Hot flashes and -- ahem -- other uncomfortable side effects of menopause are well-known. But here's another unpleasant side effect of menopause: weight gain is harder to combat. "Weight maintenance is critical from a health perspective, but difficult due to changes in lifestyle and metabolism" for menopausal women, said Dr. Holly Phillips, CBS News' medical correspondent.
But there's hope: after looking at short- and long-term eating habits of 481 heavy-weight and obese women in their 50s, a study found four eating habits that fight menopausal weight gain. These four were the "only eating habits linked to weight loss," Phillips said.
To find out which eating habits are linked to weight loss after menopause, watch the video above.
THE POWER OF HONEY
<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/us-honey-memory-idUSTRE79D5LH20111014" target="_hplink">Reuters recently reported</a> that a daily spoonful of Malaysian honey may boost postmenopausal women's memory. This is, of course, an "alternative therapy" for hormone-related memory loss.
AVOID CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
Caffeine may hinder absorption of minerals, lower bone density and increase stress hormones, according to <a href="http://www.nowpublic.com/health/5-ways-caffeine-makes-menopause-worse" target="_hplink">NowPublic.com</a>. Similarly, many women report that alcohol is a trigger for hot flashes, although research to prove a connection is lacking.
EAT HEALTHY AND EXERCISE IN MODERATION
According to a recent <a href="http://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Associations_of_physical_activity_and_diet_with.98959.aspx" target="_hplink">Japanese study</a>, women who spend a lot of time exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet may actually reach menopause earlier. Women who exercised between eight and 10 hours each week were 17 percent more likely to enter menopause during the study period than women who consistently skipped the gym. The same held true (15 percent) for women who consumed foods high in polyunsaturated fats -- the type of fat found in many fish and vegetable oils.
THE FLAXSEED MYTH
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota recently found eating flaxseed may not ease menopausal hot flashes after all, despite some promising early evidence that it might, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/us-menopause-idUSTRE79D0SJ20111014" target="_hplink">Reuters</a> said.
REGULAR DOSE OF CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D
The <a href="http://www.nof.org" target="_hplink">National Osteoporosis Foundation</a> says calcium and Vitamin D help absorb osteoporosis medications and build bones as we grow older.
THE SOY MYTH
Much like the flaxseed myth, researchers have mixed feelings about the effects of soy in a menopause diet. <a href="http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/soyformenopausalsymptoms.aspx" target="_hplink">WomenToWomen.com</a> says soy has been proven to improve insulin regulation, weight loss, bone health, nail, skin and hair health, heart health, hot flashes and night sweats. But a new study from Florida suggests otherwise, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/08/us-soy-menopause-idUSTRE7775IO20110808" target="_hplink">Reuters reports</a>.