Weight Gain and How to Avoid It Through the Menopause
Posted on 7th November 2023 at 17:05
Weight gain is an issue that comes up regularly with women in the clinic and gaining weight through the menopause can increase our risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as increasing pressure on our joints, causing more pain.
We understand that hormonal changes can make it challenging to maintain a healthy weight. We have gathered some helpful tips to support you on your weight management journey. Let's explore them together.
Prioritise a Balanced Diet
Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for managing weight during menopause. Focus on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Minimize processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages high in added sugars. Pay attention to portion sizes and practice mindful eating to enhance awareness of your body's hunger and fullness cues. Aim to eat protein with each meal and it should account for 25% of our daily calorie intake.
Watch Your Caloric Intake
As our metabolism tends to slow down with age, it's important to be mindful of your caloric intake. Calculate your daily energy needs based on your age, weight, and activity level, and aim to consume a moderate caloric deficit to facilitate weight loss. This can be done by using smaller plates for your meals. However, avoid extreme dieting or drastically cutting calories, as it can have negative effects on your overall well-being.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is vital for overall health and weight management. Stay hydrated throughout the day to support your body's functions and help maintain a feeling of fullness. Limit sugary drinks and alcohol, which can contribute to weight gain.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Regular exercise is key to managing weight and overall well-being during menopause. Incorporate a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises into your routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week and include strength training exercises twice a week to maintain muscle mass.
Focus on Strength Training
Strength training is particularly important during menopause as it helps preserve muscle mass and increases metabolism. Engage in resistance exercises such as weightlifting, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises. Consult a fitness professional or use reputable resources to learn proper form and techniques. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you build strength.
Chronic stress can contribute to weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight. Practice stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities you enjoy. Prioritise self-care and create a lifestyle that supports emotional well-being. This can be easier said than done. Therefore, try to carve 10 minutes a day out for yourself.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for weight management. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones related to hunger and satiety, leading to increased food cravings and overeating. Aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep each night by establishing a relaxing bedtime routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment.
Seek Professional Guidance
If you're struggling with weight management during menopause, it may well be worth seeking guidance from a healthcare professional experienced in menopause. They can provide personalised recommendations, help you set realistic goals, and offer support throughout your journey.
Remember, weight loss during menopause may be gradual, and individual results may vary. Focus on overall health and well-being rather than solely on the number on the scale.
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