If you’re older than 40 then you’ve probably noticed that your body has changed quite a bit over the last decade or two. Eating the same diet that we did in our 20s and 30s can result in weight gain in our 40s and living the same lifestyle that we did back then can result in long term health problems once we hit the age of perimenopause. That’s the bad news; the good news is that it’s absolutely possible to reduce menopausal symptoms and stay slim after 40 by adopting these six healthy habits:
- Get control of your weight once and for all. Many of us have spent the majority of our adult lives gaining, losing and then regaining weight. If you’re over 40, talk to your doctor to find out what your ideal weight should be and work hard to maintain that number. Not only will it mean less work for you, it will ensure you stay active and healthy as you get older.
- Boost your calcium intake. After the age of 50, a woman’s calcium requirements increase from 1,000 milligrams each day to 1,200. Menopause reduces estrogen levels which means that our bones don’t absorb calcium as well as they used to. Choose low-fat dairy products to get the same amount of calcium, but with fewer calories.
- Learn to love fish. Your risk of suffering a heart attack increases after menopause, but eating at least two servings of fish every week can help reduce your risk. Preliminary research suggests that the healthy omega 3 oils in fish may be able to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Give soy a chance. Foods like soy milk and tofu may be able to offer some relief from hot flashes, which many menopausal women experience in their 50s. There is also some speculation in the medical community as to whether it can reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
- Replace your morning cup of coffee with an iced herbal tea. Hot beverages can trigger hot flashes in menopausal women and the caffeine that accompanies coffee can increase your risk. Instead of hot tea, try a decaf tea made with soy milk for a cool treat without a lot of caffeine or calories.
- Find the right diet for you. Dieting after menopause is the same as before—you need to take in fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight. Find a diet that’s nutritionally balanced and high in fresh fruits and veggies to lose weight without stressing your body.
Nowadays, 40 looks a lot different than it did in our grandmothers’ day. If you want to ensure a strong, healthy and beautiful body for years to come then a healthy diet, exercise and regular visits to your chiropractor are all necessary. Taking the time to care for your body now will mean a healthy body over the next few decades.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician prior to implementing any exercise or dietary changes.
Photo credit: Woman by mrhayata. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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