Menopause weight loss: Diet changes to help beat menopausal weight gain

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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While weight gain during the menopause can be daunting, there is some good news. Research on 7,270 women enrolled in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health found that around 60 percent managed to avoid it, helped by the most effective strategies for long-term weight control.

They did this by changing at least one aspect of their lifestyle, be it their diets, doing more exercise, or a combination of both.

But losing weight is not one size that fits all.

Over two years, a randomised controlled ’40-Something trial’ looked at various ways to prevent weight gain in mid-age women.

The study found that eating five servings of vegetables and taking 10,000 steps per day helped the most.

From their findings, researchers suggested that it’s time for menopausal women to step up their physical activity and stick to a healthy, balanced diet when it comes to the variety of vegetables they consume.

The study was conducted on 54 women aged 45-50 years, those of who were overweight were encouraged to reduce their body weight to achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI between 18 to 25) and those who were already in the healthy weight range to maintain their weight within one kilogram.

Half of them were assigned to receive healthy eating and physical activity support from health professionals using motivational interviewing to encourage behaviour change.

They had five consultations with a dietitian and exercise physiologist over one year.

The other half received information only and were asked to self-direct their lifestyle changes.

Each participant was asked to follow the same healthy lifestyle advice, which included:

Eat two servings of fruit and at least five serving of vegetables every day

Have one to one and a half servings of meat or meat alternatives

Consume two to three servings of dairy

Opt for wholegrain breads and cereals

Limit foods high in fat and sugar

Cut down on meals eaten outside the home

Engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for 150-250 minutes per week

Sit for less than three hours per day

Take at least 10,000 steps per day

At the end of the two years, the women in the intervention group had lower body weights, less body fat and smaller waist circumferences compared to the control group who received information pamphlets only.

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