In Japan, menopause is referred to as “konenki”
Literally translated, ko means renewal and regeneration, nen means year/years, and ki means season or energy. While this simply translates into “menopause” in English, the Japanese word konenki encompasses a much lengthier, gradual transition where the end of periods is just one contributing factor.
It’s fair to say that most of us over in the West certainly do not see menopause as a period of regeneration or renewal, but rather as what the root of the word menopause itself indicates: the end of periods. Alongside that, many women sadly view it as the end of providing any value to society.
Interestingly, in cultures where aging isn’t considered as negative, they don’t report as many problematic symptoms from menopause as here in the U.S. That gives us all the reason we need to start shifting the cultural mindset and make women realize that menopause is not something dreadful that’s eventually going to happen to us, accompanied by symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, and insomnia that we simply have to accept.
Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can have a huge impact on your life, including relationships and work. The additional issues surrounding quality of sleep and mental health can further impact your life and so it’s crucial to address the whole picture when it comes to weight management during this transition, and not just look at calories.
Whilst there are challenges that present themselves during menopause, a lot of them can be attributed to the process of aging and lifestyle, rather than menopause alone. The basic principle of weight gain never changes: eating more calories than you burn leads to fat gain. But being able to manage those changes that can make retaining the energy balance a bit more difficult at this time in life is key to preventing that elegantly named “middle age spread” from creeping in.
This latest podcast episode aims to disentangle the relationship between aging and menopause and give you some clarity on why people are more susceptible to putting on weight during this transition.
You’ll come away armed with strategies to:
- Help you understand and manage changes to your metabolism
- Avoid belly fat gain in menopause
- Manage and reduce common symptoms of menopause
- What is the best nutrition and lifestyle strategies for menopause
Gunter, J. (2021). The menopause manifesto: own your health with facts and feminism Toronto: Random House Canada.
@drjengunter (Dr Jen Gunter)
@trainwithjoan (Joan MacDonald)