:
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that fresh produce is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and other compounds that promote good health. They are also satisfying and delicious! Aim to fill at least half your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal, and youll be on the way to a smaller waist in no time. Try adding fruits like bananas, kiwis, or tart cherries before bed as these are some of the best foods to help you sleep better, and given that weight gain is a common side effect of sleep deprivation sleep-inducing foods can certainly help!
2. Eat small meals and snacks several times per day.
3. Be a conscious eater.
4. Cut back on those things that arent necessities.
5. Stay active.
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“When I was in my 40s, I went on a ketogenic diet with my husband,” Gottfried said. “He lost 20 pounds. I gained weight.”
Gottfried added that it also is important to have a method that is specifically targeted to women, instead of treating all genders the same when it comes to weight loss.
“There’s a bias when it comes to the research,” said Gottfried. “We’re completely different, we’re not just men with breasts. We’ve got completely different hormone levels, so we have to eat in a way that helps those hormones.”
52-year-old Anu French, a mother of two, said that during the pandemic she dealt with weight gain and the onset of menopause. She was diagnosed with prediabetes and high cholesterol, and she wanted to lose weight. French said that with Gottfried’s protocol, she lost 40 pounds in three months and maintained the weight loss for a year.
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Can Hormone Therapy Help You Lose Weight
When considering HRT and weight loss, you must consult a physician to determine what your unique hormonal imbalances may be. In doing so, your physician can then make recommendations that will work most efficiently to correct your hormone levels, restore metabolic function, and help you to lose weight.
Women in menopause may be ideal candidates for hormone replacement therapy, as declining levels of both progesterone and estrogen are responsible for slowing metabolic function and other systems throughout the body.
Men with hormonal imbalances can also benefit from hormone replacement therapy and the additional strength and energy that can result from restoring balance to the body once more.
Reasons You Have Low Hormones
Your hormones can become depleted for any number of reasons. An underlying health condition, chronic stress, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, a toxic overload in your body, and some medications can all disrupt hormone levels.
You can also be generally healthy and end up with low hormones because their production naturally goes down as you get older. The classic example is the decline in estrogen at menopause, but men also lose testosterone at a steady pace after the age of 30 or 40. Aging also leads to a gradual but continuous drop in cortisol, thyroid hormones, and DHEA.
Choose Your Dairy Products Carefully
Unless one is intolerant to lactose, then dairy products are not bad for one.
Still, one should choose them wisely.
Many companies in the dairy industry use artificial growth hormones when raising their cattle to stimulate their milk and meat production.
These hormones were not made for human consumption. So it is possible that they may be closely related to a weight gain.
One should always choose organic dairy products. Otherwise, one should choose those that are marked as hormone free. That way, you can enjoy them without having to worry about the effects they may have on your weight in the long run.
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What Causes Sudden Weight Gain
Everything has a cause and so does, obesity or excess weight. People generally feel that all obese people eat a lot and this is what makes them fat. Well, surprisingly there are many causes which make one gain excess weight. Obesity has taken epidemic proportions in the United States and is a huge cause of worry. Excess weight causes many health problems and must be controlled. Fat people are usually victim of teasing and remarks which dampens them psychologically.
These harmful effects must be avoided by losing weight . But in order to do so, the underlying cause of excess weight must be found.
Here is a list of common causes of obesity in both men and women. Before going into the details, first do know that every person, irrespective of male or female, gain weight if they dont satisfy the below conditions.
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A Eating More Than What You Burn
Research proves that when people eat more than what they expend, weight tends to increase. Think of your body as a machine in which you are overstuffing the oil. If the machine doesnt work out the energy, it would go waste with time. This is what happens with mindless eating especially starches, sodas, and junk food.
What Are Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers that tell your cells what to do. They patrol your bloodstream, always giving directions to different parts of your body.
Where do hormones come from? From your glands.
The adrenal glands make stress hormones, the thyroid gland makes thyroid hormones, and the pancreas makes your energy boss hormone, insulin.
To be clear, these glands dont just pump out hormones willy-nilly. They mostly take their directions from other hormones!
Its one big interconnected system. One hormone goes up, another goes down.
Getting these hormones in the right balance is a big part of managing your weight. Lets explore how these hormones work, and what you can do to improve your hormonal health.
What You Can Eat
Foods you can eat include lean protein vegetables and most fruit chia seeds, flaxseeds, and most nuts olive oil and some other unsaturated oils and fats, like canola oil and whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa.
You’ll eat often — every 3-4 hours — making healthy food choices at least 80% of the time. But you do get one to two cheat meals a week.
Be Careful With Grains
Cereals and seeds that contain gluten, especially whole grains, are not necessarily bad for everyone. However, if you have problems with thyroid hormones, it is a good idea to reduce your intake of these products significantly.
Several studies have shown that a diet rich in gluten can significantly lower the production of this hormone. The thyroid hormone plays an important role when one wants to avoid a weight gain. This is because it helps regulate ones metabolism.
It will be more difficult to lose weight. And the lower your level of thyroid hormones, the slower your metabolism will be. If you control hormones such as this, then you will lose weight in the long run.
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You Have ‘odd’ Symptoms
You may be sweating more than you usually would, growing hair in places you never did before, or you may simply find yourself angry and irritated a lot more than usual. You could have dry eyes, are having trouble sleeping or have noticed your hair getting thinner. With so many hormones regulating processes in the body, it is no surprise that a number of physical and emotional symptoms can be attributed to changes in hormone levels.
While this may seem vague, these subtle changes can add up and provide much insight to health professionals to help determine what may be going on. Pay attention to the little changes in your body, because no one knows your body like you do.
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