Stress Menopause & Fat Gain
Keeping your stress levels under control is going to be one of the hidden parts of weight loss and losing your belly fat. When stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol that can cause an increase in belly fat .
Womens ovaries decrease their production of estrogen in the menopausal transition. Then your adrenal glands pick up some of the slack by producing estrogen. But your adrenal glands also produce cortisol.
But if youve lived a stressful life and are still living one in menopause then this could affect your adrenals ability to make these hormones. If youre stressed out then your body will focus on making more cortisol instead of estrogen. This will lead to developing a stress belly.
Youll also feel more fatigued, suffer from insomnia, and get cravings. All of which will make it harder for weight loss and to get rid of your visceral fat. Physical activity is a lot harder to do when stressed. Finding ways to de-stress in life will be a smart strategy for lowering your cortisol levels. To lose weight its important to lower your stress levels.
Meditation, exercise, eating healthy, deep breathing and proper sleep are all great ways to lower your stress. Taking a high-quality CBD oil can also lower your stress levels. Studies have found it to lower anxiety and improve sleep as well . With menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats itll do a lot for helping you sleep and de-stress.
Does menopause weight gain go away?
The Last Word
Tell Stress To Take A Walk
Any kind of exercise is beneficial in decreasing stress levels, but studies show that women who go on walks regularly have less menopausal symptoms than women who didnt.
In order to make walking an effective exercise, one that burns calories and tones muscles, you have to get your heart rate up. You cannot go at what I call a window shopping pace. Of course, that uses up some calories, but not enough to make a difference. You have to move at a rate that forces you to breathe a bit harder than just going for a stroll.
Start by incorporating an aerobic interval, which is a short burst of greater exertion. After warming up by walking at a comfortable rate , kick it up to a 6 or 7 for three minutes, then return to your steady speed. This is a recovery period. After three minutes recovery, pick up the speed again and repeat the cycle throughout your walk. Intervals keep your muscles on alert, which makes the workout more effective.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
What You Can Do About Menopause Weight Gain: Losing Weight During Menopause
Reducing your waistline can be super tricky at any time in your life, let alone during the menopause. So can you avoid, curtail or reverse menopausal weight gain? According to experts, the answer is a resounding âyes’.
Most women need about 200 fewer calories a day in their fifties than they did in their thirties and forties. Pick more filling, nutritious foods and eat smaller, more frequent meals to keep your metabolism revved up and your blood sugar stable.
Try to eat a small meal or snack including protein and complex carbohydrates every 3-4 hours, limiting alcohol and sugar.
Staying active is also key. The waistlines of those who do just 10 minutes of aerobic activity a day are, on average, 6 inches narrower than the waistlines of those who do no exercise at all.
Want to age-proof your figure? Try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down and combine aerobic activities like walking and swimming with strength-training exercise. Remember, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.
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Hormones And Body Fat
During menopause, your hormones get thrown out of whack. Your estrogen levels plummet, and body fat that used to settle around the hips, thighs, or butt now tends to settle around your middle.
In menopause, your progesterone also decreases, which contributes to elevated cortisol levels in the body. Elevated cortisol can cause you to gain that so-called menopause belly.
Why Does Menopause Belly Occur
Everything is related to menopausal fluctuation in hormones. During this stage, a woman experiences how the estrogen and progesterone drop and lead to symptoms and body changes such as weight gain or altered metabolism.
Besides, once estrogen drops, the body fat starts being redistributed from the thigs, buttocks, and even hips to the actual abdomen. Previously the body fat was stored outside the abdomen in a fuel reservoir-like environment for breastfeeding and childbearing.
If a woman gains only little weight, it is pretty normal, however, when the gain is calculated in more than 2 pounds, the abdomen starts accommodating visceral fat which in excessive amounts is considered a toxic fat.
The good thing about How Can I Lose My Menopause Belly is that there are many options available, and you do not need to spend ages when choosing the right approach.
As was said above, the first method is to consult a doctor or nutritionist who builds plans for menopause belly and menopause women health management in general.
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Can I Melt The Menopause Belly Fat With Exercise
In the beginning, when I started my wellness transformation, I weighed 204 pounds and that number scared the out of me. And then it scared me into action. It was through exercise, particularly weight training and cardiovascular exercise that I learned I could move that mountain of fat and reshape myself and my health entirely.
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a persons physical, emotional, and mental states. ~Carol Welch
Movement is part of a Clean Living lifestyle. Movement matters.
Its movement of a particular kind that can reshape your waist circumference.
Movement melts visceral fat and builds muscle mass instead. Its a powerful alchemy when this change happens because to change it is to cause a cascade of positive alterations not only in your belly but everywhere else in your body.
