Menopause Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Alleviate Other Symptoms
The transition into menopause can be very tough for many women because they tend to experience numerous unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes, deteriorated bone health, irritability, higher blood pressure, weight gain, and other side effects of hormonal changes.
It takes place a year after a woman's last period, and while it's natural, it can lower your quality of life to a large extent. Reducing estrogen levels may even be harmful to your health because it raises cholesterol levels, increases the risk for some chronic diseases, and makes it harder to lose weight.
Don't worry - it doesn't have to be that difficult! You can take your life into your own hands and make the process of experiencing menopause easier. It's no discovery that we are what we eat - food is crucial for a healthy lifestyle that can help you alleviate the undesirable symptoms.
Keep in mind that it doesn't mean your meals will no longer be tasty - we'll provide you with tips for the best diet for menopause that is rich in nutritious elements and, at the same time, delicious foods that will allow you to enjoy better health, reduced belly fat, more energy, and less menopausal side effects. Without any further ado, let's explore this subject in more detail!
Why Is Losing Weight so Difficult During Menopause?
The official start of the menopause transition can be marked by the time when a woman hasn't had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. When this time comes, weight loss may become very hard. Also, many women say that their increased weight gain has started during the decade prior to menopause, often referred to as perimenopause. And why is that so?
There are several factors that can make it harder for a woman to lose weight, such as:
Estrogen level fluctuations. As a lot of research presents, there are many hormone fluctuations associated with menopause, and both increased and decreased estrogen levels can result in weight gain (source).
Not enough sleep. The lack of sleep makes it hard to lose weight as well, and many menopausal women experience sleeping difficulties (source).
Stronger insulin resistance. Research shows that women tend to be more insulin resistant with age, and this can also contribute to weight gain (source).
Muscle mass reduction. It's usually a combined effect of hormonal changes, age, and less exercise (source).
Furthermore, there is also one annoying fact about that - menopause leads to unfavorable fat storage shifts! Namely, at that time, you may expect to gain most of the fat in your abdomen. Despite the sole fact that you may not like to have too much belly fat, it is also dangerous to your health because it raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome (source).
For this reason, it is amazingly important to develop the right diet for menopause to lose weight and ease side effects, as it can not only influence your appearance but, most significantly, your health!
Which Foods Should Be Included in the Best Diet for Menopausal Weight Gain and Other Symptoms?
During menopause, it is especially crucial to take care of proper nutrition and eat foods that are beneficial for women's health at that transition time. Check out some of the menopause diet plan essentials below!
Are you aware of the fact that whole grains are the "good carbs"? And there are many reasons for that! They can serve as an outstanding source of heart-healthy soluble fibers, as well as plant protein and several B vitamins that support proper metabolism and energy regulation. What is more, eating whole grains is also related to decreasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Cruciferous veggies should be your good friends during menopause as well! And broccoli is particularly worth adding to your menopause diet plan, as it has an excellent impact on your hormones - it helps your body produce more estrogen, decreasing the risk of breast cancer. Apart from that, broccoli is also one of the foods that can strengthen your bones thanks to its calcium content. Also, as it is full of fiber, it can help you to fight two unpleasant menopausal symptoms - weight gain and bloating. How awesome is that!
Another kind of food that is definitely worth including in your menopause diet plan is salmon. This fish is rich in both omega-3 fats, and these two nutrients are truly vital for menopausal women. It still needs more research to be confirmed, but so far, it seems that omega 3 fatty acids are related to decreasing breast cancer risk and alleviating night sweats.
But that's not the end of salmon's properties for improving health! As it also has a lot of vitamin D, eating it can contribute to more healthy bones and preventing several major chronic conditions that can result from menopause. Also, did you know that vitamin D can help to prevent you from going through menopause too early?
Haven't you heard a hundred times before that you should eat a lot of leafy greens? Well, here goes number one hundred and one - they're excellent for a menopause diet plan! They're packed with crucial nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and B vitamins, so they're definitely worth eating regularly. They contribute to overall better health, but they're particularly important during menopause because they can strengthen bones, prevent weight gain, improve muscle mass, and regulate energy levels and moods. They're truly amazing foods for sure!
You've probably thought that you won't be able to eat anything sweet while following your menopause diet plan. Wrong! You can make your life a little sweeter with, for example, berries. They are helpful not only in reducing weight but also in lowering heart disease risk and reducing inflammation.
To include them in your diet plan easily, you can just mix them with nuts to have a heart-healthy snack or add them to your morning oatmeal. In this way, your skin can be in good shape despite the menopause transition.
Women often lack iron and vitamin D, and eggs are a great help in providing those nutrients! What's more, they're a fantastic source of protein during menopause because they're good for your heart, proper cholesterol levels, and they're helpful in fighting obesity.
Bear in mind that to keep your body strong, you should eat a proper amount of protein! It is particularly essential during menopause when there are not enough female hormones in a woman's body and muscle mass along with bone strength decreases.
To fight back, you can add chicken to your menopause diet plan, as it is a healthy way to improve the protein amount in your organism without eating too much saturated fat. This compound is not good for your health because it can contribute to weight gain, high cholesterol, and developing various heart conditions.
