Since I’m in my late 40s, I gained some extra pounds here and there…. my clothes didn’t fit well my body… I realized that men stop to notice me… and the worst, sometimes I felt invisible socially. Well, it’s a little discouraging at first. But, the good news is I become less worry on what other people think about me and what I do. I can be more focus on myself now.


In this article, we are going to discuss about weight gain in menopause and perimenopause, physical and psychological causes of weight gain during perimenopause and after menopause, what hormone causes weight gain, can estrogen cause weight gain as well as the effects of post menopausal and perimenopausal weight gain to overall health.

Firstly, does perimenopause and menopause cause weight gain? Yes, it does. Weight gain is another sign of menopause and perimenopause. Our metabolism usually slows down quite significantly as we get older and hit menopause. Woman who has always been slim naturally when younger, often find staying slim more of a struggle as they going through menopause. Woman who has never had this problem may find adjusting their calorie intake to suit their body difficult.

Undiagnosed hypothyroidism is also one of the common causes of slow metabolism and weight gain in perimenopausal and menopausal women. Learn more about this in Perimenopause, Menopause and Hypothyroidism.

Generally menopausal women gain around five pounds of extra weight but this varies from individual to individual. The extra weight gain in perimenopause and menopause has a tendency to gather in the stomach area.

Causes
The causes of weight gain in perimenopause and menopause can be divided into psychological and physical. Physical causes of perimenopausal and post menopausal weight gain

  • Menopausal women tend to exercise less, eat more, and burn fewer calories. This slows down the metabolism and causes a shift in the composition of the body from less fat more muscle to fatter and less muscle.
  • Many women combine a high-stress life with a conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with lots of processed foods which creates insulin resistance. When there is insulin resistant, the body converts calories into fat even when one is dieting.
  • Also, a high-carbohydrate diet often causes a craving for sweets since the body can’t maintain optimal blood sugar and serotonin levels. That makes the insulin resistance worse and the vicious cycle of gaining weight is accelerated. Yo-yo dieting exacerbates the problem.
  • Another and most probable cause for weight gain in menopause is hormonal imbalance. During perimenopause and menopause, women lose estrogen, thus the body will need extra fat resources. The hormonal imbalance may get worse if one live a high-stress life along with a low-fat, high-carbs diet.
  • Aging and lifestyle does affect how your body changes over the course of time.
  • Genetics most definitely contribute to weight gain, including weight gain in perimenopause and menopause. People with parents on the heavy side will almost always inherit that particular body type as well.
  • Sometimes water retention also contributes to weight gain during menopause. Some women may experience bloating during perimenopause and menopause. This is caused by the decreasing of progesterone levels. Fortunately, water retention and bloating often vanish within a few months.

Psychological causes of weight gain after menopause and during perimenopause

  • Anxiety in menopause and other forms of emotional daily stress, overwork, menopause perimenopause fatigue or unresolved emotional issues can cause weight gain during menopause. When you are stressed, as the body typically is during menopause, stress hormones block menopause weight loss. Despite adequate food, the body acts as if it’s in a famine and stores all spare calories as fat. This may lead to a metabolic disorder called adrenal fatigue.

Other factors that play into weight gain in perimenopause and menopause problems are food sensitivities, digestive issues such as yeast, overwork, fatigue, and even heavy metal toxicity.

Does and what hormone causes weight gain?
Hormonal imbalance can cause weight gain during perimenopause and post menopause. This is because during perimenopause and menopause stage, women lose estrogen, thus the body will need extra fat resources. Decreased progesterone levels’ leading to water retention also contributes to weight gain during menopause. The hormonal imbalance may get worse if one live a high-stress life along with a low-fat, high-carbs diet.

Can estrogen cause weight gain?
Yes, it can cause weight gain. Women who have insufficient levels of estrogen will need extra fat resources to support their bodily system. And, this lacking of estrogen hormone problem is a very common condition among menopausal women.

Besides leading to weight gain during menopause, hormonal changes are also related to hair loss during menopause. Read all about it in Does menopause cause hair loss?.

Effects of perimenopausal and post menopausal weight gain
While we all know that weight gain can cause serious implications for your health, excess weight gain during menopause also increases the chance of developing heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that women who lose 20 pounds after menopause reduce their breast cancer risk by as much as 23 percent. On the other hand, women who lose weight after menopause can reduce their risk of breast cancer by that much and more.

In conclusion, weight gain in menopause and perimenopause stages is a very common condition faced by many women. Furthermore, there are various physical and psychological factors that may cause weight gain during perimenopause and after menopause, from hormonal imbalance, lack of estrogen, sedentary lifestyle to emotional issues. Now that you know all these information, you should try to control your weight gain during this stage of life.