Tips to lose weight during and post-menopause
Hormone changes throughout menopause make it increasingly common for menopausal and post-menopausal women to gain weight. We hope that these simple and easy to follow tips, will help manage these changes in your body.
A drop in oestrogen levels means a change in body fat distribution from the ‘pear’ shape, carrying fat around the hips and thighs, to the ‘apple’ shape, where fat is carried around the stomach and internal organs and poses greater health risks. At this stage in a woman’s life, it becomes increasingly important to be able to effectively manage weight gain, in order to be able to live the healthiest life you can.
Although it may be tempting, avoid fad diets which require you to completely alter your diet or lifestyle. This is because once the dieting period is over, the weight will creep back on when you begin to eat normally again. Rapid weight changes are known as the yo-yo effect, and can have negative impacts on your body. Remember, there is no single best diet to lose weight during and after menopause, everyone is different, and so everyone will achieve their goals at different rates.
LOSING THIS NEW WEIGHT
One of the most successful techniques to losing weight is to look at your current diet and make small, manageable, healthy changes. A few examples include using low fat dairy, limiting the amount of butter, margarine and oil you use (including in cooking), reducing the amount of refined sugar consumed and trimming fat off meat products. If you can, try to stick to a low calorie meal plan of 1200-1500 calories daily to ensure consistent weight loss. As a guide, the Jane Plan diet delivery service provides approximately 1200 calories per day on average.
You can monitor your weight by weighing yourself at the same time of day each week. Don’t get caught up getting on the scales every day. The weight of the human body fluctuates depending on hydration status, stress levels, and what we’ve been eating throughout the day.
CALCIUM, THE UNSUNG HERO
Calcium is one of the nutrients that becomes increasingly important as we age, especially throughout and after menopause. It's very importat to keep bones strong and healthy, so it may be an idea to include an extra serve of low fat dairy into your diet. If you dislike or cannot consume dairy, there are calcium enriched products including non-dairy milk and cereal. Additional dairy combined with load bearing (strength) exercise and aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, swimming or cycling, will delay or prevent the onset of osteoporosis as well as assist in your weight loss progress.
A FINAL WORD
You may find it helpful to make smaller, more manageable goals to assist in your weight loss journey, rather than focusing on the ultimate goal or reason for your weight loss. Something that will be achievable for you, for example, drinking a glass of water when you’re hungry instead of reaching for that extra snack, getting your walk done five minutes quicker by the end of the week or to change from full cream to skim milk when ordering your coffee from your favourite coffee shop. These goals will give you something to celebrate (with a non-food based reward of course!) and keep you motivated to keep up the good work!