To Win the War You Must Join the Battle

Weight Loss and Menopause Part 1
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For some women, losing weight is a constant battle. During menopause, many women find that the battle becomes a war!

A study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge found that women had a lower metabolism after menopause. Post-menopausal women burned 100 to 150 fewer calories a day just resting and doing everyday activities. The lower metabolism could be tied to lower estrogen levels, and it appears the lower estrogen levels may increase appetite, causing cravings for carbohydrates and fats.

Another study found menopausal women gained an average of 12-15 pounds, while dropping 5% of their metabolic rate (the rate at which a person burns calories) each decade. In addition, the study found after menopause; women tend to gain weight until their mid-60s.

So, what can you do to try and win the battle of the bulge? In part 1 of this 3 part series, you will find five helpful tips to aid in winning this weighty ‘war.’ Remember; always check with your doctor or a qualified health care provider before making any changes to your diet.

Weight Loss and Menopause Part 1: Eating and Drinking - 5 Helpful Tips

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1. Add Healthy Foods to Your Daily Meals

Instead of going on a "diet" and immediately attempting to deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy, try incorporating healthier foods into your current meals. The goal is to gradually replace a majority of the high fat/calorie foods with healthy/nutritious foods.

Begin by eating healthy foods in addition to the food you are currently consuming. Try eating the healthier foods prior to your regular meals. For instance, try eating a cup of fresh fruit before you eat your breakfast. Eat vegetables, fruit or a green salad 30 minutes prior to your lunch or dinner. By eating the healthier choices first, you should consume less of the unhealthy foods in your diet.

After a week or two, begin to reduce the amount of unhealthy food you consume and replace it with nutritious foods. The goal is to change the way you eat gradually so that you don't go back to your old way of eating.

You can find information on food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans at www.MyPyramid.gov.

2. Eat Breakfast Every Day

Breakfast
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Break the fast! Breakfast is an important meal and one of the best ways to increase your metabolism. After a night's "fast," breakfast meets the need for energy to boost the metabolic system. When you skip breakfast, your body turns to its muscle mass for energy. Later, when you begin to eat, your appetite is on high because you've allowed your blood sugar level to drop so low prompting you to overeat.

Try starting with a cup of fruit then eat something healthy and substantial.

3. Eat Small Portions Every 3-4 Hours

Measuring Cups
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Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight. Eating several mini-meals prevents blood sugar levels from dropping and keeps your metabolic rate high.

Your body requires a steady supply of glucose in the bloodstream throughout the day for mental and physical energy. Your blood sugar will normally fall every 3-4 hours and, as it begins to fall, so will your energy along with your mood. Eating complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains will release glucose into the bloodstream at a nice steady rate.

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4. Limit the Amount of Sugar and Salt You Consume

Salt
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Refined sugar causes a spike in blood sugar, followed by a quick fall. Within a few hours there is a dip in the blood sugar which results in fatigue, leading a person to reach for more sugary snacks.

Excessive salt causes temporary build-up of body fluids in your system. It makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through the cardiovascular system, and the result may be high blood pressure.

5. Liquids

H2O
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Drink plenty of fresh water every day, not only is it important for good health, but it's important for life! The body uses water to flush out waste products, and it is essential for proper bowel function.

Try starting your day with a cup of warm water and some freshly squeezed lemon juice; this aids to expel matter from the prior day. In addition, try drinking a glass of water after each meal and snack.

Try and replace coffee, caffeinated teas, alcohol, sodas and high-calorie juice drinks with water or freshly squeezed juices.

Menopause Weight Loss Tips

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Weight Loss and Menopause Part 2: Exercise!

Weight Loss and Menopause Part 3: Motivation

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