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How To Eat To Lose Weight In Menopause

Lose Weight After Menopause Austin Tx

How Women Lose Weight In Menopause

Dr. Harpers is nationally recognized as one of the most experienced bioidentical hormone replacement doctors in the country. She specializes in treating women during all stages of life, with a special focus on women in perimenopause and menopause having helped more than 10,000 patients in her 20 plus years of integrative and holistic medical practice.

If you live in the greater Austin, TX area and are frustrated and discouraged by the weight gain of menopause, Dr. Harper can help you get your body and your life back with a caring, comprehensive, natural, and integrative approach to wellness and weight loss that is personalized just for you.

Improving Midlife Sleep May Be Key To Keeping Weight Off

Menopausal women should try to improve the quality of their sleep, experts say.

One way is to tackle the sleep itself, by keeping to a regular bedtime schedule, avoiding alcohol and tobacco before bed, and ensuring you exercise and practice stress-reduction sufficiently during the day.

Experts also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia , an eight-session program developed specifically for sleep issues. Dr. Santoro likes the free app CBT-i Coach, developed by the Veterans Administration, based on this therapy method.

Foods To Avoid On The Galveston Diet

The only dairy product recommended is Greek yogurt because it has more protein than other yogurt varieties. Similarly, the only grain the diet includes is quinoa, again because it provides protein in addition to carbohydrates.

While following the Galveston diet, you should avoid processed foods and food with added sugars. The website recommends entirely avoiding the middle aisles of the supermarket, where snacks and packaged foods are found.

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Menopause Symptoms Worsen Weight Problems

“During the menopause transition, night sweats, sleep disturbances and problems with mood are common and may affect a woman’s ability to adhere to a healthy diet and regular exercise program,” Pinkerton says. “Whether you are just trying to stay awake or combat a low mood, the candy bar may seem like a great energy booster.”

Similarly, she says, an exercise class may be a bit too daunting after a night of not sleeping well. The combination of poor food choices and lack of movement can lead to a gain around your midsection.

Related:A Natural Solution for Hot Flashes

Can Menopause Cause Weight Loss

4 Eating Habits to Lose Weight

Menopause doesnt generally cause weight loss its usually the opposite.

If you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, its usually due to a stressful life event, like bereavement, divorce or redundancy, but once this has passed, you usually return to a healthier weight.

However, unexpected weight loss can also be caused by something more serious, including:

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Foods To Avoid During Menopause

Reaching for less-than-healthy foods as you move through menopause can worsen bothersome symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia. Knowing what to avoid could make this natural transition much more manageable.

Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is a good idea in general, but its especially true for women who are nearing or have just passed through menopause, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist in Cleveland.

Good nutrition can make a big change in how you feel with regard to menopause symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, and exhaustion, as well as bloating and possible weight gain, Jamieson-Petonic says. Women of menopausal age should make sure to eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein for optimal health, she says.

That advice is backed up by a survey of 400 post-menopausal women documented in an article published in April 2019 in journal Menopause, which found that women who ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables were less likely to report having experienced menopausal symptoms than women whose diets contained more fatty foods and sweets. Decreasing your consumption of these and certain other foods may be able to ease a lot of the discomfort linked to this natural transition and help you stay healthy in the years to come.

Be More Open To Different Types Of Food

‘If youve made it this far being a picky eater who avoids a variety of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, its time to try again. Taste preferences change over time. You need to fill up on something, and whole fruits and vegetables and whole grains take up space in your stomach without loading you down with a lot of calories.’

The Menopause Diet Plan: A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness is out now.

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Types Of Foods That Can Make Menopause Worse

Diet can impact a womans menopause symptoms in both a positive and negative way, says Best. Eliminating, or cutting back on, the following things can help improve how you feel.

  • Processed foods: The rule of thumb I tell patients is to eat as close to the natural state as possible, says Dr. Mandal. If it comes in a bag or plastic wrapper, try to avoid those kinds of foods because most likely those are very processed foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates: For instance, white rice, pasta, and potatoes, are linked to spikes in blood sugar and an increase in insulin resistanceand hot flashes. Instead, opt for whole grains such as brown rice. Cut back on sugary foods like cookies, cakes, and candy.
  • Alcohol: It can exacerbate menopausal symptoms. If youre drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a daymore than five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beerthat can not only make hot flashes worse but make you prone to the mood swings and irritability that can happen with menopause, says Dr. Mandal.
  • Spicy foods: They arent necessarily bad for you, but they can bring on hot flashes for some, so women may try cutting back on spicy foods if they notice worsening symptoms after eating them.
  • Experimental Model Simulated Menopausal Sleep Issues

    How to lose weight during the menopause

    To eliminate the variable of natural aging, the researchers studied 21 women who were premenopausal, meaning their hormone levels were not naturally reduced.

