The Menopause Diet 5 Day Plan to Lose Weight [PDF Included]
Are you struggling to lose weight as you go through menopause? You’re not alone. Many women find that their metabolism changes during this time, making it harder to drop the pounds.
The best diet for menopause includes enough protein, healthy fats, and a moderate portion of complex carbohydrates. Foods included in this diet are anti-inflammatory and promote gut health.
This winning combination helps you balance your hormones, control your hunger, decrease anxiety, reduce insulin resistance, and reduce inflammation. Weight loss is much easier as a result.
Why This Plan Works
The menopause weight loss plan aims to:
- Balance hormones
- Decrease insulin resistance
- Improves gut health
- Reduces inflammation
Menopause changes the way the body works, and these issues need to be considered in an effective weight-loss diet for menopausal women.
Foods to Include
The best diet for menopause includes all food groups to provide your body with the nutrients you need. However, it requires a combination that can promote hormone balance. This food combination also helps decrease insulin resistance, decrease inflammation, and heal your gut.
The key is to include these in all meals:
- Enough protein (aim for 15 to 30 grams per meal)
- Healthy fats (aim for 10 to 20 grams per meal)
- A moderate amount of healthy carbs (approximately 1 cup)
- Veggies or fruits
Best Foods to Enjoy in the Menopause Diet
Considering the above information, here are some of the best foods to have in the menopause diet:
Protein is essential to any weight loss plan, particularly during menopause. Protein helps keep you feeling full longer and provides your body with essential amino acids necessary for good health. Additionally, protein helps to build muscle, which can help you reach your weight loss goals.
|Animal protein||Lean turkey, chicken, and fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), eggs|
Navy beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and other dry beans
Chickpeas, green peas, lima beans, and lentils
Healthy fats play a crucial role in weight loss. Adding a small amount of fat to your meals can make a more satisfying meal. They aid in the absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins and enhance metabolic health. These fats help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of energy spikes and crashes that can trigger overeating.
|Nuts and seeds||Almonds, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, pecans, walnuts, and flaxseed|
|Healthy fats||Avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, and olive oil|
Despite their bad reputation, carbohydrates should still be included in a healthy diet. However, managing portion sizes and opting for healthier carbohydrate choices is important.
When following a menopause diet, focus on carbohydrates that are high in fiber, and low in added sugars, and minimize gluten intake to reduce inflammation. It’s important to note that this diet isn’t completely gluten-free, but it does aim to limit gluten consumption.
|Best Grains||Barely, oats, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, brown and wild rice, white rice (occasionally)|
|Legumes||All types of beans, garbanzo|
|Pasta||Pasta made from legumes|
|Starchy Vegetables||Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash|
|Other||Sourdough bread, corn tortillas|
Vegetables and Fruits
All vegetables and fruits fit into this diet. However, including the following will provide additional anti-inflammatory benefits.
|Cruciferous vegetables||Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage, and cauliflower|
|Leafy green vegetables||Arugula, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard|
|Deep yellow or orange vegetables||Acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, orange and yellow bell peppers, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes|
|Other vegetables||Mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, jicama root|
|Fruit||Apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, peaches, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, and watermelon|
Herbs and Spices
Spices add a burst of flavor to meals, making even the most mundane dishes exciting. In addition, spices such as turmeric and ginger can reduce inflammation.
|Spices||Cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, basil, oregano, cumin, thyme, clove, and cinnamon|
|Herbs||Basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro, dill, oregano, sage, chives|
These foods can help you heal your gut, and a healthy gut can promote weight loss and improve menopause symptoms.
|Fermented foods||Sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and miso|
Foods to Limit and Foods to Avoid
In the menopause diet, we are limiting all foods that promote inflammation and are high in calories and low in nutrients.
- Added sugar
- Sugary beverages
- Processed food
- Junk food
- Fried food
- Alcohol (if you choose to drink, avoid sugary drinks)
5-Day Meal Plan
Start with a tall glass of water in the morning every day.
Breakfast: Avocado toast made with gluten-free bread, mashed avocado, and topped with eggs. Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Black bean and quinoa salad* and grilled chicken or an extra serving of beans
Snack (optional): A handful of almonds and an apple
*Make enough to use for lunch the next day to save time
Breakfast: Turmeric oatmeal, coffee or tea
Dinner: Ultimate anti-inflammatory salad
Snack: A handful of almonds or sunflower seeds
A small piece of dark chocolate (1 square)
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with a pinch of turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Serve with a warm corn tortilla and avocado. Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Chickpea-farro salad and plain Greek yogurt with berries (optional: add Stevia)
Snack: Apple with almond butter
Breakfast: Smoothie for gut health
Dinner: Lean protein of choice
Green salad with anti-inflammatory salad dressing
Breakfast: Five-ingredient healthy banana pancakes
Lunch: Salmon walnut beet salad
Dinner: Balsamic basil chicken served with brown rice or quinoa
Snack: Cocktail cucumbers
Greek yogurt mixed with Green Goddess spices or dill, lime, salt, and pepper.
Printable 5-Day Menopause Diet for Weight Loss
Tips to Optimize Weight Loss and Minimize Symptoms
Choose Anti-inflammatory Foods Most of the Time
Inflammation and excess weight form a vicious cycle, making weight loss much more difficult.
When inflammation and excess weight are present in the body, the hormone leptin is altered. This hormone tells the brain when it is time to eat and when it is time to stop eating. It also lets the brain know when it’s time to speed up or slow the metabolism.
Inflammation can also lead to insulin resistance, which often results in weight gain. But it gets worse when this weight gain further promotes insulin resistance and more weight gain.
Add Foods Rich in Prebiotics and Probiotics
Early research suggests that an unhealthy gut is associated with increased fat, decreased metabolic rate, and insulin resistance. So, healing your gut might help with weight loss.
Moreover, probiotics are beneficial in reducing inflammation.
So you can see why adding probiotics and prebiotics to the menopause diet is a good idea.
Time and Money-Saving Tips
Repeat meals and snacks. For example, make a large batch of chili and eat it for several meals, or eat the same snacks for a few days.
This will help you cook less and reduce the number of ingredients you need to get.
Pillars of Weight Loss in Menopause
During menopause, there are so many hormonal changes that losing weight by dieting alone is hard!
For more successful weight loss, consider working on the other pillars of weight loss for women over 40: sleep, movement, building muscle, decreasing stress, and healing your gut.
Create a lifestyle that makes achieving and maintaining a healthy weight easier.
My Expert Opinion
Following a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet can help with pesky menopause symptoms. The Menopause Diet 5-Day Plan to Lose Weight is the perfect way to get you started on the path of healthy eating and weight loss.
Also, make weight loss easier by considering the other pillars of weight loss.
Give the Menopause Diet 5-Day Plan a try today, and get on the road to achieving your healthiest self.
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL, is dedicated to empowering women in perimenopause and menopause to live healthier, more satisfying lives.
With a doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida, she has expertise in menopause and weight loss, including the unique challenges faced by those on weight loss medications.
Su-Nui’s passion for her field is evident in her previous role as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.