Managing Weight Gain During Menopause: A Dietitian’s Perspective

Many women think that weight gain during menopause is inevitable, but it is not necessary to have. During menopause, you will experience symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes, but it doesn’t mean your weight should also skyrocket. Here is a holistic approach shared by dietitian Laveleen Kaur, which includes lifestyle changes, physical activity and dietary changes which will help you manage weight gain during menopause, but before that, let us delve deeper into what menopause is.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a period when the woman’s menstrual cycle or period stops. It usually happens in their late 50s but can happen earlier. However, as it is a natural and normal process, you need not be afraid of it. But it can be tough or a smooth ride, depending on how you have lived your life so far. Acceptance of this new chapter in your life can make things easy for you. But along with acceptance, you should understand everything about menopause to better manage it.

Weight gain and menopause

Many women experience weight gain during menopause, and many factors contribute to it, such as decreasing estrogen levels, loss of muscle tissue due to ageing and lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise. Most of the fat gets accumulated in the abdomen during menopause, which makes it frustrating and stressful for women. But frustration and stress will not help you manage weight but make the situation even worse for you. Stress will increase your cortisol levels, which leads to hormonal imbalances. If you have been following a healthy lifestyle, you can easily deal with weight gain during menopause. However, if you have never taken care of your physical and emotional health, transition can be difficult for you- as acceptance may not be that easy. 

Lavleen Kaur- The best dietitian in India, offers valuable approaches to assist women in healthy ageing and dealing with menopause. Here are some of her recommendations.

1. Engage in strength training

Women’s muscle loss increases with age due to the disturbance in estrogen levels, which makes muscle regeneration crucial. Strength training provides an effective way to rejuvenate muscles and make the menopause transition smoother. But instead of starting strength training solely during menopause, adding it to your daily routine will provide you with additional benefits. You should do strength training at least once or twice a week to recover your muscle loss with ageing. Women who do household work, such as lifting buckets or mattresses, do not need separate gym sessions, as these activities contribute to strength training. Also, note that the sagging experienced by women during menopause is not fat but muscle loss, so you should focus on muscle regeneration.

2. Get adequate sleep at night

A good night’s sleep helps to repair body muscles, so if you have difficulty sleeping at night, your body will not get the chance to recover muscles on its own. Lavleen recommends deep breathing before going to bed to relax the mind and have a good sleep.

3. Focus on your diet

A good diet helps balance overall hormonal levels in the body, so you should include foods such as soya, raisins, white Chana or chickpeas. Also, some women stop taking good fat, such as ghee, during menopause, which is not right as good fat supports hormonal health. During menopause, if you face vaginal dryness, increase your water intake, and have omega-3-rich foods and vitamin E. However, if the problem persists, you should take an online diet consultation from a reputed nutritionist/ dietitian. 

4. Manage your stress

Stress increases cortisol levels in the body, which further disturbs the estrogen levels. So, you should manage your stress by doing spiritual practices such as meditation. But if you can’t sit for a long time for meditation, try mindfulness by focusing on the present moment instead of delving into the past and future. If you don’t do this, your cortisol hormone will always remain high, which increases your glucose, which means fat will increase in your body. That’s why many women feel an increase in abdominal fat during menopause.

The final words

At last, menopause is a phase of a woman’s life when their reproductive organs take retirement. So, instead of getting stressed or depressed by its symptoms, which include weight gain and mood swings, gracefully accept your ageing and live an active, positive and healthy life. However, if you are looking for an online diet plan for weight loss during menopause, get in touch with Lavleen Kaur.