There’s so much change going on for a woman when she’s going through the menopause, menopause belly fat being only one of them. There are good reasons for this happening, and understanding them will help you come up with a plan to shift it.
This understanding is important because what has worked in the past may not work as well now, because your body is different – you’re likely to need a new approach.
I’ve previously written about why fat makes a bee line for your middle at the menopause, and you can check that out here.
In this blog I’ll look at what to do about it.
Menopause Belly Fat – Get Rid!
These are the my top 3 tips to get rid of menopause belly fat.
Turn The Fat Switch Off
By shifting how your body burns energy you will become a fat burner rather than being in the business of fat storage.
A crucial starting point is insulin because this is ‘the fat switch’. When insulin is circulating it switches fat storage on. When insulin is not circulating your body can access its own fat stores and burn them – making you slimmer.
Unlike other hormones at the moment – insulin is completely under your control because it depends on what you eat, and how often you eat.
The two ways to bring insulin into line and help with menopause belly far are:
- Reducing carbs (especially sugar and the refined white stuff) so you don’t produce too much of it.
- Practice intermittent fasting or time restricting eating so you have more time free of it.
Balance Your Hormones
Taking into account the imbalance in hormones due to going through the change, and the fact that is often the trigger for belly fat – addressing that can help a lot for the perimenopausal women.
As your hormones are changing a woman can go through a number of years where she has far more oestrogen relative to progesterone. Progesterone heads south first, oestrogen declines later. This imbalance leads to more fat heading towards your belly than other places. Consider working with a doctor with a good knowledge of replacing waning hormones.
I chose to look outside the NHS for this as I was interested in the holistic approach offered by a doctor trained in bio-identical HRT.
With this approach testosterone is taking into account too. Many women suffer an age-related decline of testosterone, and this just adds to increased body fat.
Increase Your Engine Size
Most women are pretty rubbish at doing the type of exercise that will help them the most at this time of life – strength training, which makes you stronger by increasing and maintaining muscle mass.
Women who do this swap their fat for lean muscle. Muscle not only stores energy from the food you just ate (rather than it going to your belly), it burns it up too. It makes sense that having a reasonable amount of muscle is going to help you keep trim.
I do one strength training session per week which only takes a few minutes. It’s called The Big 5 and I came across it in the book Body By Science, by Doug McGuff. It’s a bit of a text book and not the easiest read, but the results are amazing.
Even the video on him demonstrating it is pretty dull, but here it is to give you an idea.
Basically these 5 exercises against resistance hit all the big muscle groups, and if you’re doing it right each one takes between 60-90 seconds, so although it’s hard work it’s done pretty quick. I do this with my friend and we get the best out of each other each week.
There are many other things you can do to help with your menopause belly fat, controlling insulin, correcting hormone imbalances, and increasing muscle mass are three of the big hitters though.
Menopause Help Available
Have a great week.