Doctor on foods to eat and avoid to lose menopause weight – ‘weight gain is normal’
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Dr Abimbola Babajide, a Clinical Research Physician at MAC Clinical Research, spoke to Express.co.uk about the consequences and symptoms of the menopause, which includes weight gain. She explained why this is, as well as sharing tips on how to reduce or avoid it.
Dr Abimbola said: “Gaining weight is completely normal and a common effect of menopause and nothing to worry about.
“The hormonal changes your body is going through, specifically a drop in oestrogen levels, may make you more likely to gain weight, particularly around the abdomen.
“Additionally, weight gain can be a side effect of the ageing process.
“A reduced metabolism and loss of muscle tissue can all impact a woman’s weight.
“As you go through menopause your body is undergoing huge changes, so it’s likely you’ll see a fluctuation in weight.”
The doctor stressed that there is “no quick fix” to losing weight, but a change in diet and lifestyle can help.
She continued: “Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the best way to manage your weight.
“Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and building muscle strength are all great ways to stay in shape and manage weight gain.”
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But which foods should menopausal women be eating to help with their symptoms?
Dr Abimbola said: “Healthy, non-processed, low sugar foods should be the basis for all meals.
“Fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are all good foods to have in your diet as they aren’t processed and contain more fibre.
“Swapping out butter for oils is also a useful trick to help manage weight.”
The doctor warned against extreme diets, saying: “Fad or crash diets are definitely one to avoid.
“Studies show that you’re more likely to end up heavier than when you started with these unrealistic diets.
“Eating nutrient rich foods is the key to managing weight, so I’d definitely advise avoiding processed foods that contain high levels of trans or saturated fats – for example, white bread, processed meats, and cakes.
“Drinking fewer sugary drinks, such as fizzy drinks or juices, can also help as they tend to have a lot of extra calories.”
As for exercise, Dr Abimbola recommended “regular exercise” to “reduce the effects of the ageing process and keep fit after menopause”.
She added: “Combining aerobic exercise and strength training will help build muscle and reduce body fat.
“Low impact sports, such as yoga and pilates, are also a good way to build muscle with minimal wear on weight-bearing joints.
“Essentially, I’d recommend any exercise that builds muscle strength or decreases body fat by raising your heart rate.”
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