How To Control Menopausal Weight Gain
Menopausal weight gain isn't always caused from hormonal imbalances but may be a result of age and lifestyle factors. Age and lifestyle factors that could lead to excess pounds include exercising less, eating more, and genetics. Since carrying around excess pounds can increase risks for other problems, most physicians will advise a program to help with weight loss. Excess pounds can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and breast cancer. A simple formula used on how to control menopausal weight gain includes increasing physical activity, reducing calories and dietary fat, and making healthier dietary decisions. Exercising 30 to 45 minutes 4 to 5 days per week will help with losing the extra pounds and reduce risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast cancer. For dietary changes make a list of good and bad foods. The good foods will include fresh organic fruits and vegetables, high fiber, whole-grains, lean meat, nonfat dairy products, and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The bad foods will include processed foods, ones with high cholesterol and saturated fat, high sodium, and foods high in sugar or corn syrup. Eating 3 meals per day and at least 2 healthy snacks will help to keep blood sugar levels even and avoid extreme hunger binges.
Any weight-loss or exercise program should be considered a permanent or lifetime change. Try thinking about how to control menopausal weight gain, as a healthy way to live instead of thinking diet. Many times dieting is thought about as a temporary solution and most people that lose extra pounds on a diet usually gain it back. It will be easier if the changes are made gradually and aren't extreme. In the beginning, start eliminating unhealthy foods and slowly introducing healthy alternatives. An exercise program should be realistic and not start out too rigorous. Do something that is enjoyable such as, walking, biking, swimming, hiking, playing a sport, or weight lifting. Whatever is done should be started slow and then as endurance is built up, gradually increase activity levels. For some people changes come easier if goals are set. Make a plan to accomplish total dietary changes within a month. The first week eliminate sugar from the diet: the second week, eliminate caffeine or alcoholic beverages; the third week, introduce two new healthy foods. Setting goals that are attainable is the best way to approach changing lifestyle habits. Tackling menopausal weight gain is possible with a positive outlook and a realistic plan.
It can be very depressing to think about making changes that are undesirable. Concentrating on positive aspects of increased health and vitality might help when learning how to control menopausal weight gain. Having extra pounds can make a person feel bad, listless, and even negative. Think of the way shedding those pounds will help with energy and improved health. Be realistic on the plan to lose menopausal weight gain by the reminder that this is not going to be a quick fix. Don't allow discouragement to hinder lifestyle changes. Some people find it helps when they do not continually check weight loss by using a scale. Weight can fluctuate on a daily basis making it easier to get discouraged if the scale doesn't show positive changes. Try getting some support from a friend or other Christian believers. Maybe there is a friend who will show support through following the same plan. Some churches have support groups for various needs. Prayer, active fellowship, and reading God's Word might help with finding the strength to persevere, not to mention the spiritual food it provides. "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:79) Emotional attachments to food and the lack of peace can cause people to go on binges of overeating. Christians should pray for strength to overcome, and ask God to show them how to lay down all hindrances and trust in Him.
Contemplation might help when there is a craving to satisfy or an indulgence that will not promote healthy eating. In other words, give food cravings some thought before indulging. Try an alternative food that is healthy or drink a glass of water first. Giving in on occasion might be a good idea so that feeling totally deprived doesn't cause binge eating but do so as a special treat at the end of a week of successful eating. Figure out how to control menopausal weight gain by practicing self-forgiveness. Don't let one mistake mess up the positive changes that have been successful. When feeling weak and menopausal weight gain is compounded with other symptoms, call a friend for support, or meditate on God's Word. Exercise a little longer on days that it has been hard to control eating and remember tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes. After losing weight if menopausal symptoms are still intolerable, try asking a doctor about alternative solutions.
Menopausal Weight GainMenopausal weight gain is one of the results of the fall of estrogen that women experience as they reach middle age. In the years before menopause (perimenopause) , the weight gain is about a pound a year. The extra weight is not healthy, but just as debilitating is the often emotional baggage that is created as the result of the poundage gain. Getting the pounds off is much harder than before the onset of menopause and it may take the cooperation of the woman, her physician and perhaps other support resources to get the weight off and keep it off. Understanding the basics of menopause may be the first step in getting the extra pounds off.
Menopause is the onset of the cessation of menstruation and happens on average in about year 50 or 51 in the Western world woman's life. In India and the Philippines it is about age 44 on average but it is a time when the ovaries begin to change. The ovaries almost completely stop producing most estrogen and menopause is not a disease but just a natural state of life. Menopause is a date in time, defined as the day after a woman's last period. This stage in life causes such things as hot flashes, sleep issues, changes in sexual response and of course menopausal weight gain.
Menopausal weight gain averages about twelve to fifteen pounds and causes many women to go from a pear shape to an apple shape. Metabolism slows down about five percent during this time and bloating is a very common symptom during this change in a woman's life. For some, both men and women, accepting the fact of getting older is not an easy job responsibility to shoulder. Some of us go kicking and screaming into our fifties and sixties, not accepting what life inevitably brings to us all. Having a personal relationship with God can make those life changes easier. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." (Psalm 46: 1,2)
Most experts say that the real answer to menopausal weight gain can be found only in the same place where weight loss before the change of life was found: eat less and exercise more. For many women, this change affects their emotions in a very profound manner. The loss of the ability to bear children sometime brings about great sadness and a sense of loss and there can be the temptation to eat more to placate the sorrow. As a general rule, women who grow older do not exercise as much as those who are younger so the combination of emotional eating and lack of exercise can be a double whammy on many women. But even women who maintain a rigid exercise program through the years of change still find the battle against extra pounds to be uphill.
One of the most powerful things that can help anyone facing any uphill battle is to find a support group of peers who are going through the same thing you are going through. Menopausal weight gain is only one of the issues that so many women are facing, especially with the aging of the Boomers. Mood swings, thinning hair, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, loss of breast fullness and other issues are all part of the menopause midnight express. Getting together with those who are facing the same menopausal weight gain issues as well as the many other challenges of this time of life and supporting and encouraging one another is one of the best ways to survive the many physical changes that come one's way. So if you find yourself depressed and there seems to be no way out, seek out a support group and get some encouragement from others.
There are some things that a woman can do to deal with menopause issues. Watching the types of foods one eats as well as avoiding alcohol can help minimize hot flashes. Kegel exercises can help with urinary incontinence and stopping a smoking habit will help a great deal in avoiding some symptoms. Natural supplements can also help such as isoflavens and lignans found in soybeans, chickpeas flaxseed, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables and vitamin E has been shown to provide some hot flash relief for some women. But all of these natural supplements raise an important safety issue: all supplements ought to be discussed with one's physician before using. The same goes for anything that is supposedly advertised to help with menopausal weight gain.
Weight loss is still a matter of math: when calories expended are greater than calories ingested, weight loss occurs. Getting the extra menopausal weight gain pounds off will have to be a committed program of upping the exercise routine and eating less. Joining an organized diet program such as Weight Watchers, South Beach, Jenny Craig or similar program where accountability is a large part of the success ought to be considered if continued trouble with getting the weight off occurs. Developing a good relationship with your family physician is the most important part of not allowing the menopause express to derail your best years. Do as much reading on the subject of menopause as possible and come to your regular doctor's visits with lots of questions and suggestions. No one can be a better advocate for your health than you!