Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) stops. Menopausal woman often experience weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. This is often due to declining estrogen levels, age-related loss of muscle tissue and lifestyle factors such as diet and lack of exercise. However, the exact process leading to weight gain and the relative contribution of the different factors are not understood.
Body changes at menopause
Other physical changes associated with menopause may include skin changes, such as dryness and loss of elasticity. These changes may affect a woman’s body image and self-esteem. Taking steps to manage the symptoms of menopause can help.
Estrogen and fat distribution
Estrogen levels may influence body fat distribution. Many women in the early menopausal years gain fat mass as their estrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body (‘pear-shaped’), while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen (‘apple-shaped’). Animal studies have shown that a lack of estrogen leads to excessive weight gain, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.
Other contributors to weight gain at menopause
Apart from declining estrogen levels, other factors that may contribute to weight gain after menopause include:
Loss of muscle tissue with age
Reduced physical activity
Altered habits for example, more freedom to eat out.
Managing menopause-related weight gain
To manage weight after menopause, try to:
· Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
· Engage in regular and sustained aerobic exercise. This will:
Boost your metabolism.
Lower risk of osteoporosis.
Lower risks of metabolic syndrome, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Improve insulin resistance.
Keep joints and muscles strong.
Help bowels work well.
Relieve depression and anxiety.
Improve overall health
· Avoid crash diets
A crash diet involves severely reducing the amount you eat over a short time. Your body responds to this reduced energy supply by using muscle tissue as fuel. Muscles use up a lot of kilojoules, so if you lose muscle tissue, you have further reduced your body’s ability to burn kilojoules. This means you are likely to put on more weight when you start eating normally again.
Leptin (the ‘fat hormone’) plays an important role in body weight management, as it contributes to appetite control and metabolic rate. Studies show that leptin levels drop after a crash diet, which increases the appetite and slows metabolism.
Cellulite and Menopause
As estrogen begins to decrease, you lose receptors in blood vessels and thighs (estrogen has an impact on blood vessels). This causes a decrease in circulation. A decrease in collagen production occurs as circulation decreases and less oxygen and nutrition reaches the area. Fat cells now become larger, protrude through collagen and the “bumpy”, “orange peel”, or “cottage cheese” look called cellulite appears.
There are three layers of fat in the areas of the knees, inner thighs and buttocks. Because of the multiple layers, instead of just one, women tend to get cellulite in these targeted areas. In addition, women also have three levels of fat in the stomach and in the triceps areas.
At menopause, it happens that some women, who never had orange peel before, begin to have. But cellulite doesn’t only afflict the full-figured or menopausal women; it also affects “the skinny”, not to mention girls as young as teenagers.
Natural remedies to get rid of Menopause Cellulite
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Avoid drinking coffee
- Eat a balanced diet, avoiding excessive intake of fat, salt and sugars rapidly absorbed and eating foods high in fiber (fruits and vegetables)
- Drink water (at least two liters)
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, because they are an obstacle to the circulation and are the main cause for the appearance of cellulite
- Avoid too much salt
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
- Avoid standing or sitting long standing
- Avoid sitting with legs crossed
- Engage in activities such as spinning, step, cycling, swimming, and walking
- Don’t wear very high heels. It hinders blood flow. The perfect shoe should have a heel with a height of 3-5”
- Avoid stress and insomnia
- A cold shower every morning (around 20 º C) to tone the skin, as the cellulite is, in short, a loosening of the skin tissue
Consult Morphoclinic for menopause weight gain treatment
At Morphoclinic, we can help you manage your menopause weight gain and cellulite symptoms by using a combined care of medical shaping solutions that treat resistant fat, reduce the cellulite and resculpt your body image.