Weight stability is a phenomenon by which a one maintains roughly the same body weight over a long period of time. Trust me maintaining an ideal body weight is a great goal for older adults.
People (BMI of 25 to 29.9) whose weight was steady had the highest survival rate, those who moved from overweight to obese (BMI 30 to 34.9) were close behind. The most obese individuals (BMI of 35 and over) who continued to add weight had the lowest survival rate.
Weight gain during menopause, is caused by our body going through physical & lifestyle changes, so the old methods that used to keep us trim and in shape might not work as well as it used it, or sometimes it doesn’t work at all.
What’s Going on With My Belly?
Weight gain is caused by quite a few factors. According to International Menopause Society the hormonal shifts of menopause change the distribution of body fat, making it more likely to accumulate in the abdomen.
- As we age, our bodies slowly decrease its production of our reproductive hormones — estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone. The decrease of estrogen especially leads to a shift of fat to the midsection. A few years ago, the Mayo Clinic conducted a study that compared fat tissue in pre- and post-menopausal women. They found that on a cellular level, two enzymes that work to synthesize and store fat were more active in postmenopausal women — something they attributed to a drop in estrogen. So yes, a drop in estrogen does contribute to belly fat and obesity, but it isn’t the only reason.
- Less Movement and Decreasing Muscles Mass. Our hormones also contribute to the decrease of our lean body mass, so this means we lose muscle mass. Muscles help to burn calories while we work out as well as when we’re resting, so losing muscle mass means we are burning less fat. Combine that with lifestyle changes such as sitting more, and moving less, and it’s a perfect recipe for weight gain! Exercises that used to work for you before might not have the same effect as it used to.
- Medications: Sometimes, menopausal symptoms such as sleep disturbances, fluctuating moods and more can also affect our ability to keep to our regular diet due to cravings. Certain medication can also contribute to weight gain, such as antidepressants that are commonly prescribed for menopause or beta-blockers for palpitations, for instance. These little things add up and slowly contribute to weight gain.
- Diet Pattern: Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalance is a huge problem during menopause that leads to increased belly fat. A diet that is high in carbs, processed foods, sugar, alcohol and such. When you eat a lot of carbs on an ongoing basis, insulin is constantly stimulated. This can lead to a health condition called insulin resistance, where the cells start to resist the insulin. And in menopause “a lot” of carbs really isn’t that much, and sadly the “good” carbs factor in here too, such as fruits and grains.
but with the right lifestyle changes, you can lose the fat and take control of your weight!
Smart Tips for Weight Stability:
- Avoid acidic foods like meats, and alcohol, and increase alkaline foods such as vegetables, water, and good fats. Shift your diet towards a alkaline.
- Get control of blood sugar to lose of inches around the waist. There is the added benefit of this, restoration of balance to other hormones, like thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones.
- Practice Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting improves cellular and molecular health. It supports enhanced mitochondrial health, repairs DNA and supports a process called autophagy. Autophagy is a form of cellular cleaning, and it is important because the accumulation of garbage cells is believed to be a hallmark of aging. In addition, these cells also have a greater risk of becoming infected or cancerous.
- Exercise can best help you lose and maintain weight after menopause. Strength training, or a weight-resistance exercise program, helps build muscle mass and improve metabolism. Strength training also helps you maintain bone mass. Because you lose muscle mass as you age, add strength training to your workouts, if you haven’t before. Aim for two or three times a week. Examples of strength training include weight machines, dumbbells, exercise bands, yoga, and gardening.
- Low-impact aerobics are good for your heart and lungs. Walking, for example, is one of the best choices, because you can do it anywhere, anytime. Other examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, aerobics, tennis, and dance. Exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes most, if not all, days of the week.