Menopause involves experiencing a hormonal revolution in which estrogen levels drop And, although it is not the same for all women, among the most common symptoms are the famous hot flashes, sleep problems, mood swings, increased fluid retention and weight gain. We are going to focus in this article on this last ‘side effect’ to see how to counter it.
The hormonal changes of menopause contribute to weight gain in the abdomen and waist area (more than hips and thighs). And to these hormonal changes we must add genetic factors and having a birthday as reasons why doing the same thing that was done with 10 years younger, it is difficult to maintain the same weight. Therefore, it is necessary more than ever to have healthy lifestyle habits by following a series of guidelines.
How to prevent weight gain after menopause?
An active life
Muscle mass normally decreases with age, which in turn causes the rate at which our body burns calories to decrease. And this, of course, makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity, including aerobic exercise and strength training, can help reverse the situation because as muscle is gained through sports, the body burns calories more efficiently, making it easier to control weight. For most healthy adults, experts recommend moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity, such as jogging, for at least 75 minutes a week.
Also, they recommend strength training exercises at least twice a week.
If exercising is something you don’t feel like doing, there are other options like dancing that also help build muscle. And, on the other hand, the practice of disciplines such as yoga or Pilates is also interesting. They are not intended for weight loss, but are intended to increase muscle elasticity and maintain muscle mass. In addition, this type of exercise favors relaxation helping to alleviate some symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, irritability and fatigue.
Control what we eat
According to the Mayo Clinic, women between the ages of 50 and 60 may need about 200 fewer calories per day than they needed with 30 or 40 years, so having control of what we eat is important to reduce the calories we consume, but maintaining a balanced diet.
Therefore, choose more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, particularly those that are less processed and contain more fiber. Foods with saturated fats should be eliminated from our menus, although leaving room for healthy fats such as unsaturated: virgin olive oil, avocado and nuts, which are also satisfying but healthier.
Also, having a weekly meal plan is highly recommended to avoid improvising which often results in less healthy options. In this planning, take special care to include foods that include:
- Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids such as salmon for their protective effect against cardiovascular diseases and their reinforcement of the immune system.
- Amino acids such as tryptophan that promote relaxation and sleep. We find them in milk, eggs, cereals, nuts, etc.
- Compounds such as phytoestrogens, natural estrogens found in plant-based foods.
And finally, limit the consumption of alcohol since they represent an excess of calories in the diet and increase the risk of gaining weight.