Menopause is a special period in a woman’s life and she must adjust her daily life accordingly.
A number of hormonal changes are observed, as a result of which metabolism slows down, sleep is disturbed, insulin resistance occurs and the desire to eat increases. All this, unfortunately, easily contributes to weight gain, and in many cases obesity occurs.
In addition to the aesthetic part, obesity in turn will worsen health, affecting many indicators, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, blood pressure. Obesity is also a causative factor for many simple and very complex and dangerous diseases. Research breast cancer showed that increased fat deposition is “associated” with the risk of developing this disease. Proper nutrition and exercise during menopause is the only way for women to maintain body weight and therefore reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Excess fat is a source of estrogen production in postmenopausal women, who should normally have low levels of these hormones due to the cessation of ovarian function.
In addition, new research shows that obesity worsens menopausal symptoms. decline estrogen levels at menopause have an adverse effect on metabolic syndrome parameters, which are parallel and independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. As a result, the frequency of these diseases increases rapidly after menopause. And of course the picture of the metabolic syndrome worsens in the presence of obesity.
Healthy eating is certainly a necessary ally in proper weight loss. It has been scientifically proven that a diet rich in high nutritional foods, with antioxidants, good fats and high biological value proteins will give the best results in proper weight loss. Diet should always be personalized.
Each woman has different needs and “starting point”, the state in which the body is currently located. Usually at this age there is a deficiency of vitamins, such as, for example. vitamin D, vitamin B12, etc. Therefore, laboratory studies are needed, and if levels are low, then eating appropriate foods and possibly supplements will improve the “nutrition” (fullness of them) of the body and, accordingly, adjust the metabolic rate.
Proper physical analysis will also show the levels of muscle mass, water retention and presence of visceral fat, in which case the diet will be shaped accordingly.. In addition, genetic analysis with specific food DNA tests will help most in planning a completely personalized diet.
Calories are important, but very low calorie diets don’t work in the long run. While it may be tempting to try a very low calorie diet in order to lose weight quickly, this is actually the worst thing you can do, as you will definitely see muscle loss, further lowering your metabolic rate. So, while low-calorie diets can lead to rapid weight loss, their impact on muscle mass and metabolic rate will make it difficult to maintain weight in the long term. In addition, insufficient calorie intake and decreased muscle mass can lead to bone loss. This may increase the risk of osteoporosis. “Diet food”, that is, the correct portion size, is an effective way to lose weight.
Here are 3 healthy diets that have been proven to help you lose weight during and after menopause.
Low carb diet. Many studies have shown that a low-carb diet is great for weight loss and loss of belly (visceral) fat. Carbohydrate intake does not have to be very low to cause weight loss. It is enough to provide 30% of calories from carbohydrates. Strictly avoid:
- Sahara, i.e. consumption of soft drinks, fruit juices, sweets, cookies, ice cream.
- Refined (cleaned) cereals: wheat, white rice, pasta, white bread, cereals.
- Trans fats: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
- Diet and low-fat foods: Many dairy products, cereals, or crackers are reduced in fat but contain added sugar.
Mediterranean diet. It is known throughout the world primarily for improving health and reducing the risk of heart disease. Research shows that it can also help you lose weight.
Vegan and vegetarian diets very good for weight loss, but a more flexible vegetarian approach that includes dairy and eggs has been shown to work best for postmenopausal women. In addition, some foods seem to be very beneficial for the female body during menopause, so no matter what diet you choose, it would be good to include them in your diet:
- “Live” yogurt (non-fat) – recommended 2 servings per day.
- Oily fish: 3 times a week
- Leafy greens, vegetables: daily as a salad
- Eggs: 6-8 per week
- Whole grains: whole grain pasta, brown rice, buckwheat. Ideal as a side dish every day for lunch
- Water: It is advisable to drink more.
- Green tea: 4 cups a day
- Flaxseed: 1 tablespoon per day
- Oats: Ideal for daily breakfast.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and mindful eating will help you feel better during and after menopause. Patience and perseverance will help you achieve your goal.