Struggling with menopause weight gain? Are you tired and low on energy? If so, it’s time to change your diet and exercise routine. Most women gain weight around menopause due to estrogen loss. The hormonal shifts of menopause alter body composition, leading to muscle loss, fragile bones, and chronic disorders, such as insulin resistance. In general, these symptoms begin during perimenopause.

The good news is that you can prevent weight gain and slim down through simple lifestyle changes. Here are some tips to help you out:

Load Up on Healthy Fats

Salmon, avocado, tuna, olive oil, and nuts are packed with heart-healthy fats that fight inflammation and curb appetite. Omega-3 and other essential fatty acids help preserve lean mass and support cardiovascular health. Consume at least two servings of fish per week and swap your go-to snacks with raw nuts and seeds to reap the benefits.

Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein helps build and maintain muscle, increases metabolism, and suppresses hunger. This nutrient plays a key role in fat loss and muscle growth. A high protein intake can help you burn more calories throughout the day and reduce muscle loss. Depending on your activity level, consume 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Fill your plate with lean meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, and low fat dairy.

Clean Up Your Diet

Now it’s more important than ever to make healthy food choices and clean up your diet. Ditch the sugar, deli meats, soda, junk food, high fructose corn syrup, and ready-made meals. Stick to whole foods and cook your own meals whenever possible. Consider eliminating gluten from your diet. Replace starches with veggies and eat more fiber to flush out toxins and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Make Exercise a Habit

Nutrition and exercise are equally important for weight loss. Diet alone won’t help you shed those pesky pounds and get rid of belly fat. A well-planned training routine can strengthen your bones, rev up your metabolism, and increase lean mass. For optimum results, lift weights at least three times a week and swap cardio for HIIT and full body circuits. Stay active throughout the day and avoid prolonged sitting.

Saima Jehangir, MD/MPH, FACOG Dr. Jehangir is dedicated to providing holistic care and protecting and maintaining the health and wellbeing of her patients' body, mind, and emotions. After earning a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in public health, Dr. Jehangir completed her medical degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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