As our hormones start to change and we approach the menopause, many women start to notice a difference in their energy levels. You might take a little longer to get going in the morning, or perhaps you feel more fatigued than normal after a busy day.
You do not have to live with this. There is plenty that you can do to help you get your bounce back. A few simple adjustments to your diet and lifestyle can help to sustain your energy for longer and stop you crashing at the end of the day.
Make protein your first thought when planning your meals.
It will help you to sustain your energy levels and keep you going for longer.
As we approach menopause, we have a higher requirement for protein in the diet. Studies suggest a minimum 1.2g per 1kg body weight, compared to 0.75g per 1kg in our earlier years.
Start tracking your protein, using an app like myfitnesspal or Nutracheck and see how much protein you get in a day. Do this for 3 or 4 days to get your starting point.
Here are some simple ways to increase your protein intake:
- Add Menoligna to your overnight oats or porridge at breakfast (an extra 5.6g per 30g portion).
- Add some natural yoghurt topped with chia seeds and berries to your day.
- Add some toasted nuts and seeds and a little feta or cottage cheese to salads at lunchtime.
- Have chicken or fish at lunchtime a few times a week.
- Add lentils to soups.
- Make a 3 egg omelette.
Consider the quality of your carbohydrates
White and refined carbohydrates will make your energy levels crash and burn.
For more sustained release energy, make the switch to low GI carbohydrates.
That’s the stuff with more fibre.
Here are some examples:
- Brown rice
- Wholemeal pasta
- Jumbo oats
These higher fibre options will help you to feel fuller for longer too, so you will find less more satisfying than the higher GI versions.
Eat more omega 3 rich foods
Are you eating enough fat?
Fatigue is one of the signs of an omega 3 deficiency, so make sure you are getting your daily intake of these important fats.
Omega 3 fats are particularly important for hormone balance at menopause, so make sure you get your fill. Good sources include oily fish, flaxseed, chia and walnuts.
- Eat oily fish 2-3 x week (salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines or salmon).
- Add Menoligna to your daily diet – pop on top of your favourite breakfast, add to soups or smoothies or stir into savoury dishes like curry or bolognese.
- Use chia seeds in overnight oats.
Fill up on phytoestrogens
Plant-based hormone balancers can help ease the transition at menopause. One of my favourite ways to get phytoestrogens into the diet at menopause is using Linwoods Menoligna every day. It is formulated to contain optimal levels of lignans, which are the naturally occurring phytoestrogens found in flaxseed which help support oestrogen balance.
Limit your alcohol intake
Alcohol can leave you feeling sluggish, affect your quality of sleep and may even exacerbate some symptoms of the menopause like hot flushes.
If you don’t want to quit completely, then at least limit your intake and try some non-alcoholic alternatives. there are some great options available, so try some out and find your favourites.
Make time for rest
If you are feeling tired, it could be a sign to slow things down a little, Make sure you give yourself a break and take time to do the things that allow you to take a rest from the daily grind. Get outside, make something, bake something or build a mindfulness practice into your day.
Move your body
Movement will help you feel more energised, so make it part of your daily routine. Get out for a walk, do a HIIt class, ride your bike – whatever works for you is good.
Get your iron levels tested
If you are peri-menopausal and your periods are more frequent or heavier than usual, talk to your GP about getting your iron levels tested.
If you found these 8 Nutritional Tips for Women helpful, let us know below how you introduce them into your daily routine.
Jane McClenaghan is Northern Ireland’s most recognised nutritionist with over 20 year’s experience.