Take control of your weight with ‘effective’ menopause diet strategies

Dr Potter shares advice for ‘menopause belly’

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Menopause can bring about a whole host of unwanted symptoms including weight gain, and it can be difficult to know where to begin to shift it. But a health expert has suggested a good starting point for women to combat their growing waistline and take back control of their weight. 

So where do women start?

Paul Chamberlain, head of nutrition and education at Nature’s Bounty and Solgar – who offer a mood boosting supplement for menopausal women – explained how menopausal weight gain comes about and how to tackle it.

He said: “Throughout life change, women often talk about trouble sleeping at night, and lack of sleep often results in snacking more throughout the day.

“Combat this by consuming herbal teas, such as chamomile before bed to help you sleep better.”

He noted that certain aspects of a women’s daily healthy routine might not work as well as they did when they were younger.

“As muscle mass decreases as you get older, you may need to look at changing your diet from when you were in your 30s,” he said.

“Try to cut down on your daily calorie intake and swap unhealthy snacks like crisps or sweets for fruits or nuts that are rich in nutrients.”

He also noted: “A low-carb diet that is rich in protein, healthy oils like Omega-3, and high-fat dairy is an effective way to manage weight throughout the menopause.

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“The best food to avoid in a low-carb diet is anything high in sugar, wheat and highly processed foods.”

Paul advised adopting some new lifestyle changes that can be made a part of their daily routine.

He explained: “The first step you should look at is your portion control; maybe see if you can cut down there.

“If you take sugar in your tea or coffee, see if you can wean yourself off this.

“Also, remember to move more, find an exercise you enjoy doing, go to new classes with friends, but make movement part of your daily routine.”

Dr Pamela Peeke, the author of Body for Life for Women, suggested women start with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to burn off belly fat.

She said: “Your routine should include aerobic exercises like swimming, walking, bicycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training.

“What you want to employ now is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Basically, that means that moderate levels of exercise are interspersed with high-intensity intervals throughout the week.”

Currently, it is advised that all adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.

Two or more days a week should be spent engaging in strength training that works all the major muscle groups, such as the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

Dr Peeke noted that if women take the HIIT approach, they should tailor their overall exercise routine to aim for an equivalent mix of moderate and high-intensity exercise every week, along with those same two days of strength training.

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