natural menopause

17. Many women find that they start putting on weight once they enter the perimenopause…

It’s said that our metabolism slows down at this time, so that we put on weight more easily and find it more difficult to lose. There’s not a lot of evidence to support this theory…

If we are feeling tired, low, or uncomfortable, as is common when going through the perimenopause, it may be that we turn to comfort eating, and/or feel less inclined to exercise. By paying more attention to diet and lifestyle, we can help alleviate these symptoms, and manage our weight more effectively.

But it’s important to know that we actually need a little more padding than we may be used to, or would like. Body fat helps conserve the reduced amount of oestrogen we have in our bodies.

Our bodies still produce some oestrogen as we go through the perimenopause, and once we are postmenopausal. This is via the adrenal glands rather than the ovaries. It is stored in adipose tissue, aka fat. Very thin women with no body fat are at higher risk of osteoporosis. (See No.18.)

Oestrogen preserves not just our bones, but also our skin, hair and vaginal tissue. And it reduces the amount of wrinkles. So you look younger. A fair trade-off, I’d say.
Tongue firmly in cheek, I’d like to quote Barbara Cartland here:

“After 40, a woman has to choose between losing her figure or her face. My advice is to keep your face, and stay sitting down.”

I believe it’s more a case of compromising than choosing between one and the other… by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, there’s no reason why we can’t have both!