Best Diets for Menopause

Menopause is something that inevitably happens to every woman, usually between the age of 45 and 55. During this time, periods stop entirely, and women are no longer capable of bearing children. Due to hormonal changes, menopause is followed by a range of usually unpleasant symptoms.

If you’re experiencing menopause or trying to save your mom/aunt/sister from its claws by helping them change their diet, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll discuss diets that can be beneficial during menopause and recommend books and guides you can use to help you during the transition.

Diet Plans to Lose Weight in Menopause

Weight gain is one of the most common symptoms of menopause. However, there are different diet plans you can try to lose weight and keep it off.

Paleo Diet for Menopausal Weight Gain

paleo diet for menopause
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If you’re trying to get rid of the extra pounds gained in menopause and you want to ensure they don’t come back, a Paleo diet might be a great choice.

The Paleo diet is based on foods that were eaten during the Paleolithic era, hence the name. It consists of eating fish, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, seeds, nuts, and other foods obtained by hunting or gathering. This diet excludes dairy products, grains, refined sugars, salt, and highly processed foods.

The idea behind this diet is returning to foods humans ate thousands of years ago, before the emergence of farming. According to some, farming changed the way people eat, and our bodies weren’t able to adapt to it so quickly. That’s why we see so much obesity, heart disease, and diabetes today.

If you’ve experienced menopausal weight gain, a Paleo diet is a great choice. The greatest thing about it is you don’t have to limit your daily food portions and starve yourself; with this diet, you’ll get enough calories and still lose weight.

Besides losing weight, the Paleo diet is excellent for other menopause symptoms. For example, it helps regulate glucose tolerance, improves blood pressure, lowers triglycerides, and helps regulate your appetite.

A day on a Paleo diet:

  • Breakfast: Salmon and cantaloupe.
  • Lunch: Lean pork loin and a salad (lettuce, carrot, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice)
  • Dinner: Beef sirloin tip roast, steamed broccoli, salad (mixed greens, avocado, tomato, walnuts, lemon juice)

Best Diet for Menopause Belly

Excess belly weight during menopause is entirely normal and downright annoying. The best way to win the battle against menopause is to eat a healthy diet. But, since belly weight can be stubborn, that’s not enough. So here’s the recipe for getting rid of menopause belly.

  • Healthy diet – your diet should be based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Avoid eating refined sugar, high-fat dairy products, and saturated fat. Instead, include nuts and vegetable oils in your meals.
  • No sugary drinks – even though a glass of soda might go great with smoked salmon and a salad, menopause belly won’t leave if you drink beverages with a lot of added sugar. So instead, drink more water or drinks with artificial sweeteners.
  • Portion sizes – even when you’re eating healthy, you might be taking in more calories than needed. This is especially important for belly weight since it’s hard to get rid of it. You’ll need to reduce portion sizes if you want your stomach flat and slim.
  • Time your meals – by timing your meals, you’ll keep yourself on track and avoid falling into snack traps.
  • Besides eating healthy, you need to be physically active to fight belly fat. Strength exercises at least twice a week are recommended. Besides that, try to walk or jog as much as you can. It’s recommended to have between 10,000 and 15,000 steps daily to stay fit and lose weight.
  • Sleep well – it’s essential to have a regular sleep schedule and get enough sleep every night.

Getting rid of belly fat isn’t easy or quick. It takes time and effort, and if you want to keep your belly flat, you need to permanently adjust your diet and be physically active.

keto diet for menopause
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Keto Diet Plan for Menopause

The keto diet focuses on high fat and low carbs. The carb reduction leads your body to rely on fats instead of glucose as an energy source, a process called ketosis. This leads to weight loss as well.

The keto diet focuses on consuming eggs, meat, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, nut butter, non-starchy vegetables, etc. If you’re on the keto diet, you should avoid eating bread and baked goods, refined sugars, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, pumpkin, and fruits such as citrus, grapes, bananas, etc.

