Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley
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While weight loss my seem difficult in middle age, it’s important to keep your weight under control in order to avoid other health consequences. And by doing a few important things, people can improve their health and lose weight in the process.
Nutritionist Jackie Lynch, founder of the WellWellWell Nutrition Clinic who specialise in women’s health and the menopause, offered some advice for women struggling to shift the unwanted menopausal pounds.
She said: “The first thing to think about is how to manage your stress.
“You can’t always automatically leave a job or stressful situation but you can think about things like yoga, mindfulness, getting fresh air, not overloading your schedule, taking time out for you. All of these things can help.”
She revealed that if a person stays in a state of “chronic stress”, they could be having a restricted diet and still not losing any weight.
“One of the challenges I often see with menopausal women is the impact of stress, as mid-life is a hugely stressful time,” she noted.
“From a nutritional perspective the single best thing to do is focus on blood sugar balance.
“If you keep your blood sugar stable it will help your weight management in lots of ways.”
She explained that every time a person’s blood sugar crashes, their body releases stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol and while they might not feel stressed, there’s “a lot going on inside”.
“The great thing about stable blood sugar is that if your blood sugar doesn’t crash you’re going to go through your day much more easily,” Jackie continued.
“Low blood sugar specifically generates cravings for sugary foods and refined carbohydrates, something quick and easy to get the balance back.”
And the nutritionist shared the solution to dealing with it: “The trick is twofold. You need to have complex carbs, which are rich in fibre, and protein with every meal and snack.
“That’s what’s going to keep you stable. Vegetables are an outstanding source of fibre.
“They fill you up and keep you going for longer. Swapping from white bread, white rice and white pasta to wholegrain foods is a really good start.
“Vegetables and fruits with an edible skin are another great source of complex carbohydrate.
“Marry them with protein, which is hard to digest. It slows down the release of the carbohydrate even more and keeps you going for longer.”
She noted that “really good” sources of protein are animal proteins such as meat, fish or eggs, and vegetable proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, soya, tofu, humous, nuts, seeds, quinoa.
But Jackie warned there could be a common error people who aren’t too keen on vegetables are making when it comes to losing weight.
“Fruit isn’t as rich in fibre and is higher in natural sugars,” she told Henpicked of those who swap veg for fruit.
“If you really can’t or won’t eat veg then think about pulses, lentils, chickpeas and beans. These are a wonderful combination of protein and complex carbs.
“There are ways to train yourself to eat veg by having tiny portions and trying them out. Or try some of the tricks people do for kids.
“You could blitz your veg in a tomato puree and put it on pizza, for example. You could try a smoothie, but this does break down the fibre a bit.”
She added: “Still, I would urge people to eat more veg and the whole veg is better, if you can.
“Leafy greens are such a big deal for women in mid-life. They’re packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins K and C, so they’re good for your bones.”
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