Menopause represents a change of life for women. Symptoms include hot flashes, emotional imbalances and night sweats. However, one of the most disturbing side effects of menopause is weight gain. Most women typically add between ten and fifteen pounds at this stage of life. Despite this frustrating occurrence, women do have options that allow them to take control of weight gain resulting from menopause, starting with adjusting their diet accordingly.
1. Helpful Foods
Reducing portion sizes will likely be required to control menopausal weight loss. Understanding which foods assist with reducing pounds and help control unwanted symptoms of menopause allow women to plan their diets effectively.
Women of menopausal age, typically 51 years or older, require a minimum of 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Bones become more vulnerable to weakening after menopause and need calcium to protect them from age-related bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Foods that are rich in calcium include dairy products, fish and broccoli.
Including a minimum of two to four servings of fruits and vegetables daily provides necessary nutrients and assist in the fight against menopausal weight gain. Naturally low in calories, consuming these foods helps dieters feel fuller and reduce the urge to snack.
Include at least 20 grams of fiber each day. Whole grain foods, such as breads and pasta, are excellent sources of fiber. Additional sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables and rice.
2. Foods to Avoid
Limit the amount of alcohol consumed during menopause. Alcoholic beverages tend to be high in calories. The New York Times reported that menopausal women should limit alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day. Additionally, these beverages may trigger unwanted symptoms, such as hot flashes.
Foods that are high in saturated fats should be avoided. Less than 10% of total daily calories should come from saturated fats. This means avoiding fatty meat, choosing skim or fat free dairy products and choosing beneficial fats, such as those that come from nuts and olives.
Additionally, limiting intake of sweets helps remove hundreds of empty calories from the equation.
3. Dietary Supplements
Menopausal women need to insure that they get the nutrients needed to help their bodies through this time of life to control weight gain and prevent health issues. For instance, when getting enough calcium through food seems challenging, adding calcium supplements are advisable.
Consulting with a doctor before adding dietary supplements helps insure that the appropriate amount of the nutrients are added. In some cases, adding too much of a certain supplement can result in negative health issues. For example, consuming more than 2,000 milligrams of calcium a day could result in kidney issues. While vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium more effectively, taking over 2,000 milligrams of vitamin D daily may cause kidney damage and possibly weaken bones.
While weight gain related to menopause does not affect every woman, the majority of women will face this challenge to some degree. Typically, fat starts to collect around the belly. Women have the ability to adjust to their new situation and take control of their weight issue resulting from the change of life.