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You probably wouldn't be shocked to find that your metabolism changes during and after menopause. What you might find surprising is that the one size fits all diets that you've tried in the past may have actually increased your chances of gaining weight. Learn how to readjust your body's metabolism to accommodate the changes that menopause brings.

Weight Gain & Menopause: Why am I Gaining so Much Weight?


The average woman gains 30 pounds with the transition of menopause. It was long thought that this occurred because women just become less active as they age and they eat more. In my clinical practice of weight management for more than ten years, I have worked with thousands of women who had weight gain with menopause despite the fact they increased their exercise and decreased their caloric intake. Since so many women told me the same history, I knew there was more involved.

Recent research proved that when laboratory animals undergo surgical menopause (removal of the ovaries and hence abrupt changes in the amount of estrogen in the body), the lab animals gain weight even though they are not given more food. The decline in estrogen stimulation on certain areas of the brain causes a condition called insulin resistance which affects carbohydrate metabolism and leads to weight gain.

Almost all people have an increase in insulin resistance with age but with women it is more abrupt and dramatic due to these significant hormonal changes. Insulin resistance responds well to adjusting the diet to include adequate protein and controlling the amount of carbohydrates at each meal and for the entire day. It is not a No Carb diet, rather a controlled carb diet with the emphasis on complex carbohydrates. The BistroMD meal plan was created based upon the meal plan I use with my patients.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on December 08, 2014.


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