Menopause is called “The Change” because your body is going to start acting like a stranger to you. Things are going to change all over your body, and unless you want some of those changes to come in the form of a bigger belly and heavier thighs you’d better change your diet instead.
What Not to Eat
It’s not time to panic yet. You can still enjoy the foods you like and you can find alternatives for the stuff you really shouldn’t eat. But after menopause begins, healthy eating becomes more important than ever. Start avoiding certain foods to avoid excess weight gain, bloating, hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms you don’t want to face.
- Trans fats: The trans fats found in vegetables oils can raise cholesterol, something you have to start worrying about. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. In fact, you want to cut as much fat out of your diet as possible. Eliminate fatty meats. Women in menopause gain 8 to 15 pounds in the first two years if they’re not monitoring their calories.
- Red, red wine: Not just red wine, but all alcohol. Eliminate it from your diet to avoid excess weight gain and hot flashes. Alcohol affects your body temperature, and this can trigger a flash. Red wine, in particular, must be avoided. Even one drink a day can increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Coffee: A morning coffee pick-me-up may be your routine, but that’s got to change. Hot coffee can trigger a hot flash. Have one of those first thing in the morning, and you could end up having a really bad day. Caffeine also triggers hot flashes. Switch to a cold tea or decaf iced coffee instead.
- Sugar: Menopause commonly causes fatigue, brain fog and weight gain . All of this may be triggered by sugar. Even without menopause, blood sugar affects your cognitive thinking. Don’t avoid sugar entirely, but cut way back. Have no more than 10 grams of sugar at once. Supplement sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, yogurt and fresh fruit.
- White bread: Cut way back on your refined carbohydrates. Potatoes, pasta and white bread cause weight gain, moodiness and fatigue in menopausal women. Swap these high-carb foods with whole grains. You’ll stay slimmer and you’ll avoid menopausal symptoms with this one change.
Eating after Menopause
There are foods you should avoid after menopause begins, but there are still lots of foods you can eat – and should.
Start eating more calcium right now. Eat more low-calorie dairy products, such as yogurt and skim milk. Broccoli and some fish are natural sources of calcium as well. You should also eat more iron. You’ll find it in poultry and fish, which are low-fat proteins, as well as leafy green vegetables. Eat high-fiber foods like fresh fruit and whole grains. If you add all this to your diet and eliminate the stuff that’s bad for you, it will be much easier to avoid menopausal weight gain and other unpleasant symptoms.