Menopause and Weight Gain in your Belly

What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?

Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Willendorf

Is your belly protruding beyond your belt? Sure you’re not pregnant? Ah, but you’re in menopause, so of course that wouldn’t be the issue. So what is it?

I remember those two pounds a year during my 30s that kept adding up on my bathroom scale. Just ignore them and they will go away — oh, how I wish!  Menopause and weight gain around the middle happens even to the thinnest of us.

Middle-Aged Spread Caused By Middle Age

Harvard Health Publications (you’ll have to scroll down on their page) questions the association between menopause and weight gain. They believe that the middle-aged spread is really just a result of being, well, middle-aged.  Hey, maybe this could be marketed as a diet cream cheese, Middle-Aged Spread!  In any case, that’s their opinion, but we really do see a correlation to menopause and weight gain.

We Need More Fat In Order To Store Hormones

fat cartoony woman

Photo credit: peppersmom via photopin

Other authorities on menopause, such as the Mayo Clinic, explain that, due to fluctuating hormones during perimenopause, a woman is much more likely to gain weight in the belly. Estrogen is stored in fat. As your hormones begin to decrease, you gain fat in order to store more estrogen. It’s like squirrels storing up acorns for the long winter ahead.

No Kidding! A Fat Belly Will Lead To Future Illness

A middle-aged spread can lead to cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, early death…and having to buy a new wardrobe. It’s uncomfortable. Try putting on your socks with your gut in the way, ugh!

Menopausal Women Exercise Less

Menopausal women tend to exercise less because of more aches and pains, the stress of life, and a busy schedule. And because we aren’t sleeping well at night, we just want to go home and take a nap, not a walk. There’s some great exercise equipment we found that might help.

Bloating and Water Retention

Water retention can be simply an innocuous ailment or can, more significantly, indicate something wrong, like your heart not pumping well enough, or your kidneys not doing their job. We’ve written a whole separate post on this for you to check out.

Always talk to your doctor about any physical problems before you assume it is a menopause symptom. Meanwhile, suck it in!