A healthy diet consists of primarily consuming healthy fats, nutrient-dense vegetables, and high-quality proteins. Although this is a great start to losing and maintaining a healthy weight, your hormones are still drastically changing during menopause, and as a result, leading to weight gain in places we have never experienced it before (belly fat anyone???)
There are a few helpful strategies you can use to “outsmart” the hormone changes that are attempting to wreak havoc with our metabolisms:
1. Practice Intermittent Fasting (IF) – Intermittent Fasting is KEY ladies, especially during menopause. I personally utilize and recommend 16 hour fast – 8 hour eating window each day. Although it may seem intimidating at first, once you incorporate IF to your life, it becomes a habit that you don’t even think about. In addition, there are many health benefits to intermittent fasting:
- Diminishes body’s glucose reserves burning fat (rather than glucose) for fuel
- Increases energy
- Improves memory and cognitive function
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Builds physical and mental resilience
2. Switch from a BIG plate to a small plate – As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down; therefore, we need less food to maintain our weight. In reality, studies have shown that we do not need as much food as we think. Switching to a smaller plate will decrease your portion size, prohibit overeating, and still allow for the satisfaction of “filling up your plate.”
3. Go ahead, eat some carbs – Friendly reminder: moderation is quite important and often overlooked. Be very very picky with your carbohydrates. Choose ones packed with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants: quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, blueberries, apples are great examples
4. Limit the simple sugars – At all costs limit simple and processed sugar consumption. To be honest, eliminating these sugars is the best option. Not only will it decrease the severity of menopausal symptoms, but also it will decrease the frequency of them. A win-win right there!
5. Exercise – I recommend a mix of weights and cardio. Don’t be afraid of weights! Even light ones help. Our muscles naturally atrophy through an aging process called sarcopenia – and if we are not doing weight bearing exercise – our muscle mass will decrease which then leads to a decrease in our basal metabolic rate — and you guessed it, unexplained weight gain. Throwing in cardio with weights will keep you burning calories for longer after your workout, so that’s another win-win.
Incorporating these four practices into your daily routine will allow you to keep weight off during menopause. I encourage you to slowly but surely make these tips habits; you will not be disappointed. The Galveston Diet was developed with extensive research as to menopausal symptoms and associated weight gain – If you want to learn more about The Galveston Diet, click here.