Menopause is a normal process and a time in the life of women when regular menstrual periods stop and they are no longer able to bear children. However, the process has many negative side-effects which can drive a woman crazy. For example, during this hard time you can store a lot of fat in the body, resulting in weight gain and destroyed figure. This mostly occurs due to the reduced production of estrogen, a hormone which activates the ovaries and triggers the release of eggs in the fallopian tubes. The process declines in the 40s and 50s bit by bit, and it’s significantly slower during menopause.
Once the estrogen levels fall at their lowest point, the ovaries stop working and the body shifts its energy from reproduction to health maintenance. At this point, the body goes through many hormone variations and you become more prone to weight gain as a result. However, weight gain can also occur earlier than menopause and is usually caused by hormonal imbalance. Here are 4 hormones other than estrogen which can make you gain weight:
Insulin regulates the amount of blood sugar in the blood and should always be kept in check. You can control it by eating foods with a low GI (Glycemic Index) and avoiding foods rich in carbs as well. Carbs can spike your insulin levels and cause insulin resistance, effectively increasing the risk of diabetes and weight gain as well.
Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands and regulates the energy distribution in the body. When the blood sugar levels re increased, the body may develop cortisol resistance and adrenal fatigue, which will disrupt the normal energy usage and make the body store fat.
Leptin is a hormone released by our fat cells which has the role of telling the brain when we’re satiated. However, high blood sugar and fructose levels can cause leptin resistance and make the brain unable to know when we’re full. This can lead to overeating, further hormone imbalance and weight gain.
- Thyroid hormones
The thyroid hormones determine the usage of energy in the cells – if their levels are disrupted, the cells will burn carbs and fats to produce energy, leading to increased fat storage.
In order to keep the levels of hormones in check, you should follow these tips:
Eat green and clean
Eating a healthy diet is of the utmost importance for regulating your hormone levels and preventing a variety of problems. Eat dark leafy green vegetables more often and make sure they’re organic as well. The produce present on market shelves is often full of pesticides and most of these vegetables are genetically modified as well. Lean meat and organic foods will also help you keep your hormones in order.
Women over 50 lose muscle mass easier than before and it’s mostly due to physical inactivity. If you’re over 50, exercise 20-30 minutes a day to balance your hormones and stay fit.
Take regular lab tests to track your hormonal levels and find problems before they get serious.