Are female hormones making you fat...

Female hormones are responsible for hormonal weight gain during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. They affect ALL women regardless of race, culture, creed, body shape or size.  Why is this a problem?  Simple, it's because this is where our culture (which demands thin, taut, toned, tummies and perky breasts) and our biology don't exactly see eye to eye! Our weight-gaining hormones and biology need to do one thing.   Our mind (that has been brainwashed and conditioned by cultural images of thin-ness as being desirable) desperately wants us to override our bodily needs and do another.

And the higher their anxiety levels, the more fat-building hormones- like cortisol- they release into their system. Not only are women's bodies changing, but their moods can fluctuate too. And, especially during menopause, other unwanted changes like facial hair and coarsening skin are experienced.

The more a woman has invested in her shape and appearance, the more challenging these hormone times of weight gain can be but our biology knows what it's doing.  We can relax and trust our bodies because nature never does something unless it's for a pretty good reason.

Let's take a closer look then at estrogen weight gain and other hormonal weight gains (collectively known as sex hormones) that affect what our ideal weight needs to be.

Estrogen (also spelt oestrogen): 

You get three kinds of Estrogen found naturally in women's bodies:

  • estradiol, the main estrogen made by women’s ovaries before menopause 
  • estrone, the main estrogen found in women after menopause 
  • estriol, made in the body from other estrogens.
  • Other Female hormones and weight gain

    Progesterone

    During menopause, progesterone levels also decrease which leads to water weight and bloating. And even though this doesn't necessarily result in weight gain, you will be heavier on a scale (water weighs more than fat does which is why you float in water), feel heavier and of course you'll feel as if you've gained from your clothes.

    Androgen

    This is the hormone that we can point fingers at for that weight gain that makes you look for apple-shaped, you know that middle-aged spread -it's androgen that is responsible for sending new weight gained to wrap around your mid-section.

    Testosterone

    Testosterone is the hormone that helps your body create lean muscle mass from calories (it's why men are more muscular than women). And muscle is the tissue in the body which utilizes the most energy to keep alive, so it helps you burn more calorie than fat does. In other words, just as fat slows your metabolism, muscle speeds it up. So, when testosterone levels drop (as they do in natural menopause), your body produces less muscle and your body stores food as fat more easily.   By the way - losing weight fast - does a very similar thing.

    To be a women is to have these female hormone changes... it's a biological need. It's a pity our culture leads us to constant dieting, especially during these times of hormonal change which is exactly when we don't need to be fighting natural bodily processes.

    Return from Hormonal Weight Gain to Menopause Weight Gain


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