Amazing tips to manage menopause (& even lose weight)
Tips to help menopause symptoms
Maryl-Ann Marshall accredited dietitian for Lite n’ Easy shares some of the common misconceptions about menopause and how diet can impact symptoms. Discover some menopause diet triggers and find out what to eat instead.
Hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and sleep disturbances? Welcome to menopause! Although menopause symptoms can be uncomfortable and distressing for many women, this can be an ideal motivator to start focusing on your own health and putting yourself first. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is a good idea in general, but it’s especially true for women who are nearing or going through menopause.
Menopause and weight gain
With all of the hormonal changes of menopause, there is a common misconception that weight gain is inevitable. However, this doesn’t have to be true. This is a time in many women’s lives where they find themselves slowing down, with less exercise and fewer working and childcare commitments, and they discover that their less than ideal eating habits have finally caught up with them. Weight gain during menopause can be situational, not hormonal. But even after menopause, you can still minimise weight gain, and even lose weight, with a healthy, balanced diet and exercise.
How can women manage menopausal symptoms?
Unfortunately, there are no magical wonder foods or special diets that will miraculously cure menopausal symptoms. But there are some important lifestyle factors like a healthy diet, exercise and good sleep that you can focus on to keep you feeling healthy and happy during this period.
1. Avoid unhealthy foods
Eating an unhealthy diet can promote weight gain, and if you are carrying some extra weight, symptoms such as hot flushes can be exacerbated and be even more uncomfortable for you. Weight loss can be achieved with portion control and a nutritionally-balanced meal plan, such as those provided by Lite n’ Easy. Rather than cutting out entire food groups or following an unrealistic diet, this way of eating teaches you consistency, along with good nutrition.
2. Avoid fad diets
It’s important to steer clear of fad diets, especially those that promise to cure all of your symptoms by excluding dozens of foods. Not only are fad diets nutritionally unbalanced, they often lead to rapid rebound weight gain, and you risk becoming heavier than before. It’s much better to follow a balanced diet that is calorie controlled so that you lose weight slowly and still get all of the vital nutrients you require.
Hot flushes can be exacerbated with alcohol, so it’s best to limit yourself to a maximum of one standard drink per day and aim for two alcohol-free days per week.
Caffeine is also a common trigger for hot flushes, so try to cut back on your coffee intake and stick to one cup per day. If you’re craving a second latte, why not make it decaf, or swap it for a caffeine-free herbal tea?
5. Spicy or hot food
Spicy food can cause your body temperate to go up and can also trigger sweating and flushing. Add flavour to dished using herbs and spices that don’t bring as much heat. Hot foods such as soups can also be a trigger, so sip on cold water or choose a salad instead to help keep the hot flushes at bay.
6. Boost your calcium
Bone health is particularly important during menopause, as declining oestrogen levels can speed up the rate of bone loss. This can lead to increased fractures and osteoporosis, which affects almost 30% of women aged 75 and over. For menopausal women, you need to boost your dietary calcium intake from 1000mg per day to 1300mg daily to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. This means adding an extra glass of milk or a tub of low-fat yoghurt into your eating plan.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also essential for bone health, as it helps your body to absorb calcium. Although Vitamin D is found in small amounts in some foods like fish and eggs, it is difficult to obtain enough Vitamin D from diet alone. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight! Spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week will help to boost your Vitamin D. You can also request a blood test from your GP to check your Vitamin D levels. If your levels are low, your GP may suggest a Vitamin D supplement.
Lite n’ Easy meals are nutritionally balanced, delicious and portion controlled that make eating healthy easy. Lite n’ Easy delivers great tasting, healthy food that makes it easy to lose weight and manage your weight. Click here or call us on 13 15 12 to find out more.
Maryl-Ann Marshall is an accredited dietitian with more than 40 years of experience across a variety of industries. She believes that a healthy diet at any age is the key to health and if you make wholesome food taste great, people will want to eat it. Maryl-Ann has been helping thousands of Australian achieve their health goals with Lite n’ Easy for more than 32 years.