This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms

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Weight gain can put a downer on anyone hoping to maintain a healthy weight or for women transitioning through the menopause. But health experts reassure that there are “many things we can do” to keep it under control when the time comes.

Dr Zhaoping Li explained that primary care clinicians can help women take an active role in their health by providing education on diet and exercise strategies to prevent weight gain in midlife.

“The important thing is to not deliver passive messages,” she said.

“I am often very frustrated with primary care clinicians, including my own, who say that the weight gain is a fact of menopause.

“The message should be ‘yes, this is a physiological process, but it is a time for us to refocus on how we take care of our body.

“‘There are many things we can do about it.'”

There are many diets and exercise regimes out there targeted specifically to menopausal women.

But Dr Li emphasised that a one-size-fits all diet for women during peri-menopause and menopause is not realistic.

“We are learning more and more about individual differences in metabolism as we age,” she explained.

“That is why the National Institutes of Health launched the Nutrition for Precision Health study that will develop algorithms to predict individual responses to food and dietary routines.”

She suggested that in “another five or 10 years” experts will “have more knowledge on how to individualise management”.

While low-carb, high-protein diets are favoured by many women going through the menopause, Dr Li pointed out that as many as 50 percent of women may not respond to them.

Instead, she suggested these women may need to try different strategies.

These include:

Intermittent fasting

Reducing stress levels

Improving sleep

Doing more resistance training

Experts have also suggested weight gain can be controlled by:

Tracking calories

Engaging in 30–60 minutes of moderate physical activity and sustained aerobic exercise to boost metabolism

Doing yoga can help to decrease waist circumference and weight

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