Nutritionist shares foods for women over 50 to ‘get rid of visceral fat’ – ‘go a long way’

Louise Minchin discusses her experiences with menopause

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info spoke to leading nutritionist Signe Svanfeldt of nutrition app Lifesum about the easiest ways menopausal women can lose weight. According to her, a healthy and balanced diet can do wonders.

“Menopause is caused by hormonal changes, with a decrease of oestrogen and progesterone levels,” Signe explained.

“The hormonal changes, together with lifestyle and diet, all play a role in weight gain, a common symptom among women who go through the menopause.”

The nutrition expert went on to list which foods middle aged women should consume to reduce this weight and lead a healthier lifestyle in general.

She said: “A healthy, balanced and varied diet, high in nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils, are beneficial to reach, or maintain, a healthy weight.

“These foods are rich in dietary fibre and nutrients, and lower in energy compared to nutrient-poor, energy dense foods, including pastries, soda and crisps, that are rich in saturated fat, added sugar and sodium.

“A diet rich in nutrient-dense food and high in dietary fibre, can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, help us stay fuller for longer and aid digestion.”

Signe explained that women “tend to increase their amount of visceral fat when aging, as their levels of oestrogen drops”.

This means it is more likely for them to gain belly fat or fat around the waist, which can be difficult to get rid of.

However, Signe said: “When wanting to get rid of visceral fat, a healthy, balanced diet will help you a long way.”

This diet includes “dietary fibre such as whole grain bread, oats, vegetables and fruits, lean protein such as beans, lentils, fish, tofu, egg, poultry, healthy fats such as avocado, salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and adequate water intake”.

The nutrition expert added that a low or limited amount of “alcohol, saturated fats found in food such as ice cream, pastries, full fat dairy and meat, trans fats, found in donuts, baked goods and deep fried food, added sugar, found in fizzy drinks, pastries, sauces and sweets” can also help.

But ” a quick-fix is rarely a sustainable way to go”, said Signe.

She continued: “It is more beneficial to find a sustainable lifestyle with regular physical activity and a nutrient-rich diet that helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight.”

As for exercise, Signe explained that regular exercise is essential for general health and wellbeing, saying: “As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, and, therefore, it is important to incorporate some strength training in order to maintain muscles.

“This should include both endurance and strength training weekly. However, we all have different starting points, and any physical activity is better than none.

“It is recommended that you do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity weekly, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity.

“Additionally, make sure to include strength training at least twice a week. You don’t need to go to the gym – your own body weight will be enough.”

Signe went on to share her top tips on how to incorporate physical activity “in your daily life”.

She said these include “taking the stairs instead of the lift” and “jumping off the bus a few stop before your stop, and walk the last part.”

Taking lunch walks and doing squats first thing in the morning can also help, Signe advised.

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