To support a healthy weight during menopause, prioritize regular exercise and eat balanced meals. A Mediterranean-style eating approach can help support your weight management goals during this life stage, and eating smaller meals spread throughout the day can help support energy and prevent hunger.
Myth #2: You Must Eliminate Carbohydrates to Avoid Insulin Resistance
No data confirms that going carbohydrate-free will reduce your risk of insulin resistance during menopause. Simply put, eliminating carbohydrates from your plate in the hopes of avoiding insulin resistance (or promoting weight loss) isn't the answer.
"Your body needs all the major macronutrients, including protein, fat and carbohydrates," said Weiler. "If you don't get enough carbs, your body will start to break down protein and convert it into glucose to provide that essential energy source for your brain and red blood cells."
When it comes to how you approach carbohydrates, it's all about balance and making good choices, such as prioritizing whole grains, complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods. "You metabolize carbohydrates differently when they're more complex or are in conjunction with protein and fat. A meal that combines all macronutrients slows the entry of sugar into our system, eliminating blood sugar spikes and lows," Weiler explained.
For example, pair a lean piece of chicken with brown rice or an ear of corn as your carbohydrate. Adopting this strategy can help provide your body with slow, steady energy throughout the day.
Myth #3: Menopause Is the Same for All Women
Menopause is a series of symptoms related to hormonal changes. The nature and timing of these changes can vary according to you and your lifestyle. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to managing menopause symptoms. Finding a healthcare provider who can create an individualized care plan to help you navigate this life stage is key, whether that means hormone replacement therapy, a nutrition plan or an exercise regimen to support bone health.
The World Health Organization notes that social factors can also influence how you experience menopause, including gender roles and cultural norms surrounding this life stage. In conjunction with biological differences, these sociocultural factors can further distinguish women's experiences during menopause.
Navigating Menopause With Confidence
Menopause is a rite of passage for all women. You may not all have the same journey, but understanding the context behind common myths about menopause can give you a clearer picture of what to expect and how to make the best choices for your body. Ultimately, arming yourself with accurate information can help you navigate this transition with confidence and take charge of your menopausal experience.