HomeExclusiveHow To Reduce Post Menopausal Belly Fat

How To Reduce Post Menopausal Belly Fat

How Menopause Affects Metabolism

How to Get Fit : How to Get Rid of Post-Menopausal Belly Fat

The combination of reduced steroid hormones and reduced muscle mass can greatly affect your metabolism post-menopause.

Animal studies have shown that estrogen also appears to control body weight directly through appetite, physical activity and resting metabolic rate.

Lab animals eat more and move less when estrogen levels are reduced. Possibly the same mechanism is behind weight gain with women after menopause.

There are some studies that have shown increased resting metabolic rates in postmenopausal women receiving estrogen replacement therapy.

Lack of estrogen can also affect how your body utilizes energy from carbs like starches and sugar since it can affect insulin sensitivity.

There are other age-related factors to contribute to weight gain and the ability to lose fat. As you age you are less likely to exercise and be active. This directly affects how much energy you consume.

You also lose muscle mass which lowers your resting metabolism and ability to utilize nutrients. This also affects the amount of energy you consume negatively. The same amount of exercise you did in the past now results in fewer calories burned.

Adjust Your Coping Strategies And Address Your Stress Levels To Help Reduce Weight Gain

If your fat is making you feel stressed or vice versa for that matter dont disregard that link. There is a stress-fat connection, Peeke says. If you walk around completely stressed all the time, your cortisol levels will increase, and that will make it easy for you to deposit fat deep inside the belly.

Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, stimulates the liver to increase production and release of blood sugar and helps the body convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into usable energy. As part of the bodys fight or flight response, cortisol is released during stressful times to give your body a natural energy boost, but when cortisol levels are constantly high because of chronic stress, these same effects may result in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

To reduce stress and belly fat, employ quick and simple techniques to help calm you down.

How Long Does Menopause Weight Gain Last

How much you might gain and over how long a time period is highly individual. A lot depends on your overall diet, activity level, and muscle toneand not just your menopausal status.

Some data indicates that weight starts to plateau when youre in your 50s and then drops in your 60s. Other research shows that women tend to keep gaining weight through their sixth decade of life.

How much of the weight gain is related to menopause and how much is related to the other aging factors isnt entirely clear.

You May Like: Menopause And Dizzy Spells

Why You Gain Belly Fat After Menopause

A common question by many women is: how come I gain belly fat after menopause? This article written by my colleague Jessi Haggerty, RD of The Body Love Project and her article will explain the reason.

This article has been republished with Jessi Haggerty, RD of The Body Love Project with her permission.

In my practice I see a lot of women who are in the midst of developmental milestone. Sixteen year olds who are settling into their post-pubescent body, young adults who are noticing that their body no longer looks like they did when they were 16, new moms who are navigating changes in their postpartum body, and of course, women who are going through menopause.

While every life stage challenges our body image and self-perception, I find that many women feel like their body gives up after menopause. Theres a sense of hopelessness. It doesnt help that everywhere you look for information on menopause there are a million articles on how to fight menopause, or how to lose belly fat after menopause. I couldnt find one article that said something that all women need to hear: This is something we ALL go through .

menopause fun fact #1: all bodies age.

menopause fun fact #2: fat is your friend.

menopause fun fact #3: lack of fat equals lack of estrogen.


Why Belly Fat During Menopause Is More Than Just A Bummer

Losing post menopausal belly fat

There is more at stake than just bikinis and vanity when it comes to having a meno-pot. You may or may not like having big thighs, but they pose no health threat belly fat, on the other hand, comes with an increased risk for mortality even with a normal BMI, and with an increased risk for heart disease, breast cancer, uterine cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, sleep apnea, and many other serious and life-threatening diseases.

Your waist-to-hip ratio is a quick way to gauge your risk. Measure around the fullest part of your buttocks. Then measure around the narrowest part of your waist. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. A healthy ratio is less than 0.8 the ideal is 0.74. A ratio greater than 0.85 is associated with the health risks listed above. Or, you can just go by the following guideline: According to the National Institutes of Health, a waistline of larger than 35 inches for women signals a significant increase in heart disease and diabetes.

Don’t Miss: Relactation After Menopause

What Causes Menopause Belly Fat

Many women gain weight during the transition to menopause, particularly around their midsection. This can be extremely frustrating, and as your waist circumference increases, so does your risk for developing things like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. The good news is that weight gain doesnt need to be an inevitable part of a womans post-menopausal life. But before we share our best tips for getting rid of menopause belly fat, lets take a look at some of the causes of weight gain during and after menopause.

