Why do we gain weight at menopause?

Delve into the reasons behind weight gain during menopause with a focus on the low oestrogen state. Learn how hormonal changes can influence appetite and metabolism, and discover strategies to manage weight effectively during this phase, presented by Spiced Pear Health.

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Table Of Contents

The Similarities Between Menopause and Breastfeeding

Menopause is a low oestrogen state in our bodies.

Breastfeeding is also a low oestrogen state, and many of us who have experienced breastfeeding will recall some of the symptoms can be similar – mood changes, hot flushes and vaginal dryness, for example.

Exploring the Evolutionary Perspective on Menopause and Weight Gain

Humans are one of the few animals that have a long period of life after menopause. One theory of the reason we gain weight at menopause is that we never really evolved to have low oestrogen other than when we were breastfeeding – and this low oestrogen state triggers changes in our brain that control our appetite and metabolism, to help us to eat and store the additional 3-400 calories we need daily to support lactation.

Learning More: Webinar on Menopausal Weight Gain

It’s an interesting theory! To hear more about it, and what can be done to help with menopausal weight gain, you can listen to a webinar by the International Menopause Society here: ttps://youtu.be/j8qXtHCuL24

A note on our language

Throughout this website, we use the term women when describing people who experience hormonal symptoms. However, we acknowledge not only those who identify as women require access to menopause and hormone health information. For example, some trans men, non-binary people, intersex people or people with variations in sex characteristics may also experience menopausal symptoms and PMS/PME or PMDD, and we warmly welcome everyone who needs this support in our clinic.

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