    They brought the women to the lab and allowed them two nights of blissful sleep. Then, for the next three nights they continually interrupted the womens sleep, repeatedly waking them with an alarm.

    We chose an experimental model of sleep interruption that is consistent with the type of sleep disruption experienced most commonly in menopause increased nighttime awakenings caused by hot flashes, but no change in overall sleep time and duration, Dr. Grant explains.

    In addition to this sleep disturbance, in 9 of the women the researchers also temporarily suppressed estrogen levels with a drug called leuprolide, to mimic the effects of menopause.

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    Hormone Therapy May Also Help Control Weight Sleep Trouble

    Menopausal hormone therapy may also help with sleep, Pinkerton notes. Current guidelines recommend hormone therapy at menopause as the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, which includes sleep disturbances, she says. And as this study indicates, improving both estrogen levels and sleep may prevent weight gain often seen during menopause, and thus decrease the risk of heart disease and obesity while improving daytime function, she says.

    Santoro recommends trying hormone therapy for a few months. If your sleep and other symptoms improve, you can assume it is helping. If they dont, you can stop the hormones without issue.

    How Common Is Weight Gain During Menopause

    Menopause weight gain is very common, although there are multiple factors that may affect how much weight a woman gains if they do gain weight at all.

    These include:

    • Hormones
    • Lifestyle, such as diet and exercise

    Some have estimated that women gain about 25 pounds in the perimenopausal transition, the pre-menopause phase where eostrogen levels in the body begin to fluctuate significantly ahead of decreasing.6

    However, in the same way that a persons individual lifestyle and genetics affect menopause and weight gain, the duration and severity of each womans menopause is also especially individual.

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    Ditch The Diet To Lose Weight In Menopause

    If youve put on weight during menopause, it seems like dieting is the next logical step.

    For decades, women have received this message: when you gain weight, you must follow a restrictive diet for weight loss.

    However, that thinking is becoming outdated. While its true that nutrition is a cornerstone of midlife health, nutrition is not synonymous with dieting. The latter can pose serious health consequences that will leave you worse off than where you started.

    The harms of dieting are especially relevant during midlife. Deprivation can lead to a restriction and binge cycle that slows your metabolism, which may already feel out-of-whack, thanks to menopause. It can also put you into a psychological slump that exacerbates any anxiety or sadness youre already feeling in perimenopause.

    There are better options than dieting. Read on, and well explore them.

    Increasing Exercise May Be A Key To Success

    How To Eat Right During Menopause

    The old adage of eat less and move more certainly applies to weight loss after menopause, but the ratios may have to shift to see results.

    “Cutting calories is necessary for weight loss, but increasing exercise will help sustain weight loss, prevent weight gain and lead to favorable changes in body composition,” Pinkerton says. “The general recommendation is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days per week.”

    You don’t have to get that all in one session each day, she adds. You can divide it up over two 15-minute high-powered sessions if that helps fit it into your day more easily.

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    Dealing With Weight Gain During Menopause

    When estrogen levels decline in midlife, many women may have weight gain, despite no change in their day-to-day habits. During menopause you have to be that much more careful of what youre eating and drinking, says Dr. Mandal.

    Some tips for managing body weight during menopause include:

    • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Use portion control when adding the starches and proteins that complete your meal.
    • Move your body daily whether you consider it exercise or just a walk. The more active you can stay, the better for weight control. Any physical activity counts, even housework and gardening.
    • Reduce stress. The more stressed you are, the more difficult it will be to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The stress hormone cortisol is highest when youre under duress, and its linked to heart disease,diabetes, and worsening menopause symptomsincluding weight gain.
    • Prioritize sleep. If youre not sleeping well, which in itself is a symptom of menopause, it can impact hormone levels even further, explains Dr. Mandal. And it can make it much more difficult to lose weight. When youre sleep deprived, your body craves simple carbs to replenish low energy.

    High Intensity Interval Training

    One study found that women who followed HIIT workouts lost twice as much weight and improved their body composition more than endurance exercisers. A second study found that HIIT-style exercise training can reduce abdominal fat.

    “Bump up the intensity of your aerobic exercise, slowly at first, until you get in better cardio shape,” Upton says. “Think about trying high-intensity functional fitness like CrossFit or a boot camp-style workout.”

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    What Is The Average Menopause Weight Gain

    Hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, and ridiculous cravings are just a few things we have to deal with in menopause.

    And it seems like the Universe was Nup! Thats not enough Im going to throw in weight gain just to add a bit more character-building opportunities for women.

    Most women will experience a weight gain of between 7 and 12 pounds during menopause.

    All thanks to our hormones which control important functions such as energy, digestion, hunger, sleep, and metabolism.

    If these delicate workhorses are out of balance our health can suffer and weight can pile on.