  • Low estrogen. Falling estrogen levels can cause insulin sensitivity, which can make your blood sugar levels more prone to spiking and crashing, which in turn causes you to crave high carb, sugary snacks. A decrease in estrogen can also cause fat in your bum, hips, and thighs to be redistributed to your midsection.
  • Slower metabolism. Our metabolism slows down as we age, and some research suggests that peri- and post-menopausal women burn up to 300 fewer calories per day compared to when they were in their early 20s.
  • Our muscle mass also diminishes as we get older, which slows our metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight.
  • Genetics. Our genetics can influence how/where we carry weight.

Can You Lose Weight During Menopause

Losing weight may be more challenging during the transition to menopause, but some eating patterns may be better than others. Ward suggested that the best way to lose weight during menopause likely involves eating higher levels of protein and lower levels of carbohydrates than the Mediterranean and DASH plans. In one large observational study from the Womens Health Initiative, a long-term national health study and government program, women who closely followed the reduced carbohydrate eating plan were at a decreased risk for postmenopausal weight gain. On the other hand, a low-fat diet, which was about 60% carbohydrate, seemed to promote weight gain among these women.

Ward explained that unlike traditional eating plans, including those designed for weight loss, her books menopause diet encompasses multiple pillars, including a plant-based eating plan with more protein and less carbohydrates, a focus on meal timing, calorie control and regular exercise. Its a satisfying and enjoyable way to eat, she said, adding that nothing is off-limits. You dont have to worry about having dinner and drinks with friends, going on vacation or having to follow an unrealistically restrictive plan for the rest of your life. That said, she noted, if you want to lose weight during menopause, you should probably be consuming the minimum amount of added sugars, highly refined grains and alcohol.

Read Also: Menopause Apron Belly

The Composition Of Belly Fat

Belly fat is different from other types of fat as it can be made up of two varieties:

1. Subcutaneous fat: the visible kind that sits just under the skin.

2. Visceral fat: this sits around the internal organs. It can amplify issues like insulin resistance, elevated cortisol and high blood sugar. Visceral fat is also implicated in cardiovascular disease, dementia, breast and bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Belly Fat & Menopause: Whats Happening

How to Get Rid of Post-Menopausal Belly Fat

During childbearing years, the hips, thighs, and butt were likely the go-to spots when you gained weight. But once perimenopause arrives, your middle is more likely to be expanding. Estrogen directs fat to the lower body early in life to support childbearing. When estrogen declines, fat instead migrates to the abdominal area, similar to the pattern in which men gain weight.

The location of the fat isnt the only difference. Weight gained in the hip, thigh, and butt areas is usually subcutaneous, right below the skin. But when you start packing on pounds in your midsection, the fat builds up deeper and around your organs. This fat, called visceral fat, appears to be more active than surface fat, releasing substances, affecting hormones, and increasing your risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. According to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, women with more central body fat had a 10 to 20 percent greater risk of having a heart attack during the seven-year study than women with more overall body fat. A widening waistline can even be risky if youre otherwise a healthy weight.

Vanity aside, its smartpossibly even lifesavingto take steps to manage your midsection.

Recommended Reading: Sweet Potato Menopause

What Causes Belly Fat During Menopause

The phenomenon referred to as menopause belly fat occurs due to an activation of the menopausal gene as well as a shift in hormone levels. Changes in diet and exercise routines can also lead to its developments.

When the estrogen levels start to decline, the fat cells located in the middle region immediately begin to store additional fat. In some cases, it can also affect the bodys capacity to burn the extra fat.

Activation of the menopausal gene often leads to the creation of belly fat. The downside for most women is that they often end up gaining between five and ten pounds. This weight is gained within the first ten years after reaching menopause.

Studies indicate that women in this phase will normally notice an upsurge of their intra-abdominal fat. An upsurge in this type of fat has often been linked to elevated cholesterol levels, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and high blood pressure.

As such, a change in the body fat storage options affects more than your physical appearance.

Post Menopausal Belly Fat: Causes And How To Get Rid Of It

Forties is most perplexing decade for women as many changes occur both at physical and emotional side. Majority of women during their forties enter into their menopausal stage. Menopause is cessation of menstruation permanently.

The hormonal changes that occur during this period cause immense changes in their body. One such unwanted change is accumulation of fat around their belly. The slowdown of metabolic activity adds up to the problem of belly fat.

