Seven Tips to Prevent Menopausal Weight Gain
Hormonal changes often lead to weight gain in menopausal women. Thus, you must take some measures to remain stable during this stage of your life if you’re a part of this group.
This is because the reduction in estrogen and progesterone production that occurs at menopause changes the metabolic activity. As a consequence of this, there’s a loss of muscle mass in addition to an increase in the tendency to accumulate fat.
Furthermore, this situation not only alters your usual body shape but also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders that reduce a person’s quality of life. At least according to a study by Revista Médica de Chile.
The good news is there’s a way to counteract it to some extent. This becomes possible when you improve your lifestyle before you even begin to go through these changes. Today we’d like to share some tips you can put into practice to fully enjoy this stage of your life. That is, without having to worry about that annoying extra weight.
Tips to prevent menopausal weight gain
1. Increase your consumption of natural diuretics
As experts from the Texas Heart Institute report, diuretics help decrease fluid retention. In addition, they help control blood pressure, thereby reducing your tendency to certain diseases.
The following foods have diuretic properties, although they’re not as effective as drugs designed for this purpose. In any case, don’t ever start taking these medications without a prescription as they can have significant side effects.
Some prominent natural diuretics are:
- Birch. According to a study published in Natural Product Research, the extracts of its leaves have diuretic properties.
- Eggplant. The diuretic effects of this plant are confirmed in a 2016 study reported in Emergent Life Sciences Research.
- Dandelion. The properties of this plant have been scientifically confirmed in a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- Green tea. This is one of the most popular diuretics due to its confirmed properties by a study published by Chinese Medicine.
- Pumpkin. Research published by the Journal of Food Science and Technology assures that pumpkin has diuretic properties.
The following types of food are also recognized as diuretics by traditional medicine — although there’s less scientific evidence for it:
- Watermelon (with proven effects in non-human animals)
Find out more about The Role of Diet in Menopause Symptoms
2. Drink plenty of water as it can prevent menopausal weight gain
Daily water consumption is important at any time of your life, not only during menopause. However, some say that drinking enough water could help you feel more satisfied between meals. In addition, it’s an important diuretic that contributes to the health benefits we mentioned above.
In theory, fluid intake can help reduce hunger and food cravings. Unfortunately, there’s no conclusive evidence in this regard. Some say that drinking enough water will keep you from snacking between meals.
3. Remain active
Exercise continues to be one of the best tools to maintain a healthy and stable body weight whenever there are significant changes in your body. For instance, this is confirmed by research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
This is because physical activity stimulates your metabolism and increases your energy. Thus, you burn calories. As you can see, physical activity is essential to maintain optimal body weight when added to a healthy diet.
Generally, exercising provides many other health benefits such as reducing the loss of lean mass, which is an indicator of health as you age. At least according to a MedlinePlus publication.
In addition, it helps maintain adequate bone density, which is essential for the prevention of osteoporosis, which, in turn, is more prevalent in menopause. You can read more on this in the research published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.
4. Include oily fish in your diet
This kind of fish has many health benefits for women dealing with the effects of menopause. It’s because, in addition to its protein content, the omega 3 fatty acids it contains help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. In fact, according to a WebMD article, it improves cardiovascular health.
5. Eat a bowl of oatmeal every day
Oatmeal has many essential nutrients and recharges the body. A study published in Nutrition Reviews in 2016 revealed that this cereal is great for feeling satisfied. It’s for this reason that’s best to eat it at breakfast as you won’t feel like eating for a few hours afterwards.
In addition, this grain can also help you control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, according to this report by Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética. As if this wasn’t enough, there are many ways to enjoy it!
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6. Avoid excessive fat consumption
Prioritizing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats over saturated fats is the best way to regulate your fat intake during menopause. In other words, opt for healthy fats — you can read more about this in this publication by MedlinePlus.
In order to do so, just stay away from junk food such as industrial pastries and overly processed packaged goods. Always take into account the types of fats these products contain when you’re trying to maintain your optimal weight.
7. Limiting your sugar intake can help prevent menopausal weight gain
Refined sugar and any foods that contain it can directly increase your body weight and lead to other metabolic difficulties. Its consumption should be limited at any stage of life. In fact, it’s best to reduce it as much as possible when reaching menopause.
- The body’s ability to use this substance as an energy source decreases when there are changes in hormonal activity. Unfortunately, it leads to the accumulation of fat. You can read more about it in this 2014 publication in Revista Chilena de Obstetricia y Ginecología.
- Furthermore, there’s a greater chance of developing diabetes when there’s an increase in the levels of fat in the blood according to this article by the Mayo Clinic.
Take good care of yourself and enjoy your life by staying healthy during menopause!
Finally, don’t worry too much about gaining weight when you reach menopause. All you have to do to avoid it, or at least minimize its impact on your quality of life, is to take all of the above into account. Just adopt it as your regular lifestyle. Do keep in mind that medical supervision is essential to your health during this stage.
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