Menopause is an inevitable time in life that all of us will go through, but weight gain during menopause doesn't have to be part of that if you know what to do. Implementing the following tips, which are overall great health tips anyway, are the best ways to combat weight gain during menopause. Losing weight is stressful anyway, and menopause is one of the most stressful times to have to worry about weight gain when your hormones are all over the place. Make things easy on yourself and your body with these easy tips!
Table of contents:
- move more
- change up your calories
- take out refined foods
- eat more vegetables than starch
- up your protein a bit
- watch your soy consumption
- get more rest
1 Move More
During menopause, the metabolism naturally takes a nosedive, which can cause weight gain. The best way to speed up your metabolism outside of your diet, is to move more. If you exercise, that’s great! If you can though, add a little more movement throughout your day anyway. You can do this by adding 15 minutes to your exercise routine each day, moving around your house more, taking a walk after dinner a few nights a week, and be sure to add strength training into your routine three times a week as well. Also, if you’re not exercising, be sure to start! Exercising is one of the best ways to level out your hormones that are changing, and by exercising, you can enhance your hormone health to combat weight gain during menopause naturally.
2 Change up Your Calories
During menopause, the foods you used to eat to keep you thin may not work the same with your body right now due to fluctuating hormones. Since you’re low in estrogen, you may need to change what types of calories you’re eating. For instance, some women find that during menopause, they can lose weight easier by eating fewer carbs and less fat overall. This doesn’t mean you should cut these foods out, but eat less of them during the day. Instead of having oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and potatoes for dinner, have your oatmeal in the morning, but have a salad with veggies and fruit for lunch.Then at dinner, just have some lean protein with vegetables and bulk it up with a salad. Instead of using butter, nut butters, nuts, oils and other fats every time you eat, reduce the amount to 1-3 tsp. per day. Also, up your fiber intake, which fills you up faster and helps you lose weight. Eat fiber from foods, not from supplements, and don’t just turn to whole wheat bread or carbs to get your fiber. Plant foods, low calorie seeds like flax and chia, psyllium powder, and even coconut flour are all great sources of plant fibers.
3 Take out Refined Foods
The number one thing you should do to fight weight gain during menopause is to take refined foods out of your life, and yes, I mean permanently. Any refined food will cause weight gain when eaten consistently. They also contribute to poor hormone health, which worsens the problem. Clean up your eating routine and in no time, you’ll be feeling better quickly, and losing weight faster. Whole foods are the number one thing you should be eating right now. If it has an ingredient list of more than 3 items, keep it out of your kitchen for now.
4 Eat More Vegetables than Starch
One easy trick to lose weight is just to eat more veggies than you do starch! Anywhere you would normally eat a starch, eat leafy greens or veggies. A great example is having a green smoothie for breakfast instead of toast or waffles, eating a leafy green salad with lean protein and chopped raw veggies for lunch instead of a sandwich, and have more veggies at dinner to fill half your plate. The best way to keep from getting bored with veggies is to eat different ones all the time, and to try new recipes.
5 Up Your Protein a Bit
One trick to easily spike your metabolism is to increase the amount of protein you’re eating, but only from quality sources. Eat wild fish, skinless organic chicken, egg whites, leafy greens, organic turkey breasts, and high quality plant protein powders. Protein takes longer to digest than any fat or carbs, so it spikes your metabolism and keeps you fuller longer.
6 Watch Your Soy Consumption
Soy is a tricky issue regarding menopause. Some say it helps, while others say it is harmful for women, no matter if you’re in menopause or not. Soy has been linked to lower thyroid function, so I avoid it overall just to be safe, and I’d advise you to do the same. You can get all the nutrients in soy from other foods, without all the health risks associated with it.
7 Get More Rest
Lastly, the most important tip for reducing weight gain in menopause is to get plenty of rest. Rest is the number one way to stabilize your hormones, reduce your cortisol level that can lead to stressful eating and fat storage, and enhances your mood so you end up moving more and being more active because you feel better. Rest more, even if it means going to bed earlier each night. Nothing is worth feeling tired the next morning, so hit the hay and call it a day!
If you’re in menopause, what have you found to be helpful in losing weight? I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips and I’m sure other readers would too!
Please rate this article