There are different cookbooks and guides that can help you transition to keto during menopause. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Keto Diet for Women After 50

Keto Diet For Women After 50: Tasty Recipes + 28 Days Meal Plan to Eliminate Abdominal Fat, Hot flashes, Joint Pain and Low Libido|Regain your Self-Confidence and Feel Tireless and Beautiful Again

Losing weight is not an easy task, especially after entering menopause. You’ll find that most diets don’t work, and the weight usually comes back. Besides affecting your health, gaining weight often has psychological consequences. It causes many women to just let go and indulge in eating more and more.

This book focuses, among other things, on the psychological aspects of menopause, such as lower self-esteem. It encourages women to decide to change their lifestyle and diet and feel beautiful again. By adopting keto, you can transform your body and get your self-esteem back.

The book offers a step-by-step program on how to adopt the keto diet, along with recipes and a 28-day eating plan. The eating plan is great for those who lack the will or inspiration to invent recipes. In addition, this book offers new and exciting things to try for beginners or those on the keto diet for a while.

Pros

  • Simple recipes
  • Offers detailed descriptions of what to eat or not to eat and why
  • Focuses on psychological aspects of menopause

Cons

  • Some argue the book is cheaply made

Buy on Amazon

Keto & Menopause: The Complete Ketogenic Diet With 200 Tasty Recipes

Keto & Menopause.: The Complete Ketogenic Diet with 200 Tasty Recipes to Help You Overcome Menopause Issues , Regain Your Vitality , and Live This Moment ... After 50 - Keto diet for Women After 50.)

Adopting the keto diet can reduce menopause symptoms and enable a better quality of life. This book focuses on helping women in menopause transition to the keto diet.

It provides a detailed overview of how a transition to the keto diet can help overcome both physical and mental symptoms that come with menopause. In addition, the book explains how it’s possible to lose weight on the keto diet and reduce hot flashes and cravings.

Also, this book offers 200 simple recipes that allow you to prepare meals following the keto guidelines. So, if you lack inspiration but want to try the keto diet, this book is a great choice.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Explains changes that happen during menopause and the reasons behind them
  • Offers easy-to-follow recipes

Cons

  • Offers recipes that aren’t focused on menopause

Buy on Amazon

Is a Keto Diet Safe for Menopause?

The keto diet offers a range of benefits for women in menopause:

  • It can improve insulin sensitivity, which leads to blood sugar regulation.
  • It enables weight loss.
  • It helps combat cravings. Studies have shown that the keto diet can lower appetite, especially for women experiencing menopause.

However, the keto diet also has potential side effects:

  • For example, a study showed that the keto diet could be related to increased LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • The keto diet can contain more saturated fat, which is harmful.
  • Potential development of keto flu – keto flu are symptoms that occur when your body goes into ketosis. This may worsen menopause symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue, mood swings, etc.
  • Yo-yo effect – many regain the lost weight once they stop the keto diet.

If you have cardiovascular disease or your doctor advised you should avoid consuming fat, the keto diet might not be a good choice for you. If you want to transition to the keto diet and have a disease or a condition, it’s best to consult with a doctor first.

High Protein Diet for Menopause

Estrogen levels significantly decrease during menopause. This causes the loss of muscle mass and bone strength that leads to an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Protein helps fight these effects, and that’s why it should be an essential part of diets for menopause. Some studies even show that eating a lot of protein can delay the beginning of menopause. The later menopause starts, the better – not just because of annoying mood swings and hot flashes but also because of higher estrogen levels.

The protein intake should increase with age due to the loss of muscle mass.

Even though meat, eggs, and dairy contain protein, try to incorporate plant-based protein in your diet as much as you can. Besides containing protein, plants have many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants beneficial for menopause, and they don’t contain cholesterol that can cause you to gain weight and jeopardize your health. Great plant-based protein sources are lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, etc.

healthy diet for menopause
Image sarsmis: gdolgkjh, Deposit Photos

Does a Plant-Based Diet Help Menopause?

Eating plant-based food can help keep the menopause symptoms under control. As our bodies produce less estrogen during menopause, foods rich in phytoestrogens such as tofu or other soy products have a similar chemical reaction and behave like our body’s estrogen. As a result, a diet rich in plant-based foods helps you combat hot flashes, chills, and other menopausal symptoms.

