The importance of maintaining strength and avoiding restrictive diets for women in peri- menopause and beyond
Many women may not be aware of the dangers associated with a with highly restricted, low calorie diets and intermittent fasting. My suspicions have been confirmed in my latest CPD module which emphasises how detrimental this approach can be particularly for women in run – up to or going through menopause (typically women from mid 30s to mid fifties).
This is because too few calories in your diet (i.e less than 500 cals below your daily requirement) reduces your lean tissue mass and notably slows down your metabolism. In other words your body literally eats it’s own muscle! Especially in the absence of adequate protein and a lack of strength training. Slowing down your metabolism makes you feel sluggish, have trouble concentrating and may result in mood swings. Even more alarming is that being preoccupied with dieting and weight loss in these crucial years could mean a loss of independence in the future. Skinny now could mean being frail in your old age.
The best thing you can do is show your body some love by maintaining or even building muscle through strength training at least twice a week and eat a healthy diet. I promise this will make you feel energised and have a more positive body image.