Menopause and weight gain
Around the time of menopause is when most women find that losing or maintaining weight becomes more challenging. Body shape can change, with meno belly and a disappearing waistline being two of the most frustrating problems experienced.
However, weight gain, change of body shape, low energy, and low mood are symptoms we do not have to accept as part of perimenopause and menopause.
Can diet help menopause symptoms?
Perimenopause and menopause affect all the cells in our bodies, so we can help control some of the long lists of symptoms of menopause by looking at what we eat. For example, processed carbohydrates like those afternoon biscuits are not well tolerated during this stage of life and are known to make symptoms worse. To best support our bodies, we should aim for a diet that includes plenty of protein and a high intake of vitamin rich vegetables.
How many calories does a menopausal woman need?
The focus should be less on how many calories a menopausal woman needs and more on getting the correct nutrients during menopause. Our intake of nutrients is more important, especially as we are all different. As an example, activity levels will vary from person to person and how much they eat will reflect this.
From the mid thirties, we start to lose muscle, and ensuring enough protein in our diet can help support energy levels and reduce sugar cravings. The focus should be on what to include rather than what to leave out. As we age, we become much less tolerant of highly processed carbohydrates and find what we used to eat now seems to cause weight gain.
Will menopause make me gain weight?
The fluctuations in blood sugar also affect hormones. As women reach midlife, they find it much harder to consume the same level of carbohydrates without putting on weight.
Menopause does not necessarily cause weight gain, but we know it can happen and usually for a couple of reasons. Firstly, menopause is known to disturb our sleep, and we are more likely to crave carbohydrates and sugar after a poor nights sleep.
Secondly, our bodies are clever, and as our bodies lose oestrogen, we can find that we put on fat as fat cells can produce a form of oestrogen.
Finally, we can be less insulin sensitive and cease to process carbohydrates as well as we used to and can find that we produce too much insulin.
Why does body shape change during menopause?
During menopause, women often complain about weight gain around the middle. Stress can be a contributor at this time, possibly due to dropping hormones or other factors affecting us during midlife. Cortisol (the stress hormone) stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism can cause cravings for sweet, fatty, and salty foods.
Also, as oestrogen levels drop, our bodies can increase our fat cells as they can produce a form of oestrogen that our bodies crave.
As muscle supports our body and increases our metabolism, muscle loss is another factor for shape change. When we lose muscle our metabolism slows down, and our fat increases.
3 Day Menopause Reset Plan
The 3 Day Reset Plan is a perimenopause and menopause nutrition eating plan that prioritises the foods that balance blood sugar levels.
The plan is suited for women who are perimenopausal and menopausal and aims to reduce swings in blood sugar, allowing energy levels to become more balanced.
As balancing blood sugar levels reduces cravings, the body is more likely to lose weight and use fat stores as energy – rather than the food just eaten.
Nutritional requirements for women change during perimenopause and menopause. The plan highlights the foods to reduce and the food groups that need increasing to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
Most participants who follow the plan lose up to 4lbs over the three days and see and feel a marked improvement in their mood and energy levels.
We designed the eating plan to help women make healthy food choices that help keep minds and bodies healthy during perimenopause, menopause, and beyond.
A member of our team tried out the 3-Day Reset Plan – here is her experience, how she felt afterwards, and how much weight she lost.
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The British Menopause Society
Not all clinics and doctors are recognised as specialists by The British Menopause Society (BMS), the authority for menopause and post-menopausal health in the UK.