2.3 The Real Problem with Menopause Weight Gain
Have you struggled with weight gain?
It's very common to gain 5, 10, even 20 pounds, mainly around your waist, after age 50.
Even though you've always been able to lose weight in the past, this post-menopause weight seems so much more difficult to shake.
Like just about every other symptom of menopause, weight gain is very closely related to your hormone levels. The fact that your hormones used to be pretty high, but have dropped off to almost zero is the reason you have such a hard time losing weight.
The Weight Is A Big Problem
The weight gain that goes along with menopause for so many women is a more of a problem than you may realize. Those few pounds around your waist can lead to something called visceral fat.
That's fat inside your abdomen, around your organs.
Visceral fat is the source of a lot of bad things that can lead you down a path toward disease and just going downhill. Things like high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries.
Visceral fat can change the way your body responds to carbohydrates and sugar. It can lead to something called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means your body makes insulin, a hormone that helps you handle sugar in your blood, but that insulin doesn't work as well as it's supposed to. The result is that your body makes more insulin to compensate. Unfortunately, higher insulin levels can increase fat storage.
Increased fat > Increased insulin > Increased fat > etc.
The insulin resistance that comes from visceral fat is the first step toward pre-diabetes and diabetes. You've probably read that diabetes is an epidemic in the US. One reason so many people have diabetes is because we eat too much sugar and carbohydrates like white potatoes, bread, and pasta. Another reason is that our hormones are low, especially after age 50, and we develop visceral fat.
The Root Cause of Menopause Weight Gain
The reason you start gaining weight around age 50 is pretty simple.
The decrease in your hormone levels is the root cause of that menopause weight gain. Your body is genetically programmed to stop making those hormones and one of the results is that you start putting on pounds.
The Good News
The good news is that optimizing your hormones can go a long way toward reversing that weight gain and the buildup of visceral fat.
optimization helps you adjust your metabolism to be more like it
was when you were in your 20s or 30s.It's not a magic pill, but optimal hormone levels make losing weight a lot easier.