Male Menopause – Is It Your Little Secret?

Male menopause has been treated like a dirty little secret for years.

As the debate rages on, men are busy undergoing both physical and emotional changes during midlife, just as women do. They experience fluctuating hormones levels, enhanced emotions with significant changes in the way they cope with stress, and even changes to their basal metabolic rate…

The very definition of menopause.
Even though there’s no “definable moment” such as when menstrual periods stop for women, men find that as they age, fertility decreases, as do their testosterone levels. In terms of sexuality, the greatest change occurs between the ages of 45 and 60, when many men (sometimes secretly) experience a decline in desire and the ability to get and maintain erections.

During their midlife men may also make decisions that result in less than stellar consequences. They eat poorly, fail to get enough sleep and only exercise sporadically, if at all.

Weight gain appears to be just as common in middle-aged men as in middle-aged women, although they gain more weight in their mid 50’s, where women seem to gain it from their 50’s all the way through their late 60’s.

According to studies from Tufts University, both men and women gradually lose about 1/2 pound of muscle mass a year and gain back that much, and more, in body fat. They point out that it is just as important for men as for women to keep up a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise that includes strength training, to increase lean body mass.

Just as women are, men are cautioned not to dramatically slash their calorie intake or manipulate an appropriately balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates to lose weight.

Often, when you drastically cut calories, your metabolism slows down and you end up losing weight less efficiently and more slowly..then gain it right back when you stop dieting.

The recommendations are the same for men and women during menopause:

Make sure your diethas only very small amounts of any saturated fats and is high in raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
Start a strength training routine, and remember that the body requires 48 hours between each workout to recover fully and build muscle mass, which equates to working out two to three times a week.
Weight training will boost metabolism, and the improved muscle mass will burn calories at a greater rate when at rest, and burn off excess body fat.

Hint: 1 pound of muscle mass will burn between 35 and 50 calories per day…while 1 pound of body fat will only burn between 7-10 calories per day.
Men can also boost their metabolism and basal metabolic rate by eating small balanced meals or snacks every three to four hours instead of eating three large meals per day.

Hint: The body actually requires energy to digest food. Eating small meals every three hours keeps the metabolism running smoothly, whereas eating three large meals during the day will actually cause more problems with metabolism.
During their midlife process, men also notice and report increased fatigue, depression, joint and muscle stiffness, night sweats, dry skin and hair loss. Combine all of that with weight gain and a loss of sex drive, and it’s not hard to understand that it’s very possible for men to also become “emotional eaters” to soothe themselves.

If you are a man reading this, know that you are not alone. You too are able to get through this natural process with the help and support of good friends, family and a trusted medical practitioner.

It is never too late to get the help you need, to live the life you want.