Menopause is a condition that all women face. It is a normal part of nature’s cycle and is something that is inescapable. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. The ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen and progesterone production is decreased dramatically. It is important to remember that you are not alone.
Every woman, to some extent, will experience what you are going through. True, not everyone has the same level of severity when it comes to menopause and there are a variety of symptoms involved. Besides the common symptoms of hot flashes, anger, depression, foggy thinking – a woman’s body is going through so many rapid changes that nearly every system is affected in some way.
One of the common, but little known, symptoms of menopause is change in appetite. This change in appetite can work in two ways. Women can push food away and lose the desire to eat properly or they can experience a dramatic increase in appetite. Both situations can be potentially unhealthy. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with appetite changes due to menopause.
Menopause is essentially a change in a your chemical composition. It is a completely natural process. Researchers have proven that in addition to many of the symptoms previously mentioned, many women experience dramatic changes in appetite. Most commonly, women experiencing menopause experience a gain in appetite. This can lead to unhealthy eating practices and weight gain.
To cope with appetite changes you must be proactive: as with anything else, waiting around for something to get better means not a lot is likely to happen, meanwhile the pounds creep ever upwards. The bodily changes that occur during menopause do not allow your body to burn calories at the rate it used to. This means you have to make up for not only an increase in appetite, but a sluggish metabolism!
So, how can you overcome this? The answers may seem simple on the outset, but the struggle to maintain your weight is not easy. First, it is important to increase your activity level. Weight and resistance training are good bets to improve your health and metabolic functioning. As women age there is a natural decrease in activity – this is true for men as well. However, women experiencing menopause have to fight a more uphill battle.
In addition to exercise, nutrition is an important consideration. Eat healthy meals, lots of fruit and foods high in fiber. Monitor intake of high-fat foods and try to stay away from fast food and fried foods. Start each meal being conscious of keeping portion size down to a minimum – your body most likely does not need everything on the plate. Fill up on healthy, low in saturated fats foods before considering higher calorie options.
Although it does happen, it is less common for women going through the menopause to experience a reduction in appetite. While on the surface this may seem like a great way to shed a few pounds, it can lead to a lack of proper nutrition.
Should you find your appetite has diminished, make sure that you take vitamins and minerals that will allow you to keep your body functioning as well as it can. Menopause wreaks havoc on your body, so you have to counterbalance what is happening. Try to have a few small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day. If sitting down for a big meal isn’t working for you, this may be the way to go!
Menopause and appetite go hand in hand. It is important for you to recognize that you are going through a natural process that only seems unnatural. Take the proper steps to control your appetite consciously and you will be better able to cope with whatever the menopause throws at you.