Perimenopause and Menopause can be a challenging time for so many women. Fluctuating hormones can cause a host of symptoms, hot flushes, weight gain and mood swings to name just a few.
Many women want answers.
What options do I have to help me get through this challenging time?
Previously a big focus has been on hormone replacement therapy. Hormone Replacement Therapy or commonly known as HRT is medication that contains female hormones. Women take it to replace the oestrogen that your body stops making during menopause. HRT is the therapy most often used to treat some of the menopausal symptoms you may be experiencing.
The only problem is that not everyone can take hormone replacement therapy and some women simply don’t want to, as with any medication there can also be side effects.
This is what led me to research what other lifestyle factors can help improve menopausal symptoms. HRT was never going to be an option for me as I’ve had a hormone-based breast cancer and having HRT would be a bit like feeding my body with hormones I’m trying to reduce.
The awesome news is that there is so many things that can help during menopause and one of them is diet. It’s what led me to develop the menopause diet.
It’s also exciting as its evidence based. Many studies have been done on nutrition in menopausal women and the Mediterranean diet has come up as a great option.
“The Mediterranean diet pattern along with other healthy habits may help the primary prevention of bone, metabolic, and cardiovascular diseases in the postmenopausal period. It consists of the use of healthy foods that have anti-intlammatory and antioxidant properties, and is is associated with a small but significant decrease in blood pressure, reduction of fat mass, and improvement in cholesterol levels. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8308420/
The researchers reported finding higher bone mass and muscle mass in postmenopausal women who adhered to a Mediterranean diet than in those who did not. https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/studies-published/mediterranean-diet-is-linked-to-higher-muscle-mass-bone-density-after-menopause
The Mediterranean diet has some great health benefits but in conjunction with other lifestyle changes I have included in The Menopause Diet you will also notice a decrease in symptoms and overall wellbeing.
It’s not about religiously ‘sticking to a plan’. It’s about changing your nutritional habits to reflect what your body needs now.
What I’ve noticed with working with women for the past 14 years is that most get to a point in their 40’s and it feels like suddenly all the things they used to do just aren’t working anymore.
There is this layer of fat has crept on around their belly and they don’t really know why.
This is because without even realising it your metabolism is decreasing, your hormones are changing and what you used to eat isn’t right for your body anymore.
Many women find they simply don’t need as much food as they used to eat or they have to pay closer attention to the type of foods they eat.
The timing of meals also starts to have a bigger impact and simply making some adjustments can lead to a better nights sleep and less hot flushes.
Some things I know aggravate my menopausal symptoms are:
- Processed Carbs
- Not enough sleep
- Too much stress
This doesn’t mean I never have sweets or have given up alcohol. It just means I FEEL so much better when these are not part of my ‘regular diet’.
If you’re sick of feeling not quite yourself and want to help manage your menopausal symptoms a great place to start is:
- Adding in more vegetables
- Eating quality protein and healthy fats
- Reducing the processed carbohydrates
- Limiting alcohol especially at night
Obviously the more changes you make the bigger difference you’ll notice in your moods, symptoms and body fat. First step realise this phase of life is the ‘new normal’ for quite a while. It’s important to learn what is going to work for you NOW and slowly chip away at implementing lasting changes that will leave you feeling fantastic for life.
If you need a hand jump on board my Midlife Makeover. It takes you through all the steps you need to make massive changes and you’ll have me supporting you along the way.
We all deserve to feel amazing!