What is a Healthy Weight?Labiaplasty 4

A healthy weight is to some extent very personal. Everybody has their own goals for what weight and clothing size they want to be. It is as much about what makes you feel comfortable and happy with your body as it is the health benefits that come from having a healthy weight.

What are the Benefits of a Healthy Weight?

Maintaining a healthy weight during menopause is important for overall well-being and can help mitigate some of the health risks associated with this stage of life. 

The following guide aims to help you navigate weight management during menopause, including the the benefits of maintaining a certain BMI range.

Under standing weight gain in the perimenopause & menopause

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and is often accompanied by various physical changes, including weight gain. On average, women may gain 5 to 10 kgs during the years leading up to menopause. This gain can be attributed to:

  • Hormonal fluctuations, 
  • A decrease in muscle mass, 
  • Changes in metabolism.

Healthy Weight and BMI

BMI is a measure based on height and weight. It’s a useful tool to assess whether you’re in a healthy weight range. Calculating and using BMI to decided if someone is overweight is not always accurate. Some people, for example rugby players and body builders, have a lot of muscle weight, but despite being incredibly ‘healthy’ may still be classified as ‘overweight’. Here’s the BMI classification:

– Underweight: BMI less than 18.5

– Normal weight: BMI 18.5 to 24.9

– Overweight: BMI 25 to 29.9

– Obese: BMI 30 or more

Or most people, maintaining a BMI within the normal range is beneficial as it reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

1) Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help manage weight. It’s important to focus on nutrient-dense foods rather than calorie counting. Avoiding processed foods and reducing your sugar intake can also prevent weight gain. 

A good way of thinking about what foods you should be eating is to consider whether a caveman or woman will have had access to these foods (e.g. fruit, veg, fish and meat). If not, then it is a processed food!

Diet is the mainstay for losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. Other tips include:

  • Try not to snack and have set meal times.
  • Reduce your portion sizes by using a smaller plate.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake (a glass of wine has as many calories as a donut!).
  • On your plate: 25% protein (meat/ fish)/ 25% carbohydrate (brown pasta/ rice) & 50% fruit or veg.

2) Exercise

Regular physical activity, including both aerobic and strength training exercises, is essential. Exercise not only helps with weight loss but also improves muscle mass, which can decline during menopause. It also helps to keep your heart healthy, bones strong and reduces your risk of diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis (thin bones).

You don’t need a gym membership either! A few hours of brisk walking spread over the week will do. If you do have access to the gym or a swimming pool then aim for 2-3 sessions a week, involving a mixture of weight lifting and cardiovascular exercises. (Consult your doctor first).

3) Sleep & Rest

Adequate sleep and stress reduction are vital components of weight management. We tend to snack and eat more junk food when we are tired. As such, poor sleep and high stress levels can lead to weight gain, so it’s important to prioritise relaxation and quality sleep.

4) Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

It is important to consider whether or not HRT may help you. Many women certainly find it more challenging to lose and keep a healthy weight if they cannot sleep and are struggling with hot flushes. HRT can help control menopausal symptoms, improve sleep and may have a role in weight management at a hormonal level. HRT is also associated with maintenance of bone mineral density and potentially reduced risks of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes when started early.

Conclusion

Menopause is a natural phase of life that can bring challenges, including weight gain. By understanding the importance of maintaining a healthy BMI and implementing lifestyle changes, you can manage your weight effectively during this time. Remember, it’s never too late to start making positive changes for your health.

For personalised advice and guidance, consult with a healthcare professional or a nutrition specialist. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your individual health needs and goals.

Booking your appointment 

If you would like to discuss a more individualised approach, including advice on managing your HRT, please contact Mandy Banbury (secretary to Mr Dobson) to arrange an initial appointment.

Tel: 0115 966 2111

Email: mandy.banbury@circlehealthgroup.co.uk