How to lose weight around menopause? Most people started putting on weight during perimenopause which is a decade before menopause. Menopause starts when a woman hasn’t had a period in about 12 months or so and during this time it is harder for women to lose weight.
How to lose weight around menopause? Photo credit: iStock- Mohamad Faizal Bin Ramli
Some of the factors that play a role in weight gain during menopause is:
- Hormone fluctuations. And this happens when your estrogen levels drop which leads to increased fat storage and menopausal weight gain.
- Heightened insulin resistance. Women become more insulin resistant during the menopause phase making it more difficult to lose weight.
- Loss of muscle mass. This happens because of hormonal changes and age and decline in estrogen levels. And loss of muscle mass impacts the rate of your metabolism.
During menopause with women the fat shifts from the hips and butt to the abdominal area. So that little pooch around the stomach area that women can’t stand or hate starts to develop during that phase. This increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
The best type of diet for anybody that has menopause and wants to lose weight is one the encourages balance in the types of food you eat. And this means a diet that encompasses an even balanced percentage of protein, carbs, and healthy fat. A Mediterranean diet is a great diet for anybody in the menopause or perimenopause phase that needs to lose weight.
Research studies have shown that it can help improve your overall health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Some of the healthy foods you can eat on a Mediterranean diet are:
- Vegetables– broccoli, spinach, green beans, asparagus, sprouts, tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits– apples, bananas, strawberries, peaches, melons, pears, etc.
- Whole Grains– oats, brown rice, barley, pasta, whole wheat bread, etc.
- Nuts, seeds– almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almond butter, peanut butter, etc.
- Protein foods– chicken turkey, salmon, fish, shrimp, oysters, etc.
- Healthy fats– olives, olive oil, avocado oil, extra virgin oil, etc.
Some of the foods you want to limit on the Mediterranean diet are added sugar like candies, ice cream, soda, baked goods, etc.
Other things you want to limit on the Mediterranean diet are: trans fats such as margarine and fried foods. And highly processed foods such as granola bars, fast foods, and microwave popcorn.
The Paleo diet has been shown to also help people lose weight. Especially if you have a difficult time losing weight if you are in the menopause phase. Here are some of the foods you would eat on a Paleo diet, and they are meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and oils.
Some of the foods you want to avoid on the Paleo diet are processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, etc.
There are some older research studies that reveal that a vegan or vegetarian diet has helped women who had perimenopause or menopause lose weight. In fact, they saw significant weight loss following this type of diet.
Diet is important when you want to lose weight during menopause, but exercise is just as important too. During menopause your estrogen levels drop making you susceptible to muscle loss. And the best way to combat that natural muscle decline during this phase is to incorporate resistance training into your workout routine.
Some good weight loss tips you can follow if you have menopause that can be very helpful:
- Eat more fiber which will help you eat less food and suppress your appetite. The different types of fiber foods are fruits and vegetables.
- Consume more protein which will help fill you up and keep you satisfied. More protein helps with maintaining your muscle mass which helps to elevate your metabolic rate.
- Be mindful of what you eat and be mindful of the calories you consume and the types of foods you are eating. A good way to keep yourself accountable is to log all of this in a food diary or notebook.
Resistance training includes dumbbell weights and resistance bands or bodyweight training. This will help you maintain your muscle while you are in a decline. Aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking, jogging, riding your bike can help with reducing abdominal fat while preserving muscle during weight loss.
If you can combine strength training and cardiovascular training that is the best strategy for weight loss whether you have menopause, perimenopause, or none of it. You may have to exercise more and be on a stricter diet if you have menopause because your hormones will be working against you. But the good news is you can still have success in losing weight if you eat right and exercise consistently.
“The best type of diet for anybody that has menopause and wants to lose weight is one the encourages balance in the types of food you eat.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
The Bottom Line is you can lose weight if you are in menopause or perimenopause if you eat in a balanced way and exercise consistently. And if that exercise and diet program puts you in a deficit of 500 to 1000 calories daily then you will lose 1 to 2 pounds per week which is considered a healthy weight loss.
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