Most women gain weight around the menopause transition. The hormonal alterations of menopause may cause weight gain, especially around the abdomen. However, hormonal alterations should not be blamed because weight gain is generally related to aging, unhealthy lifestyle and genetic factors.
Apart from reduced estrogen levels, the following factors also contribute to the weight gain after menopause:
- decreased physical activity
- reduced metabolic rate
- changed lifestyle
- number of children
- the family history of obesity
- use of antidepressant medicines
Cause of Menopause Weight Gain
In animal studies, it is seen that the estrogen helps to control body weight. Therefore, when the estrogens levels drop during menopause then the metabolic rate also drops. It means that the rate at which the body converts stored energy into working energy is reduced. Thus, the reduced estrogen levels cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less efficiently, which results in increased fat storage and weight gain.
Is It Risky to Gain Weight after Menopause?
Menopause weight gain can have serious implications such as the increased risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, various cancers, and breathing problems. Therefore, it should be prevented. Some simple measures can help to prevent or manage the menopause weight gain, such as:
- Stay active: Aerobic exercises, brisk walking, and jogging can be highly helpful to reduce the weight.
- Eat healthily and reduce your meal size: Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, add legumes, nuts, meat, and soya in your diet as they are healthy in protein.
- Avoid sugar: Avoid soft drinks, juices, and energy drinks as they contain high levels of sugar. Also, avoid items like pastries, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, and
- Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol plays a great role in increasing the body weight.
Can Omega-3 Help to Manage Weight Gain?
Omega-3 fatty acids may assist weight loss by
- Modulating metabolism of fats by stimulating lipolysis or breakdown of stored fat.
- Increasing production of leptin, an appetite-controlling hormone that also has an important fat-burning role.
- Decreasing lipogenic enzymes that check storage of fat in the body.
By helping regulate blood sugar levels in the body, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep hunger in check, thus aiding weight loss. In overweight and obese volunteers, there were fewer hunger sensations in the omega-3 fatty acid group immediately after the test dinner and after 120 minutes. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition by reducing body fat. In a study, it was revealed that 66% of young European overweight adults consumed less than the generally recommended intake of fish.