As your body is making changes to enter another phase in your life, it’s important that you listen to your body and adapt so you change with it. That way you’re giving yourself the best chance to avoid those well documented ‘hellish’ symptoms many women experience!
Where weight is concerned, menopause does play a part but so does the fact that your body is ageing, so the menopause isn’t entirely to blame. Hormones, lean muscle mass and movement all tend to decrease as your body goes into a new phase of life, therefore, if you don’t make any changes in your diet or activity, weight gain during this time is inevitable. Dips in mood, energy, lack of sleep and trying to ‘cope’ with the symptoms can often also lead to an increase in cravings for higher sugar (carb) and fat foods, further increasing body fat.
So, when your body is changing, you need to also be changing with it so you can continue on in harmony.
Although there aren’t really any supplements that we can recommend to cope with the menopause because some help some people, some have no effect and some cause even more hormonal fluctuations within the body! The ones to perhaps consider (with medical guidance and personal research) Red Clover, Magnesium, Vitamin D with Calcium, Magnesium, Chromium, Maca Root, Omega 3, Black Cohosh, and Evening Primrose are the most common to help with the array of symptoms which women can experience from perimenopause through to post-menopause. We like the brand https://www.viridian-nutrition.com/ because they are natural and ethical.
There are many other ways you can help your body adapt while going through these physical changes and those are through nutrition, movement and lifestyle.
These steps will also help you cope with the symptoms, diminish the symptoms and ensure your weight doesn’t greatly increase, especially around your midriff.
Organic Soy (and many other plant foods) contain isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, which are plant-derived compounds which can exhibit hormonal activity. Most women consume less than 5 mg of isoflavones per day, while women in Eastern Asia consume between 20 and 80 mg/day and experience far fewer menopause symptoms than we do in western culture.
Consuming 50-100 mg a day of isoflavones from food seems to be a safe amount that helps to relieve menopausal symptoms.
This would be equivalent to consuming one of the following per day:
Only ever take organic soy products because non-organic soy is likely genetically modified and could cause damage to your health with long term use.
Studies have shown that adding 4 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (or 2 tbsp flax oil) per day to your diet for 6 weeks can help decrease hot flash frequency by 50%, and intensity by 57%.
3 months is the usual benchmark to see how things are affecting your body, if there's no improvement then stop and see your medical professional, continue if there is and if you notice symptoms have calmed then continue for a further 3 months and then review again.
You're an individual so what works for one woman may not work for you and it's essential to understand how your individual body reacts and do the best always for your own wellbeing.
Other options that might help to relieve hot flashes and menopause symptoms including weight gain are:
Resistance training using body weight or weight/resistance bands also helps maintain lean muscle mass, however, it’s important (especially when going through the menopause) to not overly stress your body, therefore, slow and controlled movements are better than fast and hard.
Additional Lifestyle Improvements:
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods after 6pm - If symptoms are very bad, avoid these almost entirely during that time!
Keep your alcohol intake below 10 units per week - Alcohol weakens your bones, as does the menopause, increasing your risk of osteoporosis!
Exercise at least 5 hours each week - Focus on strength, flexibility, balance, and mobility
Consume plenty of whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds - organic where possible
Avoid processed foods and added sugar/salt - Processed foods are your enemy!
Drink natural teas (tulsi, nettle, chamomile) and at least 2L water every day
Incorporate green leafy veggies, legumes and nuts/seeds – these are the optimal sources of bone-building calcium
Incorporate plenty of whole foods rich in vitamin C like bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli and potatoes
Eat foods with B vitamins for the nervous system like wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, and green leafy vegetables
Get outdoors as often as you can and ideally for at least 20 minutes every single day to boost vitamin D
Whole grains bump up serotonin and help boost mood
Quality sleep can make a huge difference to your wellbeing, it is one of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle.
One thing that can hinder a good nights snooze is the use of visual electronics in your bedroom!
Using your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or TV when in bed at night isn't a wise move!
It will stimulate you and keep that mind whirring... it will also affect your health and productivity across the board!
Do yourself a favour and ban the hardware from the bedroom. Shut it down and get some shut-eye!
Ditch the alarm on your mobile phone and get a good old fashioned radio alarm
Never wake or fall asleep on the hour or half past the hour because the news is rarely good!
There you have it, the best ways to cope with the menopause.
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