How To Overcome Menopausal Hot Flashes and Weight Gain

How To Overcome Menopausal Hot Flashes and Weight Gain

As if you didn’t have enough going on in your life, menopause has to come along and add even more stress. But don’t worry! You’re not alone. 

In fact, around 1.3 million women enter menopause every year in the United States. Menopause is a natural part of aging for all women, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come with uncomfortable symptoms.

Health Risks of Perimenopause and Menopause

Weight gain and hot flashes are some of the most common symptoms brought about by menopause, but there are also serious health risks associated with this phase of life as well. 

Menopausal women are at increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis than their younger peers, so it’s important to recognize that being healthy will help your body transition smoothly into post-menopause. 

There are a lot of symptoms you have to deal with, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain. The good news is your body will adjust naturally over time to normalize your levels of estrogen and progesterone. 

However, there are some things you can do to help alleviate these symptoms so you can get back to living your best life!

Understand What’s Happening To Your Body

Menopause is a natural stage of life that all women go through. Menopause results from your body stopping the production of estrogen and progesterone, hormones important to fertility and sexual function. Your body sends out signals that it wouldn’t normally send out. 

One of those signals is a chemical called FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). FSH tells your ovaries to release eggs every month. When you go through menopause, your ovaries stop releasing eggs, and FSH levels rise, ultimately stopping you from menstruating and becoming pregnant. 

This typically happens for women between the ages of 40 and 50, but it can happen at any point.

One of the most common symptoms of menopause is hot flashes—about 80% of women report this uncomfortable symptom at some point. Hot flashes can feel like waves of heat throughout your body, causing you to sweat. They can last up to 30 seconds or even a minute. They often happen at night while sleeping.

In addition to causing hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms, higher FSH levels can also lead to weight gain. That’s because higher FSH levels mean your body isn’t producing as much estrogen as it used to. Estrogen helps keep your blood sugar stable and regulates your appetite—when estrogen levels drop, so does the amount of energy your body needs each day. 

Other less-common physical symptoms include night sweats, sleep issues, vaginal dryness, itching, fatigue, and weight gain. Emotional symptoms include mood swings and anxiety (which itself can be triggered by hot flashes), feeling depressed or irritable, and trouble concentrating or remembering things that you used to come easily to you before menopause.

It’s important to note that these symptoms are not always caused by menopause—other medical conditions or lifestyle factors could cause them—so if you’re experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor!

But there’s good news: there are simple changes you can make to help ease these symptoms and make menopause a little easier to handle. Here are some tips for how to overcome menopausal hot flashes and weight gain.

Change Your Diet

Eat more Fruits and Vegetables

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help reduce symptoms of menopause, a new study suggests.
The research, published in The Journal of The North American Menopausal Society, found that women who ate more fruits and vegetables had fewer symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. The antioxidant properties of brightly colored plants can help reduce hot flashes, while they also provide phytoestrogens and prebiotic fiber (which improves the gut microbiome).

Eat more Complex Carbohydrates

Women have been taught that eating carbohydrates makes them fat, but this is not true. Complex carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, and they can be especially beneficial for women going through menopause. 

Eating too many simple carbs (i.e., sugar) can make you fat, but eating certain types of complex carbs can help you lose weight in menopause. This is because they stimulate leptin production, which helps control appetite and burn fat. Without them, your body will start to eat protein for energy instead. It won’t be able to use amino acids appropriately for other functions like sleep regulation or immune system maintenance. 

Complex carbohydrates can help to regulate blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy throughout the day. They also help to keep your digestive system working correctly. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Eating complex carbs like beans and legumes daily (at least three times a week) can help you avoid these undesirable side effects. Avoid fried foods, junk foods, and foods high in sugar.

Add Coconut Oil to Your Meals

Extra virgin coconut oil offers an effective and natural way to treat the symptoms of menopause and help you get back to feeling like yourself again.

Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat, which is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol levels. It’s also a good source of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties.

Some studies suggest that coconut oil can help reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. 

One small study found that women who took coconut oil for eight weeks significantly reduced menopausal symptoms compared to those who took a placebo.

Some other recent studies have shown that virgin coconut oil has the ability to stimulate the thyroid gland. This can help boost metabolism and burn fat more efficiently than “healthy” alternatives, such as canola oil or butter substitutes. This means that using coconut oil as a cooking alternative can naturally boost your metabolism without extra effort—no daily trips to the gym are required! 

While more research is needed, eating more coconut oil may be worth considering if you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Minimize Caffeine and Alcohol

These two substances can exacerbate hot flashes, so cutting back on them will help keep you cool.

Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase anxiety and irritability. It can also interfere with sleep, which is often disturbed during menopause. 

Alcohol is a depressant and can worsen mood swings and anxiety. It can also lead to problems with sleeping and increase the risk of developing hot flashes.

Both caffeine and alcohol should be minimized as much as possible during menopause to help reduce symptoms. If you do drink coffee or alcohol, try to stick to moderate amounts and avoid drinking them close to bedtime.

Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently

Smaller meals throughout the day will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, which can help prevent hot flashes.

It’s also essential to ensure that all meals are high-quality and nutritious. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Move your Body

Now that you better understand how menopause and weight gain are connected let’s discuss overcoming these symptoms. Exercise is essential to managing the changes in your body during menopause. It can help you lose weight, boost your mood, and keep hot flashes at bay.

To get the most out of your workouts:

  • Get into a routine. You’ll want to exercise 3 to 6 days weekly for 30 to 50 minutes daily. Make sure to include both aerobic and strength exercises in your routine.
  • Enjoy it! If you’re not having fun while you work out, try something different until you find an activity or sport that works for you. You can always change it up if needed too!
  • Try exercising with a friend or partner—or two! Having a buddy keeps you accountable and makes the time go by faster. Plus, sharing mutual goals with someone else can be more enjoyable.

Regarding exercise, anything that increases your heart rate is a good bet!

Add the Right Supplements to Your Daily Regime

Taking the right supplements is critical to help manage menopausal symptoms and prevent weight gain. Look for vitamins that are specifically targeted to menopausal symptoms. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. These supplements typically include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and K2.

It’s important to remember that supplements should not be used as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins daily is essential. Regular activity is also important for maintaining lean muscle mass, which in turn helps burn fat effectively. Supplements will aid in managing menopause symptoms and helping you lose those extra pounds that come with getting older!

Menopause doesn’t have to be all bad. With these few tips, you can mostly live your life as you were before. None will make it go away, but you’ll be prepared to face the symptoms of menopause head-on now that you have a better understanding of how your body works. Work with it.

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