There is no question as we age, our hormone production and metabolism slow down. As you enter menopause, your hormones inevitably get out of whack and can do much harm to your metabolism and affect how your body uses and stores the nutrients that you consume.
You may say “well, everyone’s different”. There are actually simple lab tests available that can determine your own unique hormonal levels to help you get a better handle on your specific triggers of weight gain, especially during menopause. It is usually just a simple blood draw or collection of your saliva sample.
Adopting a healthy diet for menopause
Once you understand your very own unique hormonal situation, you may want to consider a diet plan that is tailored to your needs to help you get a better control over your weight loss/maintenance efforts during this hormonal transition that we call menopause.
Diet adjustments are a journey in itself. It takes time and a lot of trial and error with different food ingredients and cooking methods to determine what works best for your lifestyle and is the most sustainable for your unique palate and situation.
Therefore, the sooner you adopt a good diet as you approach your menopausal time, the easier it will be to get through it all without gaining too much weight or dealing with menopause symptoms like hot flashes, dry skin, bone loss and emotional ups and down.
Regardless of the type of diet that you choose to help you through menopause, one thing is for sure. You do not need as many calories to maintain a healthy functioning body as you did when you were younger. Cut your caloric intake while maintaining your muscle and bone mass are key to a healthy aging body.
Eat a cleaner primarily plant-based diet that is made up of actual food ingredients. Aim to incorporate as many whole foods that are packed with nutrients such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in your diet to maintain a healthy weight. With fewer calories needed, every calorie needs to count. So make them as nutritious as possible and avoid nutritionally empty foods such as alcohol, sugars, and simple carbohydrates.
Different Diets for a Healthy Weight Loss
Below are some common weight loss diets for your reference. Feel free to try different ones and see which ones work best for you or have the best of many worlds and combine different aspects of one or more diets that work well for your unique body composition and lifestyle.
1. The Low-Carb Diet
Studies have shown that low-carb diets can help with general weight loss with the added benefit of helping reduce belly fat. And here, when we talk about carbohydrates, we are referring to the simple carbohydrates that you find in what we call “white foods” such as white breads, white rice, refines sugars etc. that is ripped off the healthy nutrients from the skin/shell of the grains that these food products were made from.
The encouraging news is that your carbohydrates intake doesn’t necessarily need to be super low to get weight loss results. Swapping simple carbohydrates such as plain pasta, white bread, and processed foods with more complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, greens and beans and whole grains can make a huge difference in reducing menopausal weight gain. 
Try a healthy hormone detox smoothie that includes fresh fruit like oranges, grapefruit, and kale to jumpstart your weight loss efforts, here.
2. The Mediterranean Diet
Although best known for improving general health and reducing the risk of heart disease, many studies have shown that adopting the Mediterranean diet may also help you lose weight especially abdominal fat loss. This diet promotes the consumption of more whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, fish and olive oil for healthy fats and lean sources of protein in moderation. 
3. Vegetarian or Plant-Based Diet
Vegetarian and vegan diets have shown promise for significant weight loss and improvements in health, even when you use a little more flexibility by incorporating a moderate use of dairy and eggs. The basic premise of a plant-based diet is to eat only or predominantly plant-based foods. Vegans exclude all animal-derived foods including all forms of dairy products, honey, and eggs while vegetarians allow some use of dairy and eggs. People may opt for a plant-based diet to protect against chronic disease or other beliefs but often find weight loss a welcomed benefit. 
4. Gut-Healing Diet
Did you know that the health of your gut and digestive system affects every aspect of your health? This is also true as it relates to your hormonal balance because your gut is responsible for metabolizing and getting rid of excess hormones such as estrogen. Good gut health is essential for hormonal balance and during menopause where your hormones are disrupted, a good gut health becomes all the more critical to help you maintain a healthy weight or achieve weight loss.
A gut-healing diet is void of inflammatory foods such as sprouted grains, added sugar, genetically modified foods and food ingredients, refined oils, synthetic food additives and conventional dairy products. Other bad stuff to avoid includes tap water, foods grown with pesticides and animal products from animals raised with antibiotics.
So what should you be eating for a healthy gut? Try bone broth that contains a lot of collagen, raw cultured dairy that contains both probiotics and short-chain fatty acids, fermented vegetables such as kimchi that contains organic acids that balance intestinal pH, coconut products that contain medium-chain fatty acids that are easier to digest, sprouted seeds such as chia seeds and flax seeds for tons of fiber, and avocados and ghee for heart-healthy fats.
5. Elimination Diet
The elimination diet is a diet tailored to you and can be a powerful tool to find the foods that are behind your suffering and symptoms such as gut disorders, skin problems, inflammation and weight gain. It is a simple method of identifying and removing all potentially problematic foods from your diet until your symptoms subside which can take a few days to weeks. As part of this diet plan, you then slowly reintroduce these foods back into your diet one by one. This discovery will help you identify which foods are causing your symptoms and thereby removing them from your diet to alleviate the negative effects they have on your body.
By following this type of diet, you may reduce the levels of inflammation in your body and find that you can now easily achieve your weight loss goals.
For more weight loss tips on the best foods to eat for menopausal weight gain, click here for my article on the “12 Diet Tips for Hormonal Balance”.
Also, check out my article on “Simple Lifestyle Changes for a Happier Healthier Menopause”, click here.
Weight gain is not a natural outcome of menopause
As you can see, you do not have to spend your menopausal years gaining weight and feeling miserable. With the multiple complexities involved with metabolism and weight control, you may want to partner up with a healthcare practitioner to determine the approach that is best for you for achieving a weight that is right for you. A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle can help you look and feel your absolute best during menopause and beyond. Let me know if and how these changes helped you with your symptoms in the comment box below.
Click here to learn more about Understanding Menopause and Weight Gain.
Don’t stay stuck dealing with menopause symptoms. Click here to learn more about Natural Simple Approaches To Menopause.
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