Have you been noticing a few extra pounds around your belly lately? Well, you will be happy to know that you are definitely not alone. One of the foremost menopause symptoms seems to be weight gain and a change in the overall shape of your body. Though you may not be so happy about this, it is important to keep in mind that this weight gain is normal and to be expected. About 90% of menopausal women gain some weight between the ages of 35 and 55. But you may not necessarily have to blame yourself for this newly acquired weight - research now shows that weight gain during menopause is caused by shifts in your hormones, not greedy eating.
Weight gain from child birth is another reason for increased weight and there have been many reports about this. Among the key findings there is a strong association between high maternal weight gain and increased fetal growth and infant birth weight, which can contribute to complications during labor if a baby is too big, and can lead to long term health effects for the child. High maternal weight gain also is associated with cesarean delivery and weight retention by mothers after childbirth.
Weight gain following smoking cessation can be due to several factors. Smoking can have an effect on a persons metabolism and thus quitting can account for a small weight gain in some individuals. Gains of 5 to 10 pounds over a number of months can be attributed to metabolic alterations in some individuals. But once weight gain exceeds 10 pounds, other factors are more probably responsible.
The reason for the new sense of hunger is due to the fact that nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Smoking between meals seems to eradicate the need for the snacking behaviors experienced by many ex-smokers. Nicotine does this by elevating the blood sugar and blood fat levels, basically tricking the body into thinking that it has eaten more than it actually has. While that may help to control weight, it does so at a risk. Cigarettes used as an appetite suppressant can cause cancer, heart disease, strokes and a host of other illnesses.
Many women are quite shocked and frustrated when they begin to notice those extra pounds graciously provided by menopause. You may be eating and exercising exactly the same as you always were but still can't seem to maintain your weight. As you enter the early stages of menopause, maintaining weight becomes more and more difficult, and losing weight becomes almost impossible. This is because of the fluctuation in your hormones.
A more insidious mechanism of increased caloric intake can be experienced by unwittingly eating more at the end of meals. The smoking of a cigarette used to signify the end of a meal. With no cigarette to serve as a cue, the ex-smoker may continue to consume extra food after every meal whether or not he or she is hungry. The ex-smoker may not even know that he has eaten more in the process.
One solution to this behavior can be planning the meal out in advance. Calculate and prepare the amount of food you used to consume while smoking and acknowledge to yourself that you have finished. Another way is leave the table immediately upon completion of the meal. If you must stay at the table have a glass of cold water or a non-caloric beverage present. Don't leave a plate with scraps or desserts in easy reach.
Insulin resistance can occur during your menopausal years. This is when your body mistakenly turns every calorie you take in into fat. Most women follow a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. After time, processed and refined foods may make your body resistant to insulin produced in the blood stream. This is often a cause of weight gain after the age of 40
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