It’s hard to lose weight any time. But in menopause or postmenopause it’s particularly challenging. So what can you do to help shed those pounds?
A recent study looked at the eating habits of 419 overweight and obese menopausal women to see what worked best.
Some women got “lifestyle changes” that included regular group meetings led by a nutritionist, exercise physiologists and psychologists. The others were “controls” and got only health education.
After 48 months, 57% of the postmenopausal women who had lifestyle changes maintained at least a 5-pound weight loss compared with 29% of controls.
What food changes worked best to get weight off and keep it off? Eating more fruits and vegetables, and eating fewer desserts, sugar sweetened drinks and less meat and cheese were key dietary changes.
I know you’ve probably heard this before. But now it’s a proven fact. And so is the reality that increased weight affects most menopausal women and that increases her chances of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, particularly of her hips and knees.
The other thing that this study proves – that as you enter menopause and beyond, the rules for weight control are really the same as they are before menopause.
So how can you best use this information? Here are 5 changes you can easily do to loose weight in menopause and keep it off.
- Make time to exercise daily. You don’t have to run a marathon. Just 30 minutes daily walking or gardening or dancing. It doesn’t even have to be at the same time – add the times together for a total of 30 minutes.
- Talk with a nutritionist. You’ll be amazed at the stuff in your refrigerator and cabinets that isn’t good for you that can be changed to healthy choices.
- Dump the soda! Keep the soda and sweetened juices out of the house. Try seltzer water with a lemon or lime wedge. So refreshing!
- Relish the fruit! Keep fruit in a bowl in plain view. You’ll be amazed at how it encourages snacking on them (and keep sweets out of view or better out of the house and use only as a treat). I love to snack on sliced apples flavored with cinnamon.
- Enlist a friend. Pick a partner to exercise or walk with and pick a time you will do it. That way it is part of your schedule that you are much more likely to do.
Until next time…
Dr. Mache Seibel, Founder of My Menopause Magazine http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag
Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Founder My Menopause Magazine