Can you change Menopause with diet and lifestyle?
So it can be frustrating, anxiety kicks in, your sleep is affected , your mood changes and you can’t control the impulse eats… Menopause is a normal part of aging but as normal as it may be, it’s the symptoms that really affect our weight and our confidence!
It’s an open discussion at most dinner dates with girlfriends as these hormonal shifts are contributing to weight gain and more..
The truth is, in the way you can take control and change.
Following an eating plan that improves hormonal symptoms is really the key, a diet plan that includes low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, low inflammatory and highly nutritive can help support overall health and weight control as your body adjusts. But if your goal is to lose that weight, knowing how to get rid of menopause belly fat can help.
Menopause is simply the transition where your period goes away due to a natural decrease in female reproductive hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, which can sometimes take up to 7 years, anywhere ranging between 45 and 55 years of age.
You may experience menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, mood swings, pain during sex or a decrease in bone strength. Weight gain is also common because of the symptoms affecting sleep, mood and our fat cells and distribution changes and your body starts to burn energy differently during this time. Some tips to get control of menopausal feeling and weight gain.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you create your menopause diet plan.
TIP : Your genetics and lifestyle changes associated with ageing, like decreased activity, can also contribute to weight gain during menopause, so it’s the time to make changes and be active.
Diet Tips for Menopausal Women
Calories In & Out : Every year we age we lose muscle, so a little calorie adjustment is called for. Easy to say, but when you are frustrated, tired because of lack of sleep due to night sweats and hot flushes counting calories may seem daunting.
So let’s start with a diet plan based on structure, timing and inflammation and I can guarantee that you will not need to count calories you will just be able to control the impulse cravings which in turn means calorie reduction.
To be able to reduce calories let’s focus on foods to have more of, rather than what we should cut out!
Foods to Eat:
My number #1 biggest investment. More Greens, orange and purple please
Oxidative stress which is a known risk factor for diseases such as heart disease and cancer may increase when our oestrogen decrease. So fill up on vegetables and fruits.
You may not be a fan of the greens but we have you covered. The delicious recipes and smoothie concoctions @healthyempiregoods and @vickyg makes this a super easy task
- The higher the Vitamin C and other antioxidants the better and not only will fight menopausal symptoms but help mitigate the effects of aging.
- Get dietary phytoestrogens from foods such as soy and flaxseeds.
- Choose fibre rich foods, this will help you feel full and decrease the calories, decrease toxins, and move the bowels, all things that will alleviate the symptoms of menopause… have more worthwhile nourishing whole grains, oats, quinoa and black rice are good choices.
- Opt for heart-healthy unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, fatty fish and olive oil. But as good and healthy these may be, stick to your quality over quantity rule.
- Finally, make sure you get adequate calcium to protect your bones -- you need 1,200 milligrams daily from age 51 to 70. Calcium fortified plant based options, Low-fat dairy, sardines, salmon, broccoli and kale will help you meet your needs. Vitamin D from fortified foods and oily fish helps you absorb calcium.
Greentastic has a naturally decadent yet subtle green tea flavour combined with softness and sweetness of pistachio with dates for a smooth finish.
Protein is another important nutrient to include, as it can help offset age-related muscle loss, which is essentially the reason why our metabolic goes A wall as we age.
- Soy products like tofu or tempeh
- Protein-rich grains like quinoa
- Dairy products like yogurt or cottage cheese or calcium fortified plant based milk and cheeses
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meats like chicken and turkey
- Fish like salmon and tun
Go essential good fats, #3 don't forget Omega-3s
Including healthy proteins in your meals can also supply you with more omega-3 fatty acids, which help support cognition, muscle and bone health as you age,
- Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines
- Nuts and seeds like flax, chia seeds and walnuts
- Plant oils like flaxseed oil, avocado oil
Something to focus more on #4 So whats the go with Phytoestrogens
Eating a well balance eating plan will definitely improve the phytoestrogens, a plant based compound naturally found in food, that acts as a low grade oestrogen. Some studies showed that phytoestrogens were linked to moderate decreases in menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, although more research required.
So lets get some more of these in our diet together with more plants;
That said, natural sources of phytooestrogens already a part of a healthy diet, including foods such as:
- Seeds like flax and sesame
- Soy and Tempeh
- Fruits and vegetables
Limit the inflammation #5 through limiting dairy and wheat
Some people will experience more challenging times and often a very reduced level of dairy and wheat will often be the key. For an easy way to approach this, keep your menopause symptoms at bay and decrease the belly fat a good plan is key to keep the nutrients up and the inflammation down.
A Menu Plan for People Going Through Menopause; A menu plan is a great way to start and the results are proof in the pudding together with a real smoothie with the goods to tick off all the above.
"Vicky's plan and smoothies have been a game changer for me, I was suffering all the symptoms of menopause, and now I manage my menopause, move more, sleep better, eat well have more energy, lost 8 kilos, and have maintained that loss over 12 months. I have new goals, that now know can be achieved. Understanding how to manage this stage of life is empowering"
- Jo McAuliffe
Now the next may sound obvious but how to Avoid certain foods - sounds easy right? But with the availability of these foods it’s not as easy as it sounds, I think we all know that!
There are also some foods to limit or skip altogether. Sugary sweets and alcohol can drive up your daily calorie intake without any nutritional benefit. The unhealthy trans and saturated fats increase weight and decease heart health.
Some foods to limit or avoid during menopause include:
- Ditch the sugars, refined drinks, lollies and baked goods… not rocket science we know but the key is knowing how to replace these foods, for Protein Bliss Balls/Companion Balls.
- High-fat dairy products like butter and cream, try plant based milks and cheeses, stick to olive oil and goods fats
- Unhealthy fats in baked goods and fried foods - make no fried food you mantra
- Learn to limit large intake of red meat
- Focus on less Alcohol and non sugary based drinks
- Spicy food and caffeine, which can potentially exacerbate hot flashes.
Other Tips for People Going Through Menopause
Your menopause diet plan isn't just about nutrition. Here are some other tips to keep in mind to stay healthy during this transition period:
Hitting the pavement and weight training is key to help manage your weight and feel your best mentally and physically. Aim for 30 min of moderate intensity aerobic activity 3-4 x per week and 2 -3 weight baring.
Get support with a meal plan an exercise regimen and supplements that can help get through this crazy time!! We have you covered!
Above all, be kind to yourself, have a facial, Get your hair done, book a massage or kickstart your day with a ten minute meditation.