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Stress and Menopausal Weight Gain

Today we're going to be discussing how stress may affect your weight. Stress is a serious topic that effects every aspect of our lives.

Stress is one factor that is known to contribute to menopausal weight gain. When we are stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol, which can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. This can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, and may contribute to weight gain during menopause.

In addition to increasing appetite, stress can also lead to changes in metabolism and fat distribution. When we are stressed, our bodies may be more likely to store fat, particularly in the abdominal area. This is because cortisol, the hormone produced during times of stress, can stimulate the production of abdominal fat.

Stress is a major factor in other issues as well including anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and burnout.

To alliviate harmful stess, we need to rewrite our conditioning and patterns. We get to look at the rules and standards that we set for ourselves and adopt new and healthier ones.

But here's the biggest obstacle to making that happen.

Most of our conditioning and patterns are unconscious.

Of all the key factors that has us experiencing menopausal weight gain, this one takes the longest to unwind.

Studies show that women who had adverse childhood experiences were more likely to have more severe menopausal symptoms. Including weight gain. 1

Why? Here are a few theories:

Early trauma affects the way that we feel about ourselves and the world around us.

We get imprinted with codes that:

❖ We aren't good enough.

❖ The world is a scary place.

❖ I'm not worthy.

❖ I have to be nice, a people pleaser.

We adopt all kinds of beliefs that aren't true but feel true. And while our rational mind knows better, the codes remain imprinted in us.

Our sub conscious responds to these codes and keeps them alive. It keeps us in a chronic state of stress. Over time, we suffer, become exhausted and feel stuck.

The overactive stress hormones take a toll on our metabolism, blood sugar, blood pressure and more.

What to do?

There are several strategies that can help to manage stress and reduce the risk of weight gain during menopause. These include:

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.

  • Stress management techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help to reduce stress and improve mental well-being.

  • Healthy eating: A balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to support overall health and manage weight gain during menopause. Avoiding processed and refined foods and limiting added sugars and unhealthy fats can also be helpful.

  • Getting enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for maintaining overall health and well-being. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

  • Seeking support: It can be extremely helpful to speak with a holistic health professional about strategies for managing stress and weight gain during menopause. Support from friends and family can also be important.

  • For more specific tools, check out the article, Resetting the nervous system.

By managing stress and adopting healthy lifestyle practices, it is possible to minimize the risk of weight gain during menopause and maintain overall health and well-being.

PS. You don't have to go it alone. I'm here to support you and help you get on the right track. Let's chat to see if working with me makes sense for you.

1. PLoS One. 2021; 16(1): e0245444.

Published online 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245444


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