I’m going through menopause and I have gained some weight. I restrict my daily food intake to 1,000 calories, yet I’m not losing weight.

Gaining weight during menopause is protective. Most women do so and it is alright. But gaining more than five kgs can mean that you are just eating badly and have very lazy lifestyle habits.

You will need to accept this phase of your life gracefully and acknowledge it rather than dive into more food, gain more weight and make everything worse. If the excess weight is bothering you, there are lots of things you can do about it. But eating less is definitely not one of them. In fact that never solves the problem for anyone in a healthy manner.

There are two or three different strategies you can try that might not help you see the weight go down on the scale initially, but will definitely help with reducing inflammation and hence help with inch loss.

You can try the intermittent fast – which is five days in a row. This is a forgiving diet and allows you to include carbohydrates during the feeding time, which your body will demand of you right now. You will notice a drop in your inches within the first week of following this. However, please consult a doctor before starting this fast plan. If this seems too hard, you can start eating just three meals a day without snacking. The concept of eating every two hours has very little scientific backing compared to fasting for longer periods. When you snack, especially on the wrong foods like biscuits and fruits, your insulin levels fluctuate. This will start a cascade of hormonal imbalances that will cause you to eat more carbs. So avoid snacking for some time and see how you feel. You can also replace your breakfast for a cup of coffee with a tablespoon of ghee and 30 mixed nuts followed by two whole some meals in the day. This will give you a whole lot of good fats in the morning and keep your insulin stable through the day.

Taking a collagen supplement will help make your skin look better and younger. Get all your hormones tested.

During this phase your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels plummet making you feel depressed and anxious. Getting your thyroid levels done is also a great idea.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop