Anxiety levels soar as women approach menopause. Besides combating a multitude of physical discomforts brought on by the permanent cessation of monthly menstrual cycle, women also have to deal with burgeoning weight issues. A direct link between menopause and weight gain has been established through detailed medical research. If careful measures are not taken to control post menopausal weight gain, it can lead to other allied health complications.
An Insight Into Menopause Weight Gain
The main reason why women put on excessive amounts of weight after attaining menopause is hormonal fluctuations. Sudden change in levels of certain hormones can lead to weight gain especially around the abdominal region. Coupled with hormonal fluctuations is a change in lifestyle. Most women tend to eat unhealthy foods and completely skip exercise once they arrive at middle age.
The body metabolism levels tend to slow down with age. A sluggish metabolism means that calories are being burned at a much slower rate. This factor can also contribute to sudden weight gain among post- menopausal women.
Foods That Prevent Menopause Weight Gain
Post menopausal weight gain is inevitable. But what women can do to maintain a healthy body weight is to eat healthy, follow portion control and adhere to a strict exercise regimen. Right dietary choices can help to prevent menopause weight gain. This article aims to familiarize women, especially women who are approaching or have attained menopause, the specific foods which can help to combat menopause weight gain.
One of the best ways to fight excessive weight gain after attaining menopause is to avoid eating high calorie foods. Whole grains like millet, rye, barley, wheat and oats (to name a few) are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains are good sources of insoluble fiber as well. Substituting high calorie foods with foods which are rich in insoluble fiber can help with efficient weight management.
High fiber foods increase satiety value. The digestive system takes a longer time to digest whole grain foods which contain high amounts of insoluble fiber. High satiety value along with longer digestion time makes whole grain foods one of the top choices to prevent weight gain after menopause.
Menopausal women should eat plenty of fresh vegetables to avoid putting on excessive amounts of weight. Vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Fresh vegetables are good sources of fiber which is vital for the healthy functioning of the body. An adult woman requires between 25 grams and 35 grams of fiber every day.
This number increases marginally after a woman attains menopause. Incorporating high fiber foods like vegetables into the daily diet plan can aid in lowering cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight.
Some vegetables have higher fiber content than other. So to maintain a health weight after attaining menopause it is important to target these specific vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, artichokes, peas and kale are just a few examples of vegetables with high fiber content.
Fresh fruits are decidedly better choice than packaged fruit juices when it comes to menopausal weight management. Fresh fruit is an ideal dietary choice to control post menopausal weight gain. Fruits are rich in fiber besides containing high amounts of essential minerals and vitamins. Fresh fruits are also loaded with antioxidants.
To maximize health benefits and enable effective weight loss menopausal women should target a wide variety of fruits. It is important to include one or two portions of fresh fruits along with the main meals of the day. Menopausal women should also try to substitute high calorie snacks with fresh fruits like grapes, apples, melons, strawberries or papayas (to name a few).
Low Fat/Non Fat Dairy Products
Calcium requirements rise significantly after menopause. However, taking full fat dairy products like milk, yogurt over long period of time can lead to significant weight gain. To meet enhanced calcium requirement while ensuring proper weight management it is important to include plenty of low fat or non fat dairy products.
Full fat milk should be replaced with skim milk or no-fat milk. Similarly, full fat and fruited yogurt (which have high sugar content) should be replaced with low fat yogurt Menopausal women can also eat plenty of low fat cheese like low fat mozzarella, goat cheese or string cheeses.
Red meats should be replaced with portions of lean meat. To ensure that the body gets adequate amounts of high quality proteins (without gaining weight) it is important to eat lean meats like poultry and fish. Lean meat unlike red meat has low fat content.
Legumes like soybeans, fava beans and peas are also good sources of high quality proteins. Incorporating legumes into salads can also aid in proper weight management by avoiding excess weight gain