Weight gain is not directly related to menopause, however during perimenopause women gain an average of five to nine pounds. Our metabolism slows and our bodies begin to burn fat at a reduced rate. A healthy diet and moderate exercise can help prevent unwanted weight gain.
The Canada’s Food Guide encourages Canadians to focus on vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, to include milk, meat, and their alternatives, and to limit foods that are high in calories, fat (especially trans fats), sugar, and salt. The new enhanced, interactive web site, My Food Guide, helps you personalize the information according to your age, sex, and food preferences. It even includes culturally relevant foods from a variety of ethnic cuisines. You can use this tool to build a customized plan for healthy choices in both nutrition and physical activity after menopause. Start by choosing “Female” and age “51 to 70.” The Guide will tell you how many servings per day of vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and alternatives, and 2 of meat and alternatives you’ll need to stay healthy and maintain a good weight. You can even print off your personalized profile and keep it handy in the kitchen to keep you on track.
Also on the Canada Food Guide website is My Food Guide Servings Tracker, a tool developed by the Dietitians of Canada to provide even more detailed nutritional information and guidance for you as you make healthy changes in both your eating and physical activity. The tool helps you keep track of the amount and type of food you eat each day and makes comparisons with recommendations. A recent research study has shown that people trying to lose weight who use a dietary log will lose twice as much weight as those who do not keep track of their food intake.
By increasing your level of physical activity, improving your eating habits, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, women at midlife can help ensure good health and prevent many chronic diseases, including some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and stroke.
If you’re having trouble managing your weight, talk to a health-care provider familiar with your health and medical history.
Find out more