    Conventional medicine offers hormone replacement therapy but this is controversial and many women prefer to not go down that route. Always consult your doctor and make your own informed decision if HRT is right for you.

    No It’s Not Entirely Your Fault Yes You Can Shed Those Extra Pounds

    How to lose weight after menopause

    by Hallie Levine, AARP, July 30, 2018

    As you hit your mid-to-late 40s, you may notice that besides battling the occasional hot flash or mood swing, your favorite black go-to pants are starting to feel noticeably more snug. This time it’s not your imagination.

    The average woman gains about four-and-a-half pounds as she starts the transition to menopause in her 40s, according to a landmark study. And it’s a trend that doesn’t slow down, either: Women continue to put on about a pound and a half each year in their 50s and 60s, according to a new review published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

    “The main reason is the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with age,” explains Jo Ann Pinkerton, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. “Since muscle burns more calories than fat, your metabolism slows down, causing you to put on weight.” Starting at age 30, research shows that you lose on average about a half pound of muscle each year and that number rises to almost a full pound once you hit 50.

    Sounds daunting, but there are expert-approved ways to reverse your scale’s upward spiral. Here’s how:

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    Go Easy On Carbs And Up Your Protein

    ‘Research suggests that many menopausal women do not consume the protein they need. While its important to include enough protein, timing matters, too. Eating protein regularly throughout the day helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer while nourishing your muscles and bones.

    ‘When you add protein to your eating plan, you may need to shed some carbohydrate and dietary fat for balance. We have nothing against foods rich in carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, you may be eating more carbohydrates than your body can handle at midlife, and that can make weight control more difficult.’

    Protein-rich foods include eggs, seafood, lean meats like turkey and Greek yoghurt.

    Eating patterns matter

    ‘When you under-eat earlier in the day because youre too busy or youre over-restricting food to lose weight, your good intentions will likely implode, resulting in overeating later in the day, and often into the night. Due to the influence of circadian rhythms on our metabolism, night is the worst time of day to play calorie catch-up.’

    Increase Your Physical Activity

    ‘No healthy lifestyle plan is complete without physical activity, which helps you burn calories, maintain muscle and bone health, lower diabetes and cancer risk, reduce stress, and so much more. We are firm believers in moving every day.

    ‘You probably need to sit less. Modern life makes it far too easy to kick back, but theres a significant energy expenditure price to pay for being more sedentary that must be acknowledged and reckoned with.’

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    Pathophysiology: Mechanism Of Menopausal Obesity

    The mechanism of the development of obesity in menopausal women is outlined in . The continuous depletion of the follicular ovarian pool during menopausal transition lowers estrogen production with a relative increase in androgen levels. This hormonal imbalance alters energy homeostasis by regulating hunger and satiety signals. Estrogen inhibits the action of hunger signals, preventing events of excessive calorie consumption. It is postulated that during the menopausal transition because of fluctuating estrogen levels, its effectiveness to modulate hunger hormones is reduced. Menopausal women experience more intense hunger signals encouraging increased food intake which promotes weight gain.

    Mechanism for development of obesity during menopausal transition

    The hormonal imbalance during menopause also promotes the higher accumulation of fat in the abdominal region. Low estrogen levels along with high androgen levels lead to redistribution of fat present in the gluteal and femoral regions to abdominal regions of the body, favoring abdominal obesity. Besides, higher abdominal obesity is an independent risk factor for future metabolic complications.

    Menopausal obesity is primarily driven by hormonal imbalance and its effect on energy balance. Some other crucial factors, such as unhealthy eating behavior, sedentary lifestyle, and secondary causes might also account for the differences in personal weight gain trajectories among these women.

    Are There Foods That Make Menopause Worse

    A 4

    Dr Mukherjee recommends avoiding:

    • Caffeinated drinks in the evenings. These can cause insomnia. Jackie also points out that green tea contains the same amount of caffeine as black tea. Be careful not to swap one problem for another opt for a caffeine-free or herbal tea, she says.
    • Alcohol. While its OK for some women to drink, if youre someone who becomes intolerant to alcohol during the menopause you may find it worsens your sleep. And it can cause a hangover even when you havent drunk very much, says Dr Mukherjee.
    • Sugary drinks. Avoid as they will cause weight gain, tooth decay and can cause sugar crashes and even type 2 diabetes in the long-term, she says. Alcoholic drinks are also a source of sugar.
    • Foods containing refined sugar. These can cause weight gain for many women. Avoid if possible.
    • Processed foods. These also cause weight gain, are not nutritionally balanced and should be limited or avoided. Understanding what processed means is essential. For example, wheat-based foods and many liquidised foods and sugary drinks are processed. So bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pizza, pastry and noodles are processed. Non-wheat alternatives to these are also processed. Fizzy drinks contain lots of sugar or lots of chemical alternatives to sugar, she explains.

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