The hormonal changes along with various lifestyle and genetic factors during menopause may make you more likely to gain weight. For example lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits slows down the rate at which you burn calories. If you continue to eat as you always have, you’re likely to gain weight.
Following are some ways to help you lose weight during this stage:
1. Maintain a healthy weight. Lose weight if you are overweight by cutting down on portion sizes and reducing foods high in fat. You may need about 200 fewer calories a day during your 50s than you did during your 30s and 40s. To reduce calories without compromising on nutrition, pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Opt for lean sources of protein. Don’t skip meals, which may lead you to overeat later.
2.  Get enough calcium. Having two to four servings of dairy products per day is necessary for you. Also include fish with bones (such as sardines and canned salmon), broccoli, nuts and legumes. An adequate intake of calcium for women aged 51 and older is 1,200 milligrams per day.
3. Pump up your iron intake. Eating at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough iron in your daily diet. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products.
4. Get enough fiber. Consume foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, oats, whole grain cereals, fresh fruits, sprouts and vegetables.
5. Drink plenty of water. This will help you stay hydrated and will boost your metabolism. As a general rule, drinking eight glasses of water every day fulfills the daily requirement for most healthy adults.
6. Reduce foods high in fat. Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk for heart disease. Saturated fat is found in fried foods, whole milk, ice cream, and cheese. Also try to limit your intake of trans fats, found in vegetable oils, baked foods and margarines.
7.  Use sugar and salt in moderation. Too much sodium in the diet is linked to high blood pressure. So go easy on smoked, salt-cured meats, processed and packed foods. Also avoid high sugar foods like sweets, chocolates, soft drinks, jams, squash etc
8.  Move more. Aerobic activity can help you shed excess pounds or simply maintain a healthy weight. Strength training counts, too. As you gain muscle, your body burns calories more efficiently which makes it easier to control your weight. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine and do strength training exercises at least twice a week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to increase your activity even more.
9.  Seek support. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who’ll support your efforts to eat a healthy diet and increase your physical activity. Better yet, team up and make the lifestyle changes.