Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss
Finally, how much sleep are you getting at night? Is perimenopause robbing you of sleep by causing night sweats and making you wake up at odd hours of the night? Is your system still too wired at bedtime to get into sleep mode, or are you simply just not getting to bed early enough to get seven or eight hours of sleep?
A chronic sleep deficit whatever the cause can promote weight gain. This is because of the effects that sleep has on two hormones that regulate appetite. When you get enough sleep your body releases leptin, a hormone that controls appetite. Not enough sleep means a bigger release of ghrelin, a hormone that literally makes you crave junk food!
You may feel like you just have lousy self-discipline when in fact it’s your body chemistry that’s making it more difficult to eat healthy and to know when to stop. Whatever it takes, really try to make sure you get enough sleep at night.
What Causes Belly Fat After Menopause
Many women who have entered menopause are well aware of the shapeshifting that happens with the fat in their bodies. In the past when they gained weight it would be in their hips and thighs but now it seems to go straight for the midsection. Belly fat isnt only unsightly but its also worst for your health than thigh fat . Women with an apple-shaped body with visceral fat can have higher blood pressure and more at risk for heart disease .
The reason this shapeshifting happens is from your hormones changing the way your body distributes fat. It shifts the fat that once was in your hips and thighs directly to your belly . Your body then stubbornly wants to hold on to this belly fat to rebalance your estrogen production .
When entering perimenopause in your 40s your body starts to gradually decrease estrogen production . For many, weight gain is the greatest and muscle loss the worst in their peri-menopausal years . By the time you fully hit menopause your body produces the least amount of estrogen ever . Your body then develops a hormonal belly as it begins to shift your fat cells from your hips and thighs to your stomach.
Womens metabolism also decreases with menopause causing them to not burn as many calories as before . With a slower metabolism comes fat gain. And with menopause, youre more likely to become fatigued. With chronic fatigue, youll be less likely to engage in physical activity and live an active lifestyle . This also leads to fat gain.
Resistance Training: The Answer To The Menopause Belly Fat Problem
You cant change your hormonal structure, so there are some uphill battles of menopause that youll just have to face in order to fight off the belly fat. But there are others we can address a bit more easily to maximise results. There are three core factors that we can look at:
Notice a pattern here? Beating that weight around your belly can benefit from strength training, and many women see great results from lifting weights. Generally speaking, its more common for women to favour cardio exercise over muscle-building, but introducing weight training to your routine can increase your bodys requirement for energy, boost overall metabolism and contribute towards the stabilisation of high insulin levels that are creating all that unwanted belly fat.
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How To Whittle Your Middle
Not sure how to start? Follow these three tips to use the power of your mind to tackle your muffin top.
Work your whole body. The magic formula for blasting body fat is combining cardio, weight lifting, and core work. The trick with the cardio is to do intervals — alternating high- and low-intensity bursts within one workout — and work up to burning 400 calories per workout, four to five times a week. Weight train twice a week, either at home or at the gym, and do yoga or Pilates to trim that core.
Visualize your reward.Close your eyes and see yourself without the bigger belly. What do you look like? What are you wearing? How much lighter do you feel? Do this daily. Without a goal in mind, you will be stuck doing technical tasks that might feel meaningless.
Combine discipline with self-love. Sure, you need discipline to drag yourself out of bed for that early morning exercise class. But the stronger your self-love and respect, the more you’ll see that discipline as one route to realizing your dreams.
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Can I Prevent Menopause Belly
The bodyâs metabolism, or the rate at which it burns fat, slows down by about 5â10% with each decade as you age. However, by regularly exercising, you can give your metabolism a boost and burn calories to help prevent menopause belly.
Exercises can have additional benefits too. Examples of suitable activities include:
- exercises that increase balance, such as yoga, Pilates, or tai chi
- weight-bearing exercises that strengthen bones and increase muscle mass
- cardio exercises that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
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Menopause Belly Fat: How To Defeat The Meno
Research shows us that weight-gain with menopause is common. The average woman will gain around 2 kilograms. While this doesnt sound like a lot, 2kg of body fat can be very noticeable. If youre troubled by menopause belly fat, your entire life can be affected. Weight-gain can contribute to a variety of lifestyle changes, from a decline in confidence and self-esteem to aggravation or onset of health problems.
Im a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist here at The Sport Dietitian. Ive achieved a masters in health and nutrition, have worked for the NHS and also have a qualification from the International Olympic Committee.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because Im about to lay out some very simple truths:
- Youre not going through this alone
- You dont have to put up with this weight-gain
- You can beat menopause belly fat
- Anyone can make progress if they follow the right exercise and diet programs
- This is NOT just how your life has to be
If your weight is of concern to you and if youre struggling with the meno-pot and want an answer to your problems, then keep reading this blog. From postmenopausal women with new belly fat to those concerned about their future, anyone and everyone going through menopause can benefit from the advice on this page.
