Good news! Menopause does not have to equal weight gain or massive discomfort. Cat Kom and Registered Dietitian, Miriam, give you the skinny on how changes in your diet can alleviate all the “joys” of this challenging transition.
When undergoing hormonal changes, your body’s composition is altering. Although some changes are unavoidable, there are various nutritional ways to stay slim, reduce menopausal symptoms, and prevent health risks.
1) The reduction in estrogen during menopause causes our cells to become more insulin resistant, exacerbating blood glucose levels that increase the risk for diabetes and heart disease. Monitor your blood sugar levels religiously and cut back on high fat, saturated fat, and sugar. Fat should provide 35% or less of your total daily calories. You should also focus on fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and keeps you satiated for a longer amount of time. Help yourself to meals high in fiber, such as whole grain bread, legumes, nuts, pasta, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Pack your day with 25 grams of fiber to keep a lid on your weight gain.
2) Due to a loss in estrogen production, certain women have trouble retaining calcium, which can harm bones. In order to prevent bone loss, drink or eat two to four servings of calcium rich foods a day. Since whole milk contains saturated fat, stick with alternative dairy products like low fat milk, fish with bones, broccoli, and kale.
3) Women going through menopause are often iron deficient, which can lead to a variety of health risks. Symptoms linked with iron deficiency include poor body temperature regulation, lightheadedness, and overall fatigue. So stock up on iron rich foods like chickpeas, greens, beans, and meat, to keep those levels up! If your iron needs are more than what can be obtained from food alone, seek iron supplements, but limit yourself to 500 milligrams.
4) Changes in estrogen and progesterone wreak havoc on your sleep and may attribute to the weight gain. While there’s no one size fits all solution to this issue, know the alternatives, like blocking out light, dressing for success, allotting time for dedicated naps, and anticipating a good night’s sleep!
5) Last but not least, exercise is vital in building bone and muscle strength, and managing a healthy lifestyle. Exercise plays a key role in menopausal symptoms, and by sticking to a wide range of physical activity, along with maintaining these healthy nutritional habits, you’ll be able to keep the weight off!
Hormonal changes, aging, lack of exercise, and wonky sleep schedules can all be blamed for the additional pounds, and while there are no magic formulas for preventing menopausal weight gain and pain, there are weight controlled basics that can assist you along your journey. We hope these tips make your menopause more manageable.
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