As women enter perimenopause, which can start as early as your 30’s, they begin to lose muscle. This muscle loss leads to losing 2-3% of our muscle mass per decade, which is 4-5 lbs in the average woman
What?? I’m losing 4-5 lbs every decade but why is the scale is staying the same or even creeping higher? That is because we aren’t necessarily losing 4-5 lbs of weight, we are losing 4-5 lbs of muscle, leaving our bodies with more fat and less strength. By perimenopause and menopause, our bodies may have already lost 10-15 lbs of muscle, leaving us feeling fatigued, weak, and with uncomfortable weight gain.
The first step to combating dwindling muscle mass and uncomfortable weight gain is eating enough protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and maintenance, but if you are snacking on crackers, chips, and cookies, you are likely not getting enough protein. Aiming for 25-30 grams of protein at each meal and 10-15 grams of protein for snacks will combat this muscle loss.
But, we rarely think of the foods on our plate in grams, so what does 25-30 grams of protein look like in terms of real food?
Choosing whole, high protein foods will keep your muscles strong through perimenopause and menopause, while keeping unwanted weight gain and fatigue under control.
Until next time lovelies,
Amanda Rosenberg RDN