How to Stop Menopause Hunger – Practical Tips
Menopause can take a toll on your body in terms of weight gain, insomnia, night sweats, and hot flashes, amongst other symptoms.
One of the reasons for weight gain is constant hunger and cravings. It can be difficult to manage these cravings and keep up a healthy diet.
In this blog post, we will discuss some ways to stop menopause hunger and control cravings in a healthy manner.
Does Menopause Make You Hungry?
Menopause can cause physical and hormonal changes in your body that lead to increased hunger.
This is due to the reduced levels of estrogen that occur during menopause. Sex hormones affect the appetite and satiety hormones, which typically keep hunger at bay.
Additionally, the decrease in estrogen can cause some women to experience increased stress and mood swings, which can trigger overeating.
Moreover, difficulty sleeping during menopause can create an imbalance in your hunger and appetite hormones, as well as lead to cravings for sugary, energy-filled foods.
How to Stop Menopause Hunger
Get Enough Sleep
Healthy eating starts with a good night’s sleep.
Poor sleep can have a significant impact on hunger and satiety hormones, leading to increased cravings and overeating. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, the hormone that increases appetite.
At the same time, it reduces leptin levels, an important hormone responsible for keeping us feeling full after eating. As a result of these hormonal shifts, you’re likely to experience intense cravings and be hungrier than usual.
Sugar cravings are also common in people with inadequate sleep.
Last, poor sleeping habits can lead to fatigue during the day. In turn, this results in a lack of energy or motivation to cook healthier meals and exercise.
Women in menopause often suffer from insomnia, which can make hunger cravings more intense. Make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep your hormones balanced and reduce cravings.
Eat Satisfying Meals Regularly
Having well-balanced meals at regular intervals is essential for managing hunger levels during menopause.
Include lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables or fruits in each meal.
These macronutrients will help keep you full and energized for longer, reducing the urge to snack between meals.
Eat High Protein Meals
Adding high-protein meals to your diet can help suppress appetite and control hunger.
Furthermore, it can help you build muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. Don’t worry; you won’t look like a bodybuilder! It will just replenish the muscle mass you lose due to age and menopause.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber-rich foods are essential in helping you feel full and satisfied.
These foods also help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep excess hunger under control.
Foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes should be included in your daily diet to keep cravings in check.
Eat Your Veggies
Add volume to your meals by loading in your favorite veggies. This will reduce the amount of other calorie-dense foods you need to eat.
In addition, vegetables are rich in fiber and vitamins essential for maintaining energy levels and a healthy weight.
Keep Healthy Snacks Available
Having healthy snacks available is important as it can help reduce cravings between meals.
Choose snacks high in fiber or protein. If you eat nuts or nut butter, pair it with fruits and veggies for a more satisfying snack.
Add Healthy Fats to Your Meals
Adding a moderate amount of healthy fats to your meals will help you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are a great way to add healthy fats to your diet.
Sometimes, when you feel hungry, you may just be thirsty. Drinking liquids frequently throughout the day can help control hunger levels and keep you full, which will reduce the amount of food you consume.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are often seen as a quick energy fix and can be very tempting to consume.
However, they can actually lead to increased hunger due to their high sugar content.
When you drink sugary drinks, your body releases insulin in order to balance the sudden surge of glucose. This causes a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, leading to feelings of hunger and cravings for more sugary snacks or beverages.
In addition, these types of drinks contain empty calories that provide no nutritional value but still contribute to weight gain if consumed regularly.
Health Your Gut
Having a healthy gut can also help reduce hunger levels. Eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics helps to maintain a balance of the bacteria in your gut, which can affect hunger levels.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir are great sources of probiotics, while fiber-rich vegetables act as prebiotics.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a practice where you focus on each bite and savor the food.
It helps slow your eating pace and pay attention to hunger cues, so you can make thoughtful decisions about what foods to eat.
Being mindful of when you are full will help reduce overeating and prevent excess calorie consumption.
Start your mindful eating practice with this checklist.
The Bottom Line
Menopause is a challenging time when it comes to managing hunger levels. Following a balanced diet can help regulate hunger levels and reduce cravings.
It’s also important to listen to your body and be mindful of what you eat, which can help you make healthier choices and maintain a healthy weight.
Last, sleeping is key
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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.