Many women find themselves gaining weight during perimenopause. This is caused by several factors, including the fact that the metabolism naturally slows down over time and women can find themselves leading a more sedentary lifestyle as they age. The body in consequence needs fewer calories than previously required, but modifying long established eating habits can be a challenge for many people. Read on to discover healthy meals to prevent perimenopausal weight gain.
How to Prevent Weight Gain
Here are some helpful tips to prevent weight gain during menopause:
Eggs for breakfast
Forget the notion that eggs cause heart attacks. They are full of valuable nutrients such as protein and good HDL cholesterol. They also keep you fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to snack mid-morning.
Intake of complex carbohydrates should also be increased, as they balance blood sugar and contribute to a prolonged feeling of fullness. Sources of complex carbohydrates include brown grains, whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice. Switching to a diet high in complex carbohydrates requires little effort, as all it takes is replacing your normal white carbohydrates with their whole grain versions. Sugar and salt-filled cereals can also be easily replaced with healthy brown grains full of natural goodness.
A diet high in fiber is important because it sustains appetites for longer and delays absorption of sugar from the intestines. Good sources of fiber include whole grains and all fruits, especially apples. Replace high calorie desserts with fruit-based desserts. Many delicious recipes can be found online or in recipe books. These can range from simple fruit salads to more exotic masterpieces. Experimenting with fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth is key here.
Try replacing red meat with fish or poultry. Although red meat has a range of nutritional benefits, when eaten too often, it can cause weight gain, as it is high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Do not be afraid of the fatty acids in fish. They contain a range of omega-3 complexes, which are beneficial for all areas of the body, including cell membrane health.
Nuts, eaten in moderation, have been associated with weight loss. They are also beneficial for overall health as they contain ample nutrients, such as vitamin E and magnesium. It would be wise to incorporate these into your diet. They can easily replace less healthy snack foods, too.
Perimenopausal weight gain is a common complaint among women, but it can be combated with a sensible approach to dieting. Many small changes can be made that do not require radical lifestyle overhauls, and these small steps can make a big difference in the long term, leading to a happier, healthier you.
- Bes-Rastrollo, M. et al. (2009). Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(6), 1913-1919. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.27276
- Better Health Channel. (2014). Fibre in food. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Fibre_in_food
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Healthy Weight - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle! Retrieved August 4, 2014, fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html
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- Love, S & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
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- The North American Menopause Society. (2012). A focus on foods, not calories, can help you lose menopause weight.Retrieved August 4, 2014, fromhttp://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2012/09/06/a-focus-on-foods-not-calories-can-help-you-lose-menopause-weight