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Reasons of Weight Gain During Perimenopause

Perimenopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life when her body gradually transitions towards menopause. This phase, which typically occurs in the late 30s to early 50s, is characterized by hormonal fluctuations that can bring about various changes in the body. One common concern during perimenopause is weight gain, which can be frustrating for many women. In this blog prepared by a sports nutritionist and dietitian, we’ll explore the scientific reasons why women tend to gain weight more easily during perimenopause.

Hormonal Changes

During perimenopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, two crucial hormones that regulate metabolism and weight management. As these hormone levels fluctuate, it can lead to an increase in appetite and a decrease in the body’s ability to burn calories efficiently, potentially resulting in weight gain.

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Muscle Mass Decline

Aging, coupled with hormonal changes, can contribute to a gradual decline in muscle mass. Since muscles are more metabolically active than fat, a decrease in muscle mass can lead to a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.

Insulin Resistance

Perimenopause can also trigger insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin. This can lead to higher blood sugar levels and increased fat storage, contributing to weight gain, especially around the abdomen.

Stress and Cortisol

Stress levels tend to rise during perimenopause due to hormonal fluctuations and life changes. Elevated stress levels can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with weight gain, particularly around the midsection.

Sleep Disruptions

Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause, such as insomnia and night sweats. Poor sleep can negatively impact the body’s metabolism and hunger-regulating hormones, leading to an increased risk of weight gain.


Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle changes during perimenopause can also play a significant role in weight gain. Women may become less physically active, leading to a decrease in calorie expenditure. Additionally, dietary habits may change, with a preference for high-calorie comfort foods, which can contribute to weight gain.

Genetic Predisposition

Genetics can influence how individuals respond to hormonal changes and lifestyle factors, making some women more prone to weight gain during perimenopause than others.

Weight gain during perimenopause is a complex interplay of hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and genetic predisposition. Understanding the scientific reasons behind this phenomenon empowers women to take proactive steps in managing their weight and overall health during this transitional phase.

Incorporating a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management techniques, and sufficient sleep can help minimize weight gain and promote overall well-being during perimenopause and beyond. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and support during this stage of life.