Menopause can be challenging, both physically and emotionally for every women’s health. Weight gain during menopause is very common due to hormonal changes in the body. A few lifestyle practices and healthy eating habits can help prevent weight gain during menopause.
Weight gain during menopause is very common; however, menopausal experience varies from women to women.
There are many factors that contribute to weight gain including hormones, aging, lifestyle and genetics during menopause but it is best to accept the changes in our body that happens with age.
Besides eating a balanced diet, doing right exercises and getting plenty of rest can help in maintaining weight and reduce disease risk.
Female Menopausal Cycle
There are four periods of hormonal change that occur during a woman’s life
- Post menopause
4 Reason of weight gain during menopause
There are lots of hormonal changes that occur in a women’s body as she leaves perimenopause and enters menopause. Weight gain is just one of them. The four key factors that contribute to weight gain after menopause include:
1) Loss of Muscle Mass
Postmenopausal women are generally less active, which reduces energy expenditure and leads to a loss of muscle mass.
2) Increased Insulin Resistance
Menopausal women also frequently have higher fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance, which drive weight gain and increase heart disease risk
3) Hormone Fluctuations
Both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage.
4) Inadequate Sleep
Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause, and poor sleep is linked to weight gain.
9 Tips for losing weight during menopause
Here are several ways to improve your quality of life and fight weight gain during menopause. Taking care of your health is most important in this phase.
1. Eat wholesome meals, don’t crash diet
Women please take a note of this, the key to long-term weight loss and management is a realistic diet plan that takes care of your nutritional needs without adding any unnecessary calories.
A wholesome meal can also help you manage other menopausal symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and hot flushes. When you eat right you are protecting yourself against weight gain during menopause.
2. Reduce calorie intake
It’s important to remember that with age, your calorie needs reduce. You can eat less and still function just as well.
For best results, try to source 40 percent of your calories from complex carbohydrates, 35 percent from low-fat and lean proteins, and 25 percent from healthy fats.
3. Eat mini meals
Another great way to avoid weight gain is by shifting to mini meals. Along with keeping pounds off, eating small meals can help control certain menopausal symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhoea.
Frequent mini meals keep you continuously energized, and can even help you make smarter food choices – an essential part of weight management.
4. Choose fiber rich foods
Fiber keeps you feeling full longer and can help you lose weight. It maintains your blood sugar levels and helps move fats faster through the digestive tract, thus helping you fight belly fat.
Examples of soluble fiber are apples, beans, nuts, and oatmeal. Insoluble fiber is found in carrots, brown rice, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Both types of fiber are essential in your diet.
The best way to get an ample amount of fiber in daily is by snacking on raw fruits and vegetables.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will also help you meet your daily nutritional requirements without significantly increasing your calorie intake.
6. Ditch supplements, have antioxidant-rich food
Leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains are excellent sources of antioxidants. And don’t forget to be adventurous with your food; the more colorful your plate, the better.
Pick from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; the greater the variety, the greater the number of antioxidants are available to provide higher levels of protection.
7. Add proteins to your meals
Did you know that our skin, bones, muscles, organs, cartilage, antibodies, enzymes, and some hormones are all made of proteins. A shortage of proteins can lead to weak muscles and decreased immunity, among other problems. During menopause, it’s the proteins that stop the body from storing fat.
Further, since proteins are high in fiber and take longer to digest, they help keep you feeling fuller longer. Proteins also help the body recover from infections, illnesses, and surgery.
Get adequate protein from lean sources such as fish, shellfish, meats and poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, and soy.
8. Choose carbohydrates wisely
It is not advisable to eliminate carbs from your diet even when hitting menopause , Without carbs in your diet, you may feel tired, experience muscle cramps, and have trouble focusing and it impacts your overall health.
Instead, choose complex carbohydrates, including brown rice and whole-grain bread, pasta, crackers, and breakfast cereals. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources.
Complex carbs have more fiber and take longer to digest, so the energy they release lasts longer.
9. Don’t avoid fats
You will still need a moderate quantity of fat in your diet. Fats are involved in building tissues and cells, and are essential for optimal brain, nervous system, and hormone health.
Opt for monounsaturated fat sources like olive oil, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and avocado. Also choose polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish such as salmon and trout.
Exercises to prevent weight gain during menopause
Adopt an exercise routine that can be maintained, and try getting in about 30–60 minutes of moderate-level physical activity every day. If you need to lose weight, set healthy, attainable goals that you can achieve and maintain.
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that will help you build and retain muscle mass and increase bone density, both of which tend to decrease during menopause. Walking is one of the best ways to get back into an exercise routine without fear of injury.
b. Cardio training
To improve your cardiovascular health, you should keep your exercise routine interesting. A good mix of exercises will help work different muscle groups and keep you focused and interested, too.
- Interval Training: You could alternate sprinting with a moderate-paced walk.
- Circuit Training: To work different muscles, you could alternate between different activities such as running, cycling, and swimming.
- Speed Play: You could mix interval training with continuous training. Once you reach a basic level of fitness, you can increase your pace and workout time.
c. Strength training
Weight training 2–3 times per week can help you lose weight, too. Remember, muscle helps burn fat! Doing some basic moves, under guidance, can help reverse muscle loss and weight gain.
So there is no reason to dread the menopause but yes, keep yourself prepared for it, mentally as well as physically. It is an aspect of life that brings major changes – don’t let weight gain during menopause – be an issue to bother you. With little change in lifestyle practices you can enjoy this phase of your life again.
1. Why do is there weight gain during menopause?
Your body goes through major hormonal changes during this pahse which can impact your hunger pattern as well as your metabolism. So you tend to lose muscles mass and store more fat which leads to the weight gain.
2. How can I stop this unwanted weight gain?
You have to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Eat right, fight mood swings through yoga and meditation, go for regular exercises to prevent drastic changes in your body.
3. What are the right foods to eat to prevent weight gain during menopause?
Have foods rich in protein and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables and healthy carbs should be major part of your diet. Try nuts and seed oils for healthy fats along with some poultry, dairy products and lean meats.
Consult our expert Possible Nutritionist today and gain critical information and knowledge about how to handle menopause like a pro!
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