Menopause weight gain can be avoided by sticking to diet without food restrictions

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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There are many diets out there targeted at menopausal women, promising to put a halt to their weight gain once and for all. But quite often they don’t work and women are still stuck trying to shift that stubborn visceral fat across their mid-section.

This can encourage insulin resistance and lead to other health issues such as type 2 diabetes.

Due to declining oestrogen levels and age-related loss of muscle tissue, what a woman eats and how she exercises is very important when it comes to her weight.

Lifestyle factors such as a balanced diet made up of whole foods, fruits and vegetables are recommended by nutrition experts at Free Soul who also noted a recent study finding that vegan diets in particular could actually help them maintain a healthy weight.

The 2018 trial, published in the National Library for Medicine, uncovered that menopausal women who followed a vegan diet with no other food restrictions lost “more weight at a higher rate overall” than those following a low-fat restricted diet.

This indicated to the researchers that a balanced vegan diet could help to support a healthier lifestyle for those concerned with weight gain during menopause.

According to Healthline, there are a number of science-based benefits for going vegan in general, including:

Rich in nutrients

Can help lose excess weight

Reduce diabetes risk by lowering AC1 levels

Could prevent certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer

Reduces heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol

Reduce arthritis pain

And Dr Jeffrey Soble, a cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center, explained: “Refined grains, sweets and junk food are troublemakers for everyone, not just vegans.

“And vegans and non-vegans alike can fall into the habit of making these items the mainstays of their diet.”

He warned that sensible choices must be made to ensure people are still incorporating important nutrients into their plant-based diet.

A vegan diet doesn’t warrant food from animals, such as dairy and meat, so Dr Soble recommended finding new ways to incorporate alternatives into a diet.


As women age, the decline in oestrogen is linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength, meaning women going through the menopause should eat more protein.

Protein-rich foods such as tofu, edamame, soy, chickpeas lentils and nutritional yeast should always be included in a vegan diet, with vegan protein powder also a popular choice for supplementing protein intake.

Vitamin B12

B12 levels cannot be found in plants but can be found in fortified cereals, rice and soy drinks to promote muscle repair and energy.

People who lack the vitamin often feel tired and weak.

Dr Soble acknowledged that it can be challenging for vegans to get enough B12 because it can’t be found in plants.

People can also take a supplement, with the recommended daily amount for most adults being around 2.4mg.

Essential fatty acids

A lack of essential fatty acids has been associated with problems related to brain heath, such as cognitive impairment and depression.

People can get their fix from leafy green vegetables and whole grains, iron and vitamin D to boost cognitive function and mood.

Doctors also claim that the menopause can increase anxiety and stress in women, due to a variety of factors.

One result of this is weight gain, but a 2015 study found that those with a vegan diet reported less stress and anxiety than omnivores in a study investigating the effects of both diets on mood.

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