Your Menopause Diet - What To Eat For
Gradual Healthy Weight Loss
Your best approach to a menopause diet can be summed up in two words - eat healthily.
It's the hidden fats, the high sugar content and the over-refined ingredients that turn so much processed food, ready meals and junk food into such a horrible recipe for weight gain. This kind of diet is also linked to depression.
Add to that the fact that the flab appears all to easily during the menopausal years, and before you know it your waistline is expanding and the scales are on the rise.
There are other factors involved, of course.
But if you do only one thing to improve your menopause diet, drop as many fast and processed foods and snacks as you can, and replace them with healthier alternatives. You'll automatically reduce your calorie intake, and that alone is enough to help you to lose weight slowly and safely. If you've been wondering how to lose stomach fat, this is the answer
Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Five portions a day are the minimum to go for.
Take your carbs in the form of unrefined wholegrain foods, like wholemeal bread and pasta. Cut down on saturated animal fats, and eat more polyunsaturates.
Have oily fish twice a week, use poultry instead of red meat. Use healthy cooking methods like steaming, grilling (broiling) and poaching. Never fry.
Don't become obsessive. Occasional unhealthy foods won't do you any harm. And try these useful healthy eating tips to help you avoid weight gain in menopause.
Many menopause diet experts suggest switching to eating smaller, more frequent meals in your menopause diet.
The reason is to reassure your body that food is available, so it doesn't start storing fat more eagerly because its afraid you're going to starve yourself. Using this approach, you learn to become mindful of hunger signals, and eat when you recognise them - but only sufficiently to feel satisfied. That generally takes rather less food than you'd think.
Choosing healthy snacks is another aspect of the small, frequent meals approach to weight loss. Include a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack in your menopause diet plan.
It's important that these snacks are healthy - a small handful of nuts or dried fruits, a piece of fresh fruit, an oatcake, a small bowl of vegetable soup.
The aim is, that by eating whenever you feel peckish, you keep blood sugar levels stable, and discourage your body from storing fat.
Food Serving Sizes
Learn about healthy food serving sizes, and do your best to stick to them. A piece of fish or meat should be about the size of a deck of cards - that's probably a lot smaller than you'd usually serve yourself.
A dense food, like cheese, should be served in even smaller portions - think matchbox size.
Gradually reduce your portion sizes of pasta, potatoes and other carbs, as you increase servings of fresh veg, fruits and grains. Do this bit by bit, so you have time to get used to it. You'll soon find that you can't manage a larger portion any more - your stomach has adjusted to eating a healthier size of serving.
Number one on this list is - of course - chocolate! But menopausal women crave all manner of other foods as well, from meat, to veggies, to pickles and bread-and-butter!
The reasons are all linked to the hormones that are surging around in your body during the menopause. The chemicals that affect your mood - serotonin, the endorphins and dopamine - are all affected by your switchbacking oestrogen levels. When your brain feels short of these mood-lifters, your body cries out for the foods that give your mind a boost.
The best approach to cravings is to attend to them at once - in moderation. Your body knows well what nourishment it needs.
What not to eat
A junk-food, processed-meal culture must be partly to blame for the rise and rise in overweight and obesity in the UK, the USA and other countries.
Even a generation ago, most meals were cooked from scratch, using fresh produce. A 'snack' was a couple of crackers and a piece of cheese, or a plain biscuit - not a huge sack of salted potato crisps, or a chocolate bar.
For the benefit of your menopause diet, strive to return to more simple foods, and cook them yourself rather than buying them ready-prepared. Cut down, down, down on biscuits, cakes, sweets and candy, processed anything, soft drinks.
The subject of supplements is a minefield for menopausal women. On the one hand you have the pro-supplement lobby, who tell you that you must have a range of supplements to boost the vital nutrients your body needs.
If you do decide to use a supplement then a natural female libido booster is one to consider.
On the other hand, anti-cancer experts (see the right-hand column of this page) have said that we should get our nourishment from its natural source - food, and should pass on adding supplements to our menopause diet. It's a choice each woman must make for herself, as she plans her menopause diet.
Go to Beat Menopause Weight Gain Home Page. Or go back to the top of Your Menopause Diet.