Losing Weight During Menopause

Easy Changes, Great Supplements and Ideas for Shedding Pounds

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Most women have problems with losing weight during menopause. Your metabolism is slowing down gradually after age 30 and menopause
with all the physical changes in your body make it even harder to lose weight.

But knowing that you are not alone will probably do little in your struggle with your muffin top.

So here is the list of the 5 things you can do for losing weight during menopause:

  1. Supplements and Vitamins
  2. Diet changes
  3. Lifestyle changes
  4. Exercise
  5. Hormone therapy

 

There is no magic pill that will give you your 29 year old body back, no matter what the ads are promising. However with some effort, and the help of smart supplements, losing weight during menopause is possible and doesn’t have to be super difficult and complicated.

Even more important than the looks and impact on your self esteem are thehealth benefits of losing weight during menopause.Even just a few pounds more can put you at risk for some rather nasty diseases. So any effort to maintain a healthy weight in menopause is well worth it in the long run.

And avoiding or shedding the extra pounds will naturally help with your menopause symptoms. Numerous studies have shown that your symptoms are worse the heavier you are.

1. Supplements and Vitamins

If you take any weight loss supplements, take them before your main meals for the day, usually lunch and dinner. That way, your body can absorb the active compounds before you eat.It might be a little difficult at first to remember this but since it might help you to lose several pounds, it is well worth getting into the habit.

Set an alert on your smart phone in the beginning for an easy reminder!

DHEA Supplements

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone and precursor to the human sex hormones. Several studies have shown that DHEA helps with weight loss, especially belly fat. 

Levels of DHEA drop significantly after 35 and women loose even more DHEA as they get older than men.

Look for 7-Keta DHEA for some additional benefits. This kind of DHEA promises benefits in addition to burning fat by lowering cholesterol and boosting the immune system.

Normal dose of DHEA is 25 -50mg but higher doses (90mg) can be used under the supervision of your health care provider.

Propolmannan

Another supplement that is helpful for menopause and weight gain isPropolmannan (Amorphophallus japonica). It has been successfully used toreduce age related weight gain and, even better, belly fat.

Propolmannan works on the ability of bile to break down the fat from food. One of the reasons for weight gain as we get older is the changes in bile activity.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and Vitamin D have been shown to help with bone health and also to aid in weight loss.

Most menopausal women can benefit by adding a calcium supplement to their daily diet, usually in the 1,000 – 1,500 mg range. Vitamin D aids in the calcium absorption and also adds muscle strength (especially in older adults).

Vitamin B

Vitamins of the B Group help to boost your metabolism and are great anti-oxidants. Ideally you get the B vitamins through your diet. You may have to add them through supplements if you don’t get your 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Some older adults have problems with the absorption of this group of vitamins and need to get them through injections.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to transform glucose to energy. It is easy to get vitamin C through your diet by drinking orange juice or eating citrus or other vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables. Eating the fruits will also give you the added fiber and make you feel fuller – a benefit for losing weight during menopause.

2. Eat For Hormone Balance and Weight Loss

Yes, here is this dreaded word again: Diet!

As a woman, you have probably gone on numerous diets with mixed results. You lose the weight but it sneaks right back on the waistline.

We don’t have a miracle diet either. All we can do is point out some ideas to help with a permanent solution losing weight during menopause and beyond.

There are several Hormone Balancing Diets, diets that restore your liver, and diets that focus on your Adrenal Gland.

For the full article with links, information about the different diets and the resources, follow the link to Diets for Menopause.

Foods that Support a Healthy Hormone Balance

A diet for menopause should contain foods that are rich in:

  • Plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) to balance estrogen levels and to help protect your heart and bones.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids to battle the effects of cellular inflammation. They play an important role for other conditions as well, such as sex hormone imbalance, hair loss, and dry skin – all common problems during menopause.
  • Fiber to get rid of waste products and toxins including excess levels of estrogen (important for peri-menopause symptoms).
  • Anti-Oxidants to balance hormones and to fight the free radicals that can increase the risk of some cancers. They also lead to premature aging.

Following are 5 tips to make your current diet “menopause proof”.

1. Eat at least 3 meals a day and avoid highly refined carbohydrates.

This helps to keep a stable blood sugar level.

Overeating, eating a lot of highly refined carbs, drinking alcohol or a lot of caffeine makes organs in the body work overtime to maintain a balance.

This creates a vicious cycle that involves the adrenal glands, the pancreas and the liver plus several other organs. All these organs play a vital role in the balance of your hormone levels -estrogen included.

2. Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are full of the nutrients you need to maintain your health. For a menopause diet they are important because they contain antioxidants and lignans.

Antioxidants are important to help balance hormones, and maintain a healthy lining of the blood vessels (among other things).

Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, that help to balance your estrogen levels. (Here is a list of the lignan content in foods and beverages. It will open in a new window.

3. Eat healthy fats and avoid trans fats.

We already talked about the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids. The body can’t produce them so you have to consume them through your diet.

Flax seed is a great power food, full of Omega-3 fats but also full of fiber and phytoestrogen. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids through fish, nuts and seeds (i.e. Sunflower seeds).

Trans fats are those that are used so extensively in processed foods. They are those “partially hydrogenated” fats that are artificially created because they don’t spoil as rapidly as natural oils. They should be avoided as much as possible because of their negative health effects.

4. Eat more beans

Beans are a good source of low-fat protein, phytoestrogens and fiber. They also contain a many other important vitamins and minerals.

5. Add Soy to your diet

Try Edamame, Tofu dishes, and a variety of foods that contain soy. Soy has numerous beneficial substances (Isoflavones, protein, lecithin, fiber, vitamins and minerals) that makes it a very healthy food. Keep in mind, that you may not be able to absorb the plant hormones in soy which requires specific genetic abilities.

3. Lifestyle Tips for Losing Weight During Menopause
  • Most of us are still trained from childhood to “empty your plate”. However, a very simple tip to lose weight is to: “Stop eating when you are 80% full”.

 

  • The reason is that your stomach takes about 10 minutes to signal to the brain that you are full. Emptying your plate is not the path for losing weight during menopause.

 

  • Make it a little harder to eat too much by not filling up your plate with as much food as you think you would like. If you want more, force yourself to get up from the table to fill up the plate.

 

  • If you eat out, ask for a “to-go” box when you order your food and put a portion of your meal into the box as soon as your food arives. This will help you to avoid overeating in restaurants.
4. Exercise for Losing Weight During Menopause

Weight_Lifting_108-232Weight gain is just one of the many reasons for exercising in menopause. So much has been said about the benefit of exercising that you probably heart it all. There is NO possible way to deny that the longer you wait, the faster your body will react with aches, pains and illness – and extra pounds. Just start slowly and build up gradually to avoid any injury.

If you are a true couch potato, just start to take the steps instead of the elevator, park the car a bit further from the store and do everything you can to get moving.

You don’t have to join a gym or spend hours to get fit – more power to you if you do. Just get moving anyway YOU can. Take a 30 min walk 3-5 times a week and gradually build up speed.

When you are getting stronger, your body will automatically want to do more. Maybe get some light weights and do some exercises for arms and shoulders – even while watching TV. Become an active couch potato!

Buy a CD for some exercising at home - there are a lot of things you can do. If you find a work-out buddy you have a much better chance to succeed and even virtual buddies (like Wii Fit etc) work great.

5. Hormone Therapy for Losing Weight in Menopause

If you take DHEA have the testosterone level checked. In women, DHEA can metabolize into testosterone.

Hormone therapy just for losing weight during menopause is not the right thing to do. There are some risks associated with hormone therapy, regardless of which kind of hormone (natural or synthetic) you are using.

But if your menopause symptoms drive you crazy, hormones might help with you symptoms and your weight. The reason is that estrogen prohibits that some of the fat you consume will be stored in your cells.

Additionally hormone therapy helps with maintaining your muscle tone.Muscle burns fat and the more muscle you have, the easier it is to maintain your healthy weight.

Testosterone replacement for women is not a good option to increase your muscle mass and to lose weight. Some women go on testosterone replacement for low libido but it is a tricky treatment for women with potentially many unpleasant side effects.

You can also try DHEA supplements because DHEA is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone. DHEA is sometimes called the “youth hormone”and aside from helping to lose weight, it is beneficial for memory and cognitive functioning, as well as for the maintenance of the nervous system and for bone strength.

Women who work on losing weight during menopause through their diet, exercise and lifestyle not only avoid gaining weight, they actually lose additional pounds. This is the result of a study that was published recently in the medical journal “Circulation”. The study also showed that women who made no changes had problems with menopause and weight gain (by putting on over 5.5 pounds in a little over 4 years).

Conclusion

Women who work on losing weight during menopause through their diet, exercise and lifestyle not only avoid gaining weight, they actually lose additional pounds. This is the result of a study that was published recently in the medical journal “Circulation”. The study also showed that women who made no changes had problems with menopause and weight gain (by putting on over 5.5 pounds in a little over 4 years).

Women with normal weight were also healthier overall. So the work pays off for you by increased overall health and wellbeing- with an added benefit of feeling better about yourself.

So try some of the suggestions and maybe add DHEA or Propolmannan to get the additional help to shed the pounds. Menopause and weight gain is not a forgone conclusion – there are things you can do. Get started today!

 

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