Premenopause, referring to the years between a girl's first period and the first signs of perimenopause, will span a large proportion of a woman's life. Some women will find weight management throughout premenopause more difficult than others. Excess weight can increase the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease, so managing weight is very vital for overall well-being. Read on for tips on weight management during premenopause.
Don't Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast can trigger unhealthy snacking habits later in the day. People who do this on a regular basis will often gain weight faster than those who eat a regular breakfast. Eat a nutrient-packed breakfast in the morning. Eating fiber, protein, and vitamin C will keep you fuller for longer and help maintain optimal health.
Eat Regular Meals
Studies have shown that eating regularly throughout the day leads to calories being burned at a faster rate, as well as reducing the temptation to eat unhealthy and processed snack foods. Snacks between meals are not going to increase weight during menopause as long as they are healthy and nutritious. Try to listen to your body's natural rhythm and only eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
Eat More at the Beginning of the Day
Eating the majority of calories earlier in the day will mean you have more energy for the main part of your day. Likewise, it will prevent you from going to bed with a full stomach, which tends to be harsher on digestion because you will not be vertical or moving around. In evenings when you are less active, try to opt for lighter meals that are not going to make you feel sluggish.
Drink Lots of Water
Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, so people who are dehydrated, even to a small degree, are more likely to consume more calories. Drink the equivalent of two liters per day, and if you are exercising or it is warm, more might be needed.
Cut Down on Portions
Put your food on smaller plates, which will trick your brain into eating less, as larger plates make food look smaller. Half the plate should be a colorful variety of vegetables, and the other half should be divided into a palm-sized portion of protein and fist-sized portion of unrefined grain. Planning meals in a more conscious manner will prevent you from overeating certain foods that can lead to weight gain during premenopause.
Managing weight can sometimes be a struggle, but if these simple lifestyle tips are adhered to, it should be much easier to manage. Care must be taken to avoid unsustainable crash diets, which are only going to lead to faster rate of weight gain in the long run. Incorporating healthy habits gradually is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
For further information on how to handle premenopause together with weight gain, follow the link below.
- Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. (2006). The Perils of Large Plates: Waist, Waste, and Wallet. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/large-plates.html
- Massachusetts State Government. (n.d). Getting Older and Wiser: Safer Drinking as you age. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/substance-abuse/getting-older-wiser.pdf
- National Health Service UK. (2012). 12 tips to help you lose weight on the plan. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/weight-loss-guide/Pages/successful-diet-tips.aspx
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Why body shape matters. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/Appleorpear.aspx
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Why is gradual weight loss better than a crash diet? Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2468.aspx?CategoryID=51