Why dieting ‘doesn’t work’ on the menopause – instead ‘learn to fool the body’ with snacks

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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Tackling menopausal weight gain can be tricky and a menopause expert revealed cutting calories could actually do more harm than good, contrary to popular belief. Eileen Durward explained that women need to “fool” their bodies in order to shift their unwanted pounds and outlined the ways in which they can do it.

“The problem is that the normal methods of dieting such as cutting down calories and exercising just doesn’t work,” she said.

“This is because you’re in this state of emergency and if you cut your calorie intake down, the body’s going, ‘I’m not getting any food. Help, this is another emergency.’

“If you are then going down the gym and exercising like mad, the body is going, ‘Woah, I’m using up an awful lot of energy.'”

She continued to explain that people will end up putting on weight despite their efforts to keep it off.

“So not only is the body not getting enough calories, but it’s using up too much energy so the body will think, ‘This is another emergency. I’m going to slow down the metabolism,'” she said.

“And this is what happens. So you end up putting on more weight even though you’re cutting calories and exercising.”

As an example, Eileen revealed that she had a client contact who was consuming only 800 calories per day and exercising for an hour at a time in the gym five days a week but was still gaining weight.

“This is why normal methods just don’t work,” she warned.

“We’ve got to be crafty. We’ve got to learn to fool the body in certain ways.”

So how can women take stubborn belly fat if diet and exercise don’t work?

“First of all, the most important thing is to deal with the stress,” she advised, suggesting loading up on magnesium.

People can get magnesium from food but supplements may help reduce common symptoms of menopause, such as difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, and heart disease risk.

“Don’t cut calories because that will not help at all. We need to fool the body into thinking that there’s plenty of food available,” she added.

“You’re looking at a really good high protein diet, cut the carbs down as well because they tend to rev everything up. And loads of veg, a little bit of fruit, nuts and seeds, so have a really good healthy diet.”

She also revealed snacking is good, as it tricks the body into thinking there’s plenty of food around.

But always opt for healthy snacks, such as “nuts and seeds, a little bit of dried fruit, some yogurt or maybe a pear or an apple”.

To sum up, Eileen concluded: “Eat well but eat enough calories every single day, and have those snacks because they’re really important for keeping your nervous system nice and balanced.”

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