Diets

THE DUKAN DIET AND MENOPAUSE

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What recommends Dr. Dukan of women in menopause?

Our life expectancy has increased dramatically; currently it’s eighty

years for women. The average age for menopause is fifty-one, and

this change is no longer considered the beginning of the end but the

beginning of the second part of life.

Perimenopause and the first six months of confirmed menopause

is a time of hormonal change when women most often put on

weight. The body gradually burns up fewer calories with the

combined efects of age, reduction in muscle mass, and sometimes

lower levels of thyroid hormones. At the same time, the ovaries

produce irregular amounts of estrogen and progesterone.

The combined efects of these factors causes weight gain that does

not respond to the ordinary dietary measures that most women use

to control their weight.

 

If you have reached confirmed menopause, you may tend to put

on even more weight.

What are plant hormones?

Vegetable Hormones: A Natural Alternative for Women at Risk of

Weight Gain

Much controversy surrounds the risks connected with replacement

hormone therapy. To tackle the dificulties sometimes encountered

during menopause, including hot flashes and weight gain, a totally

vegetable-based treatment is of particular interest to us here in

relation to controlling weight gain during this time.

Soybeans and some other food plants contain compounds called

isoflavones and phytoestrogens which produce a variety of mild

hormonal actions in the body. Although less active than female

hormonal actions in the body. Although less active than female

hormones, it has been clinically proven that they give protection

from hot flashes. Furthermore, it seems that regular use of the

phytoestrogens, particularly those found in soybeans, provided they

are used in suficient quantity, enables women, particularly those

already overweight or likely to become so, to avoid inevitable

menopausal weight gain.

How to use phytoestrogens?

However, since phytoestrogens are 1,000 to 2,000 times less

powerful than a woman’s natural hormones, most doses available

in gel or pill form are not high enough to deal with weight risks.

According to Japanese research, women in that country do not

experience hot flashes and their weight is stable throughout

perimenopause and menopause because they regularly eat 7 ounces

(200 grams) of tofu daily—7 ounces of tofu provides a daily 100-

milligram dose of soy isoflavones, a dose that seems to have the

best chance of helping with weight control.

All the authors who have studied the nutritional properties of soy

insist that, although its protective action very quickly tackles certain

menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and aging of the skin, to

exploit its preventive efects against breast cancer, osteoporosis, and

weight gain it has to be used over a long period of time. Asian

women have a surprising immunity to these diseases, which may be

due to the fact that they regularly consume a great quantity of soy

products.

How to prevent weight gain during menopause?

Preventing Weight Gain

• Normal menopause. When you have no history of abnormal

weight gain or dieting but simply want to be careful, I would

advise you, at the first sign of any perimenopause

irregularities, to follow the Permanent Stabilization phase

with its pure protein Thursdays, giving up elevators and

escalators, and eating 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily. In

most cases, this will be enough to prevent normal weight

gain. You must keep up this defense for the whole

perimenopause phase and continue until the body has fully

perimenopause phase and continue until the body has fully

adapted to menopause.

• Potentially dificult menopause. You may face a potentially

dificult menopause in respect to weight gain if you have

always had dificulty maintaining your normal weight and,

alone or with the help of your doctor, have continued your

tendency to gain pounds. At the first signs of menopause, you

are right to be concerned about additional weight problems.

If the Stabilization diet is not enough to prevent weight

gain, I recommend that you follow the Consolidation phase,

which is based on proteins and vegetables, fruit, 2 slices of

100 percent whole grain bread and 1½ ounces of cheese

each day, 2 portions of starchy foods per week, and the

celebration meals. And, of course, do not forget the driving

power of the pure protein Thursdays.

At certain critical stages of perimenopause, it is vital to

follow the Cruise phase, alternating 1 day of proteins with 1

day of proteins + vegetables for as long as there is a threat

of weight gain—for example, when your periods become

very delayed or virtually absent, or when you are suffering

from water retention, bloating, fingers so puffy you cannot

remove your rings, and headaches. Normally, this diet is

enough to maintain an effective defense.

When you gain weight during menopause?

If You Are Already Overweight

A recent weight gain. If you have taken no precautions and

have recently gained weight, but it is not yet threatening, I

recommend starting with 3 days of the Attack diet followed

by the Cruise diet, alternating 1 day of pure proteins with 1

day of proteins + vegetables. Once you are back to your

correct weight, use the protective Consolidation diet and the

Permanent Stabilization diet.

Overweight for quite a while. If you already have a tendency

to gain weight or have been overweight for a long period of

to gain weight or have been overweight for a long period of

time, I would advise you to follow the Attack diet to the

letter, starting 5 days of pure proteins, or even 7 days if you

have put on a significant amount of weight. Then move on to

the Cruise diet, the 5/5 version, alternating 5 days of pure

proteins with 5 days of proteins + vegetables. You may

instead use a 1/1 version if your weight gain is not so great or

if you are able to lose it more easily. Once you reach your

desired weight, continue with the Consolidation diet for as

many days as our rule requires—that is, 5 days for every

pound lost. Finally, keep to the Permanent Stabilization diet

for the rest of your life.

 

The Dukan Diet

 

 

 

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