Keep those kilos away even after Menopause!
Menopause is undoubtedly a very tough transition that women go through. It is challenging, at all levels. Biologically, menopause is a phase which occurs when ovulation stops. The normal levels of estrogen drop leading to physical and emotional turmoil.
Keeping the biological aspect aside, to a woman it is the time when their life long friend estrogen is making itself scarce. Their menses become irregular and finally stop. They are less energetic than before. Some experience insomnia, too. They have to battle mood swings. And to add to their worries, women also begin to gain weight. Menopause suddenly changes from just a biological phase to a nightmare for so many reasons. But, remember, menopause is just a phase and not the end of the world!
Changes that come with Menopause
There are many unwanted changes that occur in a woman’s body. In fact, these are the signs and symptoms of menopause. Of course, there is irregular menses, which eventually permanently stops. Other changes that keep menopause company are:
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair
- Vaginal dryness
- Lack of sleep
- Hair growth or loss
- Weight gain
- Other signs and symptoms of menopause
Of all the changes mentioned here, weigh gain troubles women the most. Most women gain weight around the abdomen. This is because the muscle mass, with age, decreases and there is an increased deposition of fat in its place. It is mostly noticed in women who are not leading an active life and haven’t been paying attention to their diet. But, it could happen to any woman going through menopause, really. And what’s more worrying is that most of this weight gain is in the form of belly fat around belly.
Why Belly Fat Increases after Menopause?
Weight gain, especially fat around your abdomen, is a matter of worry because it could eventually lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases. This risk of cardiovascular disease is often linked to the post-menopausal tendency to put on weight around the waist when body fat tends to shift towards the abdomen. This may be due to the decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to affect the areas where fat is distributed in the body. This may be dues to genetic reasons as well.
How does Abdominal Fat Cause Cardiovascular Disease
Belly fat is thought to be an active organ that produces hormones and inflammatory components. The abdominal fat easily breaks down into fatty acids and then these acids enter the liver and muscles too. When these excessive fatty acids flow into the liver, they lead to various chain reactions like they increase the production of LDL or the bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides. They may also lead to insulin resistance so that your insulin become less effective and could not regulate blood sugar properly.
So, your blood sugar level can go higher and uncontrollable. Your bloodstream is also invaded by fats and clots and all these pose a risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other diseases.
As far as cardiovascular disease is concerned, abdominal fat causes change in angiotensin which is a hormone that controls blood vessel constriction. This highly increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Therefore, it is advisable not to ignore weight-gain as just another change or a symptom of Menopause.
Other Negative Effects of Weight Gain on a Woman
Weight gain isn’t just some extra kilos that affect a woman physically. Weight gain brings down her confidence, her self-esteem. There are many women who go into depression, refuse to go out and be part of social gatherings. It almost feels like life has come to a standstill. But what needs to be kept in mind is that while menopause is inevitable, weight gain is absolutely avoidable. Once a woman chooses to take control of her life and decides to get back in shape, everything begins to fall in place. Menopause isn’t the autumn of her life, any more.
Here are a couple of ways through which a woman can shed unwanted weight that accumulates after menopause.
Ways to Lose Weight after Menopause
1. Exercise to Lose Weight after Menopause
To battle weight-gain after menopause, start exercising!
This is an evergreen mantra. It works for all age groups. In fact, ideally, every one must work out, irrespective of their sex, age and profession. It is necessary for overall wellness, keeping aside the many physical benefits it has.
If you are woman who has been working out or has been at least dedicating time to some form of physical activity like walking and jogging, chances are that menopause won’t be so hard on you.
If you haven’t been doing it, well, it is never too late to begin. Now is the time to get to work!
Firstly, even before making your body sweat, what is important is that you prepare yourself mentally. Tell yourself that there are going to be positive results. It is not just about sweating, it is about dedicating some time to your body, to yourself. After all, if you don’t deserve that time, then, who does?
What Exercises make you Lose Weight after Menopause
These are the small ways to keep big weight-gain away after Menopause!
- Start with brisk walking for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Enroll for Yoga classes. Nothing relaxes you better than one hour of Yoga.
- Aerobics is a great way to lose weight and feel positive. It increases your metabolism and helps you get your original figure back.
- Pilate is also a very popular way to get a fitter body.
Be more mobile. If you have a dog, take it out for walks. Going grocery shopping? Don’t drive your car out. Walk it if it is in vicinity.
