Women, weight and menopause _ active perimenopause quiz

“No matter what I do, I can’t seem to stop gaining weight …” Frustrated with her expanding waist, this former athlete, like others who are approaching menopause, is frightened about runaway weight gain.

She started dieting and exercising harder to counter the flab and, over the din of the exercycle, asked, “Are women doomed to gain weight midlife?”

Here are the answers to some questions middle-aged women (and their husbands, children and family members) commonly ask about weight and menopause.

No! Women don’t always gain weight with menopause. What age menopause occurs Yes, women commonly get fatter and thicker around the middle as the fat settles in and around the abdominal area. Early menopause symptoms age But the changes are due more to lack of exercise and a surplus of calories than to a reduction of hormones.

Menopause the play toronto Young athletes with amenorrhea (and reduced hormones) don’t get fat …

In a three-year study with more than 3,000 women (initial age 42 to 52 years), the average weight gain was 4.6 pounds. Menopause at what age does it start The weight gain occurred in all women, regardless of their menopause status. Menopause forum discussions (Sternfeld, Am J Epidemiol, 2004).

Question: If weight gain isn’t due to the hormonal shifts of menopause, what does cause it? Here are a few culprits: • Menopause occurs during a time of life when women may become less active. Stages of menopause That is, if your children have grown up and left home, you may find yourself sitting more in front of a TV or computer screen, rather than running up and down stairs, carrying endless loads of laundry.

• A less active lifestyle not only reduces your calorie needs, but also results in a decline in muscle mass. Menopause average age uk Because muscle drives your metabolic rate, less muscle means a slower metabolism and fewer calories burned. What is the age for menopause to start (That is, of course, unless you wisely preserve your muscle by lifting weights and doing other strengthening exercises.)

• Sleep patterns commonly change in midlife. Oldest age for menopause Add on top of that sleep-disrupting night sweats and a husband who snores, and many women end up feeling exhausted most of the time. Premature ovarian failure symptoms Exhaustion and sleep deprivation can easily drain motivation to routinely exercise.

• Sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain. Menopause and weight loss Adults who sleep less than seven hours per night tend to be heavier than their well-slept counterparts.

When you’re sleep deprived, your appetite grows. Menopause problems in tamil That is, the hormone that curbs your appetite (leptin) is reduced and the hormone that increases your appetite (grehlin) become more active. Average age of menopause by country (Taheri, PLoS Med, 2004) Hence, you can have a hard time differentiating between “Am I tired?” or “Am I hungry?” You hear the cookie monster answer “You’re hungry and need many cookies …!”

• Menopause coincides with career success, including business meals at nice restaurants, extra wine, plush vacations and cruises. Post menopause bloating Read that as more calories and less exercise.

• By midlife, most women are tired of dieting and depriving themselves of tempting foods; they may have been dieting since puberty! The “No, thank you” that prevailed at previous birthday parties now becomes “Yes, please.”

Tips for preventing midlife weight gain and optimizing health• The best way to prevent weight gain is to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle. Symptoms of perimenopause anxiety Research suggests women who exercise don’t gain the weight and waist of their non-exercising peers (Sternfeld, Am J Epidem 2004).

The exercise program should include both aerobic (to enhance cardiovascular health) and strengthening exercise (to preserve muscle strength and bone density). Menopause signs and symptoms uk The book Strong Women Stay Thin, by Miriam Nelson, is a good resource for developing a health-protective exercise program.

• Despite popular belief, taking hormones to counter the symptoms of menopause doesn’t contribute to weight gain. Severe menopause symptoms forum If anything, hormone replacement therapy may help curb midlife weight gain. Partial hysterectomy and menopause (DiCarlo, Menopause, 2004)

• Menopausal women need a strong calcium intake: 1,200 to 1,500 mg calcium/day, or the equivalent of a serving of milk or yogurt at each meal.

If you’re tempted to take a supplement instead of consuming low-fat dairy foods, think again. Early onset menopause nhs One supplement doesn’t replace the whole package of health-protective nutrients in low-fat milk and yogurt. At what age does male menopause start Also, recent research suggests women who drink three or more servings of milk or yogurt a day tend to be leaner than milk-abstainers. Menopause cramps back pain Milk can help you lose — not gain — weight.

• If you have gained undesired fat, don’t diet. Perimenopause symptoms nausea If you have been dieting for 35 to 40 years of your adult life, you should have learned by now that dieting doesn’t work. At what age is menopause normal Rather, you need to learn how to eat healthfully.

This means, fuel your body with enough breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack to curb your appetite (and energize your exercise program). What is the meaning of menopause in hindi Then, eat a lighter dinner. Early signs menopause starting Think small calorie deficit. Menopause and pregnancy That is, consuming 100 fewer calories after dinner (theoretically) translates into losing 10 pounds of fat per year.

To find peace with food and your body, meet with a registered dietitian (R.D.) who specializes in sports nutrition. Center for menopause This professional can develop a personalized food plan that fits your needs. Menopause cycle irregularity To find a local R.D., go to www.eatright.org and enter your zip code into the referral network.

Also ask yourself: Am I really overweight? Maybe there is just more of you to love. Test for menopause accuracy Your body may not be quite as perfect as it once was at the height of your athletic career, but it can be good enough. Pregnancy during menopause symptoms I encourage you to focus on being fit and healthy, rather than being thin at any cost. The menopause song No weight will ever do the enormous job of creating midlife happiness.

Sports dietitian Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., counsels casual and competitive athletes at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill, MA (617-383-6100). Average age menopause starts Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook , Food Guide for Marathoners and Cyclist’s Food Guide are available at www.nancyclarkrd.com.