You may notice that every day an article of clothing feels tighter and every month another article of clothing no longer fits you. This is caused by your calorie critters.
Try as you may to eat healthier food and smaller quantities of food, it doesnt prevent the calorie critters from carrying out their duties during menopause.
In regard to menopause weight gain, you may ask
what has happened to the calories in versus calories out datum?
Calories in versus calories out remains a valid datum. However, during menopause, there are other factors that contribute to menopause weight gain.
Countless patients have told me that even though they follow a stringent diet and exercise daily, they have not been able to lose the weight gained during menopause. Some even continue to gain weight.
Why does this happen?
To answer this question, you need to understand that there are more factors involved in menopause weight gain than there are in weight gain prior to menopause.
5 calorie critters that cause menopause weight gain
- hormone imbalance – while hormone imbalance occurs at different points in a woman’s life, it has its biggest impact on a woman’s life during menopause.
It is the cause of all menopause symptoms.
It is the biggest cause of weight gain during menopause.
Your body functions like a full sized symphony orchestra. In such an orchestra, all players are finely attuned to one another. The various parts of your body are like the musicians and your hormones are like the conductor of the orchestra.
Prior to perimenopause, your hormones work in harmony by co-existing with one another in a certain ratio. They are said to be in balance. This keeps your body healthy and functioning.
With the onset of perimenopause, the ratios of your hormones change. This creates imbalance between them. The changing ratios are kick started by the a change in the ratio between estrogen and progesterone. This is the trigger that causes menopause weight gain …. and all the other perimenopause symptoms.
Estrogen becomes dominant and stays dominant throughout perimenopause. It creates a condition in which your body does not have enough progesterone to balance out estrogen levels. Your body has
- too much estrogen
- not enough progesterone
Estrogen dominance disturbs the balance between all the other hormones in your body. As your hormones collectively control all of the processes in your body, the processes behave erratically. This causes menopause weight gain and the other symptoms that you are experiencing.
The changing levels of these hormones also prevent weight loss. This is the reason why you can follow a stringent diet and exercise regularly and not lose weight.
To learn which hormones cause you to gain weight during menopause, click here
- stress – Of course we we experience stress at various points in our lives and for various reasons.
However during menopause, stress levels are particularly high … especially for women who experience moderate to severe menopause symptoms. The hormonal imbalance brings with it, mental, emotional and physical stress.
When you are under stress, your body produces cortisol ….known as the stress hormone. Protracted stress results in high levels of cortisol in your body. High levels of cortisol in your body causes your body to store more fat. It also prevents your body from burning fat. In the presence of high levels of cortisol, regular exercise will not burn fat and you will not lose weight
- aging – Your metabolism slows down as you get older. Your metabolism determines the rate your body uses (calorie output) the food that you eat (calorie input).
The rate of your metabolism is determined by your basal metabolism … which is measured by your basal metabolic rate (BMR) … and the level of your physical activity.
BMR is the rate your body burns calories just to keep your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and your organs functioning. Your basal metabolism accounts for between 60 percent and 75 percent of the total calories you use daily, and there’s no physical activity required for this.
Your BMR declines as you age. To learn more about this, click here
- diet – junk food and fast food causes menopause weight gain. They are laden with added sugar, which causes weight gain.
The size of the meals you consume has a bearing on your weight during menopause. If you continue to consume the same portion size, as you did prior to perimenopause, you will gain weight because your metabolism is slower
- lack of physical activity/exercise – exercise is one of the components of your metabolic rate. If you do not engage in physical activity/exercise daily, your metabolic rate will be lower. You will use fewer calories