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Weight gain in menopause: strategies to adopt

Significant hormonal changes occur during menopause; one of them is the decrease of estrogen levels. This diminution favours fattening at the abdominal level, rather than on the hips and thighs as in the fertile period.

Furthermore, over the years, muscle mass tends to decrease, leaving room for fat mass. It is a physiological process that determines a reduction of metabolism since muscle cells consume more energy than adipose ones.

The body impedance analysis evaluates the body's composition and identifies the extent of mass muscle reduction. The study can also re-evaluate the course of the diminution over time once you've implemented the correct strategies to counter it. In spite of the results, physical activity is for sure one of the primary measures to take.

Still, very often it is not enough to "move more" because it's not only a matter of quantity. You need to understand what type of activity is more suitable for your purpose.

Aerobic activity such as walking is excellent for the cardiovascular system, but it should be prolonged to have the correct lipolytic action. Furthermore, its effectiveness is proportional to the amount of muscle present. It means that if the muscle mass hasn't been recovered yet, the effect of the aerobic workout will be less. Strength exercises such as lifting weights, resistance training, yoga, or pilates are excellent options because they have a trophic action on the muscle; they stimulate its formation and also help prevent the loss of bone mass.

Of course, the exact type of exercises and intensity should be dosed appropriately depending on the physical characteristics of each woman. Look for competent trainers who know how to calibrate and mix the various activities properly.

However, physical exercise might not be so powerful if you don't pay attention to your diet. First of all, it is necessary to guarantee the correct protein intake and distribution during the day. The guidelines provided by the WHO suggest a general daily consumption of this macronutrient of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.

A rich, complete and balanced breakfast, with the correct amount of proteins, fruit and whole carbohydrates, contributes to giving a strong hormonal signal to activate the metabolism and counteract the consumption of lean mass.

Equally important is the balance of meals: whole cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables accompanied by high-quality protein sources guarantee excellent control of blood sugar levels as well as a correct intake of all nutrients.

A light dinner, with a lower proportion of carbohydrates than the rest of the meals, will also help to limit the processes of fat accumulation.

A final aspect to consider is the presence of food-related inflammation, the persistence of which, in addition to favouring water retention, can negatively modify the body's response to insulin, favouring fattening. Taking the Food Inflammation Test and following a nutritional plan based on your Personal Food Profile often reduce inflammation levels and its related adverse effects.

We have treated several patients who feel like they are doing everything right, but without results. The difference relies on personalizing the track to follow. Entrust yourself to professionals who know how to identify your specific needs and draw up an ad hoc program especially for you. We're sure you will rediscover physical fitness and good humour.

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