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Top Tips

Spring 2012

Menopause and weight gain: what can you do to stop it?

Women who have gone through the menopause have a bit of a physical and mental rollercoaster to deal with, so holding onto as much about yourself before the change is important in overcoming the issues that are faced. However, diet and lifestyle changes can overcome the hurdles that arise.

The menopause results in all manner of situations, such as hot flushes, dry skin, mood swings and osteoporosis, yet weight gain is the one thing that ladies dread the most. A good diet and a range of other lifestyle changes will help you combat this possibility and perhaps even help you lose weight, allowing you to lead a happier and healthier existence.

The reason women can pile on the pounds during the menopause is due to a slowing of the metabolism, meaning the body cannot burn calories as quickly as it once did. With these digestion alterations comes a sapping of energy, making older women less likely to exercise. Nutritionists have claimed this factor can lead to irritable bowel syndrome and new allergies - a positive approach to weight loss is therefore an important thing to focus on.

Here are a few things you may want to consider when facing the menopause, if you're to have a positive experience during an otherwise often-stressful time:

Eat healthily

Primarily focus on three regular meals and a couple of snacks here and there. Alcohol, caffeine and spicier foods will be the largest contributors to hot flushes and other side effects from menopause, so steer clear of them. Consider investing money in the likes of tofu, soya milk and seeds for healthier fats and fewer carbohydrates. Also aim to drink six or more glasses of water a day - you will have more energy and avoid urinary infections that are a regular side-effect of the menopause.

Consider weight loss aids

Health food shops, online doctors and even GPs can recommend you tablets that can help you lose weight in a safe way - all you need to do is find out if you need them, and what's best for you. Popular options have been used successfully by many people who find it particularly hard to keep their weight down, such as those with naturally sedentary lifestyles (desk jobs, etc).

Find an exercise plan to match your personality

Traditional bastions of exercise, such as doing weights or press-ups, are good options for most people as they can help strengthen the bones that are weakened as oestrogen levels drop. Muscles become more toned and fat burns more quickly as a result, so consider these exercises.

However, many women find yoga to be the best active regime change when they go through the menopause. Breathing exercises associated with yoga are great when dealing with hot flushes, anxiety and mood swings. It's also very relaxing, counteracting the feelings of stress and depression that can also be common symptoms of the menopause.

Whatever you do, remember that you will be healthier and happier if you hold your weight or even lose some. After all, you'll have enough on your plate as it is!


Published in conjunction with Lloyds Pharmacy

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