It’s no secret that a woman’s metabolism slows down as she approaches menopause. Most of my patients want to discuss weight gain. “I’m not doing anything different” is a comment I hear daily in my office. And for most of women, that is probably true. Some people can get away with bad eating habits longer than others. Diet advice has run to the extremes for years. Fad diets range from low calorie plans and meal replacement shakes to cutting out entire food groups. But there is a healthier way to maintain an appropriate weight during menopause. Don’t think no carbohydrates. Instead, think moderate carbohydrates!
The type of carbohydrates you eat makes a difference in the rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin levels, so make sure you eat good carbohydrates such as fruit and whole grains.
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The Moderate Carbs Diet
Scientific research supports this. If you consume too many carbohydrates, your body will store the extra energy as fat around your middle. If you eat too few carbohydrates, your brain will get foggy. Too few carbohydrates will also cause fatigue and depression. So what is the right amount?
Feed your brain and maintain your waistline with 30 grams carbohydrates per meal and no more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. Of course, they should be the good type of carbohydrates, such as fruit and whole grains, not sodas and sugary snacks. The type of carbohydrates makes a difference in the rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin levels in the blood stream. The results of keeping those levels low and steady reduces risk of diabetes and heart disease.
As a gynecologist who specializes in the treatment of menopausal symptoms I have a perspective that cannot be gained in a research lab. I have seen firsthand how a moderate carbohydrate diet impacts my patients. This impact is not just on the scale in my office but also in their energy level and in the tempering of menopausal symptoms.
Bottom line, if you want to lose weight and feel better during the years leading up to and after menopause, ditch the fad diets and think moderation!
Dr. Amber French is co-author of Wellness 100: 100 Carbs/100 Recipes. She developed the program to help her patients lose weight while combating the diseases that come with aging. She currently practice gynecology in north Georgia.