Many women in the menopause years feel that they can’t lose weight because they can’t exercise. Either they are very overweight which has caused mobility problems (knees, feet, hips) or they have other issues which make exercise difficult if not impossible. First – there is always a way to get some exercise. I remember years ago when I had a motorcycle accident (riding foolishly in Thailand) the damage to my knee and bruising and bumps everywhere else, made it very difficult to exercise. I still managed to swim and do some floor-type upper body exercises on the bed with a stretch band. Likely, if you put your mind to it, even sitting you can do some type of exercise. And even if there is no way on earth you can possibly exercise, remember – if you reduce your calorie intake, you can lose weight regardless of exercise.
Exercise is important but so is intake of calories. They work hand in hand. Exercise alone will not take the weight off. Exercising and less calories will make the weight come off faster. Fewer calories alone, consistently and a healthy eating plan along with some sensible changes in your daily routine will help you shift that menopause weight gain. Don’t believe all the things you read about how you must exercise to lose weight. Reducing your intake of unhealthy foods will make you lose weight, it just will take a bit longer and may require more discipline.
Unfortunately many people who are overweight are on a constant quest for a magic bullet in the form of weight loss food. A miracle food that you can eat to drop pounds with no effort. Sadly, as of this writing there is no such food yet to be discovered, especially in menopause case!
There are however foods that work with your body to make it more efficient at burning calories but even the idea that there are “negative calorie foods” seems to have been debunked. For a long time it was said that potatoes, grapefruit, celery and oatmeal (among others) were considered ideal weight loss foods because they actually created a thermic effect that burned more calories than what was actually in the food. Not true.
True however is the fact that a healthy, high protein breakfast will kick start your metabolism and help you to burn calories more efficiently during the day. True also is that some foods are naturally “weight loss food” because they are very low in calories and yet high in fiber therefore giving you a feeling of fullness with little calorie intake. Lettuce and celery would fall into this category.
The American custom of eating a salad before dinner is a very smart thing to do because (assuming you have a small amount of healthy olive oil based dressing) it fills up your tummy with filling fiber so you eat less of the higher calorie foods. A glass of water with the salad and you will eat very little at dinner!
I remember watching Julia Child at a cooking demonstration once about the time the low fat craze was sweeping the country. An unfortunate soul in the audience asked if they could substitute a low fat cheese in a dish she was preparing. Julia became very indignant and said – “I would never buy or use anything called “low fat”. Just enjoy the taste of the fat but eat less of it!” Well put, Julia!