The Movement Formula, from my 3 Es of Wellness program, states that you need to engage in 30 minutes of exercise performed at a MHR of 65% or greater, at least 5-6 days per week. This is the gold standard for physical movement. And you need the combination of cardiovascular exercise along with strength training to make it perfect.
Thats why spot training by doing 100s of crunches wont cut the fat!
The other cool thing about exercise is that once you start you self-signal that you are a person who exercises. That means that youre an exerciser which means youre fit. Your mind loves this kind of message because naming it is doing it is making it so.
Start Your Day With Acv Or Lemon Water
Kick-start your bodys natural detoxification process first thing in the morning by drinking a glass of water with lemon or apple cider vinegar in it.
The acetic acid in vinegar helps your body burn fat and rids your body of toxins. It also gives you a little energy boost to start your day.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar or lemon in your water are endless! Just add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, or slice a lemon and squeeze it into your water.
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Beating Belly Fat And More
So as you can see, a lot of factors contribute to menopausal weight gain. Yes, the rules have changed, and it might feel as if no one told you, but with the right lifestyle changes, you can lose the fat and take control of your weight!
One of the biggest changes I made in my life in order to lose my excess weight and gain some sanity, was withmy diet! I literally took a year off to travel around the world in the pursuit of knowledge that Ive since shared with thousands of my clients .
Many of us think that we just have to eat less, and workout more. But this can be more damaging and doesnt really address the underlying problem our hormones are outta whack! This is why I recommend you start with your diet because youre going to want to first and foremost, balance your hormones.
Once you get that balanced, it will automatically help you lose fat, and build muscles that will keep fat burning even when youre not moving. Sure, you might have to change your workout a little bit, but at least your system will be working at an optimal condition to facilitate fat loss.
Ways To Beat Menopause Weight Gain
As you enter midlife, you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more of a challenge. The hormonal changes of menopause can lead to extra weight gain around the belly area.
Hormonal changes are not the only things that contribute to weight gain. Aging, lifestyle and genetic factors also play a significant role. As you age, you tend to lose muscle mass and gain more fat. This, in turn, decreases your metabolism. Therefore, if you continue to eat the same way you did when you were younger and do not increase your activity level, you will inevitably gain weight.
Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating and lack of sleep may also contribute to menopausal weight gain. Hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, increase when you do not get enough sleep. Oftentimes, this results in increased snacking and calorie consumption. There are genetic factors as well. If your parents or other relatives tend to carry more weight around the middle, it is more likely that you will too.
Menopause weight gain affects more than just your physique and how you feel physically. It can also affect your health. Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and various types of cancers. Here are five steps you can take to make weight loss easier during this time:
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How Yoga Can Help A Woman During Menopause
Yogas ability to reduce stress, promote a healthy lifestyle, create a positive attitude and regulate and balance the endocrine and hormonal systems make it an excellent therapy to soften the transition into menopause. Besides the drop in the estrogen levels, a study done to access stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women showed that stress is another factor that leads to elevated cortisol levels, which are associated with increased abdominal fat. Luckily, several studies have found that yoga can reduce stress and relieve symptoms of insomnia, hot flushes, weight gain, etc and improve quality of life in women going through menopause. Even National Institute of Aging recommends trying out yoga for managing hot flashes before trying out any medications.
In general, a slow-paced, breath-coordinated yoga practice like Sri Sri Yoga that emphasizes gentle poses, breathing practices, and meditation is recommended.
Side bends such as Ardha Matsyendrasana , Natarajasana and poses that stretch the insides of the legs like Chakki Chalanasana , regulate digestion, belly fat and the livers soothing and stabilizing influence on the emotions. Read more: From Fat Pants to Yoga Pants: 5 Tips On Healthy Weight Loss
Other Menopausal Changes And Medication
Sometimes, menopausal symptoms such as sleep disturbances, fluctuating moods and more can also affect our ability to keep to our regular diet due to cravings. We might gravitate towards a candy bar as a pick me up, instead of a healthier snack.
Certain medication can also contribute to weight gain, such as antidepressants that are commonly prescribed for menopause or beta-blockers for palpitations, for instance. These little things add up and slowly contribute to weight gain.
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Chronic Stress Feeds Belly Fat
Some underlying triggers for this weight shift may be out of our control, but other aspects are very much within our control. One factor that we can influence is stress. Belly fat contains receptors for cortisol, our bodys main stress hormone. When we’re stressed our adrenals release cortisol and this stimulates these belly fat receptors resulting in the formation of even more belly fat.
Constantly feeling stressed out may seem like the norm in today’s fast-paced society but that does not mean that it’s healthy. To tame your cortisol levels, do whatever works for you to slow down and de-stress: unplug, delegate, meditate, stretch and relax. Taking a high quality adrenal supplement also helps to support balanced cortisol levels.
