Women and weight gain
Most women, at some point in their lives, have stepped on a weighing scale and dreaded watching the number that pops up. There is always apprehension about finding out that you weigh more than you expected! Your stomach sinks, knowing that you will have to limit your favourite snacks, sweets, and all the good things in life till you get your weight back in check!
Sometimes, we can identify our weight gain from common causes, like eating high-calorie sweets and snacks or not working out enough. Other times we could be puzzled to pinpoint the exact reason.
Here are some common reasons for weight gain across ages for women:
- Metabolism: Women typically have more body fat and less muscle than men. This affects women’s metabolic rate, or the rate at which calories are burned while your body is at rest (as resting muscles burn more calories than fat).
- PCOS struggles: Around 10 percent of women have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition is characterized by hormonal imbalances that make weight loss more difficult. This disorder can disrupt the way the body uses insulin which leads to weight gain. When your body becomes insulin resistant, the sugars and starches consumed are stored as fat. Women with PCOS typically put on weight around their waist.
- Menopause: Women gain weight in their abdomen during menopause due to hormone fluctuations and slower metabolism. One form of estrogen and estradiol decreases at menopause. Lower levels of estradiol may lead to weight gain.
- Pregnancy effects: In pregnancy, women usually gain weight and body fat. Additionally, it’s often difficult as a new mother to find the time to exercise and get good quality sleep.
- Age: As you age, weight gain can be caused by your metabolism slowing, shifts in eating habits and being less active. You also lose muscle mass as you age, so you use fewer calories.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep causes biochemical changes that can make you hungrier and leave you feeling less full after eating. You would naturally have more cravings the following day. Not getting enough sleep affects hormone signals that tell your body when it’s time to eat and your body when it’s full.
The key steps to maintaining a healthy weight begin with eating right and staying active. A healthy diet means avoiding processed food as well as eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Including whole grains and lean proteins along with healthy fats is also important. To complement a balanced diet, it is important to do regular cardio exercises such as jogging, swimming, or walking. Adding in strength training will also help build muscle and promote healthy bones.
If weight gain is not controlled in time, it can lead to more serious health issues. Weight gain, especially abdominal fat, has been linked to health problems ranging from cardiovascular disease, diabetes to cancer and cognitive impairment. Such health concerns might require prolonged and extensive medical attention, with frequent visits to the hospital for diagnosis as well as treatment. Over time, the medical bills would add up to a substantial amount that could put a serious dent in your savings and lead to financial strain for the whole family.
To fulfill women’s health needs, health insurance companies have designed individual plans keeping in mind the range of health issues they face. These health insurance plans accommodate preventative health services, focusing on early detection tests and check-ups for women. This can be extremely helpful in early detection of weight gain related health issues as well as gynecological problems. Don’t delay getting health insurance!
Women can search for plans from the comfort of their homes and workplaces. You can choose plans that are comprehensive at different stages of your lives. We invite you to visit our health insurance portal, sana.insure for suggestions customized to your needs.
SANA.Insure is a digital platform that provides access to comparative information on various health policies available in India, including plans tailored to women’s health requirements. You can also get in touch with us over WhatsApp on 8278271818 or call us on 1800 202 8118 to talk to a Health insurance expert for guidance and advice.
Wish you a healthy and happy life!