Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) ceases. Menopause actually means the last menstrual period. The average age of the natural menopause is 51 years, but can occur much earlier or later. Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause, and before the age of 40 is premature menopause.
At this time, most women (around 2/3 of women) experience weight gain or difficulty maintaining their usual weight. Most women will gain about 10 to 15 pounds during their menopausal years. You also discover that the weight gain tends to accumulate around the abdomen, rather than the hips and thighs as it did before menopause. People commonly refer to this as an "apple" shape, because the stomach area becomes more round. An extra pound before menopause will settle evenly over hips, bottom, thighs, and arms. After menopause, it all goes round the middle! Most of this weight will come on gradually – generally about a pound a year.
As you enter the early stages of menopause, maintaining weight becomes more and more difficult, and losing weight becomes almost impossible. This is because of the fluctuation in your hormones. Your body’s hormones have a direct impact on your appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. At this stage, women develop "insulin resistance" making their bodies store fat, rather than burn calories. This "insulin resistance" changes how our bodies handle the foods we eat. For example, if you ate 1,000 calories before menopause, you would burn 700 of them and store around 300. After menopause, your body will store 700 and burn only 300! This is a big difference, and the result is weight gain! Even a modest weight gain can result in a change of dress size.
Excessive weight gain could also be a sign that something is wrong with your hormone levels, blood sugars, or eating habits. Visit your doctor if your weight gain is out of control. Excessive fat stored around the abdomen can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, and high cholesterol.
The daily changes you make now can yield important benefits for decades to come.
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With Strip That Fat, you don't have to spend countless hours a day running on a treadmill, or throw thousands of dollars away buying a gym pass. Exercise is not a bad thing, we promise. It can be fun. No, really. Stop laughing. Hate lunges, squats and sit ups? Then don’t do those exercises, silly. What did you like to do when you were a child? Did you spend every day of the summer in a swimming pool of some type? Join a water aerobics class, or just swim laps at the local health club. Choose an exercise that you will actually do.
Strip That Fat tip: Don’t look at it as a torture or as drudgery. Find some physical activity that you truly love and think of it as special time for yourself, something to look forward to every day. Make that connection between your good health and your good attitude and stick with it.
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