Diet expert shares 4 foods to avoid to lose weight during menopause

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Experts say you can ease menopause symptoms by adjusting your diet. But some foods are better for you and others that should be avoided, especially if you’re trying not to gain weight, or you’re trying to lose it. 

Dietician Komal Kumar said women should “consider menopause as your own personal M.O.T. alert”.

She explained how menopause is the body’s way of “reminding you to prioritise yourself and give yourself the attention you deserve”.

“Weight gain is quite common during menopause, this is partially due to more sedentary living, which results in a slower metabolism,” the expert added. 

“And changes in muscle mass after menopause can also lead to lower energy requirements.” 

The expert said it’s best to “focus on including lots of foods, rather than removing them”, but there are some foods that should be enjoyed in small amounts. 

Foods to avoid 

Certain foods have the potential to trigger or worsen menopause symptoms, while others can cause weight gain – ultra-processed or refined foods like crisps and biscuits for example. 

Biscuits 

Sugar causes blood sugar levels to rocket, which has a negative impact on hormones, Laura Southern, nutritional therapist at London Gynaecology said. 

To keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating too much during the day, the expert recommends snacking on a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts between meals.

Fried chicken 

Fast food might be quick and convenient, but it is often packed with saturated fats which can lead to weight gain.  

Coffee and tea 

Caffeine can also disrupt hormone levels, as well as being linked to an increase in hot flushes. 

When feeling fatigued and craving a hot drink, sip peppermint tea instead. 

Alternatively, take a brisk 15-minute walk to perk yourself up without reaching for a caffeine boost – and to get extra steps in!

Wine 

Alcohol is one of the reasons people put on a significant amount of weight as they’re unaware of the calories in drinks like beer, wine and mixers. 

Not only this, but research shows that we eat more calories when intoxicated and on the following day too!

Alcohol also negatively impact blood sugar levels, and can also increase hot flushes, and disrupt sleep. 

If you’re partial to a glass every now and again, stick to NHS guidelines and drink water in-between sips.

Foods to eat 

Turkey 

Menopausal women experience a decline in oestrogen levels which are associated with decreased muscle mass and bone strength, so getting enough protein is key. 

Protein can be sourced from plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes and pulses, or animal-derived such as eggs, meat and fish.

Turkey is a good option because gram for gram, turkey has more protein than chicken, and contains less than one percent saturated fat per breast.

Oily fish 

Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and oily fish like salmon and trout, should be enjoyed daily.

Laura explained how healthy fats can “keep you fuller for longer” and can help reduce sugar cravings”. 

Soy 

Phytoestrogens are structured similarly to oestrogen and found in several plant foods but are particularly high in unprocessed soy products, such as edamame beans, tofu and miso.

They can also be found in chickpeas, kidney beans, ground flaxseed, pomegranate seeds and berries.

Express.co.uk recently revealed how soy can help with menopausal weight loss. 

Broccoli 

Since they’re packed with a wealth of menopause symptom-soothing vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, vegetables should take over half your plate at every mealtime, Laura suggested. 

“Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, kale, spinach, pak choi and watercress are of particular note,” she told Prima. 

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