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The Impact on Metabolism during Menopause

April 05, 20233 min read

Low calorie diets to 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 it’s 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. 

However, we know that this routine of starvation won’t be kept up for long and eventually return to old eating habits. When this happens, the weight inevitably comes piling back on. The downside is that whilst there was loss of both muscle and fat during the diet, what gets put back on is all fat and a lot less muscle than before the diet. 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. 

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. Your body temperature drops slightly if you are dehydrated causing your body to store fat as a way to maintain the temperature.  Water helps mobilise fat stores, while dehydration stimulates fat to stay.

Eat Protein

Compared to carbs and fats, your body uses more energy to break down protein, which boosts metabolism. Also, protein helps maintain your muscle mass. Adding 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 boots 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. 

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Emma Bitz

Nutrition Coach | Weight-loss Practitioner | Neuro Change Master Practitioner | Meditation Coach - I help women navigate through all phases of life without expensive medications, restrictive diets or complicated plans! I use simple, easy to implement strategies that allow you to create long-lasting healthy habits, give you tools to reset and renergise your mind, and allow you to live a healthy and vibrant life.

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