Menopause is approaching and we start to tremble, it seems a cruel irony of fate that just when we start to relax because we no longer have to worry about the period, we get a lot of new annoyances: hot flashes, incontinence, bad mood, vaginal dryness and to top it off, we can also gain weight! But rest assured, you will prevent fat from settling on the waist if you take the necessary measures in your diet and in your training.
Keys to Not Gaining Weight with Menopause
When we eat too many refined carbohydrates like white bread, mashed potatoes, sugary drinks, sweets, and alcohol, we promote an immediate spike in blood sugar. We force the pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin to regulate the glycolic index. Too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time eventually leads to insulin resistance. In general, insulin and blood sugar levels are better regulated through a diet of complex or unrefined carbohydrates (foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). Such diets help balance hormones and alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause and per menopause by:
- -reduction of fatigue, better quality of sleep and more energy
- -more athletic endurance
- -more ability to increase muscle mass
- -less hungry
- -dream deeper and better quality
- -a stable mood, more optimism
Don’t go on miracle diets
Now you will need fewer calories due to the loss of muscle mass, but the solution is not drastic diets, but slightly reducing your caloric intake, it will be enough for you to eat about 250 kcal less a day. Basically, be careful what you eat. If you follow the previous point and consume less sugar, you will have already reduced your daily calorie intake. Carbohydrates should represent between 45-60% of total calories, proteins, between 10 and 15% and fats between 20 and 35%. The ingested proteins must be of high biological value, so that they provide the necessary amounts of essential amino acids (legumes, nuts, lean meat, fish and chicken are healthy sources of protein). However, don’t go overboard with protein because excess protein can prevent the body from absorbing calcium. As for fats, substitute olive oil or butter, margarine and lard.
Sunbathe (in moderation)
The body needs to be in the sun to make enough vitamin d to absorb calcium. But there are few foods that contain it: avocado, blue fish, wheat germ. On the other hand, one of the easiest ways to obtain this vitamin is to expose you to solar radiation, but do it carefully. Always use sunscreen. In winter you can be in the sun for up to two hours to receive your vitamin d ration, in autumn and spring limit yourself to half an hour and in summer leave it only in 10 minutes. That is your best ally for osteoporosis. In addition, a study in medical news today reveals the close relationship between increased amounts of abdominal fat and low levels of vitamin d.
During menopause, collagen production decreases and its regeneration is slower. The skin loses luminosity, becomes more sensitive to external agents, small wounds take longer to heal and redness appears. It is very important to be well hydrated. The skin is not the only one that needs hydration in menopause, so does your body. Drinking water will help you drain, to expel unnecessary waste from your body and will satisfy you at mealtime, so the caloric intake will be lower. Plus, hydrating properly helps alleviate some of the worst symptoms like hot flashes, dry mouth, and dizziness.
This is the key, the most important thing to avoid gaining weight during menopause is to lead an active life. Train every day: swim, walk, ride a bike. Combine aerobic training with strength work. The latter is very important for two reasons: because it helps increase muscle mass, which makes you burn more calories per day, and because strength exercise is a great ally to protect against osteoporosis, since one of its benefits it is the stimulation of the cells responsible for generating bone mass. In other words, strength training helps us with the two things we lose with menopause: muscle and bone. According to a comprehensive study published in the obstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America, physical activity is probably the most powerful tool for health promotion and disease prevention in premenopausal and menopausal women.