How to maintain a healthy weight after menopause?

Starting in the 50s or even earlier, many women enter a new stage, menopause, and one of the biggest concerns in this newly released life period, in addition to hot flashes, is fat buildup and weight gain. The way you used to quickly lose the summer kilns no longer has the same effect so you have to renew the action plan. We tell you how you can easily regain your weight.

Menopause weight can be controlled from fitness, diet and other aspects.

Why do you get fat during menopause?

The weight gain during menopause is due to hormonal changes that cause fat to be deposited, especially in the abdominal area, where they store reserves of estrone, a very weak estrogen. This fat is necessary to metabolize the estrone and protects the woman by compensating for the loss of estradiol production at this stage. Therefore, a small amount of fat in this area is normal and unavoidable.

However, large deposits of fat in the abdominal area can harm a woman’s health, as it represents a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and other alterations such as hypertension, high cholesterol …

How to lose weight after menopause

According to the North American Society for Menopause, more than 65 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 55, and 70 percent of women between the ages of 55 and 75 are overweight. But, even though six out of ten women admit to gaining weight over the years when they reached menopause, nearly 30 percent say they don’t exercise, as revealed by an online survey conducted by the Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause EEM).

The benefits of daily physical exercise at this stage are numerous because, in addition to helping to control weight, it causes an overall improvement in health, provides more muscle strength and reduces the speed of cognitive decline. Although everyday activities such as vacuuming, gardening or dancing help control weight, doctors recommend choosing a type of physical exercise and doing it on a regular basis, if possible with friends or family, to enjoy it more and be more Accompanied by.

Exercise suitable for menopause

Research from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia concludes that the best exercise after menopause is the one that speeds up the heart rate. Its authors found that the intensity with which it is practiced is important, both for brain and body health, so they bet on moderate and intense exercise in sessions of between 30 and 45 minutes, five times a week.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) goes further by recommending some form of physical activity most days of the week for at least 60 minutes. And the U.S. Government’s Office of Women’s Health specifies that health benefits for older adults are achieved with the practice, every week, of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 1.15 hours of physical activity vigorous aerobics, or a combination of both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities, two or more days per week.

In general, menopause specialists advise walking, running, swimming or cycling for weight loss during this stage of hormonal changes and alterations in body shape. To these aerobic exercises, others can be added to raise the mass and tone of the muscle and increase flexibility, such as lifting weights or using elastic bands under the supervision of a professional, and attending pilates, yoga or tai chi classes, as proposed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. If there is no habit of vigorous physical activity, you should consult your doctor to design a tailor-made program.

Diet control

As you know, in order to better control your weight and stay healthy after menopause, you need to control your diet. Here are some good habits:

  • Eat five times a day.
  • Eat less at each meal.
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day.
  • Eat more during breakfast and lunch and reduce calorie intake in the evening.
  • Reduce amounts of sugar and salt.
  • Limit fat intake to a maximum of 30 percent of daily calories.
  • Elevate the consumption of complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, rice, and pasta) and eat wholemeal oat flakes or rye bread for breakfast.
  • Eat legumes and vegetables twice a week and oily fish twice a week.
  • Increase the intake of vegetables.
  • Eat four portions a week of white meats, such as chicken, turkey or fish.
    Have two fruits a day.
  • Avoid fried and battered foods.
  • Opt for lean meats.
  • Steam, grill, bake, microwave, by cooking or boiling.
  • Do not eat while watching television, listening to music, working on the computer or driving because they distract attention from the number of calories ingested.

Green tea as an ally

With the passage of time the sensation of thirst decreases, so remember to drink at least 1’5L to 2L of water a day even if you are not thirsty to stay hydrated and avoid fluid retention typical of menopause. The infusions and the water infused with vegetables will help you to drink more water giving a different touch to your drinks.

Green tea is a perfect drink during menopause because it contains a large number of flavonoids that promote fat burning and weight loss. If you still don’t feel like taking it hot you can prepare it with ice and a few leaves of mint or lemon, but take it without sugar!

Foods low in calories and good for menopause

In general, specialists advocate a diet during menopause that follows the pattern of the Mediterranean diet. However, they especially point to certain foods as indispensable for not gaining weight and counteracting menopausal symptoms:

  • Skimmed dairy products enriched in calcium, about 1,500 mg daily, which helps to strengthen bones.
  • Spinach, pumpkin, cauliflower, aubergines, garlic, and onions, among other vegetables rich in vitamin choline, to lower cholesterol and reduce excess fat in the liver.
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts, improve the hormonal system and metabolism.
  • Diuretic and draining foods, such as watermelon, red fruits, blueberries, pineapple or strawberries, among fruits; and asparagus, zucchini, and parsley, as examples among vegetables, to counteract fluid retention.
  • Infusions of red fruits or horsetail and tea, also diuretics.
  • Bluefish, which contain omega 3 and healthy fats.
  • Legumes, for their contribution of vitamin B and choline.
  • Soya, rich in isoflavones, calcium, and estrogens.

In a survey of women from that age, 85 percent complained that the symptoms associated with this stage affected their quality of life, pointing to weight gain as the second factor associated with aging that most concerned them. Therefore, following these guidelines can help 50-year-old women cope with these diseases when entering menopause.

References:

  • https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/nutrition-information/a-natural-approach-to-menopause
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4859313/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058
  • https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/weight-loss-menopause-belly.html

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