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Why the Mid-Section Weight Gain During Menopause?

Weight gain around the mid-section is a common concern for menopausal women

Here are five reasons why menopausal women may experience weight gain around their mid-section:

Hormonal changes: During menopause, a woman's hormone levels, particularly oestrogen, decrease significantly. This hormonal imbalance can lead to an increase in abdominal fat deposition. Oestrogen plays a role in regulating body fat distribution, and its decline can result in a shift towards storing fat in the mid-section.

Decreased metabolism: Aging and hormonal changes can cause a decline in metabolic rate. As a result, menopausal women may burn fewer calories, making it easier to gain weight. The reduction in muscle mass that often occurs with age can further contribute to a slower metabolism.

Lifestyle factors: Menopause is often accompanied by changes in lifestyle habits. Women may become less active, experience decreased muscle mass, and have a lower calorie requirement. If dietary habits and physical activity levels remain unchanged, weight gain, particularly around the mid-section, can occur.

Stress and cortisol levels: Menopause can be a stressful time for many women due to various physical and emotional changes. Increased stress levels can lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been associated with abdominal fat accumulation. This can contribute to weight gain in the mid-section.

Genetic predisposition: Some women may have a genetic predisposition to store fat around the mid-section, known as an "apple" body shape. This genetic factor can become more noticeable during menopause when hormonal changes and other factors contribute to weight gain.

It is important to note that while weight gain around the mid-section is common during menopause, it is not inevitable. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management techniques, and hormone therapy (if appropriate) can help mitigate weight gain and maintain a healthy body composition.

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