Weight gain during the menopause is to be expected, and there are a few different factors associated with why it happens. During the hormonal chang
Weight gain during the menopause is to be expected, and there are a few different factors associated with why it happens. During the hormonal change, a woman’s muscle mass decreases, meaning their body requires fewer calories.
Failing to reduce their calorie intake in line with this means they will put on weight as a result of overeating.
The NHS guidelines suggest that menopausal women may need “around 200 fewer calories” each day.
Changing hormone levels also affect the way women store fat, and the body will tend to store more calories than it burns.
This then causes a build-up of fat around the midsection in particular, posing a specific health risk.
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They also recommended sticking to a “balanced diet” as much as possible.
This will have numerous health benefits not just for weight loss.
“Look at your diet to make sure it’s as healthy, varied, and balanced as possible,” they said.
“You should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as starchy carbohydrates that are high in fibre, and good protein sources like pulses, eggs, oily fish, and lean meat.”
They also highlighted one “important food group to make sure is included.
“Dairy is also really important, as this can help to combat your risk of osteoporosis, which increases during the menopause,” they explained.
“Aim to get some dairy into your daily diet – good options are semi-skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, and low-fat plain yoghurt.”
But the team warned women to “be careful” of other problem factors.
“Try to cut back on salt, sugar, and saturated fat, and try to do more home cooking rather than relying on takeaways or ready meals,” they advised.
“You’ll also want to be careful about your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as these can worsen hot flushes and interfere with sleep.”