Female Weight Gain: Why Women Gain Weight as They Age
Nurse Practitioner Pamela Egan discusses the top reasons women tend to see their weight increase along with age.
Dear Pam, What Are the Top Reasons Women Gain Weight as We Age?
Weight gain as women age is a multi-factorial process. As women age, we develop several metabolic imbalances such as a slow metabolism, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, hormone imbalances, thyroid disease, etc. For example, several factors influence our metabolism such as exercise both aerobic and weight bearing. Many women develop sedentary habits which leads to muscle loss hence a slowed metabolism.
Most women have to cut way down on carbohydrate and sugar intake as they approach peri-menopause and menopause. I explain to my patients to look at it like its an allergy. They have become allergic to carbs and sugars. If they keep eating these foods, they will need more and more insulin to push the glucose into the muscle. Insulin is a fat storing hormone, so the higher the insulin level the more fat will be stored. As a Certified Diabetes Educator, I offer several low carb diets that help to reverse insulin resistance in my clinic. (Ideal Protein & Prescript Fit).
Many women go through life iron deficient. We routinely check ferritin levels which optimally should be 60 – 100. When a woman is low in iron she craves pica. In the old days iron deficient women would eat mud and starch that you starch your clothes with. Today, we are surrounded by carbohydrates. So we grab bread or a cookie. Once iron levels are restored to normal levels, women very often find that those cravings go away.
Food allergies are also huge factor in female weight gain. Many women have wheat allergies or celiac disease and don’t know it. Once recognized, and those offending foods avoided, the excess weight melts off.
Gut health is also an important factor that can affect weight gain or loss. Balancing the gut and restoring good bacterial flora naturally increases metabolism and help eliminate toxins. One way to help go about this is to take a high-quality probiotics supplement.
If a woman is balanced hormonally but is still not losing weight, a GI Detox followed by a Liver Detox is recommended.
Inflammation is at the root of all disease and can also be a factor in failure to lose weight. We strive to eliminate inflammation in the body which is why high quality antioxidants are included in our daily Essential Nutrition Pack.