Besides reducing symptoms, having a plant-based diet is good for your overall health; it eliminates fatigue, helps you reduce weight, and has multiple health benefits.

Intermittent Fasting and Menopause

Fasting for different periods several times a week can affect the symptoms of menopause, particularly your weight.

Furthermore, intermittent fasting helps you lower your blood pressure and triglycerides and regulate insulin sensitivity. All of these can manifest during menopause, which is why intermittent fasting can be a great choice.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting, or you’d like to give it a try and discover the benefits it has on menopause, you can purchase one of the numerous books on the subject. I recommend this one:

Intermittent Fasting for Women After 50

Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50: The Ultimate Guide to Lose Weight and Delay Aging with a Proven Purification System. Reset Metabolism and Detox Your Body through Metabolic Autophagy

This book contains everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and its benefits for women after 50. It deals with the basics of intermittent fasting and its various types. Furthermore, it offers tips on how to begin with intermittent fasting, which is excellent for beginners.

The guide suggests intermittent fasting isn’t just a diet; it’s a way of life. Besides losing weight, intermittent fasting reduces the risk of various diseases. This book keeps you motivated by discussing the psychological effects of intermittent fasting. It even explains how you can reduce the signs of aging, thus boosting your confidence.

It’s rare to have a book on intermittent fasting that will also discuss its potential downsides, but this book does. In addition, it lists the pros and cons of intermittent fasting, so you can have all the information you need before starting the journey.

Pros

  • Informative and thorough
  • Lists pros and cons of intermittent fasting
  • A great source of motivation

Cons

  • The content of the book looks messy to some

Buy on Amazon

Diet to Balance Hormones in Menopause

There’s no use in sugar-coating it: your hormones go wild during menopause. Hormonal balance is essential for keeping your body functioning correctly. Therefore, a well-balanced diet is vital when you’re in menopause if you want to reduce and/or avoid unpleasant symptoms.

As previously mentioned, estrogen levels significantly decrease during menopause. Therefore, eating foods rich in phytoestrogens will help you keep your hormones in balance and even lower the risk of developing different conditions during menopause. Soy, soy products, and flaxseed are excellent sources of phytoestrogen.

It’s important not to eat more calories than you burn to keep your insulin under control. Besides gaining weight, this can cause diabetes or insulin resistance. So instead, try to focus your diet on oats, whole grain bread, lentils, and vegetables instead of white bread and baked goods and refined sugars.

If you want to keep your cortisol levels in order, you should consume less caffeine and alcohol.

Eating a well-balanced diet is essential in every life stage, as it is in menopause. During menopause, your body goes through significant changes, and you should allow it to adjust by adapting your diet. If you want to learn more about hormonal balance and diet, I recommend the book below:

Cooking for Hormone Balance 

Cooking for Hormone Balance: A Proven, Practical Program with Over 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Boost Energy and Mood, Lower Inflammation, Gain Strength, and Restore a Healthy Weight

This book offers various recipes for different conditions caused by hormonal imbalance, including menopause. This makes it a great read not just for women in menopause but also for everyone who wants to learn more about how hormonal balance and diet are related.

Clear, precise plans presented in this book help you establish what you need to add and/or remove from your diet.

The included recipes are quick and easy-to-follow, with provided modifications for specific diet restrictions, such as a Paleo or anti-candida diet.

Pros

  • Offers an abundance of helpful information
  • Simple recipes
  • Modifications for various diets

Cons

  • Some argue recipes aren’t practical

Buy on Amazon

Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Menopause

Eating a lot of inflammatory foods can worsen menopausal symptoms. If you want to avoid this, you should try an anti-inflammatory diet. This diet focuses on eating foods rich in antioxidants that help reduce menopausal symptoms.

For example, the Mediterranean diet is an excellent example of an anti-inflammatory diet. It focuses on fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy fat from olive oil, nuts, and seeds. In addition, you should consume small amounts of eggs, poultry, and dairy products and limit consuming red and processed meat.