Burning fat and calories is more complex although the basic tenet of fat loss management remains the same exercise and eat healthy.

Read Also: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

Ways To Counter Belly Fat Aka Meno Belly

NB: dont get too caught up in all the diets out there. Science shows there is no one size fits all, although some recommendations apply to many of the more sensible regimens. These include eating unprocessed foods, lean proteins and healthy fats, and ditching processed foods. Overall, the Mediterranean Diet is consistently a winner for menopausal women, both for relieving symptoms and weight management. Whats more, its very safe and has been found to be sustainable in the long term.

Menopause And Belly Fat 101

Pin on Lose Belly Fat

Sue was like most other girls. At the age of 12, she got her period, and besides the usual monthly cramps and mood swings, she managed her menstrual cycle just fine.

Her monthly cycle ran on autopilot, and she was blissfully unaware of how her hormones were causing her to ovulate on day 14 and bring about her period on day 28.

During these early reproductive years, there were two main hormones driving her monthly menstrual cycle: progesterone and estrogen.

Progesterone is linked to ovulation .

For the first two weeks of your cycle, progesterone is almost non-existent, but then it shoots up like a rocket immediately following ovulation and stays high until just before your period.

Estrogen is linked to your period because it helps to build up the lining of the uterus.

Estrogen is always present but does go up and down during the month.

Your ovaries make most of your progesterone and estrogen with smaller amounts of both coming from your adrenal glands.

Estrogen is also made by your fat cells, and thats true for men and women.

Attention Alert: The fact that your fat cells make estrogen becomes significant later on in our menopause and belly fat story.

At the age of 35, Sue started her first stage of menopause, but she didnt know it.

Recommended Reading: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause

What Should I Eat To Lose Hormonal Belly Fat

You can overcome hormonal changes that are impacting your body weight by choosing low-calorie-dense foods. These foods help stave off hunger and cravings. This facilitates your ability to alter your body composition and helps you get back to feeling the way you did before the hormone changes.

5 Best Foods to Eat to Lose Belly Fat

  • Vegetables
  • Unrefined Complex Carbohydrates
  • Beans
  • Lean fish

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.

You May Like: Does Menopause Cause Dizzy Spells

Add Strength Training To Your Workouts

According to the CDC, you need 150 minutes of cardio each week to stay healthy. Many women get the cardio part right but dont add the strength training part to their routine.

If you dont add strength training into your life, your metabolism wont work as effectively as it could. The more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism works, making weight loss easier

And after the age of 30, you start to lose muscle mass if youre not actively replacing it. Do your part to keep your body strong and your metabolism revved by strength training at least three times per week!

You can use your own body weight with moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats or use dumbbells, kettlebells, or resistance bands. Try the below exercises for menopause belly and overall strength!

Related:Beginners Guide To Strength Training

Find A Friend Or A Group To Exercise With

Belly Fat Cellulite How to Get Rid of Post Menopausal Belly Fat

To attack belly fat and any other menopause weight gain, youll need to burn between 400 and 500 calories most days of the week from cardiovascular exercise, such as walking briskly, jogging, bicycling, dancing, or swimming, Peeke says. Need motivation? Find a friend who needs to exercise as much as you do, and set a date to work out together. Research published in April 2015 in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that actively looking for a new workout partner and exercising together is beneficial for both exercise and emotional support.

If you dont have a buddy to join you on your weight loss mission, it may be time to try a group fitness class at your local gym or community center. Data published in November 2017 in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine found that participating in regular group fitness classes resulted in a significant decrease in stress and a rise in physical, mental, and emotional quality of life compared with exercising regularly on your own or not engaging in regular exercise at all.

You May Like: Early Menopause After Tubal Ligation

Meno Belly Is Real And Heres What Works To Get Rid Of It

Reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND

Finding it difficult to button up your favorite jeans? Midsection weight gain in perimenopause and menopause is real and frustrating. It often feels like this stubborn weight just isnt going anywhere, no matter how much you diet or exercise.

But heres the secret: when you deal with the underlying hormonal imbalance driving this weight gain, your body can finally let go of this weight and you can look and feel the way you want!

Dr. Mary James, ND, one of our Women’s Health Network experts, gives her tips for losing “meno belly” fat in her new video. Watch it now — or read the video transcript below for her easy steps.

If you are dealing with meno belly, the nickname for stubborn weight that often shows up around a womans midsection during perimenopause, I am here to help you understand why this is happening and more importantly what you can do to lose this weight.


Popular Articles