Finally, we have some promising research into the why of (and hopefully soon, the remedy for) menopausal weight gain. And it doesn’t have to do with calories or lack of exercise or all the other causes postulated up until now. As nearly every menopausal woman knows, dieting and increasing exercise often do little to help with the meno pot. It’s deeply demoralizing and can make one want to just give up.
During perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels drop but levels of FSH, follicle stimulating hormone, remain high. This mismatch has been associated not only with weight gain but bone loss as well. FSH is the hormone that helps the egg develop and ripen in your ovary just prior to ovulation. These levels drop just after ovulation and increase again prior to the next ovulation.
Just prior to and during menopause, FSH levels remain elevated. Hence the weight gain and weird fat distribution coupled with bone loss.
A new study published in Nature has examined the use of an antibody to block FSH in female mice thrown into menopause when their ovaries were removed. They were fed a high fat diet, yet lost weight, upped their metabolism, and gained bone mass. While this is exciting news, the next step will be to try the experiment in larger animals, then humans. We may be some years away from realizing any benefits from this research but at the very least, we can feel vindicated.
That said, our best bet right now is healthy eating and continuing to move! Weight training with light weights, stretching, and walking will keep us at our optimal fitness level. We can eat less meat, more healthy carbs like quinoa or brown rice, and healthy fats such as almonds, legumes, and avocados. Oh, and a little dark chocolate and wine, just sayin’!
Read more at Medical News Bulletin.
Thanks, Lynette. Nice to know I have lots of company in my midriff slump.
At the same time, my mom, who just turned 90 is slim and gorgeous and sharp as a tack and full of energy and has beautiful skin. She has been eating health food for the last 60 of her 90 years. Her philosophy … “move it or loose it”. Move your body. Move your brain. She even does plies while she is in the elevator and pulls a kingsize murphy bed up and down twice a day. No small feat!
I think the major contributor to her weight and her youthfulness is that she has been taking bio-identical hormones since her 50’s, which I haven’t. She could easily pass for someone in her 70’s. That would make her my sister!!!
If you’d like more info about this call me and I’ll connect you with my mom. I’ll email you a picture of her taken last year.
Oh yes, Cathy – I’d love more about your mom! I’ll be in touch.
Great news for our future menopausal sisters. I do feel vindicated because I move all day at work and truly don’t eat much. I can’t eat much, I just get full easily. Anyway, I wish we had something to help us now. Much love and caring.
It is estimated that in 1998, there were over 477 million postmenopausal women in the world. That number is projected to rise to rise to 1.1 billion by the year 2025. A study of menopausal women revealed that 80% experienced no change in quality of life. 62% felt positively about menopause. Ten percent of women said they were irritable, fatigued, and had feelings of despair during the menopausal phase of their lives.
Im an turning 46 years old Dec 29th this year. Ive never had a problem with my weight. I have 5 children. My last baby wad born in 2014. He is three years old and i am going going going…but i have gained 20 lbs plus in 3 months. I was fixed after him and havent had a period in 3 months. None of my clothea fit and i am so depressed from the weight gain and issues i am having…WHAT DO I DO???
Dear Carrie, Boy do I sympathize with you! Sheesh. The HCG diet worked well but was hard for me, worked really well for two other of our menopause goddesses. They’ve kept their weight off for 5 years. I did the Fast Metabolism Diet – easy for me because they have an app that helps with meal planning. It really did seem to reset my metabolism. Of course, every woman is different but I do believe it helps. Let me know how it goes if you decide to do it. Lynette