Menopause Diet Plan For Weight Loss


If you’re looking for a menopause diet plan for weight loss you’re not alone. In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly what to do so you can lose weight during your perimenopause. To be honest, menopause can affect your weight in more ways than you think. In fact, studies have shown that women lose an average of twelve percent of their body weight after the age of fifty. That’s a pretty big deal!

How to Lose Weight Around Menopause (and Keep It Off)

Losing weight during and after menopause may seem impossible.

Hormone changes, stress, and the aging process can all work against you.

However, there are several steps you can take to make weight loss easier during this time.

woman seated on a yoga mat and stretching forward so her hands reach her feet

Why menopause makes weight loss so hard

Menopause officially starts when a person hasn’t had a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Around this time, it may be very hard to lose weight.

In fact, many people notice that they actually start putting on weight during perimenopause, which can begin a decade prior to menopause.

Several factors play a role in weight gain around menopause, including:

  • Hormone fluctuations. Both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage
  • Loss of muscle mass. This occurs due to age, hormonal changes, and decreased physical activity
  • Inadequate sleep. Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain
  • Increased insulin resistance. Women often become insulin resistant as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult

What’s more, fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to the abdomen during menopause. This increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease

Therefore, strategies that promote the loss of abdominal fat are particularly important at this stage of life.


Menopause may lead to hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass, poor sleep, and insulin resistance. These effects may, in turn, increase the risk of weight gain.

Importance of a calorie deficit

To lose weight, a calorie deficit is needed.

According to some research, a woman’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories she burns during rest, declines during and after menopause .

Although it may be tempting to try a very low calorie diet to lose weight quickly, eating so few calories can sometimes make weight loss harder.

Research shows that restricting calories to low levels causes loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate 

So while very low calorie diets may result in short-term weight loss, their effects on muscle mass and metabolic rate will make it hard to keep the weight off.

Moreover, insufficient calorie intake and decreased muscle mass may lead to bone loss. This can increase your risk for osteoporosis

Adopting a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained long term can help preserve your metabolic rate and reduce the amount of muscle mass you lose with age.


A calorie deficit is needed for weight loss. However, cutting calories too much increases the loss of lean muscle, which accelerates the drop in metabolic rate that occurs with age.

Diet plans that work well during menopause

Here are four nutritious diets that have been shown to help with weight loss during and beyond the menopausal transition.

The low carb diet

Many studies have shown that low carb diets are excellent for weight loss and are also able to help reduce abdominal fat

Although perimenopausal and postmenopausal women have been included in several low carb studies, there have only been a few studies looking at this population exclusively.

In one such study, postmenopausal women on a low carb diet lost 21.8 pounds (9.9 kilograms), 27.5% of their body fat, and 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) from their waists within 6 months

What’s more, carb intake doesn’t need to be extremely low to produce weight loss.

In another study, a paleo diet providing roughly 30% of calories from carbs produced a greater reduction in abdominal fat and weight after 2 years than a low fat diet. The low fat diet provided 55–60% of calories from carbs

The Mediterranean diet

Although the Mediterranean diet is best known for improving health and reducing heart disease risk, studies show it may also help you lose weight

Like low carb diet studies, most Mediterranean diet studies have looked at both men and women rather than perimenopausal or postmenopausal women exclusively.

In one study of men and women ages 55 years and older, those who followed a Mediterranean diet had significant reductions in abdominal fat. Their diets were supplemented with either nuts or olive oil

A vegan or vegetarian diet

Vegan and vegetarian diets have also shown promise for weight loss

Older studies in postmenopausal women reported significant weight loss and improvements in health among a group assigned to a vegan diet

A 2018 survey found that vegans in perimenopause experienced less severe vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes) and physical symptoms than omnivores

However, a more flexible vegetarian approach that includes dairy and eggs has also been shown to work well in older women


Low carb, Mediterranean, vegan, and vegetarian diets have been shown to have benefits in perimenopause and menopause.

Best types of exercise for weight loss

Most people become less active as they age.

However, exercise may be more important than ever during and after menopause.

It can improve mood, promote a healthy weight, and protect your muscles and bones .

Resistance training with weights or bands can be extremely effective at preserving or even increasing lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass normally declines with hormonal changes and age

Although all types of resistance training are beneficial, recent research suggests that performing more repetitions is better, especially for reducing abdominal fat

Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is also great for menopause. Studies have shown that it can reduce abdominal fat while preserving muscle during weight loss

A mix of resistance training and aerobic exercise may be the best strategy for weight loss


Resistance training and aerobic exercise can help promote fat loss while preventing the muscle loss that normally occurs around menopause.

