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Losing weight during menopause: why is it more difficult?

Understand how menopause affects metabolism and body fat distribution

Losing weight during menopause It can be a real challenge for many people going through this phase. According to experts, the hormonal changes that occur in the body, in addition to causing symptoms such as hot flashes and decreased libido, can also affect the metabolism and distribution of body fat.

«Even if they eat well and do physical activity, they tend to notice a greater accumulation of fat in the abdomen and have more and more difficulty managing it. We know that hormonal decline, especially in estrogens and from testosteroneis a very important factor for this relationship,” explains the Dr. Igor Padovesigynecologist member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and the International Menopause Society (IMS).

A Dr. Marcella Garceznutritionist, director and professor of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology, talks about the impacts of menopause on basal metabolism.

“The reduction in muscle mass results in lower calorie expenditure at restwhich can make it difficult to maintain ideal weight and lead to changes in fat distribution,” he says.

It’s worth mentioning that loss of muscle mass and decreased strength are associated with a number of health problems, including reduced bone density, increased risk of fractures, and increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases.

The importance of a healthy and active lifestyle

According to Dr. Igor, a sedentary lifestyle can make weight loss during menopause even more complicated. however, the Dr. Deborah Berangerendocrinologist, remember that a healthy and active lifestyle It is important not only for weight control, but also for addressing the symptoms of this phase.

Beranger says the shift can contribute to improves the sensation of hot flashes, of discouragement, from irritability AND of mood changes.

“Menopause significantly increases the degree of anxiety and irritability and the risk of depression, as it generates change brain neurotransmitters“, says the endocrinologist.

The ideal is practice regular physical exercise. “At least three times a week, for an hour,” advises Dr. Deborah.

Garcez still remembers it food strategies can contribute to the maintenance of muscle mass during menopause.

«Proteins with high biological value, with all the essential amino acids such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes, must be present and distributed in all abundant, daily meals. However, it may be necessary to consider the integration in some cases”, underlines the nutritionist.

Complex carbohydratesFor example, whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables are also recommended, as they provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber for the body.

“To consume foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, can help reduce oxidative stress and support muscle health. A adequate hydration Furthermore, it cannot be neglected to take care of muscle function”, adds Dr. Marcella.

The role of hormone replacement

Dr. Igor Padovesi comments on the safety of hormone replacement during menopause.

“Many people believe that hormone replacement increases the risk of problems such as breast cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease. This is mainly due to studies conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s who, due to various methodological defects, have reached erroneous conclusions on the effects of these therapies on the organism. However, numerous more modern studies have already presented contrary evidence”, guarantees the specialist.

Emphasizes that this treatment is determined based on each patient’s complaints and the hormone usedTHE dose and the duration could change.

“By replacing these hormones in the right doses and with the most appropriate hormones (today bioidentical ones are used), we can help improve body composition, facilitating the increase in lean mass when the patient does physical activity and eats well, and this reflects on the quality of life. Obviously at this stage hormone therapy also improves many other symptoms”, he underlines.

Source: Terra

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