Food to avoid to make a ‘real difference’ to menopause weight
This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms
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It is well-known that foods can have a huge impact on not only people’s weight but also how they feel. Stress and anxiety can increase during menopause and can be a huge factor when it comes to weight gain.
But experts revealed the midlife change doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable as women may think.
Wellbeing expert and entrepreneur Liz Earle, highlighted some key foods to focus on that could help them better manage their weight.
There are many diets out there tailored to menopausal women but it can be trial and error finding one that works.
But Liz suggested that tweaking certain elements of their current diet can have a “powerful impact” in helping to restore balance.
She said: “Food has such tremendous power to help and heal our changing bodies, and what we choose to eat is one of the most important wellbeing factors we can control in life.
“Eating the right balance of nutritious and healthy foods can make a real difference to how we look and feel – especially during the peri-menopause, which is the stage that then leads into menopause.”
Alongside doing more physical activity, including aerobic exercise and strength training, which can help women gain muscle and burn calories more efficiently, Liz revealed her three top tips.
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Sugar has long been considered a diet no-no as eating too much of it can contribute to people having too many calories than they need daily.
Consuming more calories than are being burnt leads to weight gain and can make people’s blood sugar levels skyrocket, as it is easily digested and quickly enters the bloodstream.
Not only will this impact women’s weight, but it could worsen other symptoms, too.
Liz noted in her book The Good Menopause Guide, that fluctuating sugar levels lead the body to convert excess energy into fat, which in the long term will cause weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
She suggested: “A better option is to choose nuts, seeds or fresh fruit as snacks to restore flagging energy in a more balanced and sustained way.”
Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats are essential for people’s metabolisms as it “fires up” their fat-burning rate and reduces spikes in blood sugar.
When it comes to losing weight there are such things as “good fats” (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and “bad fats” (saturated and trans fats).
Liz revealed good fats are “especially important” for women during menopause, explaining: “We actually make our hormones from cholesterol.”
Foods high in good fats include:
Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines,
Nuts and seeds – nut butter, chia and flax seed are all good sources of high-quality good fats.
Liz added: “I also recommend taking a daily Omega-3 fish oil supplement to help boost brain, body and skin, especially from mid-life onwards.”
By eating healthy fats in moderation, women can control their appetites and prevent overeating, therefore promoting weight loss and maintenance.
Don’t forget calcium and vitamin D
Getting enough vitamin D can keep hormone levels in check, helping enhance weight loss and decrease body fat.
Michael Zemel, director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, explained that calcium provides “small increases” in thermogenesis, the body’s core temperature.
“This may boost metabolism, which can prompt our bodies to burn fat,” he said.
Not only that, as people grow older, and for women reaching the age of 50, their bone density begins to decline as bone breakdown outpaces bone formation.
This usually accelerates at the time of menopause but a 2017 study found that high intakes of dietary vitamin D and calcium could be associated with a lower risk of early menopause and weight loss.
Liz said: “It’s important to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D throughout the peri-menopause and menopause.”
Good sources of vitamin D include:
Some fortified foods
Sources of calcium include:
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