Recommended diet and exercise for menopausal diet
I think that there are women who have gained weight after entering menopause, but such people may have menopausal weight gain.
I think there are some people who are on a diet and still can't lose weight.
In general, basal metabolism declines with age, so energy consumption decreases and body fat accumulates more easily. Women, in particular, tend to gain more fat and have less muscle mass than men, so they may find it extremely difficult to lose weight.
Therefore, in this article, we will introduce the recommended exercise and diet as a diet for menopause.
What is menopausal weight gain
Women who have reached menopause tend to gain weight more easily due to a decline in physical strength and basal metabolism, making it difficult to lose fat in their upper arms and back. As a result, even though you are living the same life as before, you may gain weight during menopause.
Also, as menopause approaches, the secretion of estrogen, a female sex hormone, decreases significantly . Estrogen suppresses cholesterol synthesis and helps break down triglycerides in the blood1). Therefore, the decrease in estrogen disrupts the balance of fat metabolism and gradually shifts to a body that does not lose weight.
Recommended diet for menopausal women
Regardless of menopause, when it comes to dieting with food, many people think of reducing calorie intake and losing weight even by 1 kg. If you take extreme measures such as not eating fat or carbohydrates, even if you lose weight temporarily, you will end up losing muscle as well. The goal is not to gain or lose 1 kg of weight, but to achieve a beautiful and healthy body by continuing to eat a well-balanced diet .
First of all, let's actively take the protein necessary to maintain the basal metabolism . Meat, fish, and soybean products contain a lot of protein, but in fact, it's surprisingly difficult to get enough from meals alone. Let's consider amino acid supplements and proteins that are the source of protein.
Many people also experience swelling during menopause. As a simple coping method, besides massage in the bath, it is to be conscious of eating foods containing potassium, which has a diuretic effect . If the symptoms do not improve at all, it is one way to consult a medical institution and get a prescription such as Chinese medicine.
Recommended exercise for menopausal women
Exercise is also effective in tightening the body that tends to get fat during menopause. Exercise is not hard like muscle training, but aerobic exercise that is easy for everyone to continue .
Among them, as an example of exercise that anyone can easily incorporate,
I will focus on and introduce.
Walking is one of the most accessible exercises for men and women of all ages. In addition to fat burning, there are also benefits that lead to the prevention and exacerbation of various diseases, and to relax. There is also a research report that continuing exercise can improve hot flashes, which can occur during menopause, and suppress painful symptoms such as irritability .
The guideline for walking is said to be "8000 steps a day, 20 minutes of brisk walking". There are individual differences in walking fast depending on the physical strength of the person, but it is easy to understand if you imagine that your breath is light and you can hold a conversation . Even if it's a small piece, we recommend that you work on brisk walking for a total of 20 minutes in a day.
Next is swimming . During menopause, women may develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become fragile due to decreased estrogen levels. People who swim 3-6 hours a week over a long period of time have higher bone density than those who don't (2). In addition, a study on women with hypertension showed that swimming is effective in improving blood pressure and preventing muscle weakness3 ).
Some people may find that swimming and walking in water are less effective than exercising on land. However, it is known that exercise on land and exercise in water are equally effective if exercise is continued at the same intensity and frequency4). In this study, 38 women with a body fat percentage of 25 to 47% continued walking in water for 40 minutes four times a week for 13 weeks. 4).
Thanks to the buoyancy in the water, the burden on the knees and lower back is reduced . Water walking is recommended for those who have pain in their knees and find it difficult to walk.
The next recommended exercise is yoga . Even if walking and swimming are recommended for menopausal women, walking can be affected by the weather, and swimming costs money and time. Yoga can be easily done at home, so it has the advantage that even busy women can easily incorporate it .
In a survey conducted on women with abdominal obesity with a waist circumference of 88 cm or more, yoga for about 20 minutes a day reduced waist circumference by -3.8 cm in 12 weeks5). It has also been suggested that stress reduction based on mindfulness, including yoga and meditation, leads to the prevention of depressive symptoms during menopause6 ).
If you want to relax before going to bed, you can try child's pose or dead person's pose. .
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Last is the squat . As you age, your muscle mass decreases, which slows down your basal metabolism and contributes to menopausal weight gain. The secret to efficiently increasing muscle mass is in the lower body, where 70% of all muscle mass resides. Squats are recommended because they effectively train the lower body.
The key to squats is to keep your back straight and bend your knees as straight as possible without letting your knees go past your toes . Do this 30 times a day before bathing. Even if you can't do it all at once, it's important to continue doing it little by little, such as when brushing your teeth or watching TV.
We have introduced the recommended diet and exercise for menopause diet.
Also, in this article, we have covered exercises that are relatively easy for menopausal women to do. In particular , underwater walking is recommended because it reduces the burden on your knees and lower back .
When you go on a diet, try to work while being careful of injuries.
1) Kazuhiro Takahashi, Japanese Journal of Reproductive Endocrinology (2013) 18: 11-15 http://jsre.umin.jp/13_18kan/7-review2.pdf
2) Su Y, et al. Swimming as Treatment for Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. 2020 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32509864/
3) Wong A, et al. The effects of swimming training on arterial function, muscular strength, and cardiorespiratory capacity in postmenopausal women with stage 2 hypertension. Menopause. 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30562322/
4) Gappmaier E, et al. Aerobic exercise in water versus walking on land: effects on indices of fat reduction and weight loss of obese women. 2006 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17119521/
5) Cramer H, et al. Yoga in Women With Abdominal Obesity - a Randomized Controlled Trial. 2016 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27776622/
6) Gordon JL, et al.Endocrine and psychosocial moderators of mindfulness-based stress reduction for the prevention of perimenopausal depressive symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. 2021 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34058560/