GP talks about the impact of the menopause on weight gain

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It’s something every woman dreads as the menopause is notorious for a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including weight gain. But even though hormone changes, stress and the ageing process is all working against sufferers, there are ways of shedding the pounds by following a healthy diet and making sure they maintain good eating habits.

People often believe that skipping meals will help them lose weight faster but that theory is a myth, according to experts at A.Vogel.

They warned that it could actually hinder your weight loss goals rather than help with trying to maintain a healthy weight.

They also advised that making some simple dietary changes can help individuals through “the change”, and better manage their symptoms:

Reduce refined carbohydrates – white sugar, white bread, white pasta, white rice and things covered in heaps of syrup

Eat more phyto-oestrogenic foods such as broccoli, oats and soya

Eat more non-dairy, calcium containing foods such as brown rice, salmon and pumpkin seeds

Drink at least one and a half litres of still plain water daily as it can help flush the system

Cut out coffee and drink a maximum of two cups of tea daily – they suggested swapping coffee for Bamboo as a healthy alternative

Make sure your bowels move regularly

Nutritionist, women’s health and hormones expert Nicki Williams, also advocated for sticking to good eating habits.

She recommended: “Avoid snacking between meals. This just encourages more insulin production.

“Try to leave four to six hours between meals, this encourages your body to use up the sugar stores and start burning fat for energy.”

She also offered some handy tips when it comes to which foods are best to eat to which are best to avoid when it comes to keeping off the pounds.

Choosing to add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, particularly those that are less processed and contain more fibre, into one’s diet, can also help when it comes to losing weight while going through the menopause.

She explained: “Fill your plate half full of vegetables – the more colourful the better.

“These are healthy carbohydrates that will supply plenty of plant nutrients to your hormones and are also great for your gut bacteria.”

According to Healthline, a plant-based diet is healthier than other options.

Legumes, nuts, soy, fish and low-fat dairy products are good choices.

“Fat is your new friend. Good healthy fats are essential menopause foods. You need them for hormone production, absorption of fat soluble vitamins, and keeping blood sugar stable, filling you up so you are not hungry between meals.

“The best fats to add to your diet include coconut oil, olive oil, grass fed butter, avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish.”

Protein is also essential for a healthy, balanced diet. Nicki said: “Go for good quality meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, nuts, and seeds.”

As for foods to avoid, Nicki recommended that slimmers limit their intake of “sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and alcohol”.

She continued: “In addition, limit or avoid any foods that cause bloating, fatigue, headaches or any other symptoms you notice after eating them.

“Common culprits include gluten and dairy. Try eliminating them for three to four weeks then re-introduce one product at a time and notice how you feel.”

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