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Stopping the weight gain: Menopause

Menopause is well known as being a time when weight is gained. Eating well and being active are key.

Menopause causes the greatest revolution in hormone levels. Blamed for many things during a woman’s life, her hormones are now also maligned for causing weight gain. As well as the effect of age, falling levels of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone further reduce the rate at which energy is used – known as metabolic rate. This is reflected in the dietary recommendations for women over the age of 50. The amount of kilojoules recommended each day is less, but the amounts of vitamins, minerals and protein remain roughly the same.

So eating healthily, without some of the ‘extras’, is vitally important to stay fit and well. Remaining active will also help keep weight stable. Although many women feel lethargic and low during this time of change, activity boosts metabolic rate, as well as feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.

  • A brisk walk each day is one of the best ways to help yourself feel better, and can be enjoyed with friends too.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Missing meals does not help weight control and can leave you feeling even more tired and lethargic.
  • Take a tip from the Japanese, the masters of portion control. Keeping the amount we eat at each meal in check is important for controlling weight, and there is some evidence it can help us live longer too.
  • If grandparenthood finds its way to you, allow your grandchildren to run you off your feet – it’s good for you, if exhausting!
  • Enjoy this time of life to the maximum, but indulge yourself in non-food treats. Sadly, you will start to lose friends to some of our common lifestyle illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer. Although these usually take years to develop, it’s never too late to help yourself by eating well.

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