With menopause comes a lot of physical changes. You may have gained weight or started to experience more bloating and digestive discomfort, for example. If you’re sick and tired of this and want to feel more like your old self, you might want to think about making some changes to your diet. There are lots of foods you can add to your meals that will help you to avoid menopause weight gain, improve your digestion, and increase your energy naturally. Read on to learn more about seven of the best options to start enjoying today!
As they get older and start to go through menopause, lots of women experience weight gain and/or changes in their body composition. Does this sound familiar to you? Does your waist circumference seem to have increased overnight? Are your favorite clothes no longer fitting the way they used to?
If menopause weight gain is getting frustrating and preventing you from looking and feeling your best, you may want to take a closer look at your diet. Adding certain foods to the mix can have a big impact on your metabolism, hormone balance, energy levels, and overall health. Listed below are seven delicious and nutritious foods that can help you say goodbye to menopause weight gain for good.
Why Menopause Weight Gain Happens
Of all the symptoms that women tend to experience when going through menopause, weight gain is one of the most common. You might notice the number on the scale creeping up or the size of your waist increasing (and your pants getting tighter) even if your diet hasn’t changed.
The hormonal changes your body undergoes during this stage of life can cause a variety of issues that contribute to menopause weight gain, including the following:
Changes in muscle mass, which reduce metabolic rate and overall calorie burn
Night sweats and poor sleep, which can increase cravings and lead to overeating
Blood sugar spikes and crashes, which may contribute to insulin resistance, increases in belly fat, and increased cravings
Fatigue (another common symptom of menopause), which may lead to a decrease in your activity level and a decrease in calories burned throughout the day
7 Foods That Fight Menopause Weight Gain
If menopause weight gain is affecting your quality of life and self-confidence, adjusting your diet is a great way to take back control and minimize your symptoms. Here are seven foods that will help you say goodbye to those extra pounds or inches in no time:
Salmon is a great addition to your next meal if you’re looking for foods that can help you combat menopause weight gain. Not only is it a tasty and versatile protein source, but it’s also loaded with nutrients that your body needs during menopause.
For example, salmon is a great source of vitamin D. People who are overweight tend to have lower vitamin D levels than those who are not. Those who have higher levels of vitamin D also have been shown to lose more weight than those whose levels are lower.
In addition to being rich in vitamin D, salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be anti-inflammatory fats, and they’ve been shown to reduce night sweats. If you can reduce inflammation throughout your body and improve your sleep quality, you’ll likely feel more energized and will be less likely to give in to cravings.
Cruciferous vegetables are very beneficial to women who are going through menopause. Of all the options to consider adding to your diet, though, broccoli is one of the best.
Broccoli contains nutrients that can help to improve your hormone levels. It can promote proper estrogen metabolism and may help you weather the changes your body experiences (including issues like weight gain and bloating) during menopause with more ease.
Broccoli is also a great source of fiber. It can help you to feel more satiated after your meals, which decreases the likelihood that you will overeat or struggle with cravings later.
For a long time, eggs have gotten a bad rap, and a lot of women have been taught (incorrectly, we might add) that eating whole eggs will cause them to gain weight and make their cholesterol levels skyrocket. This has been disproven time and time again, though.
The truth is that whole eggs are very healthy foods for menopausal women. They’re an easy and affordable source of protein, a nutrient that everyone, but especially menopausal women, needs to gain and maintain muscle mass. Remember, the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the less likely you’ll be to gain excess body fat.
4. Whole Grains
Make sure you’re eating plenty of whole grains, too. Whole grain bread, oats, and pasta are all good picks that fall under the “healthy carbohydrate” category.
When you eat a sufficient amount of whole grains, you can ensure you’re consuming enough fiber. As you now know, fiber can help you to feel fuller, improve digestion, and minimize your chances of overeating.
Whole grains also contain small but not insignificant amounts of protein, as well as B vitamins, which play an important role in proper metabolic function. People who eat whole grains are less likely to struggle with other health issues like heart disease and diabetes, too.
Soy is known as a phytoestrogen. It contains plant-based compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Phytoestrogens have been linked to a reduction in menopause symptoms, including weight gain and hot flashes. They can also promote healthy bones.
It’s important to note, though, that soy is available in many different varieties, and not all of them are created equal. Some of the best ways to consume it are in the form of edamame, tempeh, and tofu.
You don’t have to say goodbye to sweets when you’re trying to stop menopause weight gain. Satisfying your cravings with berries instead of a sugary treat, though, will help you to keep extra pounds off and improve your health at the same time.
Berries are low in sugar and are a good source of fiber to help you feel satisfied and improve your digestion. They’ve been known to help reduce inflammation, too, likely due to their high antioxidant content.
There are lots of ways to incorporate berries into your routine. Add them to your morning oatmeal, toss them in a smoothie, or enjoy them plain when you need a simple snack.
Fermented foods are a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help to reverse menopause weight gain and improve digestion. If the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract (or gut) is thrown off, you may be more prone to putting on weight or have a hard time absorbing the nutrients from your food.
One of the best ways to add more probiotics to your diet, in addition to taking a probiotic supplement, is to drink kefir on a regular basis. Kefir is a type of fermented milk that is rich in probiotics, as well as vitamin K2, which plays an important role in bone and heart health.
You can drink kefir on its own or use it as the base of a smoothie. Mix in some berries to sweeten it and enjoy a greater nutrition boost.
Stop Menopause Weight Gain with These Foods Today
If you’re fed up with menopause weight gain and are desperate for some relief, start by evaluating your diet. Keep these seven foods in mind as you start planning your meals so you can feel your best and look your best.
Need additional help managing your menopause symptoms effectively? If so, you might want to consider adding some menopause supplements to your routine. Check out this list of the best menopause probiotics and other supplements on the market that you can start using today.