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Publication: Diet Buddy
Hormones gone Wild!

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, July 31, 2006

Comment The Post Below...

Hello there Buddies:

Ladies, this is for all of us out there that can't seem 
to get over the fact that our once nice slim shapes have 
turned into something we've tried to avoid our whole 
lives.....big round apple shapes, making us look like 
we're about to give birth all over again, only we're NOT 

For those of us that are reaching our middle years and are 
frequently at a loss as to where all the extra weight that 
seems to have mysteriously attached itself over the past 
few years is coming from.....yes sirreeeeee, it's our 
hormones gone wild, and we're in for one strange, confus-
ing, and frustrating ride! 

With that said, we should know we're not alone in this and 
that there is help for us out there.  It is important to 
remember that the weight we have gained is normal and to 
be expected when approaching or in our menopausal years. 

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"Studies show that about 90% of menopausal woman gain some 
weight between the ages of 35 and 55.  Now don't blame 
yourself for this newly aquired weight change, gaining 
weight during menopause is caused by shifts in your 
hormones, not greedy eating. 

Most woman will gain about 10 to 15 pounds during their 
menopausal years and most of this weight will come on 
gradually - about a pound a year - during perimenopause. 
Women who have experienced "early" or "surgical" menopause 
may experience more rapid and extreme weight gain. Yes, 
you will start noticing the weight isn't distributing it-
self as it used to but rather going to places that you 
didn't make room for in your clothes. 

Many women, myself included, are quite shocked and 
frustrated when they begin to notice those extra pounds so 
graciously provided by menopause. You may be eating and 
exercising the exact same way as you always were but you 
now just can't seem to maintain your weight. Maintaining 
your weight becomes more and more difficult and losing 
weight becomes almost impossible. This is because of the 
fluctuation in your hormones. 

Your bodies hormones have a direct impact on your 
appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. This is why it is 
so difficult to control your weight during menopause.....
no matter what you do, fluctuating estrogen, testosterone 
and androgen levels will fight you all the way. 

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Estrogen - is the female sex hormone that is responsible 
for causing monthly ovulation. During female menopause, 
your estrogen levels decline rapidly, causing your body to 
stop ovulating. As your ovaries produce less and less 
estrogen, your body looks for other places to get needed 
estrogen from. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, 
so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to 
increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately for you, fat cells 
don't burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes 
you to pack on the unwanted pounds. 

Progesterone - levels during menopause will also decrease. 
Like estrogen, lower levels of this hormone can be 
responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause and 
includes weight gain, or at least the appearance of it. 
Water retention and menopause often go hand in hand since 
water weight and bloating are caused by decreased 
progesterone levels. 

Androgen - is responsible for sending your new weight 
directly to your middle section. In fact weight gain during 
menopausal years is often known as "middle age spread" 
because of the rapid growth of the mid-section. Often, one 
of the first signs of menopause is an increase of androgen 
in your body, which causes you to gain weight around your 
stomach area. 

Testosterone - helps your body create lean muscle mass out 
of the calories that you take in. Muscle cells burn more 
calories than fat cells do increasing your metabolism. 
During menopause levels of testosterone drop resulting in 
loss of this muscle, resulting in a lower metabolism 
unfortunately", says Epigee Women's Health. 

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Menopause can be a very trying time in our lives. With all 
these changes of nature working against us, it's important 
to learn to accept a few pounds and focus on being healthy 
and active, not trying to fit into those old clothes. A 
little extra weight can actually be good for us and help 
lessen other symptoms of menopause like anxiety and hot 
flashes. We're embarking on a new journey that doesn't 
have to be unpleasant. With the proper tools, an exercise 
and weight loss program, we can keep ourselves feeling in 
tip top shape physically and mentally for years to come. 


*  Eat a balanced diet. Avoid refined sugars and indulge 
   in fruits and vegetables. 

*  Avoid crash diets. Starvation will only cause your 
   metabolism to slow down, causing you to gain more weight 
   later on.

*  Don't lose large amounts of weight. Being very thin can 
   lead to an increased chance of developing osteoporosis. 

*  Limit intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. These 
   can add to water retention. 

*  Remain active. Do aerobics to increase metabolism and 
   burn fat. Do weight bearing activities such as walking 
   and cycling to increase muscle mass and ward of 

Complications of middle age weight gain: 

-  High cholesterol 

-  High blood pressure 

-  Insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes 

Work with your doctor to keep these issues in check. 

Did You Know ???

That "phytoestrogens - which are high in foods and 
supplements like soy and flaxseed - can help you raise 
your estrogen levels the natural way. Think about adding 
soy foods to your diet - putting ground flaxseeds in salad 
- or taking the early route and getting supplements like 
flaxseed or red clover capsules from your health food 

Have a great week everyone!!!

Don't forget to visit our blog, or e-mail us with your own 

Disclaimer: Since I am not a medical professional, any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

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