Both menopause and weight loss! May most women tremble this period of their life, thinking that all their hopes for keeping their shape are lost, but in reality this may not be the case. Weight loss in menopause is not something deceptive, not even impossible if we study the subject well and we are determined for smart changes in our everyday life
Changes in Menopause
The changes observed in a woman’s life after menopause are several. Hormone levels are falling – mainly estrogen, stress is often increased, hot flashes, and sleeping is getting worse. All these can easily affect our weight, leaving us watching our belly inflate! However, if you make the right choices you can wake up your metabolism and make weight loss a lifetime experience!
That’s because maybe everything you’ve been thinking about and constantly postponing, now it’s time to do it! Colorful salads you saw on the internet, jogging or even walking in the fresh air rather than sitting on the couch, sign up in the zumba class in the neighborhood’s gym, reading a book for positive psychology – all you had in the back of your mind – are now looking for a place and time to squeeze in your agenda.
Menopause and Nutrition
Diet is a key point for slimming after menopause. Postmenopausal women are more likely to make changes in their diet and lifestyle rather than getting on a strict diet, according to recent research in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In this study, nearly 500 overweight women were studied in a postmenopausal phase. Women were randomly assigned to two groups: the first one made lifestyle changes, while the second was attending a health information program. They were weighed after six months and again after four years. Both times, women in the first group who made changes in their daily lives managed to lose weight and maintain it. What did they do:
- They ate less sweets and fried foods
- They drank less sugary beverages
- They ate more fish
- They reduced times eating at a restaurant
Over the long term, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer meat and cheeses make a difference in weight loss. According to the researchers, increasing fruit and vegetables in our everyday life may be more achievable than cutting out pastries and fried foods. Besides, when you have a craving for a sweet and you first choose to consume a fruit, you will notice that after a while your initial desire for sweet is reduced!
The foods you need to focus on are:
- Dark green vegetables: are a good source of calcium and Vitamin K, which will contribute to good bone health.
- Fatty fish e.g. Salmon. They are rich in omega 3 which are good for your cholesterol while they are a good source of Vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium.
- Whole-grain products. The fiber they contain is always a good ally in slimming, and they greatly help in bowel regulation.
- Yoghurt. It contains probiotics that contribute to good digestion and avoiding swelling. Also a good source of calcium.
- Water. It helps our body to function better and to stay well hydrated. By drinking enough water, we manage hot flashes better!
- Potassium-rich foods, e.g. banana, peach, sweet potato, avocado. Potassium will help you a lot with fluid retention, a very common problem in menopause, and often the reason why we do not see the scale moving.
What to avoid:
Salt. Salt is perhaps your biggest enemy this time. Try to reduce its consumption and choose a salt rich in minerals such as Mesolongi salt or Himalayan salt.
Alcohol. Although we have linked it with relaxed moments in our lives, alcohol is high in calories. For this reason try to reduce it and not exceed one drink per day.
Caffeine and spicy foods. In many women these two choices aggravate hot flashes, while caffeine increases nervousness that is already in its zenith this time.
Menopause and Exercise
Every year during and after menopause we lose 1% of our muscle mass. The smaller the percentage of muscle mass in our body, the more difficult to lose weight, as our metabolic rate falls. If we are working out in our 40s and 50s, we keep our metabolism alive.
Put exercise into your everyday life! Put on your sports shoes, go out and walk, run or exercise with weights. This will increase your muscle mass while burning calories.
In order to keep fit, aerobic exercise is recommended for 150’ per week and dynamic exercises with weights at least 2 times per week. Weight-lifting exercises will also help you have strong bones, as they strengthen bone density and prevent loss of precious metals such as calcium.
The most important thing is to choose exercises that are fun for you. Choose something that will change your attitude and make you happy. Ask friends or family members to join you in this effort!
Weight loss and Dietary Supplements
Depending on where the problem is, there are also the appropriate dietary supplements that can help you in weight loss.
Increase your Metabolism. If you notice that your metabolism has become slower and you have difficulty in burning calories, you can find help in a supplement for increasing metabolism. Choose a formula that contains a combination of any of the following: green tea, cayenne pepper, green coffee, chromium etc. In case you are under treatment for thyroid problems, avoid this category.
Fluid retention. For this problem there are now many dietary supplements with detoxifying and diuretic herbs that will help you instantly debloat. One of the most popular for water retention is pure birch juice, which you can consume without fear even for a long time.
Fat reduction. In case your problem is fat accumulation, you can get extra help from a supplement with lipotropic action. In this category you will find Garcinia cambogia, CLA, L-carnitine, inositol and choline etc.
Appetite control. If you have become obsessed about snacking and you have difficulty cutting off this bad habit, you can find some nutritional supplement to help you control your appetite. This kind of supplements usually contain some plant fiber such as glucomannan, also known as konjac or Yacon root, which have the ability to absorb many times their weight in water, resulting in rapid saturation, feeling full and not having our minds in food all the time!
Menopause and Sleep
Sleep often turns out to be a difficult task for menopausal women. Night sweats, intense anxiety, frequent urination, various pains are some of the causes that can disturb your sleep. The circadian rhythms – our biological clock – are being deregulated. Many scientists associate this fact with our difficulty in losing weight.
What are we doing:
It is important to identify the reasons for our sleep disruption. For example, if you suffer from night sweats, make sure you do not cover yourself with heavy duvets and woolen blankets, choose cotton pajamas and underwear and lower the heating. If the problem is frequent urination, avoid drinking a lot of fluid before bedtime, or if the problem persists, consult your doctor as it may be diabetes sign.
Create the ideal sleeping conditions. Turn off TV and computer long before you go to bed. The light from your electronic devices brings you overstress and so you have difficulty relaxing and falling asleep. Prefer reading a book or a magazine and drinking some hot drink.
So inspire yourself with ideas and visualize yourself happy and healthy! Menopause is just a period of your life. Treat it with positive thinking and self-confidence and see yourself changing for the better!
In Vita4you.gr you will find a great variety in products for weight loss and many others for facing menopause symptoms !