Lifestyle changes that promote weight loss during menopause

Here are several ways to improve your quality of life and make weight loss easier during menopause.

Get restful, quality sleep

Many women in menopause have trouble sleeping due to hot flashes, night sweats, stress, and other physical effects of estrogen deficiency .

However, getting enough high-quality sleep is important for achieving and maintaining a moderate weight.

People who sleep too little have higher levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, have lower levels of the “fullness hormone” leptin, and are more likely to be overweight

Explore psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy shown to help with insomnia, may benefit women experiencing symptoms of low estrogen.

According to a 2019 study, postmenopausal women who received CBT for their insomnia saw a greater increase in sleep duration over 6 months than women who received sleep hygiene education or sleep restriction therapy

Sleep restriction therapy is a component of CBT. The goal of sleep restriction therapy is to purposefully limit the amount of time you spend in bed lying awake or not sleeping.

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture may also be helpful.

In one study, it reduced the frequency of hot flashes by 36.7% over 6 months. A review of several studies found that acupuncture may increase estrogen levels, which can help reduce symptoms and promote better sleep

Find a way to relieve stress

Stress relief is also important during the menopausal transition.

In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, which are associated with increased abdominal fat

Several studies have found that yoga can help reduce stress and relieve symptoms in women going through menopause


Certain lifestyle changes, such as getting more high-quality sleep, can help make it easier to manage your menopause symptoms. As a result, losing weight may become easier.

Diet tips that work

Here are a few other tips that can help with weight loss during menopause or at any age.

  1. Eat plenty of protein. Protein helps keep you full and satisfied, increases metabolic rate, and reduces muscle loss during weight loss
  2. Include dairy in your diet. Research suggests that dairy products can help you lose fat while retaining muscle mass
  3. Eat foods high in soluble fiber. Consuming high fiber foods like flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and broccoli can help increase insulin sensitivity, reduce appetite, and promote weight loss
  4. Drink green tea. Green tea contains the compounds caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). They may help you burn fat
  5. Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating may help reduce stress and improve your relationship with food, so you end up eating less


Eating mindfully and consuming foods and beverages that support weight loss can help you lose weight during menopause.

The Menopause Diet 5 Day Plan To Lose Weight In No Time!

the menopause diet 5 day plan to lose weight

During menopause, many women unwillingly add some weight. This can be frustrating, especially those who are already doing their best to keep the pounds off or otherwise maintain a healthy weight. These days, people are turning to meal plans to help shed pounds. For those who have decided they are effective for weight loss, there are menopause diet plans to help with weight loss during this time. Today we will look at a menopause diet 5 day plan to lose weight. We will also look at other ways one can safely lose weight during menopause. Let us get started!

What Is Menopause?

There are numerous definitions of menopause, depending on the lady you ask. Most define and think menopause as the phase after their last period. However, according to WebMD, the time leading up to your last menstrual cycle is perimenopause and can last for four years.

After menopause, your body makes less estrogen and less progesterone However, during perimenopause, the estrogen and progesterone levels vary significantly .

Menopause is characterized by sleeping difficulties, irregular periods, and hot flashes. Around this time you may notice that you are putting on some weight. To better understand the best diet for menopause, let us first look at the relationship between menopause and weight gain.

The Link Between Menopause And Weight Gain

Before menopause, you could primarily associate weight gain with a lack of physical activity, inadequate sleep, or unhealthy eating behaviors. This is not to say that these are not causes of weight gain during menopause. They certainly are.

However, after reaching menopause, you realize that you may be adding more pounds than usual, despite exercising and eating right. During the menopause phase, you experience hormonal changes that affect your weight in several ways.

First, the hormonal changes cause a shift in weight distribution . You could find that you have more fat deposits around areas like your belly, arms, and thighs. This weight distribution may also make weight loss harder.

Similarly, the transition makes your body release low amounts of estrogen. When estrogen levels drop, you tend to store fat, particularly in your abdomen, leading to visceral or belly fat, as most people know it

Weight gain, even after menopause, can be detrimental as it leaves you at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. With this in mind, talk to your doctor about an effective strategy to help the weight at bay.

menopause diet plan

How To Avoid Weight Gain During Menopause

There are several recommendations for those women who need to stop weight gain during menopause. Although these methods are effective, you are still urged to talk to your doctor before trying out any of them. These methods include:

  • Good Nutrition

Most individuals who are looking to shed pounds are advised to work with a weight loss diet plan. However, the weight loss plan may tend to be different during menopause. This is because your body has different needs during this time.

