Why do women often get fat at the age of forty or fifty?

Some women reach the age of 40 or 50, when it is clear that the amount of food has not increased, but the weight has increased year by year, especially the fat on the stomach has increased significantly. In my mother’s words, it’s like, “you get fat when you drink water. ” 

Why does menopause suddenly gain weight? How to control your weight scientifically?

What is menopause obesity? 

Menopause is a transitional stage in which women lose their fertility continuously. during this period, women are prone to obesity in varying degrees because of relatively stable life, reduced family burden, endocrine changes and other reasons. 

Generally obese, fat is usually evenly distributed throughout the body. Climacteric obesity, on the other hand, is often the redistribution of buttocks fat to the abdomen, resulting in an increase in fat around the abdomen, resulting in a woman’s body from pear type to apple type (central obesity). 

The study found that women’s waistlines changed significantly after the last menstrual cycle. At present, it is recognized that waist circumference is the simplest and most practical indicator to measure the degree of fat accumulation in the abdomen (that is, central obesity). 

In the United States, the number of people with abdominal obesity is almost twice as high as the number of people who are obese throughout the body. 

The survey found that in 2008, abdominal obesity accounted for 65.5 percent of women over the age of 40 and 59 in the United States, and 73.8 percent of women over the age of 60.

Why is menopause prone to obesity? 

1. Age. 

Studies have shown that climacteric women gradually reduce muscle content, lower basic metabolism, lower calorie consumption. if there is no corresponding reduction in food intake, or increased physical activity, it is easy to gain weight because of excess calories. 

2. Estrogen secretion reduction. 

Climacteric women because of ovarian function decline, estrogen secretion decreased. 

On the one hand, estrogen may affect fat metabolism by reducing the amount of neuropeptides and inhibiting their effects. The lack of estrogen promotes the hoarding of fat in the central abdomen. 

On the other hand, estrogen on the pituitary gland inhibition weakened, there will be hypothalamus and pituitary hyperfunction, autonomic nerve disorder, the consequences are often abnormal glucose metabolism, hyperappetite. If you eat too much, you will naturally gain weight. 

In addition, estrogen reduction, will lead to osteoporosis, easy to cause motor organ dysfunction, increasing the inconvenience of exercise. With less exercise and less calorie consumption, it is more likely to gain weight. 

3. Progesterone secretion decreased. 

Progesterone in combination with estrogen can increase the amount of fat decomposition, especially subcutaneous fat decomposition. Menopause due to the decline in progesterone levels, can further lead to the formation of obesity. 

4. Other. 

Female menopause obesity is also related to education, urbanization, activity and the number of births. 

At the same time, some studies have found that, Family history of obesity, early marriage, bad eating habits, circadian rhythm and eating time disorders (such as shift work), lack of sleep, low self-esteem and depression, excessive drinking, use of drugs to treat mental disorders, chemotherapy, etc. May cause menopause obesity.

What harm does menopause obesity have?

  • Increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (coronary artery disease, hypertension and stroke);
  • Increased risk of urinary incontinence, dementia, certain cancers (endometrial, breast and colon cancer) and musculoskeletal diseases;
  • Affect physical fitness, appearance and social activities;
  • Increase the likelihood of depression, and may lead to sexual dysfunction and so on.

Weight loss during menopause should be cautious

Studies have shown that excessive weight loss significantly increases the risk of hip fractures in middle-aged and elderly women. 

On the one hand, climacteric estrogen is greatly reduced, promoting a large number of bone loss; on the other hand, if the lack of fat buffer when falling, but also prone to fracture. 

It is generally believed that climacteric women can maintain an ideal weight. Mainly through proper control of diet and physical exercise, can not be excessive diet weight loss. Consult your doctor before you lose weight for accurate and scientific advice.

How to prevent or control menopause obesity? 

According to the World Menopause Medical Association, the most important health management goal for women after menopause is to maintain an appropriate weight. 

The following methods are generally used to prevent or control climacteric obesity: 

1. Lifestyle changes

(I) gradual and orderly increase in physical activity. 

Start with a lightweight exercise and gradually increase the amount. Activities can choose brisk walking, jogging, playing badminton, playing table tennis and so on. Walking briskly for 30 minutes and 45 minutes consumes 100 to 200 calories. 

At the same time, minimize the time to sit still (such as watching TV), can be interspersed in static life to do exercises or domestic work and other physical activities. 

(II) ensuring a balanced diet. 

Compared with the original intake, the daily intake is reduced by 300 to 500 calories. 

Low-energy diets are typically 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day, but very low-energy diets (less than 800 calories) should be avoided. 

Control carbohydrate and fat intake, eat more coarse grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, eat less refined rice noodles, avoid sweets and so on; try to choose vegetable oil, less animal oil, margarine and so on. 

Supplement high-quality protein, such as fish, egg milk and soybean products; increase the intake of dietary fiber, you can eat more coarse grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, beans and bacteria and algae, and so on. 

Establish good eating habits, such as light diet, regular quantity, try not to eat before bedtime, adequate water intake, less drinking, strong tea and sugar and milk coffee, etc. Low-energy diet should be supplemented with appropriate amount of multivitamins and zinc, iron, calcium and other nutritional supplements. 

(III) ensure adequate sleep. 

It is recommended that you get seven to eight hours of sleep a day. 

(Ⅳ) maintain an optimistic and positive attitude. 

Control your emotions, avoid irritability, eliminate anxiety and fear, and don’t indulge in melancholy and sadness. Have perseverance and patience in weight control and be enthusiastic about life. 

2. Drug therapy or weight loss surgery. 

At present, only one weight loss drug, orlistat (gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor), has been approved for long-term use. it can significantly reduce body weight by 5% or less than 10%. It is suggested that some fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E should be properly supplemented. 

For those who are extremely obese or have severe obesity complications, surgical treatment, including gastrointestinal surgery and local degreasing, can be considered. 

3. Estrogen therapy. 

Most studies have shown that oral estrogen or estrogen combined with progesterone therapy can reduce the overall fat quality, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. 

All in all, hormone changes are one of the important causes of abdominal obesity in climacteric women. 

It is suggested that a physical examination should be carried out every two years, including fasting blood glucose, 2-hour postprandial blood glucose, blood lipid, liver function and uric acid, bone mineral density (BMD), etc., in order to detect the metabolic disorder related to obesity earlier and treat it early. 

It is recommended to control weight by developing healthy living and exercise eating habits. Stubborn moderate and severe obesity in lifestyle changes at the same time, can assist orlistat, weight loss surgery and so on for treatment.


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