Menopause: 10 rules for weight loss
By Casilda Grigg
Of the many problems that face the post-menopausal woman, the thickening of the waist is one of the most distressing.
As the metabolism slows, extra pounds settle round the middle. Not only does this loss of silhouette wreck one’s self image, it can also carry long-term health risks.
She recommends reducing the carbs (but not eliminating them) and adopting a new regime that’s a way of life 80 per cent of the time (on birthdays, holidays etc we can cut ourselves a little slack).
Here are her top 10 rules for healthy weight loss:
Never skip breakfast
The old rule that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is on the money when it comes to dieting. It’s vital to choose healthy breakfast options such as wholegrain cereals like porridge, organic ‘live’ natural diary products like yoghurt, organic eggs and fruit.
Get plenty of sleep
New links between sleep and weight loss are being uncovered all the time. Aim for seven to eight hours a night.
Eating little and often will help curb hunger pangs and keep your blood sugar levels and fat-burning metabolism steady, so make sure you have healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts and raisins, seeds and pieces of fruit. Aim to eat three small to medium-sized meals a day, plus two healthy snacks.
Don’t try to lose weight too quickly
Early weight loss is usually a result of losing body fluid and muscle tissue, which is neither healthy nor helpful in your battle to lose weight. You should aim for a weight loss of no more than 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1kg) a week; slow weight loss will result in fat loss rather than muscle and water loss
Make fruit and vegetables your best friends
They are full of important metabolism (fat burning) and health boosting vitamins and minerals.
Exercise keeps your metabolism up which is why weight training to build or maintain your muscle mass as well as aerobic activity like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are so important when you want to lose weight.
Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily
Don’t deny yourself the foods you enjoy
Most diets fail because they call for you to eat foods you don’t like. The key to successful weight loss is to reduce the amount you eat and introduce healthier options of the foods you like gradually into your diet.
Moderation is the name of the game. Think of eating well 80 per cent of the time.
Watch what you drink as well as eat
Drinking sufficient amounts of water keeps you full, stops you from feeling hungry, and means you drink fewer soft drinks, coffees and alcohol, all of which can add significant calories.
Don’t go too mad on fruit juices; one glass of orange juice can contain the juice of eight oranges. Most of the fibre is thrown away so you are left with a high amount of sugar hitting your bloodstream with no fibre to slow it down.
Dilute the orange juice half and half with water and have it with food or (even better) make a smoothie instead by putting all the fruit (fibre and all) into the blender and whizzing it up.
Avoid extremes of any kind
Balance is not only the key to a happy, healthy life; it is also the key to a healthy diet and weight loss. Be wary of any diets that are very restricted or promise rapid results.
Streamline your cooking
Eating well isn’t just about the food you choose – how you cook it matters too. Essential bits of equipment include:
A set of good stainless steel pans
They will keep you from using unhealthy non-stick ones
An oil mister or spay
This will give your food a crispy texture without leaving it swimming in oil
Up to 70 per cent of vitamins B and C can be destroyed by boiling or overcooking veg in large amounts of water. Steaming helps preserve these vitamins and also the colour and flavour of the vegetables.