Menopause is a normal change that all women experience when they age. It is a part of aging process which usually happens after 40 years. But some women achieve menopause early because of hysterectomy or some medical issues. During menopause ovaries do not release eggs and menstruation stops.
With the onset of menopause we all started facing problems like water retention, bloated abdomen, hot flushes and mood swings etc but one major problem that all of us mostly face is Weight Gain that comes along with menopause.
Causes of weight gain after menopause:
1. Hormonal change: Reduced levels of estrogen lead to low metabolic rate which results in weight gain. Low levels of estrogen also interfere with metabolism of sugar and starches in the body which causes increase in fat accumulation.
2. Loss of muscle mass with increasing age.
3. Reduced physical activity.
4. Unhealthy eating pattern that includes consumption of refined and processed cereals, fried and sweet foods.
5. Stress and improper sleep also causes weight gain.
6. Genetics also plays an important role; if your mother struggled with weight gain during menopause then you are at higher risk of gaining weight.
How to prevent weight gain during Menopause?
During menopause body goes through many hormonal changes that is why it is very important to maintain healthy eating pattern. Well balanced healthy diet will help body to adapt to these changes easily without gaining weight.
- Include following foods to improve your Daily Diet:
Increase your calcium intake: Diminishing levels of estrogen leads to low bone density which can result in osteoporosis. To improve bone health one should include foods that are rich in calcium.
Calcium sources are: sesame seeds, quinoa, chia seeds, dates, prunes, flaxseeds, spinach etc
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks
- Include Vit D rich foods like fish, lentils, eggs, brown rice etc. Vit D helps in calcium absorption and maintains positive calcium balance.
- Antioxidants rich foods help in delaying aging process. Foods rich in Vit A, Vit C and Vit E are good sources of antioxidants. Incorporate following foods in your daily diet:
a. Vit C food sources: oranges, lemon, berries (black/blue berries, strawberries), sprouts
b. Vit A food sources: liver, broccoli, carrots, spinach, pumpkin
c. Vit E food sources: avocado, nuts, almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, olive oil
- Include Vit B12 rich foods like eggs, dairy products, soy milk.
Eat fiber rich foods like oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, jowar etc which helps in maintaining cholesterol, clearing out toxins and prevent constipation.
- Avoid sugary and processed foods
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Stay hydrated: include lemon water, coconut water and vegetables juice etc
- Limit salt intake
- Stay active: Any form of physical activity will help to maintain your body weight and also aid in better digestion, bone and heart health. One can start with yoga or aerobic exercise or brisk walk etc.
Lastly Keep a positive attitude as it is a normal phase and will pass easily if you maintain healthy lifestyle.