Despite these needs, food experts remind you to eat healthy and balanced meals. They recommend adding whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, low-fat dairy products, healthy fats, and lean meats . However, this is easier said than done by many women.

Coupled with extreme fatigue and poor sleep patterns, the last thing such a woman may want to be doing is taking time to prepare healthy meals. Some just want to stop the hunger spikes with whatever meal they find first.

menopause diet plan

Such an approach compromises your weight loss efforts because, in most cases, the first comfort foods many women opt for are sugary or junk foods.

Foods To Avoid

To help avoid unnecessary weight gain during menopause, food experts suggest you stay away from the following:

  • Sugary Foods. Although they satisfy your sweet tooth, they also increase your risk of high blood sugar and tooth-related problems. Additionally, they often account for almost 300 calories a day and will most likely increase your calorie count . Some sources of these sugary foods include soft drinks, baked products, sugar-sweetened drinks, and so forth
  • Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are also high in calorie count and may add excess calories to your diet. Many people also tend to eat more high calorie foods while they are drinking. Consequently, you run the risk of gaining unwanted weight.
  • Salty Foods. Sodium or salt is another contributor to unwanted weight gain. Excess salt makes your body retain water, causing water weight. Similarly, salty foods are easy to overeat, meaning you eat more and are highly likely to overeat.

A Healthy Diet To Try

To help you stay away from these foods or at least limit them, food experts recommend working with a menopause diet plan. Although there is no specific diet for menopause, many food experts recommend following the Mediterranean diet during this time.

The Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains . It limits the amount of dairy products and meat that an individual can have . According to Medical News Today, you should eat the foods below when following a Mediterranean diet (

  • Plenty and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Healthful fats, be they from nuts, seeds, or fruits like avocado and olive oil
  • Limited amounts of dairy products and fish
  • Very little red and white meat
  • Few eggs
  • Limited amount of wine

The foods you should limit or avoid when following the Mediterranean diet plan include

  • Packaged or processed foods
  • Refined grains like white pasta, white bread, or pizza dough made from white flour
  • Refined oils like canola and soybean oil
  • Processed meats like hotdogs

Menopause diet plan to boost your energy and stabilize your mood

Woman about to tuck into a salad

With symptoms such as hair loss, anxiety and brain fog, the menopause can often feel like a hormonal rollercoaster. This is where our menopause diet plan comes in, designed to help you nourish yourself and optimize your wellbeing during this transition. 

“Much like puberty, which is a huge transitional period in terms of hormones, the menopause also takes a toll on our body,” says registered nutritional therapist Jackie Lynch, author of The Happy Menopause. “This isn’t the time to be following a low-fat diet, because even though weight gain during the menopause can be an issue, the body uses fat to create sex hormones which often deplete during the menopause.” 

To keep your blood sugar levels stable, your energy up and your hormones balanced, our menopause diet plan will help you to tweak the different components of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner and understand how to structure your plate.


The optimal menopause diet plan consists of balancing the main food groups, including protein, fat, and carbohydrates. “The good news is that food that contains protein will probably contain fat as well,” says Lynch. “Menopausal women need adequate protein in their diet for a range of reasons, such as balancing our blood sugar – which needs to stay stable to avoid those sugar cravings that lead to weight gain. A dip in our blood sugar can also release the stress hormone cortisol into the body and this interferes with our production of sex hormones as our body will prioritize cortisol over estrogen.”

2020 study(opens in new tab) found that during the menopause, women lose around 40% muscle mass and 25% of bone density. This is why good quality sources of protein are integral for menopausal women.

“Most people know we need to eat protein for muscle mass and bone density, both of which become an issue around the menopause,” says Lynch. “We also need the amino acids from protein, as these influence our memory, mood, and our concentration. Eating protein with every meal and every snack means your body isn’t producing more stress hormones which disrupt your brain functioning.”

Another important food group to factor into your diet is carbohydrates. “It’s important to eat wholegrain carbohydrates and starchy foods over sugary foods and white carbs during the menopause,” explains Lynch. “As the body uses carbs as its main form of energy, if we’re not exercising or moving enough, then any excess will be stored as fat.” Our guide on how to lose weight in menopause has more tips for avoiding menopausal weight gain.

