Losing weight during menopause – with these tips, it works permanently!
Many women going through menopause know the problem: they gain weight, and this weight persists. Losing weight doesn’t work properly anymore, even though you don’t eat that much.
But don’t worry, the frustration of not losing weight doesn’t have to be. Losing and maintaining weight is also possible during menopause. You only have to know-how.
In this article, you will find out the reasons for the tough weight loss and how you can defuse them. You will also receive diet tips tailored to menopause and suitable weight loss concepts. Without much witchcraft, you will see that it is also possible to alternate between achieving and maintaining your desired weight.
Why is it harder to lose weight during menopause?
Losing weight during menopause is indeed more complicated than before. This is due to the physical changes that occur during menopause.
The following factors play a role:
- Age-related muscle loss
It is a normal, physiological process that muscles are broken down with advancing age. This is very unfavorable in terms of losing weight. Because muscles burn calories and make the body look tighter. If you now have less muscle mass, you will use fewer calories and gain weight with the same calorie intake.
From a health point of view and when losing weight in alternation, it is imperative to maintain muscle mass as much as possible. On the one hand, this is done with an adapted diet, on the other hand with strength training. ( 1, 2 ) Incidentally, both things are also beneficial for the prevention of osteoporosis. ( 3, 4 )
During menopause, the ovaries gradually stop producing the female sex hormones. This changes the interaction of hormones in the female body, which is a significant change.
Hormonal fluctuations can increase since the body first adapts to the changed conditions during menopause. This can lead to cravings. ( 5 ) As a result, people often eat far too much and gain weight.
Also, decreased estrogen levels may be linked to increased fat storage. ( 5 )
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to counteract these hormonal fluctuations. However, if you know about it, you can adapt to it and survive the cravings better.
Sleep is often poor during menopause. Unfortunately, this can hurt body weight.
Various studies show that too little sleep is often associated with higher body weight. ( 6, 7 )
Too little sleep also seems to make you hungry. ( 8 ) This makes it difficult to lose weight or even encourages weight gain.
How to lose weight during menopause?
Even if the conditions are a little more difficult during menopause, it is still possible to lose weight. In principle, fat loss works precisely the same as usual.
You should pay attention to these points:
A calorie deficit is mandatory
As already mentioned, the muscle mass and thus the calorie consumption decreases during menopause. If you continue to eat as before, it is not surprising that you gain weight.
Losing weight is always about achieving a calorie deficit. ( 9 ) So it would be best if you took in fewer calories than you burn in the same period.
On Tasty Weight Loss, you will find detailed instructions for calculating the calorie deficit and other important information. This means that you should know your energy needs. Then you know how much energy your body needs and can adjust your energy intake accordingly.
Sufficient protein intake
Adequate protein intake will help you maintain muscle mass. ( 10 ) Protein is also the most satiating macronutrient. ( 11 )
These two things are very beneficial in a diet. So you should make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Several scientific studies have concluded that healthy overweight people who want to lose weight should consume around 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal weight per day. ( 12 , 13 , 14 )
Prefer long-chain carbohydrates
Since the energy requirement is no longer as high when changing and you have to achieve a calorie deficit when losing weight, you should include filling foods. This makes it easier for you to eat less without starving yourself.
That’s why you should use long-chain carbohydrates in the form of whole wheat flour – and pasta, cereal, potatoes, brown rice, and so on. These keep you full for longer and provide you with more minerals and vitamins. ( 15 )
Install high-quality fats
Be sure to include healthy fats in your diet. The quality and the fatty acids contained are decisive.
High-quality vegetable fats have a beneficial effect on your vascular health. Saturated fats should be consumed sparingly, such as those found in sausage and butter. ( 16 )
Cheap fat sources are extra virgin vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, olive oil, and linseed oil. In addition, any nuts and seeds are very suitable. ( 16 )
But watch out for the crowd! Fat is very high in calories, so adjust the amount based on your calorie needs. According to the German Society for Nutrition, only 30% of the daily energy intake should come from fats. ( 17 )
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables provide you with plenty of micronutrients and fiber. But that’s not the only advantage. Most vegetables and many fruits are low in calories.
This means they are high in volume but low in calories. So you can eat your fill of it when you lose weight.
Check our fruit and veg article if you want to learn more about why fruits and veggies are so beneficial.
Eating regular meals, such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, can help you lose weight. This gives you a better overview of what you eat throughout the day.
If you snack constantly, it can quickly happen that you overeat your energy needs.
Adequate hydration is not only crucial for our health. It is also imperative when it comes to losing weight.
Liquid fills the stomach, so you are less hungry. This means you take in fewer calories overall. ( 18 )
Drink about 30 milliliters of water for every kilogram of ideal weight. At 70 kilos, that would be around 2.1 liters. Depending on the outside temperature and physical activity, you will have to adjust the amount you drink.
Exercise is critical when it comes to losing weight. This increases your energy consumption and makes it easier to lose weight.
In addition, exercise is good for your physical health. ( 19 ) At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is recommended. ( 20 )
listen to your body
Try to listen to your body well. Your body tells you how much you need, and you have to listen to it carefully. Eat only when you are starving and stop when you are full.
Which diets are suitable for losing weight during menopause?
We have already discussed what is particularly important during weight loss in more detail.
Suppose you’re the type who prefers to follow a diet plan, no problem. Several concepts work well for losing weight during menopause.
These diets are not all crash diets but are suitable for long-term success. Of course, you can also achieve your goal with a simple change in diet.
low carb diet
A low-carb diet is perfect if you’re not a big fan of carbohydrates. As the name suggests, these are saved here.
This diet can also help you lose weight because it is high in protein. Muscle loss and hunger can be counteracted in this way.
It is essential to make sure you are getting enough dietary fiber. This can be achieved by incorporating sufficient vegetables and legumes into the diet plan.
In addition, as previously mentioned, care should be taken to ensure an adequate intake of high-quality vegetable fats. In general, it is also advisable to incorporate more plant-based protein sources.
For more info, check out our article on the low-carb diet. This detailed list of protein-containing foods will certainly help you.
Strictly speaking, clean eating is not a diet but a way of eating. Care is taken to ensure that mainly unprocessed foods are consumed. Heavily processed foods and additives should be avoided as much as possible.
This principle is easy to implement. Of course, you can also treat yourself to something, but the basis is always unprocessed, high-quality food.
When implemented correctly, clean eating meets all the criteria of a balanced diet. For more info and a weekly sample schedule, check out our article on Clean Eating.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet based on eating like the Mediterranean.
There is no such thing as a Mediterranean diet, as people eat differently in different regions. However, all areas have one thing in common: the main focus is on vegetables, fruit, and legumes. There are also healthy fats, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, and lots of fish.
This provides your body with high-quality, lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, and optimal fats. For menopause and otherwise, the Mediterranean diet is a very beneficial form of nutrition.
You can read more about this healthy diet in our detailed article on the Mediterranean diet.
However, you have to achieve a calorie deficit with all diets to lose weight during menopause.
Menopause is a year of many changes. The body first has to adjust to the new conditions, which often leads to weight gain. Also, losing weight can be more complicated than before.
However, if you know what to look out for, you can lose weight during menopause and maintain your weight in the long term. With an adapted diet and sufficient exercise, you can lose body fat and positively affect your health.
I hope these tips can help you. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments.
Many greetings, Nazmul