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4 Nutrition Tips to Ease Menopause Symptoms

If you’re in peri- or postmenopause, you’re likely already familiar with the fact that menopause can bring about some uncomfortable symptoms. Here's how simple nutrition tweaks can ease that discomfort.


4 Nutrition Tips to Ease Menopause Symptoms

According to a recent Girls Gone Strong survey of 1,447 health and fitness professionals who work with women, two of the biggest complaints women reported during the menopausal transition were:


  • Weight fluctuations (64% of women)

  • Decreased energy (56% of women)


These symptoms can have a huge impact on quality of life. In fact, one of the top questions I hear from peri- and post-menopausal women is, “What can I do to improve my menopause symptoms?!”


Here’s the great news: Simple nutrition tweaks may help improve these common concerns — and boost overall health and well-being!


In this blog, you’ll learn four critical nutrition changes that can play a huge role in you helping feel and perform better, plus ease menopause symptoms. You’ll also discover how you can help yourself implement these nutrition changes into your life, so keep reading!


1. Getting Enough Protein

The body’s ability to digest, absorb, utilize, and respond to protein declines with age. Women need to consume more high-quality protein each day for basic

function and to help maintain (and possibly even build) muscle mass, which can keep basal metabolic rate high and help slow or reverse weight gain.


Protein is also satiating and can help balance blood sugar levels, meaning it can reduce cravings, help with energy, and help you more easily achieve an energy

deficit.


Consuming enough protein can help:


  • Slow weight gain or encourage fat loss

  • Balance blood sugar and improve energy levels

  • Slow or reverse loss of muscle, strength, and bone


Aim to include at least 1 serving of protein at every meal and add 1–2 protein-rich

snacks throughout your day. A serving of protein is about the size and width of your

palm. A snack might include a half-palm or full-palm serving.


Protein sources include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, tofu, lentils, and beans. Identify the ones you find tasty, satisfying, and easy to prepare.


Some easy ways to get protein include:


  • Adding protein powder to fruit smoothies

  • Keeping hard-boiled eggs available to snack on

  • Adding ground beef or turkey into pasta sauce

  • Throwing beans, tofu, or chicken onto a salad


2. Eat Plenty of Produce

In addition to being packed with healthy micronutrients, fruits and veggies add volume and fiber to meals and snacks. This helps with satiation and satisfaction (reducing the urge to mindlessly snack between meals) and supports regular bowel movements (reducing bloating and sluggishness).


All the nutrients and fiber in produce also improves energy and assists in balancing blood sugar.


Packing your diet with lots of healthy produce can help:


  • Slow weight gain or encourage fat loss

  • Maintain more stable blood sugar and improve energy levels


Aim to include at least 1 serving of fruit or veggies at 2 meals per day, and slowly

increase until you’re eating 1–2 servings at every meal. A serving of produce is

roughly the size of your fist.


When it comes to fruits and veggies, the more variety (and color) the better! Some easy ways to eat more fruits and veggies include:


  • Throwing spinach or frozen mango into your smoothies

  • Adding peppers and onions to scrambled eggs

  • Putting lettuce, tomato, and pickles on your sandwich

  • Buying a pre-cut fruit or veggie tray to snack on between meals


3. Eat Slowly

Eating slowly might seem simple, but it's an incredibly powerful eating behavior. Slowing down during meals can increase enjoyment and satisfaction with the food, potentially reducing energy intake at subsequent meals and decreasing mindless snacking in between meals.


It also helps us tune in to when we've eaten enough food for our needs, helping us stop when satisfied and naturally reduce their overall energy intake. Plus, it encourages more thorough chewing. When combined with the longer timeframe, this can improve digestion and reduce bloating and fatigue.


Slowing down your eating can help:


  • Slow weight gain or encourage fat loss

  • Maintain more stable blood sugar levels and improve energy

  • Reduces acid reflux and improve sleep


During meals, practice these strategies for slowing down:


  • Set your fork down between bites

  • Take a 2-minute half-time eating intermission (i.e., stop eating for 2 minutes halfway through your meal, and then resume)


To help you remember to set your fork down between bites, try:


  • Eating meals without your phone or laptop

  • Eating with other people, so you slow down and talk

  • Taking a sip of water between bites


To help you remember to take your eating intermission, try:


  • Setting a 10-minute timer on your phone when you sit down to eat. When it goes off mid-meal, pause for 2 minutes

  • Dividing your plate in half before you dig in as a visual cue to take a break once you’ve finished the first half


To make eating slowly a more pleasant and enjoyable experience overall, try:


  • Listening to music you enjoy during your meal

  • Making your meal a special occasion (e.g., dim the lights, light candles, play music)


4. Tune Into Alcohol Intake

Alcohol may worsen menopausal symptoms by affecting the vasomotor regulation that leads to hot flushes. It can also interfere with sleep quality. And in the long term, alcohol can decrease our ability to recover from exercise (something that becomes more important with age).


Plus, alcohol contains non-nutrient-rich calories and may reduce inhibitions, making us more likely to indulge in foods and drinks that don’t align with

their goals. Limiting alcohol may help prevent many of these concerns.


That said, alcohol consumption isn’t necessarily bad, and women don’t need to stop drinking alcohol entirely during menopause (unless they want to). But it may

play a role in how a woman feels and her ability to move closer to her goals.


When we reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption during menopause, it can help:


  • Slow weight gain or encourage fat loss

  • Improve energy

  • Improve sleep quality

  • Improve vasomotor symptoms like the hot flushes


Some women are more affected by alcohol than others. Tune in to your body to see your unique reaction to alcohol. Pay attention to how you feel the rest of the

day and during the next. That might mean watching out for things like:


  • Disrupted sleep

  • Increased hot flushes

  • Poor energy

  • Changes in hunger and fullness

  • Brain fog


If you notice that alcohol is having some unwelcome side effects, consider if there are any times when you could swap out alcohol for an alternative and/or reduce your intake.


Rather than trying to abstain completely (unless that’s your preference), look for easy opportunities to reduce alcohol intake. Some ideas include:


  • Opting for a alcohol-free mocktail rather than a cocktail while out with friends, so it still feels like a special treat or celebration.

  • Swapping out your wine for sparkling water in a wine glass during dinner, or getting a wine spritzer, so your alcohol is watered down

  • Alternating between alcohol and sparkling water at a cocktail party to stay hydrated and drink less overall

  • Waiting until you sit down to eat to have a drink (rather than sipping while cooking and consuming more than normal)

  • Having a designated “dry night” with your partner every week

  • Or the opposite — choosing one night a week to have a drink or two to reduce your overall intake


Give these four simple nutrition tweaks a try to boost your overall health and well-being when it comes to feeling and performing better during menopause transition.


Need help getting started. Book a free health strategy session with me today.

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