[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Menopause corresponds to the end of the reproductive period in women and can be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, but this is not inevitable!
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Around 45-50 years of age, body distribution changes and fat mass increases. Now is the time to change your diet a little in order to control your weight and prevent symptoms related to menopause.
I offer you an action plan with a diet component and a second component with advice to boost your metabolism and no longer suffer from the symptoms that can bother you on a daily basis thanks to “natural” tools!
On the food side: we adapt to our new needs!
On the menu :
- Consume fruits and vegetables with every meal;
- Choose the right sources of fats and proteins;
- Maintain a good level of hydration: drink at least 1 liter to 1.5 liters per day (your urine must be clear during the day!) to limit hot flashes and migraines;
- Practicing regular physical activity: it’s good for your muscles, heart and head;
- Sleep well to avoid mood swings and snacking;
- Avoid sugar, alcohol and trans fats!
This period increases the risk of accumulation of “visceral” fat, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, caused by the reduction in estrogen levels, energy expenditure (requirements of 200 fewer calories), new eating habits (wine consumption). more regular red for example), and basic metabolism with a loss of muscle mass.
You must therefore reduce your caloric intake but without starving yourself!
Eat better quality: rich in nutrients, fiber and quality proteins! Choose foods rich in nutrients, organic if possible, and as little processed as possible.
- Vegetables at each meal to increase volume and fiber, rather cooked and a little raw vegetables for pep!
- Good quality proteins to maintain your muscles help maintain a healthy weight because they stabilize blood sugar and increase the feeling of satiety. in small quantities (around 100-120 g) per day and low in saturated fat in animal form (poultry, duck goose, rabbit, all fish, 2-3 eggs (2-3 times per week max because the yolk is rich in cholesterol) or vegetables (legumes: lentils, white red black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, etc.).
- Soy is a promising food for preventing hot flashes thanks to the plant hormones it naturally contains: 1/2 cup of soy beans, 100g of tofu, 1 soy yogurt, 150g of rehydrated textured soy protein, 250ml of soy milk.
- Calcium to limit the risk of osteoporosis and allows a better adjustment of the appetite: natural dairy products with cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s milk and a little rather hard cheese, particularly at the end of the midday meal, in order to avoid afternoon cravings (desire for something sweet): 1 cup of cow’s milk or soy, 1 yogurt, 50g hard cheese, 100g tofu, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, 100g of canned salmon with bones, 1 handful of almonds, 2 dried figs, 100g broccoli.
- Also think about well-cooked cereals (white or whole grain) for long-lasting and easy-to-use energy (at least 50% of our diet): pasta, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Seeds (flax, squash, sesame, etc.) and oilseeds (almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, etc.) are also good allies for menopause and slimming because they contain good omega, proteins and full of minerals, are well-satisfied and allow regular transit: in salads, dairy products, breakfast cereals, as a snack… a big handful per day!
- Choose good fats: vegetable oil (olive, rapeseed, etc.) 1 tablespoon per meal, a little butter or 100% vegetable margarine and limit cold meats, fatty meats, cheeses which are rich in saturated fats and energy, therefore bad for your arteries and your line! But you need it for your brain!
- Vitamin D promotes good absorption and better use of calcium by the body. Vitamin D requirements are 400 IU per day before age 65. As for foods rich in vitamin D, we have salmon, mackerel, canned sardines, liver, egg yolk, cow’s milk and enriched soy milk. It is also found in the vitamin D3 supplement (lanolin 5 drops per day).
- We avoid quick sugar and alcohol, because they promote the rapid storage of fat which is mainly lodged on the abdominal strap and for the sweet touch we favor seasonal fruits 2-3 per day max.
We make less copious, quality meals and plan 1-2 snacks during the day!
Getting into the habit of breaking up your diet by making filling and balanced snacks helps avoid hypoglycemia which can cause hot flashes and mood swings.
Organize 1 to 2 snacks spread throughout the day and composed of a source of fiber and protein.
Here are examples of snacks to include as part of the special menopause diet: 1 fruit + 30g of low-fat cheese or 1 fruit + 1 yogurt or 1 fruit + a handful of oilseeds (walnuts, almonds, etc.) or Slice of bread whole grain + 1 teaspoon of peanut or almond butter or 2 whole wheat cookies + 1 natural yogurt or 30g of whole grains + 1 bowl of soy or cow’s milk or 100g of raw vegetable sticks + 30g of hummus
Reduce your salt consumption because it can be one of the causes of weight gain: increases your appetite, water retention, hypertension… In short, it is more than necessary to limit it if you want to lose weight!
Replace it with spices and aromatics to compensate in terms of taste and flavors: cumin, curry, turmeric, but also parsley, chives, coriander… and watch out for chips, aperitif biscuits, prepared meals, cold meats, and cheese.
The menopause period is not easy because it can cause changes in your body but also in your head and it is important to take them into account and adapt your diet!
Stay slim and live well during this period is possible, it’s up to you!
Soon, we will see in the second part, how to boost your metabolism and no longer suffer from the symptoms that can bother you on a daily basis thanks to “natural” tools!