Menopause – Part 1

Menopause, a great time in any woman’s life, right!? There are some common complaints associated with this period of time. During the next few weeks I will offer some tips that may help rectify some of the side effects such as weight gain, changes in appetite, blood sugar imbalances, water retention and the increased risk for heart disease. We will start first with weight gain. (Sorry men, you may not find the next few weeks very interesting!)

Weight Gain
Gaining weight is a common complaint among post-menopausal women. Decreased activity and age related decreases in Basal Metabolic Rate are likely the biggest culprits but low estrogen can increase fatty tissue in relation to muscle. Excess weight may settle around your middle due to an increase in male hormones such as testosterone relative to estrogen. Although some weight gain may be inevitable, you should be engaging in both aerobic and strength training exercises at least 2-3 times a week. This will help to increase your lean body mass thus increasing the calories you will burn each day. Also, eating sensibly is more important than ever. Here are some things to remember.

  • Eat smaller meals more often since blood sugar levels need to stay level. Your body tends to burn calories more conservatively when you go awhile between meals.
  • Focus on portion control
  • Make sure each meal is high in fiber and contains protein
  • 75% of your plate should be vegetables, fruits and whole grains and 25% should be lean meat, fish and poultry and low fat or fat free dairy products
More to come next week!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD