A new study has found that extra protein in the diet is enough to reduce weight gain, a change many women experience around menopause due to falling estrogen levels and factors related to way of life.
Researchers from the University of Sydney previously found that women are more likely to gain weight due to hormone-induced protein breakdown, which increases the body’s appetite for protein.
As a result, women continue to eat unnecessary calories until the body meets its protein needs.
“Evidence suggests that staying on the typical highly processed Western diet during the transition to menopause around age 40-50 will result in excessive energy intake, leading to weight gain and increased risk of obesity and cardiometabolic disease. “, lead author and professor of life and environmental sciences, said Professor Stephen Simpson.
However, co-author and nutritional ecology expert Professor David Raubenheimer says it’s not all bad news.
He said increasing the proportion of protein by around three percent of daily energy intake and reducing total energy intake by five to 10 percent per day could be the key.
“Very small changes in diet in terms of protein prioritization, fat and carb reduction, and physical activity could make a big difference in the long run,” Raubenheimer said.
“Cutting up a bag of crisps, a glass of sugary drink or the like and ensuring that high quality animal or vegetable protein is in the daily diet will do the trick.”
Lead author and endocrinologist Arthur Conigrave is also optimistic about the results, but said the hypothesis needs to be tested in a substantial study involving around 1,000 women aged 40 to 45.
“If proven correct, it would allow us to develop new preventative strategies for the significant proportion of women who report weight gain and associated health problems during the transition to menopause despite no changes in their intake. diet or their level of physical activity,” Professor Conigrave said. said.
Intermittent fasting and menopause
A recent study also showed intermittent fasting to be an effective way to lose weight before and after menopause.
The University of Illinois at Chicago study, published in Obesity, followed a group of postmenopausal obese women for an eight-week period doing intermittent fasting with a four-hour eating window.
The researchers reported a weight loss of three to four percent of their initial weight and reduced risk of diabetes, breast cancer and slowed signs of aging.
After watching thousands of women fast, nutrition professor and study lead author Krista Varady said the benefits of intermittent fasting are clear.
“All it does is make people eat less. By shortening that eating window, you naturally reduce calories,” Varady said.
“Much of the negative information reported about intermittent fasting comes from studies in mice or rats. We need more studies to examine the effects of intermittent fasting on humans.
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