It is a well-known fact that before, during, or after menopause, women start to develop what is usually known as menopause tummy fat. But why is this occurring, and what can you do about it? Well, there are several reasons why this happens.
As you age, your metabolism slows down as you are generally becoming less active. Also, because you are becoming less active, you need fewer calories but seldom modify your diet to take this into account. This naturally leads to an uptick in overall body fat. But this alone doesn’t justify the menopause tummy fat.
With menopause, your hormones change and in particular, you produce less estrogen. Generally, estrogen helps direct any excess fat to the hips throughout the childbearing years. As estrogen levels reduce, excess fat stops going to the hips and accumulates around the midsection, causing bulkiness.
Unfortunately, excess weight around your belly is incredibly unhealthy compared to other areas of the body and develops the risk of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. The good thing is there is a solution for it.
Understanding the causes of this new collection of fat is the first step towards combating it. There are two kinds of belly fat; visceral (deeply buried around our organs) and subcutaneous (what we can see). It is the visceral fat responsible for the potential health problems; we need to target this fat. Fortunately, visceral fat can be conquered through an exercise routine and a few lifestyle changes to your diet.
Here are just a few tips on how to subdue that menopause fat.
Modify your diet
The important things here are to eat fewer calories and enhance overall nutrition. You don’t have to go on a crash diet, but just a few changes here and there should do the trick.
- Reduce portion sizes
- Substitute simple carbohydrates with complex
- Add fat-burning foods to your lunch
- Eat fewer calories
- Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats
Diet Suggestions for Women in Menopause:
- Begin your lunch with veggies and protein, and eat your starch last. This reduces your body’s insulin and blood sugar levels, which will help keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Eat between a 12-hour window- from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. Please don’t eat anything after 7 P.M. This gives the body ample time to digest food.
- Add fish, olive oil, or avocados to your diet.
To tackle that fat caused by menopause, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Daily exercise will boost your metabolism, thereby assisting in this weight loss process. It would help if you tried to exercise every day of the week, alternating core strength and cardiovascular exercises.
You need to work at a moderate to high intensity for at least 40 minutes for the best results. Aim to do at a level that has you breaking into a sweat and increases your heart rate into the “fat-burning” zone.
Apart from the obvious weight loss benefits associated with exercise, additional use of activity that is often ignored is its effect on stress. It is well known that exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins improve your body’s response to stress. Exercise may be just what you need to combat any comfort eating you are doing due to stress.
Targeted Stomach Exercises
Yes, you can’t “spot burn” fat in a distinct area. However, in connection with an overall weight loss management, targeting specific areas will increase the effect by toning and firming the area’s muscles. In particular, to eliminate the fat, you need to target the lower and deeper abdominal muscles.
Traditional stomach exercises are not the most efficient way to do this. Crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts will help to target the subcutaneous fat. Still, to remove the deep visceral fat, you will need to mesh in pelvic tilts and abdominal hollowing exercises, simply described as “drawing in the bellybutton.”
Menopause fat is a drag, but by adding these few changes to your lifestyle, you can eliminate it and, at the same time, improve your overall energy and health levels.