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.
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A Sample Day On A Menopause Diet
Heres what a day of eating on the menopause diet by Ward and Wright looks like. Since meal timing is important, snacks are ideally eaten before dinner.
- Breakfast: 1/2 cup of oats made with 1 cup of low-fat milk mixed with 2 teaspoons of almond butter and a small, sliced banana served with 1 scrambled or hard cooked egg and coffee with low-fat milk.
- Lunch: Tuna mixed with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise layered with lettuce and tomato between toasted whole-wheat bread. Serve with sliced red peppers.
- Dinner: Salmon served with 1/2 cup of cooked whole-wheat pasta tossed with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and roasted broccoli.
- Snacks: 1/2 cup each plain, nonfat Greek yogurt and berries 3 cups popcorn sprinkled with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese.
Oestrogen And Fat Distribution At Menopause
A change in hormone levels, mainly oestrogen, may influence body fat distribution.
Many women in perimenopause and early post menopause years gain fat mass as their oestrogen levels drop. Women of childbearing age tend to store fat in the lower body , while men and postmenopausal women store fat around the abdomen .
Animal studies have shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to unwanted abdominal fat, although the exact mechanisms are not yet understood.
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Importance Of A Calorie Deficit
To lose weight, a calorie deficit is needed.
According to some research, a womans resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories she burns during rest, declines during and after menopause .
Although it may be tempting to try a very low calorie diet to lose weight quickly, eating so few calories can sometimes make weight loss harder.
Research shows that restricting calories to low levels causes loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate
So while very low calorie diets may result in short-term weight loss, their effects on muscle mass and metabolic rate will make it hard to keep the weight off.
Moreover, insufficient calorie intake and decreased muscle mass may lead to bone loss. This can increase your risk for osteoporosis .
Adopting a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained long term can help preserve your metabolic rate and reduce the amount of muscle mass you lose with age.
A calorie deficit is needed for weight loss. However, cutting calories too much increases the loss of lean muscle, which accelerates the drop in metabolic rate that occurs with age.
Here are four nutritious diets that have been shown to help with weight loss during and beyond the menopausal transition.
Destress Your Nervous System
Look for calming herbs. So weve got something called AvenaCalm, which is a nice very gentle stress remedy.
Remember the foods that can trigger your nervous system. So this is things like coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol, high salt and sugar foods. These will all really switch on your nervous system very, very quickly actually compounding to the problem, so try and cut those out to save everything. The other most important thing for your nervous system, remember the daily relaxation. Give your nervous system the break that it actually needs.
So thats 30 minutes, shut yourself away. No telephone, no television, no talking, just relax, listen to some nice music, and that can make a huge difference. Studies actually showed that just doing 30 minutes proper relaxation reduced cortisol quite considerably, so this is a really important one to get into your daily regime.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Or Lose Menopausal Belly Fat
Exercise Your Whole Body, Not Just Your Belly
There is no such thing as an exercise that targets belly fat. Doing sit-ups and crunches alone will not give you a slim waist.
To lose belly fat, you need to exercise your whole body. By doing this, you will lower your body fat percentage. The lower your body fat percentage becomes, the smaller your belly will become.
Make Your Schedule And Commit To It
A schedule for your weight-loss journey is so important. And no, its not so you can beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, but so you can track your progress. To lose weight, you have to be committed, and schedules help you work out a strategy that pushes you forward.
Exercise here and there, healthy dinner when you can manage it thats not going to cut it.
Build a weekly schedule of when youre going to train, what youre going to eat and stick with it. Its okay if you cant meet your schedule needs. Its hard to know from day one how well respond to a new training regime, but the best results are all about sustainability and accountability. So if your schedule isnt working for you, dont fight to fit it into your life but change it up. Keep working on it until you find a system thats getting you to where you want to go.
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Why Was The Galveston Diet Created
Haver didnt set out to create and share a lifestyle eating plan. She just wanted to drop the extra 20 pounds shed put on by emotionally eating after her brothers death and because of perimenopausal hormonal shifts.
She adopted the approaches she had preached as a physician, that weight loss results when you reduce your intake of calories and burn more with exercise. Calories in, calories out. Thats what we were taught in medical school, she says.
But even though she lowered her intake to less than 1,200 calories a day and religiously hit her home gym at 5:30 every morning, the pounds wouldnt budge.
She soon began evaluating the importance not just of calories but of the quality of the nutrition in her food another topic not covered by her medical training as well as ideas about the importance of eating within certain time windows.
She changed her eating habits and the weight fell off.
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.
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