As women go through perimenopause and then menopause, they face different challenges whether physically or emotionally.
One of the main concerns for women during menopause is their belly fat. Even if a woman never had to worry about it before, belly fat becomes a real concern when the menstrual cycle ends.
Belly fat is not only the fat layer surrounding the waist, but it also includes the visceral fat that is inside the belly and between the organs. This visceral fat can be considered more serious since it is associated with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
Thus belly fat is not only a cosmetic concern but it is a serious health problem.
Why does abdominal fat accumulate during menopause?
During menopause, the estrogen level decreases in the female body. This causes fats to be redistributed from the hips to the abdomen.
Also cortisol is no longer controlled by estrogen and thus it increases fat storage in the midsection. The result is belly fat that seems resistant to attempts to lose it.
However, the good news is that you can still fight belly fat if you know how.
How to fight belly fat?
It is a wise decision to always be ready for what lies ahead.
Therefore, you don’t have to wait till menopause to fight that belly fat. Start ahead of time to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a healthy diet and work out often. A good balance between food intake and burning calories is essential. It is way easier to lose weight before menopause and you will already be in better shape when you get there.
Set a goal
Set an achievable goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain time.
You need to track your progress and to see where you stand and plan accordingly. Make short-term goals and modify them when you need as times passes. Don’t stress yourself because weight loss may not be as easy or quick for everyone, but use your goal to guide you.
Persistence is the key here, if you make no progress or when things get worse. Understand that it is normal for the metabolism to decline with age and be patient. Your goal is absolutely worth it.
An healthy diet is essential for losing weight.
Make sure you cut back on sugars and junk food. Start by replacing the unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives. Follow a diet that is rich in proteins and whole grains. Healthy fats such as fish oil and olive oil can reduce fat storage and thus support your weight loss diet. Eat enough fresh vegetables and fruits and reduce the consumption of preserved or canned food.
One of the main causes of belly fat in menopause is decreased activity.
Make sure you work out often, like a few times each week. You should perform cardiovascular exercises to burn more calories. It is recommended to spend a reasonable amount of time exercising to maintain your body in good shape.
Weight lifting can be very helpful as resistance training. It helps build more muscle tissue that would otherwise decrease with age. It also helps increase the calories you burn naturally every day.
Make sure to contact a professional fitness trainer to help you with a proper working out plan that suits your needs and health condition.
Cope with stress
The effects of stress are exacerbated during menopause.
The cortisol levels increase with stress and cause more abdominal fat to be stored in the stomach area. Stress can also make you crave for sweets or junk food that hinders your weight loss progress. Therefore it is crucial to learn to manage stress the right way. Make sure to sleep enough hours every day and to avoid stimulants.
Get rid of the stressors you can eliminate and learn to accept and adapt to the ones you can’t change. Learn not to resort to alcohol since it can cause the weight gain to get even worse. It is time you treat yourself once in a while with a short break or an activity you like.
Losing the fat around your waist may not be so easy and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Henceforth it is necessary to accept yourself and your body shape, as you are. Remember that it is out of your self-love that you are trying to lose that weight, and as such you should first of all love yourself.
Belly fat during menopause can greatly impact our lives when it comes to our appearance or to our health condition. However, when we understand why it appears and how we can fight it, we are ready to make the right decisions at the right time.
This can make our transition to menopause smooth and our bodies strong and healthy. Life is all about making choices and fighting belly fat is one of the best decisions you can make for your longevity and fitness.