Various books can help you learn more about reversing inflammation and consuming the right type of food. I recommended taking a look at this one:

Cooking for Life

Cooking for Life: 90 Recipes to Reverse Inflammation, Speed Weight Loss, and Energize Your Brain

This book consists of 90 recipes that will give your body an energy boost and get rid of inflammation. The idea of the book is that everybody is unique and should discover the food that tastes and feels good. The author helps this process by introducing you to a variety of beneficial foods that should be consumed daily. Even though particular food is healthy, it doesn’t mean it will work well for you.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean deprivation. On the contrary, it’s entertaining and satisfying. Each recipe is designed to show that eating healthy is enjoyable.

The book provides valuable but not overwhelming information, which is helpful for beginners.

Pros

  • Offers useful information
  • Promotes healthy food
  • Argues that everyone’s unique

Cons

  • You can only get it on Kindle

Buy on Amazon

Best Diet for Post-Menopausal Woman

After menopause, women are at a higher risk of developing different conditions, and their nutritional needs change.

Post-menopausal women should follow different recommendations to maintain good health and avoid gaining weight. First, their diet should be based on eating whole foods with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and seeds.

They should eat food rich in antioxidants, phytoestrogen, and fiber. Fish, soy, oatmeal, quinoa, avocado, olive oil are just a few products that should often be used in the diet of a post-menstrual woman.

Make sure to avoid eating refined sugar and sugary drinks. Also, try to consume less salt, caffeine, and alcohol. Finally, keep an eye on the size of your portions if you want to ensure you don’t gain any extra weight.

Best Diet to Follow During Menopause

The best diet is a healthy diet. You can’t go wrong with a diet based on high-quality protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and phytoestrogen. For example, the Mediterranean diet can be a great choice.

Since each body is unique, don’t force yourself to eat something you don’t enjoy. This will only have a counter effect: You’ll end up forcing yourself to eat healthily, and it will eventually bore you. So instead, try finding healthy food that tastes good and works well with your body.

Besides eating healthy, it’s essential to keep an eye on the portion sizes and be physically active.

Best Diet Book for Menopause

There are hundreds of diet books for menopause. Which one you’ll choose will depend on your preferences and the desired effects you want to achieve.

If you’re in the market for the best diet book for menopause and you’re not sure which one to choose, I recommend taking a look at this one:

The Essential Oils Hormone Solution

The Essential Oils Hormone Solution: Reclaim Your Energy and Focus and Lose Weight Naturally

If you’re trying to keep your hormones in balance, this book is a great choice. The author discovers how to establish hormonal balance and heal the body from the inside out using essential oils.

This book features a 14-day plan to heal your hormonal health, along with everyday rituals you can practice and delicious, easy-to-follow recipes.

Instead of taking hormones, you can improve the balance with over 100 essential oil blends and lose weight in the process.

Pros

  • Provides useful tips
  • Features interesting recipes
  • Focuses on natural ways of improving health and losing weight

Cons

  • Too focused on losing weight

Buy on Amazon

Healthy Diet Plan for Menopause

A healthy diet plan for menopause consists of fruits, veggies, fish, healthy fats, seeds, and nuts. In addition, consume food rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and antioxidants. Also, consume omega-3 fatty acids present in fish, flax, and chia seeds.

Avoid consuming processed and red meat, alcohol, refined sugars, and spicy food. Although spicy food might not be unhealthy, it can worsen hot flashes.

Here’s an example of a well-balanced diet plan for menopause:

  • Breakfast: Blueberry and oats bowl
  • Lunch: Salmon with carrot and avocado salad
  • Dinner: Green vegetables with beans
  • Snacks between meals: nuts, seeds, carrot and celery sticks, berries, etc.

Diet for Running in Menopause

As your body changes, your exercise routine will change, too. You’ll find you need to adjust your exercises to make them more comfortable and enjoyable.

Some studies even show that women who exercise often have milder symptoms than the ones who don’t.

If you enjoyed a high-carb diet before menopause, you might discover it doesn’t feel good anymore. Lower estrogen levels can leave you feeling tired and weak.

Instead of eating a lot of carbs, focus your diet on whole grains, fruits, veggies, and proteins. In addition, you can use dairy and meat as sources of leucine, necessary for building muscle.

This diet will maintain your health, balance your hormones, and enable you to enjoy running without feeling exhausted.