ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Menopause, Weight Gain and Emotional Eating- It's All Happening at once!!

Updated on August 30, 2011


As a woman in – I shudder to say it – Mid-Life – a few thoughts have occurred to me regarding weight gain during this time. Mostly thinking of myself and some other women I know, I am wondering if in addition to the chemistry changes in our bodies, we were gaining weight because of the constant emotional roller coaster of this time! We are happy because our kids are growing up well, we are sad they are leaving the house. We are happy to have time for ourselves, we may be suddenly re-entering the work force or leaving a marriage. We may have finally come to terms with our bodies only to be betrayed by this body over and over again. Nothing happens as we think it would or should. Additionally, for many of us our parents have entered a new phase where they are no longer providing help, but needing help. Needing A LOT of help. Since I am pursing a degree as part of my mid-life crusade, I wondered if there was any research to back up my findings….and Voila! Of course there is! An interesting article confirms what most women are thinking – the weight gain associated with menopause has a big emotional eating component! An article by Cathy Cohen, MA in IDEA Fitness Journal (June 2004) discussed the fact that while women are entering and experiencing menopause, they are also going through some of the most emotionally challenging times of their lives. Menopause can begin anytime in the 40’s for women. It is at these times that many other life changing things are occurring: Children are leaving home, women may be re-entering the workplace, many divorces occur during this time, and care taking for aging parents may begin. All of these changes can create chronic emotional stress, which can lead to emotional eating. See if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you find yourself consistently eating when you’re not truly hungry?
  • Do you look at food as “comfort food” when you are feeling sad, lonely, stressed out, or just bored?
  • Do you think of food as a distraction or a way to escape your current problems?
  • Do you have trouble differentiating between true hungers and just snacking?

Here are a few differences between emotional eating and eating to satisfy hunger:

  • Emotional eating occurs suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually
  • When you are eating emotionally, there is usually a specific craving (pizza, ice cream, chips, etc.) and only that food will meet your need. When you are hungry, you’re open to options
  • Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied immediately; physical hunger can wait
  • You eat past the point of being full when you are eating emotionally

Many of us crave high fat and sugary foods when emotional eating, and there are scientific reasons why. The article states that according to research, eating high carbohydrate foods can release tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is the amino acid that makes serotonin, and serotonin is the chemical in our brain that gives us feelings of calm and peace. However, there are some healthy choices to increase serotonin such as: grains, rice, barley, oatmeal, apricots, blueberries, bananas, figs. Also chickpeas, white beans, and black-eyed peas.

Try making a list of things to do when you have these urges to emotionally eat. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Take a walk
  • Call a friend
  • Clean something (I personally hate cleaning, but some people like it!)
  • Take a nap
  • Give yourself a manicure – it’s hard to open up candy bars with wet nails!
  • Read, take a bath, play a game with the kids

Here is a link to the entire article on this subject http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/emotions-amp-weight-gain.

Don’t give up! When you fail, just pick yourself up and forgive yourself and MOVE ON!!!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Loretta 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info Di! Since i have basically every one of those things going on in my life right now - this is very helpful.

      Good luck with this new venture of yours!!!

    • SimpleLife4me profile image
      Author

      SimpleLife4me 6 years ago from Palatine, Illinois

      Nutella on Graham crackers is really good....

    • profile image

      Beth 6 years ago

      Well, now I have something to blame my Nutella and Ritz cracker binges on! This is a great reminder that others experience the same thing, and that there is help. Geneen Roth writes great stuff about emotional eating too. Thanks!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)