Menopause Weight Gain Insulin Resistance and Stress
Women approaching menopause can expect considerable physiological changes. When it comes to weight gain alone, it has been calculated that the average American woman may gain as much as ten to fifteen pounds within the entire duration of the menopausal stage. Weight gain is just one of the many possible menopause changes which a woman will need to adapt to in advancing years.
Weight gain, as with all of the symptoms associated with menopause is due to fluctuating estrogen levels or hormonal imbalances.
Medical research continues to draw a correlation between the changes in hormones during menopause and increased weight gain. Changes to the hormonal structures within the body can result in insulin resistance and stress. These two factors can weigh heavily in the body’s ability to burn calories, overall metabolic capacity, and the accumulation of additional pounds.
Menopause Weight Gain
Menopause is generally consider transitional period during this women undergo different reproductive steps. In addition to hormonal changes, there a several additional reasons for menopause weight gain and menopause belly fat which are also important. Cravings are a big part of menopause belly fat and menopause weight gain.
Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for regulating the absorption of glucose and regulating the body’s overall metabolism. However, during menopausal years the body may inhibit insulin from doing its job. When this occurs, one may become insulin resistant and all of the calories ingested are transformed into fat. It's as though the body’s own metabolism has turned into a food ‘express lane’ where foods turns instantly to fat, bypassing the normal routine of providing nutrients to cells. The upshot of this is unwanted weight gain while the body’s cells still hunger for nutrients.
Insulin resistance is even worse for women who strictly adhere to a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. All the while, advocates of this type of diet plan labor under the belief that the avoidance of fat will spare them from weight gain. However, the body's resistance to insulin turns carbohydrates directly into fat, thus negating the effectiveness of this type of diet plan.
Researchers have also concluded that the long-term dependence on low-fat, high carbohydrate foods coupled with the addition of refined and processed foods (like pasta and breads) contribute to insulin resistance. In short, this kind of diet pattern also leads to the blocking of insulin. When the (previously described) life-long eating patterns converge with menopause a woman may find that she is (often for the first time) gaining pounds which she is unable to shed, easily.
Increased Stress Levels
Stress can be the root cause for many of today’s eating disorders and conditions. As for weight gain, an increased level of stress can prompt the body into thinking that one is experiencing what the experts refer to as the ‘famine effect’. This phenomenon is your body's misinterpretation of stress and as a result, the body’s metabolism is slowed in anticipation of a prolonged shortage of food. When this happens, all of the ingested calories are stored as fat, thus causing additional weight gain.
Unfortunately, the combination of menopause and stress make it doubly hard to maintain recommended weight levels. Most women experience an increased level of stress during menopause. Simply put, menopause puts one at an elevated risk of gaining unwanted pounds during this time.
As always, eating a balanced diet during menopausal years is still the best solution to avoid unhealthy weight gain. Avoid fried foods, high carbohydrate foods and refined or packaged foods. Add fresh fruits, vegetables, foods rich in natural grains, beans and legumes, low fat yogurt and other low fat soy and dairy products to your grocery cart.
A sensible diet combined with moderate weight bearing (joint friendly) exercise can go a long way toward mitigating stress and unwanted weight gain.
Psychological causes for menopause weight gain: anxiety and other forms of emotional daily stress, overwork and fatigue can cause weight gain during menopause. Physical causes for menopause weight gain: the most probable cause during menopause is hormonal imbalance.
FemFlax® is an all-natural plant based menopause symptom management supplement. The active ingredients in FemFlax have been clinically proven to reduce or completely eliminate some of the most irritating symptoms associated with menopause, namely hot flashes and night sweats. Effective management of these symptoms can do much to eliminate stress and the weight gain that comes with it.