- Gardening is a great way to keep your body fit. Spend some time in your kitchen garden.
- Join dance classes. Studies prove that dancing keeps your mind relaxed and of course, your body in shape.
If you have been going to gym, then now is the time to consult your doctor about weight training. You might need to check your bone density and blood pressure on a regular basis if you are a serious gym-going woman.
2. Bring Changes in Food Habits to Lose Weight after Menopause
Watch what you eat after Menopause
Though it is said that all adults must watch what they are eating, menopausal women, in particular, must really keep a tab on what they are consuming. This doesn’t mean one needs to go on a diet. It just means you need to avoid overeating and stick with healthy, organic food.
What to Eat to Lose Weight after Menopause
These are small changes you can make in your diet to stay in shape after menopause!
- Eat more fiber than before. Choose organic food, if easily available.
- Make sure not to have junk food. At least cut back on it and give it a miss more often.
- If you are really tempted to eat junk, make sure it is just a bite or two. Eat fewer fried foods, avoid them most of the times.
- Include fruits in your daily diet.
- Have fewer meats, especially red meat and cheeses.
- Eat more fish.
- Eat less sugar by having lesser desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages. However, don’t discard them altogether. The key is to eat fewer desserts and drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Replace milk tea with green tea. It increases your metabolism and aids in weight loss.
- Keep dinner the lightest meal of the day.
- Make sure you are having at least 6 small meals in 24 hours.
- Don’t trust crash diets for weight-loss. It has very temporary results. In fact, it has been proven that after a crash diet, the secretion of Leptin – hormone that monitors appetite and metabolism, increases. This means you end up eating more.
These are the basics for anyone who wants to lose weight. However, after menopause, women need to adhere to the above-mentioned tips and couple it up with exercises for best results!
3. Pay Attention to Yourself and Lose Weight Fast after Menopause
Put yourself first, to manage weight during menopause!
Women, after becoming mothers, get preoccupied with their children. This is quite natural and understandable. There is nothing more tricky than raising a newborn and it takes away all the energy and time that the mother has. When the kids start going to school, mothers get busier after they return. Things are particularly tough for working mothers. They put everyone else before themselves.
This is what needs to change after Menopause. This is the time when most women have raised and probably married their kids off. This is when they must reconnect with their spouse and concentrate on their own well-being and health.
How Can You Take Care of Yourself
These are the ways to take care of yourself during menopause
- First things first, visit a doctor and get yourself checked:
Get all the blood tests done and start any medication, if the doctor feels there is a need.
- It has been noticed that stress leads to weight-gain:
Keep yourself stress-free by keeping busy in things that you like to do. Join a laughter club in your area. Pick up an old hobby- like painting, embroidery, music. Art, in all forms, is known to make a person positive.
- Make sure you find time to meditate:
It helps bring down anxiety thus, helps you lose weight. There are many meditation classes around you. Just join any one of them.
- Craft a daily schedule:
This is very important for weight loss. Make your body follow a particular time-table. If you have decided to go for morning walks, never miss them. Make sure afternoons are peaceful and productive. Try to hit the sack 2 hours after dinner. By then, the process of digesting your dinner is almost through and chances of restlessness at night are reduced.
4. Take Group Support to Lose Weight during Menopause
Connect with other women going through Menopause and similar challenges!
You might think why that is necessary. Well, it is much easier to chase your weight goals when you are doing so with women who are going through the same physical and mental turmoil as you. You connect better with them and hence, it becomes easier to stick with a diet and follow your fitness regime. There are many ways in which you can get in touch with other women of your age group. Of course you have your friends and neighbors but you can escalate it to community level too and to the online community as well!
How to Use Menopause Support Group to Lose Weight
These are the ways in which women groups can chase their goals together
- Fix a day in a week to have a get-together. This is when you can actually discuss your achievements and difficulties.
- Invite your group members to get their friends to join you people.
- Plan a trip together. It is said that trips are the best way to rejuvenate. Go, trek through green meadows. Use a pedometer to keep a track of how many calories you have burnt and stay motivated to reach your weight goals. Just forget that you are aging!
You will realize that with so many friends around, menopausal weight loss is much more fun. You never feel lonely or depressed because you know you are not in it alone. From parties to trips, you can organize many fun-filled activities, as long as you stay positive and undeterred! After all, menopause is just a phase and not the end of the world!
Keep going! Losing weight after menopause is just as simple (or as tough!) as it is before menopause! Give it all to lose weight, if you need to!