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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow The Menopause Diet: 5-Day Plan to Lose Weight

The Menopause Diet: 5-Day Plan to Lose Weight

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: August 7, 2023
7 min read 1687 Views 0 Comments
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The other bookend of puberty, menopause is a reality that many women dread due to how drastically it can change the body.

the menopause diet 5 day plan to lose weight

With these changes often comes weight gain.

Thankfully, women undergoing menopause, or postmenopausal women, don’t have to accept gaining weight.

Mediterranean, paleo, Atkins, or keto diet: women are ready to try it all to achieve noticeable results. But is dieting during menopause even effective?

Our diet experts explain why your body gains weight during menopause, how to avoid it, and how to lose the extra pounds.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is a normal part of aging for all women. It’s a transition that women go through during the later stages of their life where they no longer experience a menstrual cycle and can no longer get pregnant.

Menopause begins 12 months after a woman experiences her last period.

The years before this transitionary period for many women can be peppered with irregular menstrual cycles, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, or mood swings. That period of transition is often called perimenopause.

The menopause transition usually appears between the ages of 45 and 55. It can even take about 7 years to complete entirely, up until those 12 months after a woman has had her last menstrual cycle.

While some women don’t have any menopausal symptoms whatsoever, other women are plagued by years of brain fog, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and irregular hormone cycles.

How do you know if it’s menopause? There are some expected changes that doctors look for when deciding whether or not a woman is going through menopause, such as periods occurring closer and closer together, heavy bleeding, spotting between cycles, and other changes in your period.

You may also begin to experience hot flashes, often related to fluctuating estrogen levels. A hot flash is described as a feeling of sudden heat, usually relegated to the upper torso and face area.

Stress, hormone changes, and trouble sleeping can make women feel like they’re having out-of-control changes to their moods.

Thankfully, there are plenty of treatments to help with these unpleasant symptoms.

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Menopause and Weight Gain

One thing that many menopausal women deal with is weight gain. Maintaining weight and losing weight becomes more and more difficult as women age, especially during and after the menopausal transitionary period.

The hormonal changes make it harder for menopausal women to lose weight during menopause and even make it more likely for women to gain weight around their hips, stomach, and thighs.

Like all weight changes, menopausal weight gain can cause health complications for women reaching middle age.

Gaining weight during menopause can cause heart disease and blood glucose levels to rise and even put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Carrying excess weight during or after menopause can also put women at cancer risk, including colon cancer and breast cancer.

That’s where taking care of your overall health and managing your weight becomes essential. 

How to Avoid Weight Gain During Menopause? 4 Powerful Tips

Not only can weight gain be dangerous, but it can significantly affect your self-esteem. Here are some expert-approved ways to avoid gaining weight during menopause.

#1 Eat a balanced diet

A healthy diet is the first step to maintaining weight and avoiding weight gain. Focus on eating whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and other whole foods.

Avoid processed food, fast food, and anything full of empty calories.

Take some time to research some healthy diets out there. A good diet plan will make it easier to avoid that menopause weight gain. And if you’ve already gained a few pounds, a good diet plan will make it easier to get back down to a healthy weight.

#2 Avoid refined food and sugary drinks

Refined carbohydrates and drinks full of sugar will only make it much harder to burn those calories off. You want to avoid gaining that weight before you have to struggle with weight loss.

While diet soda isn’t the best drink, it’s an excellent transitory drink to wean yourself off sugar drinks, even without the sugar and calories.

Consider switching to teas with natural sweeteners or sparkling water if you still crave those bubbles.

#3 Try intermittent fasting 

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a way of eating that allows your body to fully absorb and consume the calories you intake. Intermittent fasting is a great way to control or maintain your current weight.

IF is known not only for weight management but also for regulating blood glucose levels and even possibly lowering cancer risk.

Start with something easy to manage, such as an 18:6 intermittent fasting regimen.

