Estrogen And Weight Gain

Scientists now know that estrogen and weight gain go hand in hand. Estrogen is the sex hormone responsible for causing monthly ovulation in women. During menopause, estrogen levels decline, which stops ovulation.

As women reach menopausal age, the ovaries produce less estrogen and your body turns to other places to get estrogen from. And since fat cells in the body produce small amounts of it, your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. And that causes the body to store up even more fat then it used to.

Hormones have a direct impact on appetite, fat storage and metabolism. During menopause, women develop "insulin resistance" which means their bodies tend to store fat, instead of burning calories. Insulin resistance leads to changes in how our bodies handle food. As an examples lets say you used to eat about 1,000 calories before menopause. You would have burned about 700 of those calories and stored about 300. During and after menopause, you would be burning about 300 of them and store around 700. That's is huge. And if women don't realize that, their eating habits will not change, and they will gain weight.

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Most women, about 2/3s, experience weight gain during menopause. The average woman will gain between 10 to 15 pounds during their menopausal years. And the weight tends to be centered around the abdomen. Of course, its not just having added weight that worries women. Excess mid-section weight can lead to health problems. Most of the fat in that area is called toxic fat. And it is highly correlated to cardiovascular disease, like heart attack and strokes.

Of course, Estrogen and weight gain would be too simple of a correlation. There are other factors involved in creating the middle age spread; including hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, a life time of exposure to toxins in food and the environment, and high cortisol levels caused by stress. And older people tend to have slower lifestyles. They are not nearly as active as they once were. This causes their metabolism levels to drop, and that causes the body to burn less fat.

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For women in the menopause years who are trying to maintain or lose that newly added weight, eating smaller portions and exercising on a regular basis are the best way to keep the weight off. But even this doesn't always help. In some cases more help is needed to fight the battle of the bulge. If you are one of those who just can't keep the weight off despite following a strict diet, there is help. For information on how to lose weight during (and after) menopause go to  Strip That Fat.