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Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Most women have a lower muscle mass than men due to hormonal differences, but the decline in oestrogen at menopause means that skeletal muscle is often lost.

As females in our fifties it is a struggle to keep muscle because of decline in oestrogen. It is important to keep our muscle so we can keep our metabolism high. Keeping our muscle, keeps are body strong and burning fat at rest. Often when we loose muscle there can be a increase in fat around the belly and thighs. The reason for this is because our metabolism slows down when our muscle declines and our bodies do not burn as many calories and become lazy. The result of this is that extra calories as stored as fat.

It becomes so imperative to eat enough protein and keep active with regular exercise during menopause.

Research has shown that weight-based activity can slow or even delay the loss of muscle mass and is vital for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis.

Post-menopause women should prioritise weight-bearing activities as much as possible.

The recommended daily protein intake for average weight and height of menopausal/post menopause women is 90% of your total weight in grams. In other words if you weigh 65kg then your protein intake per day should be approximately 60 grams of protein.

Using 60 grams as an example of protein intake per day. The serving size should be 15 grams, divided into 4 meals per day. This is the best way for the body to absorb the protein and prevent muscle loss.

Some examples of serving sizes of protein are:

  • 80 grams of grilled skinless chicken = 20 grams protein

  • 80 grams of cooked lean red meat = 25 grams protein

  • 100 grams of grilled salmon = 24 grams protein

  • 1 cup of whole milk = 10 grams protein

  • 1 cup of legumes = 13 grams protein

  • 100 grams of tofu = 15 grams protein

  • 200 grams of plain yoghurt = 12 grams protein

  • 2 large eggs = 12 grams protein

  • 30 grams of mixed nuts = 6 grams protein

If you are vegetarian or vegan there are plenty of good protein sources.

We need to protect ourselves into old age. Many older adults have unsteadiness, poor wound healing and recurring falls due to not enough muscle and not enough protein in their diets.

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