If you are perimenopausal or menopausal you have seen the effects of what low estrogen levels can do to your body and weight. During the perimenopausal stage the hormones are fluctuating, however, once you’ve reached menopause your estrogen levels will remain low. The main issue is the weight gain as a result of the low estrogen, how to lose the weight, and how to keep the weight off.
Typically the weight gain will be in the tummy, hips, and thighs area. The extra tummy fat is known as visceral fat and can an excess of it can be dangerous. There is already fat surrounding and protecting your organs but too much can be a bad thing. The more weight you carry in that area the higher at risk it puts you for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. “Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery” (Harvard Health).
Losing the weight can be done by using proper diet and exercise
“The American Heart Association recommends eating a dietary pattern that emphasizes: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts, while limiting red meat and sugary foods and beverages” (American Heart Association). Here are some examples of healthy foods to include in your diet: avocados, nuts, salmon, tuna, chicken (skinless), beans, barley, oats, and brown rice. One of the main things is to stay away from processed foods, junk foods, and heavy starches.
As we age, strength training becomes more and more important
Our bodies start to lose muscle mass as well as our heart. Women that have low estrogen and weight to lose need to build their muscle as well as do cardio. The American Heart Association says “women should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week to prevent heart disease, and an hour daily for a weight loss program”(American Heart Association). A good workout would consist of 20-30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training five days a week. The strength training should alternate muscle groups on different days in order to let them rest.
Harder to lose weight & maintain it with low estrogen levels
But not impossible! For the majority of women following a healthy diet and exercise program will help them shed the unwanted pounds, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and keep their bodies healthy. The best thing is to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and following an exercise program before your body reaches this point as the weight will be harder to lose.