With the new year in full swing many are eating healthy and going to the gym, yet for some the pounds continue to creep onto their frame. They're doing everything right, so what can be the sneaky culprits for causing the weight gain?
Dr. Diana Bitner, nationally recognized menopause specialist at Spectrum Health, sheds some light on why it's getting harder to shed those pounds.
There are multiple reasons why a person can gain weight:
- Poor or inadequate sleep
- Unresolved daily stressors
- Low muscle mass
- History of being overweight in adolescence
- Loss of estrogen with Perimenopause and menopause
- Lack of aerobic exercise
- Lack of strength training
- Eating simple carbs such as white rice, white potatoes, white bread
- Depression and anxiety
Medical conditions can also be a factor, such as:
- Family history of obesity
- Family history of diabetes
- History of diabetes in pregnancy
- PCOD (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Thyroid dysfunction
If the weight gain gets out of control, people can suffer from the following:
- Poor self image
- Increased risk diabetes
- Increased risk heart attack and stroke
- increased risk Alzheimer's
- increased risk depression and anxiety
- Low sex drive
So what can women do to lose weight in perimenopause and menopause stages? Dr. Bitner shares some ideas on how everyone can work to keep the pounds off:
- Decide why you want to lose weight
- Get in touch with how being overweight makes you feel
- Say the opposite of what you do not like, make that your goal, your mantra
- Understand your barriers: lack of knowledge, poor habits, family pressure, limited time
- See your health care provider, consider blood work etc
- Easy Food Plan: Smart carbs/Smart protein/Smart Fats/1 treat
- Exercise: Build your base, start with consistency, add muscle
- Consider hormone medication to reduce insulin resistance, patch vs. oral
Dr. Bitner says when there's a plan in place and knowing the tricks of weight loss, it's possible to lose the weight. Having a healthy weight is possible, and the sooner a plan is put into action, the better!
Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.
Read more stories like this on Dr. Bitner's Blog.