It is also a great idea to include dairy products in your menopause diet because they include a lot of vitamin D, protein, and calcium, and they can positively influence your sleep quality. There was a study showing that yogurt and other dairy products are good for both women who are before menopause and during it (source).
Namely, it can decrease the risk of early menopause by 17% and help to alleviate some unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Also, yogurt contains probiotics which improves immunity, digestion, and skin. So, consider adding it to your best diet for perimenopause as well!
Flax can be a small seed, but it's really powerful! It's not only packed with omega-3s but also B vitamins, phytoestrogens, and fiber. A study has shown that thanks to flaxseed consumption, menopause symptoms were reduced, and quality of life was improved in a group of 140 women (source).
Moreover, another study has proven that there are links between eating flaxseed and alleviating hot flashes (source). Therefore, you really shouldn't forget to include it in your menopause diet sheet!
Soy should be a very important element of the menopause diet because it's a phytoestrogen, so a plant-based compound that acts similarly to weaker estrogens in the women's body. It can contribute to easing menopause symptoms and making your bones more healthy.
Interestingly, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners has even placed soy on a list of foods lowering the risk of breast cancer (and its recurrence) and tumor cell development. However, it is recommended you avoid highly processed soy foods and preferably eat tofu, tempeh, edamame, and plant-based dairy using soy as an alternative.
Green tea is often praised for its weight loss improving properties, but in fact, it does so much more for our nutrition as well! It's certainly a fantastic idea to replace the sugary and/or caffeinated hot beverages in your diet with this one as it provides a wide range of health benefits. It supports heart health and longevity, as well as makes you more resistant to inflammation and several forms of cancer. In 2009, there was a study showing that green tea supports bone metabolism, making them less prone to fractures, which is vital for women on menopause (source).
Also, have you heard that matcha is the only form of tea where the actual leaves are ingested? As a result, it can provide you with even more antioxidants than usual green tea. An option certainly worth considering then!
Oatmeal is often called "the breakfast of champions," and that's for a reason! Oats help you avoid diabetes, keep your cholesterol at the right level, lose weight, ease inflammation, and prevent constipation. And they're one of the most affordable kinds of healthy food!
During menopause, oatmeal can also help women keep their energy levels steady. Moreover, eating it with other menopause diet essentials like flax, yogurt, and berries can make a super-boost meal for your nutrition!
Which Fixed Diets Work Well for Women During Menopause?
If you're looking for a fixed diet plan for menopause weight loss and side effects alleviation, these three are certainly worth considering!
The Mediterranean Diet
The most well-known benefit of the Mediterranean Diet is decreasing heart disease risk and improving overall health, but medical research also shows that it can be used as a menopause diet for weight loss (source). What's more, it helps to fight obesity also if you're male or female at a younger age.
A Vegan (or Vegetarian) Diet
Plant-based diets are well-known for their weight-losing properties in general (source). Furthermore, there have also been studies showing that eating vegan food can be beneficial, particularly to postmenopausal women, helping them to deal with weight gain and improve their health (source).
However, if you aren't fond of a strictly plant-based diet, keep in mind that a more flexible vegetarian approach that allows for eating eggs and dairy also has been proven to affect aging women positively (source).
The Low-Carb Diet
Low-carb diets are highly appreciated for their weight losing and belly fat-reducing properties in general, so you can also follow one as the menopause diet for you. Peri- and postmenopausal women have been included in only several studies on these diets, but one of them showed they lost 7% of their body fat, 3.7 from their waist, and 21 lbs from their weight in just 6 months (source). Sounds very promising!
What Should I Avoid Eating During Menopause?
The menopause diet plan shouldn't include too much of:
red meat (and fat meat in general)
As you can see, they are just the usual things always advised to avoid if you want to maintain a lifestyle that's beneficial for your health. Obviously, consuming them in small amounts won't affect your quality of life that negatively, but remember to control their intake, particularly during menopause!
Can I Use Supplements Apart from Eating Healthy?
Of course! One of the important tips to deal with weight gain, hot flashes, poor sleep, and other side effects of menopause is to use safe and approved supplements to boost your nutrition, such asProvitalize. For even improved effects in losing weight and improving your well-being during menopause, we have prepared aSlim Gut Bundle.
We use natural ingredients such as turmeric, curry leaf, or moringa leaf that help your body go through menopause as easily as possible. We also add beneficial probiotics maintaining your sugar and cholesterol levels, boosting your immunity, and more. The menopause diet you decide to follow can be amazingly supported by such supplements!
The Bottom Line
This transition period is quite a challenging time for your aging body - you may experience bone weakening, poor sleep, hot flashes, increased weight gain, and other unpleasant side effects. For this reason, it is certainly worth choosing and following a menopause diet plan. Weight loss along with improved muscle mass can be one of its main aims, but it'll also help you keep a well-balanced lifestyle in general.
Take into account that every meal matters, and try to compose them reasonably, using many fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and other foods we mentioned in the tips above. Try to keep your drinks caffeine-free, or at least limit their intake.
It would also be beneficial to control the consumption of alcohol, fatty meats, and other foods that are not beneficial for your body. As such an approach is very good for your health, you can keep it for longer - it can work well as your post-menopause diet, too!
To improve the effects, prepare a regular exercise plan as well, and use supplements based on natural ingredients such as Provitalize. We hope that with our tips, you will be able to avoid most side effects. Good luck!