The best menopause diet plan will include carbs in manageable portions. “Brown bread, wholegrain rice, and pasta are good because your body burns through these types of carbohydrates slowly, meaning your blood sugar is less likely to spike and you’re more likely to have healthy digestion,” says Lynch. “This is important because constipation puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscle which can cause urinary incontinence, a condition that many menopausal and post-menopausal women struggle with.”


Once you hit your 40s and 50s, it’s time to tweak your diet. This means factoring in more protein, thinking about balancing your blood sugar levels, and considering your levels of micronutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Here, Lynch has a meal plan to help you get started.

“The trick with breakfast is making sure you get that protein in,” explains Lynch. “If you’re a toast person, then stick to wholemeal toast to stop those blood sugar spikes. Avoid marmite and honey, which don’t add much nutritional value, and stick to toppings such as unsweetened nut butter, egg, or cottage cheese. 

“If you’re a cereal person, then look at having a couple of tablespoons of chopped nuts and seeds instead of shop-bought muesli. My favorite ingredient to add to smoothies and muesli is flaxseed, as this has protein and fiber and it’s a great source of omega-3. Flaxseed also contains phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the action of estrogen in the body. You should aim to add a couple of tbsps – around 20g – into your morning cereal or smoothie.”

Example breakfasts could be:

  • Poached eggs on a slice of wholegrain bread.
  • 2 tbsp of homemade muesli (with sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and brazil nuts) with 150g of full-fat yogurt.
  • Blueberry and spinach smoothie with 1-2 tbsp (20g) of flaxseed.
  • Cottage cheese with a handful of fruit and a sprinkling of chopped nuts and/or seeds.

Once you hit your 40s and 50s, it’s time to tweak your diet. This means factoring in more protein, thinking about balancing your blood sugar levels, and considering your levels of micronutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Here, Lynch has a meal plan to help you get started.

“The trick with breakfast is making sure you get that protein in,” explains Lynch. “If you’re a toast person, then stick to wholemeal toast to stop those blood sugar spikes. Avoid marmite and honey, which don’t add much nutritional value, and stick to toppings such as unsweetened nut butter, egg, or cottage cheese. 

“If you’re a cereal person, then look at having a couple of tablespoons of chopped nuts and seeds instead of shop-bought muesli. My favorite ingredient to add to smoothies and muesli is flaxseed, as this has protein and fiber and it’s a great source of omega-3. Flaxseed also contains phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the action of estrogen in the body. You should aim to add a couple of tbsps – around 20g – into your morning cereal or smoothie.”

Example breakfasts could be:


We often decide on our lunchtime meal in a bit of a rush, in between answering emails or taking a break from our screens. However, getting the right formula for lunch can not only help us to avoid the dreaded 4pm energy slump, but it can also help us to power through until dinner. 

“Women will often have lots of green vegetables in salads, but forget about protein,” says Lynch. “If you are having a salad at lunch, aim for a fist-size portion of protein, such as a chicken breast, salmon steak, or quinoa. This will keep you full and your blood sugars stable into the afternoon. If you’re having soup, then make sure it’s chicken and vegetable or lentil. Soups such as tomato or carrot and coriander won’t supply you with enough protein.”

Example lunches could be:

  • Green salad (spinach, cucumber and tomatoes) with chicken breast, feta cheese, and a sprinkling of pecans.
  • Two slices of wholemeal bread with chunks of chicken, a tbsp of hummus, a handful of spinach, and chopped cucumber and tomato.
  • Chicken and lentil soup with a wholemeal roll.
  • Tuna mayo with a wholemeal pitta bread and chopped green salad (spinach, cucumber and tomatoes).


“For the evening meal, think about dividing the plate into four,” says Lynch. A quarter of our evening meal should be protein (think chicken, fish or tofu), and aim for a fist-size portion of this. 

“Then your portion of starchy carb – such as rice, pasta or bread – should be no bigger than the protein. The next quarter should consist of leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, rocket, kale, broccoli, or watercress, and then the final part of your plates should contain any extra micronutrients – tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.” 

Including leafy greens provides our bodies with magnesium, which is important for menopausal women as it boosts bone strength by assisting the absorption of calcium, and helps to regulate achy muscles.

Some example dinners could be:

  • Salmon steak, new potatoes, spinach, and green beans.
  • Chicken breast with avocado, rocket, tomato, watercress, and quinoa salad.
  • Tofu curry with brown rice and broccoli. 
  • Lentil bolognese with wholegrain pasta and a portion of steamed spinach.

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