Us women spend much of our lives trying to be fit, or healthy, or to be slim. Many feel self-conscious for so many years and just as we finally accept our bodies we get punched in the face by the menopause and it’s many challenges!
From hot flush, sweating and struggles of sleep, and headaches to the dreaded weight gain! Unfortunately, weight gain is very common as our body releases new hormones and many of us are horrified when we step on the scales during this time. BUT… it doesn’t mean that we have to accept this weight gain. As with all previous years, if we care and maintain our health and well-being, we can control our weight gain.
There are three primary hormones in our bodies; insulin, adrenaline and cortisol. These three hormones control our stress and blood sugar levels. As our bodies change, so do our hormones and as such, we struggle with the ability to produce optimal levels of secondary hormones; oestrogen and progesterone.
Let’s look at oestrogen and progesterone and their affects in menopause… While oestrogen is responsible for lowering our blood glucose level, progesterone is responsible for increasing it. So, as our hormones impact one another, the levels of oestrogen being produced in the ovaries begins to decline, affecting our cells’ sensitivity to insulin.
These hormonal changes can affect blood sugar levels differently for each woman. Weight gain can commonly occur at menopause as it can trigger your metabolic system to slow down.
So, for women heading towards perimenopause, you have to consider how to tackle weight gain before you hit full menopause. Your body will start to store more fat in readiness to ensure your body has enough for the hormone changes, which is likely to result in food cravings and pangs of hunger, in particular higher sugar cravings. The good news is that there are a number of steps to take in order to prepare for the menopause. These include:
- Making healthy lifestyle changes
It seems pretty straight forward, but by reducing your alcohol intake and quitting smoking, to keeping active and eating a nutritious and balanced diet, these great factors can help you feel both physically and spiritually your best.
- Avoid high sugar and processed foods
Put down the cans of pop, ready meals and all junk food that’s going to aid in weight gain.
- Lower your cholesterol levels
Start by choosing fibre-rich foods that are packed with healthy fats and omega-3s over saturated fats.
Research has noted that eating, and avoiding, certain types of foods can make the menopause a lot more bearable.
Eat more healthy fats
I would suggest eating beans, avocados, nuts and seeds (my favourites include pumpkin, cashews and almonds as they contain vitamin E, zinc and calcium). The nutrients found in these healthy fats will keep you feeling satisfied and revived throughout the day, and normalise hormone levels.
Avoid consuming sugary, processed foods and stop adding sugar to food and drink all together, as this can leave you feeling constantly tired and drained. If you cannot resist, opt for a handful of mixed berries and nuts to crave your sweet tooth.
Avoid eating foods that are likely to trigger hot flushes and night sweats, such as coffee, alcohol and spicy foods, especially just before going to bed.
If you are currently going through the menopause and are struggling to satisfy your cravings, my private client programmes could be perfect for you. Tailored to suit your personal changes, tastes, behaviours and likes, a completely bespoke service to help you stay healthy and happy as your body changes.
Email me here email@example.com to book in a free consultation to discuss.