Some call it "the middle-age spread". Others simply call it unwanted fat. Whatever the term, perimenopause weight gain is the most baffling, especially if you're diet-conscious. It is also inevitable, a normal process that women will eventually go through.
But wait! There's more.
Do you know what causes it? In order to find a "cure", you must first know why you are gaining weight. There are 2 known causes:
1. Stress. Women always fall prey to this. Anxiety, fatigue and work-related activities contribute to a stressful environment. These result in unbalanced body functions, like hunger. Some women report that they become "stress-free" after gorging themselves with chocolates, fries, cakes, etc. They say it makes them feel good. Unfortunately, their bodies pay the price as eventual weight gain will suddenly take over. The hunger is only temporary and will stop as soon as the stress overload ends. The weight gained however, is a different story.
2. Female hormone imbalance. In perimenopause, a hormone imbalance specifically between estrogen and progesterone occurs. Since estrogen is stored in fat, the body holds on to it if it feels that its estrogen level is about to experience a drastic change. This leads to perimenopause weight gain.
How to counter it? Make some changes in your lifestyle. Schedule some rest and relaxation time for you (and you alone). Take a vacation. Do restful meditation or yoga exercises. Have a routine for daily exercises like walking or jogging for a whiff of fresh air. This also gives you ample time to clear your mind of stressful clutter concerning work, family problems, etc. In this way, you will be able to give objective solutions to the greatest of problems. Combine this with a healthy diet that's rich in fiber and estrogen-like qualities (like soy, potatoes, apples, wheat, yams, etc.)
If you're into science and doctors, then your possible option would be medicine and/or surgery. Commonly used is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Unfortunately, studies have shown that this possibly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and heart disease as well. It is best to visit your doctor so both of you can discuss other medically sound options.
Alternative medicine is most popularly used in the alleviation of perimenopause symptoms. Phytoestrogenic herbs (such as black cohosh) treat the hormonal imbalance by the herbs' components mimicking estrogen. Non-estrogenic herbs on the other hand, work by making the body produce its own estrogen. Both types create hormone balance, lessening the opportunity for increased weight gain.
We mentioned earlier that like the stage itself, perimenopause weight gain is a normal occurrence. If it doesn't bother you, then good. But if it does, then consider the ones mentioned above to help you face a wiser and healthier you.
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