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Managing Weight Gain during Menopause

Managing Weight Gain during Menopause

Menopause is a time when many women notice changes to their weight. What you eat during menopause can have a big impact on your health, energy levels and symptoms. At Bia we take a food first approach, where we encourage you to try and get as much nutrition from your diet, before topping up any extra with supplements.

Although reduced oestrogen levels aren't entirely responsible for body weight gain, reduced hormones do cause fat to accumulate around the midsection. On top of that, snacking because of poor sleep, or doing less exercise as a result of this fatigue can also be contributing factors.

What should you eat?

Muscle mass reduces during menopause, meaning you will often need fewer calories. A protein-rich diet is perfect around menopause, as this helps to build and maintain muscle. You should try to include fish, lean meat, eggs, beans and soy products in your diet, while avoiding lots of red or processed meats.

Mediterranean-style diets that are high in vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, are other good options, and linked to good heart health.

Here are a couple of tips:

  1. Be adventurous with your food! Add-in gut health promoters like yoghurt, probiotics, miso or kimchi, and increase your fibre intake with nuts and vegetables;
  2. Nuts like almonds are both full of fibre and promote gut-health;
  3. Fall in love with water. Not only are you mostly made up of water, drinking more of it may increase satiety (the feeling of 'fullness'), reducing how much you eat.

Weight gain is one of the worst changes during menopause, and keeping it off can be so tricky. An important message we want to leave you with is that the best way to shed weight and keep it off, is to develop a good diet and exercise habits. Unsustainable diets such as crash or low-fat diets may be useful in the short term, but your weight will quickly rebound. When it comes to healthy eating and proper nutrition, there are few quick fixes, but we promise if you keep trying, it will be worth it!

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