Menopause: are you gaining weight? Here's what to do

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Joe Dispenza

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You are in menopause, you haven't changed your way of eating, but now you tend to get fat. It's all the fault of the hormonal changes. It is possible to fix it but you have to correct some aspects of your lifestyle. We explain why here, with the help of the doctors Rossella Nappi, head of the Center of menopause of the Policlinico San Matteo and professor of the University of Pavia.

Why sport is important 

If when you walk briskly or run it seems to you have less strength in the legs compared to a few years ago, you are not entirely wrong. It is responsible for the decrease in estrogen and in androgens.

La shortage Of these hormones it also affects the muscles. Thus occurs a 'fiber atrophy that is, loss of tone of muscle tissue and infiltration of fat cells between the meshes of the tissue itself. The solution? Physical activity, however restore muscle tone and prevent the risk of sarcopenia, i.e. excessive loss of fiber, arthrosis and osteoporosis.

But you have to be consistent, otherwise you get no benefit. Alternate aerobics, to practice 2-3 times a week (bicycle or stationary bike, walking, swimming, Nordic walking) to anaerobic sports (just do a sequence of exercises on the step every morning (if you have it at home) or a few sets of abdominals.

Why it is important to sleep

It happens to almost all: with the menopause sleep is no longer of good quality, with many awakenings during the night, or a delay in falling asleep, with fatigue, poor concentration e memory lapses during the day. The reasons? The hot flashes, but also the states of anxiety, quite common at this stage of life.

Be careful though, because sleeping badly and little can help you put on pounds. The decrease in the hours of sleep causes an alteration in the concentration of hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite, especially for foods with a high calorie content and rich in carbohydrates.

The treatments come from oriental medicine: a cycle of acupuncture to sleep well and yoga to rebalance states of anxiety.

Yes to supplements too. As the Valerian dry extract. This medicinal plant is indicated to counteract insomnia when it is associated with agitation both on a psychological and physical level, as it is precisely during the first phase of menopause.

Melatonin at a dose of one milligram is also fine. Help sleep. Provided you always take the tablet a couple of hours before bedtime.

Because you have to bring the right foods to the table

Review your nutrition - it's important. With the menopause in fact there is not only an increase in weight. It also increases cardiovascular risk because the body is no longer protected from estrogen. Advice? Check the values ​​of the pressureand glycemia and cholesterol. And talk to the doctor if the values ​​rise. But you can do a lot too.

To keep blood pressure under control use a little salt e limit more than you can the consumption of sausages and all those foods where there is "hidden" salt, such as canned foods. 

Also consume three servings of vegetables and two of fruit and one of every day Whole grains: you can get a weight loss of even a third compared to the starting one.

Finally, bring food to the table every day rich in calcium, to counteract bone loss. Like milk, yogurt and dairy products. Or choose a mineral water that contains at least 350 mg / dl of calcium and drink at least two liters a day. Instead, no alcohol because it hinders the absorption of calcium.

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