It is estimated 70% of women approaching their menopausal years will experience symptoms. While many of these symptoms last for the duration of menopause, some of them will continue for the rest of a woman's life. Menopause is not an illness, it is a natural process and its symptoms are simply indicators of the hormonal changes taking place within the body. These changes lead to a hormonal imbalance and a variety of problematic menopausal symptoms including weight gain. Most of these symptoms can be managed through controlled dieting.
What Is Menopause Dieting?
While drugs are typically the best treatment option for menopause symptoms, a healthy diet can still be very effective in managing mild to moderate symptoms, and is a much less invasive and costly option. The term “menopause dieting” means being aware of foods that can trigger symptoms as well as foods that can help to ease them.
The First Step in Menopause Dieting
Introducing lifestyle changes is the first step in understanding your diet. Small changes such as exercising regularly and scheduling allotted relaxation time can all improve a woman's well-being as she goes through menopause. Menopause dieting as a means of coping with menopausal symptoms involves no risk, just willpower.
Food plays another vital role in menopause. Some foods have been known to trigger menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. These include:
- Hot foods
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and sugar
- Spicy foods
- Dairy products
- Red meat
- Processed food
How to Ensure a Healthy Diet
Combining a healthy diet with relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation is recommended. A menopause diet that involves consuming estrogenic foods, such as soy, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat, and yams, combined with exercise and stress relief can positively impact a woman's health and ease her menopause symptoms.
The following tips can help to ensure a successful diet:
Eat well. Make sure there is sufficient protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet.
Avoid known triggers. Some substances like alcohol, caffeine, sugar, hot and spicy foods have been known to trigger hot flashes.
Keep hydrated. Drink two liters of water every day.
Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will help control the hormonal imbalance that causes so many menopausal symptoms such as weight gain. With regards to alternative medicine, herbal remedies and acupuncture may be beneficial for many women.
A healthy lifestyle is the first step in treating weight gain, but combining this approach with an alternative remedies is often most effective solution.
- Ansel, Karen.(n.d)."Menopause and Munchies." Retrieved from www.medicinenet.com
- Donelly, Kathleen. "Weight Gain During Menopause: Is It Inevitable? Dipping hormones, rising weight?" MSN Health & Fitness. htt://health.msn.com
- Epigee.(n.d)."Menopause and Weight Gain".Retrieved from www.epigee.org.