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Menopause Symptom: Weight Gain

During menopause, many women experience weight gain. But menopause itself isn’t considered the main cause of weight gain during this time. Instead, the decrease in estrogen levels that comes with menopause can contribute to weight gain in a couple of ways.

First, estrogen promotes muscle mass, and muscle mass affects metabolism. With less estrogen, there is less muscle mass, leading to a slower metabolism and the need for fewer calories to maintain the same weight. Additionally, decreased estrogen can cause the body to store more fat in the abdomen, leading to higher levels of body fat and a heavier appearance.

Other factors that contribute to menopausal weight gain include aging, lifestyle factors, genetics, and health conditions such as depression, diabetes, and hypertension. Additionally, certain medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics, and steroids can also contribute to weight gain.

With a little extra effort and some healthy lifestyle choices, you can still achieve your weight loss goals. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise. Not only does exercise help with sleep, digestion, and mood, but it also helps increase muscle mass, which can offset the loss of metabolism caused by menopause. Strength training and low-impact aerobics are both great options, and it’s recommended that adults do strength training at least twice a week and get at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week.

In addition to exercise, it’s also important to focus on a healthy diet that’s rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. A structured diet can help you stay on track and make healthier choices, and getting enough sleep can also play a big role in weight loss. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy for menopause weight loss, as it can be a helpful option for some women.