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There have long been discussions surrounding links between the menopause and weight gain. But one expert believes it's actually a "perfect storm" of factors that contribute to piling on the pounds, revealing one dieting technique in particular can cause harm to weight loss in the long-run.

Women's health expert Jackie Lynch, founder of the WellWellWell Nutrition Clinic, pointed out that the popular yo-yo dieting cycle can impact a women's ability to lose weight when they hit the menopause.

According to Healthline, yo-yo dieting can increase a person's body fat percentage at the expense of muscle mass and strength.

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It can lead to other health risks, such as cause fatty liver, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Experts suggest making small but permanent lifestyle changes to break the frustrating weight loss cycle.

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Menopause weight loss: Avoid diet method that 'doesn't help' © GETTY Menopause weight loss: Avoid diet method that 'doesn't help'

Jackie explained: "For some women it may be they've been yo-yo dieting for years, which doesn't help the metabolism."

The menopause is known to reduce oestrogen which can lower a woman's metabolic rate.

This, coupled with a history of weight loss cycling, can be detrimental to their goals.

And because of women's varying metabolism rates as they age, Jackie also advised staying away from bad food altogether.

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"Our metabolisms are all different," she told Henpicked.

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She said that indulging every now and again will make a minor difference but added: "It depends how often.

"Doing a cheat day every weekend is a waste of time."

And while having a cheat day once in a while is OK, one every week is "not going to bring things down if you're looking to lose weight".

Mindful eating consultant, Emma Randall, told BBC that wanting a cheat day can also be a "reflection of a very restrictive and unenjoyable diet".

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Yo-yo dieting can impact a women's ability to lose weight when they hit the menopause © GETTY Yo-yo dieting can impact a women's ability to lose weight when they hit the menopause

She explained that the more people restrict foods while trying to lose weight, the more they will think about them.

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"Will-power is a bit like a phone battery; it tends to run out by the end of the day", she said.

Food restriction can also have an adverse affect and halt weight loss.

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Calorie burning tips © EXPRESS Calorie burning tips

Jackie explained that the human body is programmed genetically to prepare for survival.

If a person stops eating, the body begins to store "everything up".

"[This] makes it much harder to lose weight," she said.

Jackie continued to explain that if women are "a state of chronic stress", their bodies will encourage the storage of fat, particularly around their middle areas.

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