Menopause: Experts discuss the benefits of Homeopathy
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Losing weight whilst going through the menopause can seem total out of the question for many women struggling with gaining a few pounds, especially around their middle. It’s one of the many unwanted side effects of the menopause, but it can be tackled via a number of ways.
During the menopause, the body undergoes a hormonal transition that also impacts metabolism, meaning it’s not unusual to put on a few extra pounds.
Nutritionist Tamara Willner, who works at NHS-backed healthy eating plan Second Nature, revealed there is one thing women can do in order to curb those cravings.
“The hormonal changes women experience in the years leading up to menopause can impact both where we gain weight and how much weight we gain,” she explained.
“‘The combination of lower metabolism and changes in stress hormones can result in an increase in weight and fat storage around our abdomen.”
Cravings brought on by fatigue and low blood sugar can result in overeating on unhealthier foods.
Tamara advised: “Focusing on having three proper meals each day can reduce the chances of cravings.
“When we do experience strong cravings, a good option is to enjoy something satisfying and delicious that’s made from whole foods.”
She also suggested people try healthy desserts: “That way, you’re not depriving yourself and you’ll be satisfied for longer, while reducing your intake of refined carbs.”
Nutritional therapist Susie Perrie Debice, also revealed her top tips for shedding the pounds during “the change”, urging sufferers to be “mindful about the strategies” they choose.
“You may start to notice that maintaining your normal healthy body weight becomes much more challenging; days where you feel fatigued may mean you are less motivated to do regular exercise,” she said.
“So, if menopausal weight gain has been getting you down and you feel inspired to take steps to shake off those extra pounds, then be mindful about the weight loss strategy that you choose.”
She advised not to leave long gaps in between meals, skipping meals, drastically reducing your calories or following dieting strategies that completely eliminate carbs, because they “prove short-sighted and counterproductive”.
“These all set you up for blood sugar lows — which are typically followed by increased sugar cravings,” she said.
“Instead, slow and steady wins the race; aim to focus on a healthy lifestyle which helps you achieve your desired weight, in a sensible timescale.
“Say no to sugary treats, and rather than cutting out carbohydrates completely, take the time to incorporate complex carbs.”
She added: “Swapping refined for whole grain is a wise choice — that’s white bread, pasta and rice out, and brown bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice in.”
Other factors she warned women to monitor are their sodium content, such as foods high in salt.
These are known to promote water retention and bloating, which itself can lead to weight gain and a “sense of sluggishness”.
“Achieving your goals and maintaining a healthy weight is so much easier without nagging cravings,” she said.
“Rather than cutting them out completely, make careful carb adjustments to avoid that yearning for a sugary treat.
“Indeed, a well-rounded diet ticks so many boxes and can stave off other menopause symptoms associated with a poor diet, including bloating and even leg pain.”
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