Harvard Women's Health Watch

Lifestyle changes help keep weight off after menopause

Anyone who has tried to lose weight after menopause knows how stubborn those pounds can be. Rather than going on a "diet," postmenopausal women are better off changing their eating in a way they can maintain over the long term, finds a recent study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The study included nearly 500 overweight and obese postmenopausal women. The women were randomly assigned to either a lifestyle change or health education group, and were weighed at six months and again at four years. At both points, women in the lifestyle change group who ate fewer desserts and fried foods, drank fewer sugary beverages, ate more fish, and ate at restaurants less often were able to lose weight and keep it off. Over the long term, eating more fruits and vegetables and less meats and cheeses was also important for weight loss. The authors say increasing fruits and vegetables may be more achievable than cutting out sweets and fried foods.

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