In a study in the International Journal of Obesity, menopause in women triggered a host of changes in the body which included Increased visceral fat (that’s fat around your internal organs) and decreased metabolic rate or your fat burning capacity.
These changes were independent of age and total body fat which meant they affected any woman regardless of their initial body weight and their age at menopause be it young or old. The researchers concluded that menopause is associated with alterations in body composition and metabolism, which may contribute to weight gain and metabolic disturbances during this stage of life. This explains why women find it so difficult to shed weight despite maintaining their lifestyle and diet.
If you are undergoing menopause, here are some changes you would want to watch out for:
Many women experience weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, during and after menopause. Hormonal changes, including a decrease in estrogen levels, can contribute to increased body fat and changes in fat distribution. Studies have shown that menopause is associated with an increased risk of central obesity and a higher waist-to-hip ratio.
Menopause is often accompanied by changes in body composition, such as a decrease in lean muscle mass and an increase in body fat percentage. These changes can affect metabolic rate and may contribute to weight gain or difficulty in maintaining weight.
Menopause can lead to metabolic changes, including a decline in resting metabolic rate (the number of calories burned at rest) and a decrease in insulin sensitivity. These changes can affect energy balance and may contribute to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
Oestrogen plays a role in regulating body weight and metabolism. The decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can influence appetite regulation, fat storage, and energy expenditure, potentially contributing to weight gain.
Menopause coincides with the aging process, and both factors can have independent and combined effects on various aspects of health and body composition. Aging is associated with a gradual decline in muscle mass and bone density, as well as changes in hormone levels, which can further impact weight and body composition during menopause.
If you are wondering what to do to combat these changes and to maintain a healthy and strong body during this period and beyond, watch this space as I will be detailing some very smart lifestyle and diet hacks to combat this hormonal transition.