An easy way to get started with intermittent fasting is using a dedicated fasting app, like DoFasting. With this app, you can get a personalized fasting regimen that takes your lifestyle into account.

Each program with DoFasting is individually designed for every user. You have access to fasting-friendly recipes and shopping lists and a welcoming and supportive community that will help you get started with intermittent fasting.

#4 Have a daily routine

Menopause can disrupt your regular daily routine, making falling into bad eating habits or poor exercise routines easier.

Keep up with your daily routine to maximize your ability to keep off the menopause weight gain. Being able to control your day-to-day life will translate into having more weight control.

The Menopause Diet: 5-Day Plan to Lose Weight

If you’re already battling weight loss, the best diet you can go on is a diet specifically designed to help women struggling with menopause. This menopause diet plan can look different from person to person, but a few key factors remain the same.

Look into a high-fat and low-carb diet plan. Keto is one of the best ways to lose weight during menopause and keep that weight off. With keto, your body enters into a metabolic state called ketosis.

During ketosis, your body burns fat to convert it into ketones energy. You enter into ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates and giving it another energy source: fat.

High-fat and low-carb diets are among the best and most popular ways to shed extra pounds, especially for women during menopause.

How to Lose Weight During Menopause?

So, what if you’ve already gained weight during menopause? What is the best way to lose it again and get back to a healthy weight?

Our weight loss experts explain how to lose that extra menopause weight best.

#1 Stay active

If you’ve never been very active throughout your life, it can be challenging to start up now that you’re reaching menopause. However, staying active is a great way to help weight loss and build supportive muscle mass.

Being physically active helps maintain muscle and bone health and reduces stress, among a plethora of benefits.

Pilates, yoga, and brisk walks will increase your heart rate and burn calories. Paired with a menopause diet plan, staying active is the highway to being fit and healthy.

#2 Try to reduce your stress levels

To lose weight, you need to reduce stress. Stress and anxiety are two of the fastest ways to gain weight. Stress can upset your natural body rhythms, make it harder for you to exercise, and encourage overeating.

Take some time out of your day to center yourself and lower your stress. Lowered stress will help you get better sleep, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk for stress-related illnesses like heart disease.

#3 Eat fiber-rich foods

Fiber is a great way to lose weight. Foods naturally rich in fiber are often rich in other nutrients that encourage your body to stay fit and healthy.

Fiber-rich foods can also reduce your calorie intake by making you feel fuller and reducing your appetite.

Some good sources of fiber are whole grains, avocados, apples, berries, dried fruits, and vegetables.

#4 Look for natural sources of phytoestrogens

Out-of-control hormone levels can be one of the leading causes of weight gain in women who are experiencing menopause. Look for foods rich in phytoestrogens to help level out your hormone levels.

These are often found in plants and whole foods, such as carrots, soy, oranges, legumes, and even coffee. Phytoestrogens can help reduce hot flashes and even mood swings in some cases.

A Word From Our RD

Menopause, while natural, can often disrupt a woman’s day-to-day life. Menopause can also be challenging to talk about with your doctor or other women. After all, it’s tough to admit to symptoms of aging.

But life with menopause doesn’t have to be complicated. Some women even look forward to this transition, where they no longer have to worry about heavy or painful periods or pregnancy.

However, it can be hard to deal with unexpected weight gain or hard to lose extra weight. Developing a meal plan and menopause diet designed to work with your postmenopausal body can make the transition easier.


Menopause is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It’s also not uncommon for postmenopausal women to experience difficulty with weight control.

To control your weight during these times of change and transition, it’s crucial to stay active and develop healthy eating habits. This is important for your muscle mass and bone health.

A menopause diet plan will ensure you’re taking care of your body the same way it’s taken care of you all these years. Focus on a diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and foods that help encourage your body to burn off calories, not hold onto them.

You may want to try different plans that are proven to help women during menopause: intermittent fasting and keto diets. These diets have a dedicated community, so you’ll never have to make the transition alone.

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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