At the time of menopause, the decreased levels of estrogen contribute to a decrease in metabolism so that some women undergoing menopause will begin to gain weight. This doesn’t have to be an inevitable thing if you manage your lifestyle in such a way as to prevent the weight gain before it occurs. Remember that it is easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose weight once it has been put on.
Dietary Changes In Menopause
You can effectively prevent weight loss in menopause if you develop a habit of eating healthy. This means stopping high fat and high sugar foods, especially avoiding high calorie foods and foods that are high in trans fats or saturated fats.
Reduce Fat Intake
Saturated fats are found mainly in dairy products and meats, while trans fats are found in highly processed foods where they are used to keep food fresher for longer. Instead of eating the above foods, you need to adopt a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, such as is seen in whole fruits and vegetables, as well as in whole grain food products. You can also eat lean meats, fish, legumes, and nuts. These foods are high in nutrients so that your body stays healthy as you eat foods that will help you lose weight.
You need to have at least five half-cup servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits each day for optimal health.
Foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains, beans, and legumes, are also healthy for you and can prevent weight gain. They hold onto dietary sugar so that there are fewer fluctuations in blood glucose levels and a decreased risk of diabetes. High fiber foods also keep food moving through the gastrointestinal tract so you won’t suffer from constipation.
In order to maintain an adequate weight if you already have a normal weight, you need to eat approximately 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you are already overweight, you can decrease your caloric intake so that you take in 500 fewer calories per day or about 1,500 calories daily. This will result in a net loss of weight of about one pound per week, as a pound lost requires a calorie reduction of 3,500 calories. If you eat less than this, you will lose weight faster but it is harder to maintain than a 1,500 calorie a day diet.
Exercising To Lose Weight In Menopause
Exercise serves two major functions in menopause. First, it can help you lose weight and can help you maintain a healthy weight if you are already of a normal weight. Second, weight-bearing exercises can help reduce the incidence of menopause. Weight-bearing exercises include brisk walking, running, and stair stepping. Any activity you do on your feet can constitute a weight-bearing exercise.
There are two major types of exercise you can undertake. These include the following:
• Aerobic Exercise. This is any activity that increases your heart rate and increases your respiratory rate. Aerobic activity can involve brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, bicycling, tennis, and golf. Actually, any exercise you enjoy that gets your heart pumping will be an adequate aerobic exercise for you to do.
Aerobic exercise should ideally be done thirty minutes a day on most days of the week. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, which is a good guideline to follow. Choose something you like to do and do it with an exercise buddy if you are having problems being motivated to exercise. It is usually more fun to exercise with others.
• Anaerobic Exercise. Anaerobic exercise is basically weight lifting or doing exercises on weight machines that increase your muscle mass and muscle tone. It should be done about thirty minutes per exercise about 2 to 3 times per week. Anaerobic exercise is a good form of exercise to do when you are trying to lose weight because muscle has a higher metabolic rate when compared to fatty tissue so you will burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising.
The combination of healthy eating and exercise can help reduce your weight or maintain your weight if you are already of a normal weight. These things have far-reaching implications and can reduce the incidence of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes – both of which having obesity as a risk factor.