Keep in mind that stress can also be physical, mostly due to inflammation. Chronic inflammation alone can make it hard to lose added weight because it inhibits some enzymes that normally break down fats in the body. So, get some help to optimize your health and tackle inflammation. Take care of gut imbalances and other inflammatory conditions, like thyroid disease or hashimotos. Slowing of your metabolism, weight gain and trouble losing it commonly go along with low thyroid function.
These issues may not produce symptoms until you hit menopause, so it’s a good idea for any woman hitting menopause to get her thyroid function checked, including thyroid antibodies, especially if there’s a family history of thyroid problems.
Why Do We Gain Belly Fat During Menopause
Although theres no magic formula for preventing or reversing menopause weight gain, its imperative to look after ourselves. Trying to lose some of our belly fat is important, not only for personal appearance and vanity but also for our health with research showing the significance of belly fat and its role in the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as other inflammatory conditions.
Menopause sends excess fat to the wrong spots, regardless of your body type or how active you are -says endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Dr Ekta Kapoor-. Thats a direct effect of the female hormone estrogen. Premenopause, women tend to carry weight lower in the body our legs and thighs. That changes after menopause. The lack of estrogen in the body redirects the fat to the belly.
The weight gain is also related to a poor lifestyle, lack of sleep, stress and genetic factors. Also, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat increases that means it can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
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Get A Good Nights Sleep
Have enough sleep at night to avoid insomnia that is a menopause symptom. The moment you do not sleep well you are likely to be tired of having an exercise in the morning. You are supposed to sleep 8 hours at night and at least 2 hours in a day. Enough sleep helps your body get relaxed hence breaking down belly fat. In case you normally have an enough sleep, ensure you take a bath with warm water before you retire to your bed.
How To Beat Menopausal Weight Gain
Its a natural stage of life that just happens to have a few unwanted side effects. HFG dietitian Melissa Meier weighs up weight management for menopausal women.
Hot flushes? Night sweats? How about thinning hair and mood swings? Welcome to the world of menopause. Oh, and did we mention, the frustration of trying to maintain a healthy weight, too? The average woman can put on half a kilo a year between 45 and 55.
The good news is that some simple lifestyle changes can help you keep kilogram creep at the level youre happy with. Heres what you need to guide you along the way.
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Keep Portions In Check And Time Your Meals Right
Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you dont reduce the number of calories you consume, says Christine Palumbo, RD, a nutrition expert in Chicago.
Its also this time in your life, Palumbo notes, when you may be easing up from the daily duties of preparing meals for your family, and you just want to take a break from the kitchen. She has cooked for 25 years, and is sick of it, and she just wants to go out to eat, says Palumbo. What happens then is that you will inevitably eat twice as many calories as you need at that meal, and its often accompanied by alcohol, which is also associated with abdominal weight gain. Order appetizers as entrees and ask for a to-go container for leftovers when you do indulge in a large main course.
The Drop In Estrogen Changes A Womans Shape
The natural drop in estrogen levels after menopause, cause natural pears to store more fat in the belly area and less in the lower body.
Both pears and apples easily gain stomach fat during and after menopause when high stress, inactivity, and poor eating habits are present.
While you cant turn back the hands of time on estrogen production, you can control some of the other hormonal imbalances that cause post-menopausal belly fat by reducing stress, getting adequate sleep, exercising, and most importantly changing the foods you eat.
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Extra Tips To Cut Menopause Belly Fat
Lower Carbs Youve probably heard the low-carb rule for diets a hundred times. For those fighting menopause belly fat, though, theres an added depth to this idea. The Mayo Clinic outlines how a low-carb diet reduces insulin levels in your body. As were trying to lower insulin to cut down on fat, low carbs support your goals.
Try Interval Training High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a series of fast-paced movements that are designed to activate lots of muscle groups and raise your heart rate to burn calories within a short period of time. HIIT sessions usually range from 15 to 30 minutes. Theyre favoured by people because theyre quick and effective they also result in weight loss for 48 hours after sessions. While HIIT is great, we only recommend you do interval training once or twice a week because of the stress it puts on the body, so its good to mix HIIT in with other workout ideas. Another note is that HIIT is good for insulin control.
Eat Fibre and Protein Fibre and protein are both excellent for controlling hunger. They are complex nutrients that take the stomach a while to digest. Diets that contain lots of fibre and protein will ensure you feel fuller for longer and reduce your urges for snacks and other food cravings. Another benefit of high protein is that protein is required for maximising muscle growth. A healthy supply of protein helps you build that muscle mass youre trying to achieve to battle menopause belly fat.