Menopause weight loss: Main meal timings can be very beneficial – ‘We’ve had it all wrong’

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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Losing weight while going through the menopause can be a challenge but experts have suggested some simple tips to try and counter it. Nutrition expert Christine Palumbo explained that weight gain can come down to a person’s food portions and their meal timings.

By the time a woman hits the menopause, their metabolism has slowed right down.

Research has found that some women burn a couple hundred calories fewer a day.

Ms Palumbo said: “You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you don’t reduce the number of calories you consume.

“It’s also this time in your life when you may be easing up from the daily duties of preparing meals for your family, and you just want to take a break from the kitchen.

“She has cooked for 25 years, and is sick of it, and she just wants to go out to eat,” she said.

“What happens then is that you will inevitably eat twice as many calories as you need at that meal, and it’s often accompanied by alcohol, which is also associated with abdominal weight gain.”

When it comes to eating out, Palumbo recommended asking for a to-go container for leftovers when indulging in a large main course.

She explained that cutting back on restaurant meals and takeout is an easy way to control portions but the timing and frequency of meals can make a “big difference” too.

“There’s a lot of research about meal timing, and there is an increasing body of knowledge suggesting that we’ve had it all wrong when we talk about eating five or six small meals a day,” Ms Palumbo said.

“Research is pointing to doing better in the weight department by eating three square meals a day.”

To try and curb over eating, she advised women start the day with a hearty breakfast.

This should contain lean protein to keep people fuller for longer.

She also recommended to lean toward a light supper.

“Eating your main meal at noontime can be beneficial for your weight,” she added.

While many menopausal women may be wary of eating fats, Ms Palumbo said: “It isn’t necessary or recommended to completely eliminate them from your diet altogether.”

They are a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself.

“They also add flavour and make food taste better”, said the nutrition expert.

“You just need to learn how to be more choosy.”

Healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, may benefit women going through menopause.

A review study in 483 menopausal women concluded that omega-3 supplements decreased the frequency of hot flashes and the severity of night sweats.

The healthiest fats are the ones that derive from vegetable sources like olives and nuts.

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