Menopause myth: You’ll put on weight when you hit menopause

Do you know, if, when you’re 25, you increase your weight each year by one-and-a-half pounds (and that doesn’t sound like much, does it?), by the time you’re 40, you’ll be over a stone-and-a-half heavier?!

That’s how easy it is for it to creep up. If our diet/exercise regime took that long, it wouldn’t be such a huge market, would it? And who ever worries about a couple of pounds a year?

Yes, it’s possible you’ll put on weight during perimenopause, but there are loads of reasons why. As far as perimenopause or menopause goes, you know you’re undergoing hormonal changes and these can definitely influence your metabolism, but it’s not just that simple. 

Your lifestyle might be different when you reach perimenopause age. You may be more sedentary, doing less exercise, not eating so cautiously, or have a stressful job and maybe reaching for a glass of something relaxing when you get home each day, etc., etc., etc.  The list goes on.  Who hasn’t been there?

Humans have evolved (a bit), but our nervous system still sends us into ‘fight or flight’ when something stressful happens to us. 100,000 years ago, that would’ve been very useful, so we could run quickly from scary beasts. Using lots of energy to make our getaway would have made us hungry and we’d have to feed that hunger so we had the energy to make another getaway should it be required. One reason we feel hungry is the release of the hormone cortisol. Unfortunately, nowadays, the same happens. We experience a stressful situation – and sometimes, there are NO gaps in between them, let alone days or weeks until we’re chased once again by a hairy beast – cortisol is released, and we feel the need to feed, often on sugary things. 

So a stressful lifestyle can lead to weight gain, sometimes imperceptibly until clothes feel too tight. So the answer? Diet and exercise? NO! During stressful times, all that does is convince your body that it’s not getting enough food and you’re using up too much energy. So what happens? It slows your metabolism down even more and hangs on for dear life to the fat that’s already present, often around the abdomen. 

The answer is really to look at your life. Check yourself for your triggers. What can you do to slow down for a little while each day, treat yourself to a pamper now and again, get the family to help with stuff, delegate a bit more at work, check your sleep hygiene, look at the diet, the alcohol, etc., etc., etc.

It’s all about you, my lovely.

#menopauseweightgain #menopausemyths #perimenopause #hrt

 I’m not a qualified clinician, dietician, or psychologist.  I write based only on my own experiences and research into menopause. J Wood

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