Like many things during this challenging period in our lives, our metabolism gets affected by hormonal changes related to perimenopause and menopause.
Putting on weight is one of the downfalls of hormonal fluctuation and, many women try to tackle on this issue going on a strick diet.
Here a few things you need to know about dieting and metabolism changes during menopause.
Low calorie diets do slow the metabolism during menopause, making it progressively more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. The failure rate of most diets is huge, yet women continue to try one after another, always hoping that each new diet will provide a solution.
Dieting generally fails due to a combination of hormonal changes, muscle loss, and flat out frustration. When faced with a shortage of calories, your body’s response is to conserve fat. This mechanism might have come in handy for our distant ancestors trying to survive a famine, but “starvation response” and its associated hormonal changes make life difficult for many women who diet. If a woman persists long enough with the self-imposed famine, the body begins to break down muscle tissue for fuel. When that protein is broken down, it releases nitrogen. Your body will quickly wash away the nitrogen by releasing water from tissue cells, causing an immediate reduction in water weight and noticeable drop on the weight.
However, water and muscle loss is nothing to celebrate. The water weight will quicky regain as soon as you have something to drink, and the missing muscle can wreak havoc on your metabolism for a good long time.
Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. It requires a certain number of calories each day to maintain. Therefore, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn even when you are just sitting around. As your muscle mass drops, so does your daily calorie requirement.
Most of us know that this routine of starvation wont be kept up for long and we will return to our old eating habits. When this happens, the weight inevitably comes piling back on. The downside to the starvation diet is that both muscle and fat were lost and the weight returnes all fat. This means that the metabolism is slower and calorie requirements are lower and there is a regain of weight. So here are some steps you can do to help with metabolism.
Vitamins and Minerals
Remember to have enough of the right vitamins and minerals in our bodies to maintain a healthy life, otherwise a deficiencies can occur. To know more about this you can read my previous article in this blog How Menopause Changes Vitamin and Mineral Needs.
Eat small meals regularly
Along with exercise, you can follow some dietary guidelines to increase your metabolic rate. For instance, small frequent meals help keep your metabolism in high gear, and that means you will burn more calories overall. When you wait too long between meals, your metabolic rate slows down to compensate. The best advice is to eat three regular meals and a couple of small snacks a day. Eating frequently also helps you eat less at regular meals.
Start the day with a Healthy Breakfast
Always eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast starts your metabolic furnace. Studies have found that people who eat a healthful, balanced breakfast every day have significantly lower body fat.
Stay adequately hydrated
Dehydration can contribute to an ineffective metabolism. If you are dehydrated and your body temperature drops slightly, it signals your body to store fat in order to maintain your temperature. Water helps mobilise fat stores, while dehydration stimulates fat to stay.
Compared to carbs and fats, your body uses more energy to break down protein, which boosts metabolism. Also, protein helps maintain your muscle mass. Add protein in every meal like lean meat, fish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, eggs, tofu, dairy, nuts or seeds.
Drink Green Tea
High in antioxidants, green tea also contains catechins, a natural ingredient that boosts metabolism. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown drinking three cups of green tea per day can help reduce body fat. Also, catechins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, anti-cancer properties, and may help control cholesterol levels. Catechins have shown anti-inflammatory effects, anti-cancer properties and can control cholesterol.
Body Health. Food and Nutrition. Healthy Recipes. Menopause.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to help us support this beautiful project so we can continue creating amazing content; please help us by donating as little as the cost of a coffee or as much as you like.