THIS IS WHY MENOPAUSE WOMEN GAIN FAT: This is why you’re always hungry, here’s how to change it

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The words “perimenopause” and “menopause” are something that represent the inevitability of the life cycle in every woman’s life. Changes in the menstrual cycle can occur over a period of several years, or longer. All this leads to the final moment of complete cessation of menstruation.

Hormone levels are responsible for these changes. They are accompanied by a series of symptoms typical of menopause. These are primarily hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, headache and vaginal dryness. Changes in hormone levels, among other things, make women feel hungry, sometimes hungrier than they have ever been.

The psychological dimension of the connection between menopause and hunger

A small 2014 study of 94 premenopausal women found that increased hunger very often accompanies this transition. The study participants also talked about what is very important, which is the psychological dimension of their increased desire to eat.

Both perimenopause and menopause are not only something that is not talked about enough in our society, and women are often stigmatized. This is why studies like this are extremely important, as well as discussions for women who need to know that they are not alone in this real health process, and that it happens to almost all women.

Menopause and glad

During perimenopause, i.e. the introduction to menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate. In the beginning they grow and in the end they will decline. That process needs to be “survived”. Estrogen is thought to reduce appetite. So when estrogen levels start to decline, it probably won’t affect appetite to the same degree as it once did.

Leptin is a hormone produced by our fat cells that helps regulate energy. It is also called the “hormone of satiety”. A high level of leptin tells the brain that we have eaten and it is time to stop, and this certainly helps with weight management. Some studies have confirmed that aging is associated with lower levels of leptin, which makes us feel hungrier.

If leptin is the satiety hormone, ghrelin is the opposite – the “hunger hormone”. Ghrelin levels increase during perimenopause. Normally, ghrelin levels increase between meals and decrease when we eat.

Cortisol is the “stress hormone”. It is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal system. It helps us respond effectively to stress, defend against infections, and also participates in the regulation of metabolism. And older studies have shown that cortisol levels tend to increase during menopause.

Solutions for perimenopause and menopause hunger

The biggest mistake that women often make in the period of premenopause and menopause is to switch to a restrictive diet. This strategy usually backfires on multiple fronts. Research shows that people who exclude whole food groups from their diet, such as carbohydrates, often experience an even more intense desire for that particular food.

As women are psychologically more vulnerable in this period, they can have a counter-effect, so that during hunger attacks they “overload” on food that they wanted to avoid. This leads to numerous digestive and psychological consequences. The solution is a balanced diet, with evenly represented foods of all kinds, and the base should be:

whole grains
healthy fats.

Feeling full longer is important so that we are not tempted to reach for snacks or meals before bed, especially late at night.

Source: Lečenje Biljem by

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