Weight Gain in Women
Unfair as it may seem, this is the natural evolution of things: In the absence of any changes in diet or activity levels, women over the age of 30 are at risk for weight gain.
After the age of 30, a woman’s ovarian function begins to decline. In young women, the ovaries produce not only estrogen and progesterone, but also small amounts of testosterone, which is important for building muscle and bone, and sustaining libido.
As a woman nears middle age, the ovaries continue to produce estrogen and progesterone, enough to maintain the menstrual cycle as usual, but the amount of testosterone secreted by the ovaries starts to decline, and over time drops to almost zero.
Loosing this testosterone causes a woman to undergo a gradual bone and muscle loss. As such, the calories taken in via food are no longer used to fuel the respective bone and muscle mass. Instead, these calories are used to form body-fat, which is deposited in adipose (fatty) tissues.
The process is gradual and may not be apparent at first. Over time, however, as a woman nears the age of 50, it becomes more pronounced. The advent of menopause further changes the equilibrium of the female body, oftentimes influencing body weight. It’s common for women to either gain or loose weight after menopause, with weight gain occurring more often than weight loss.
In order to maintain optimal weight in their middle age, women over 30 should slightly decrease their calorie intake, and if possible increase their physical activity level by a moderate amount. Moreover, a diet rich in vitamins, calcium, fiber and omega-3 supplements can help the organism burn calories at its best, ensuring “maximal return” on your weight control efforts.