Insulin Resistance Is A Trigger For Meno Belly Weight Gain
Insulin resistance can also contribute to weight gain. If your insulin receptors have become less sensitive to insulin, you can have higher levels of blood sugar and lower energy and also increased disease risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Chronic stress and abdominal fat can encourage insulin resistance. This results in higher insulin levels that can make the body more easily turn calories into fat even if you’re dieting.
The good news is you can do something about insulin resistance. Strength training to build muscle also boosts your metabolism and makes those insulin receptors more sensitive, helping you to lose weight. Ever notice how men tend to lose weight more easily than women? It’s because they have more lean muscle mass.
Hormones And Menopausal Weight Gain
Estrogen is the hormone that most of us blame for post-menopausal belly fat.
Estrogen is produced by your ovaries and by your fat cells. When menopause puts the brakes on estrogen from your ovaries, your body looks to your fat cells to keep it supplied.
So, after menopause belly fat helps your body make the estrogen it wants.
But, in the big picture of menopausal weight gain, estrogen is only part of the story.
What Happens To Belly Fat During Menopause
Perimenopause is the time period when estrogen and progesterone levels decline and menopausal symptoms ensue, but before actual menopause which is defined as 12 consecutive months without a period starts.
As estrogen levels fluctuate and drop, body fat is redistributed from the hips, thighs, and buttocks to the waist, and as progesterone levels decrease, cortisol levels increase, which can also cause the body to hold onto stubborn menopause belly fat.
In other words: Ugh.
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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.
What About Hormone Replacement
Im a hormone specialist, amongst other things for patients. Therefore, the first thing Ill recommend is that you do not ask your primary care doctor or your Ob-Gyn for hormones. Please do not ever take synthetic hormones of any type as they cause cancer. Bioidentical hormone replacement, when used properly by a trained A4M M.D. like myself, are safe and effective. The bulk of the scientific literature show exactly that. Indeed, I fully believe that normalizing your hormone levels will do you a lot of good not just help you get rid of the symptoms of menopause. However, this is still slightly controversial for some reason, and this is your decision. Yes, I am personally on them, of course. If you are not in favor of them, know that pregnenolone will help with low-progesterone symptoms and the combination of this, a ketotic diet and adrenal support is often enough to do the trick. A hormone-balancing supplement will help as well. Now let me give you the basics for your eating plan. This is the basic plan you always will come back to even if you eat a ketotic diet to lose weight.
Here are the basics for your new and improved eating plan!
Lean meats as much as desired: turkey, fish , chicken, shrimp, soy and lean beef .
Full-fat dairy Greek yogurt: 2-3 servings per week only.
Nuts: 1-2 servings per day almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and brazil nuts.
Fruit: 1-3 servings daily only whole, fresh fruit.
Oils: Coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for salads, etc.
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What Is A Menopause Diet
Theres no singular menopause diet, however, Ward pointed out that the menopause diet plan in her book with Wright grew out of decades of working with women, personal experiences and a deep dive into the scientific literature. The research resulted in an eating plan that works well both before and after menopause. Here are the basic principles of the books menopause diet:
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Another way to manage your blood sugar and belly fat? Eat smaller meals, more frequently.
When you overeat, youre putting too much stress on your body, and youre spiking your insulin and blood sugar. Conversely, when you wait too long between meals, your blood sugar crashes. This is hard on your metabolism and can make losing that excess belly fat even harder.
Help your metabolism out by eating smaller meals more frequently instead of two or three large meals per day.
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Vary Your Workouts And Try New Activities
Its easy to get into an exercise rut, and even easier to fall out of the habit of exercising at all. But at this stage of your life, not getting your move on is not an option. Ideally to keep your weight in check, youll be working out three or four times a week with the injection of some HIIT and it only needs to take 15 to 20 minutes, says Peeke. Its extremely effective at keeping excess body levels of fat down, and make sure to get in some weight training, even if its just using your own body weight.
So potentially take a Zumba or barre class. See what all your buddies are talking about and join them one weekend for a beginner class at a CrossFit center. Give PiYo a go . There are so many different exercises to try, youll be able to find ones you like and stick with them.
Or maybe youll enjoy the chase of trying out new workouts regularly. According to research published in the Journal of Sport Behavior, adding variation to your exercise routine may be the most successful way to make you stick with it. Any kind of physical activity is better than none at all, but if your body gets too accustomed to a routine, it wont burn belly fat as efficiently as when you first started working out.
Menopause Weight Gain: How To Get Rid Of It
Exercise Physiologist, Carol Espel explains that Things shift when you start to go through menopause, but your ability to shape that is in your hands. Theres something you can do about it! Carol is the Fitness and Program Director at Pritikin Longevity Center who works with many guests, men and women, struggling with belly fat, and knows exactly what works. Newer science says going through menopause doesnt have to involve weight gain.
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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.
A Drop In Estrogen Levels
Changes in levels estrogen contribute to weight gain.
Estrogen is one of the primary sex hormones in females. It plays a role in:
- physical sex characteristics
- regulating cholesterol levels
During menopause, estrogen levels dip substantially.
Low estrogen during menopause does not directly cause weight gain, but it may lead to increases in total body fat and abdominal fat. Doctors associate excess weight during middle age with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Hormone replacement therapy may reduce the tendency to gain abdominal fat.
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Watch Your Carbohydrate Intake
Not all nutrients are created equal, and some experts believe that a steady diet heavy in unrefined carbs like pasta and bread are a significant factor for excess belly fat. Carbs are the enemy of the middle-aged woman, says Dr. Boling. If you are perimenopausal, look at how much sugar you are eating. Carbs turn into sugar in our bodies. Some turn faster, like candy bars, oatmeal burns slower, but eventually it all turns to sugar. If you are aware of how many carbs you are eating, you are going to do better. Research published in April 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease the risk of postmenopausal weight gain.
Menopause Belly: What Causes It And How To Fix It
Learn ways to beat the menopause belly with diet and exercise.
For many postmenopausal women, one of the most vexing changes is a shift in body fat storage to the front and sides of their abdomen.
This phenomenon, also known as menopause belly, is a result of shifting hormones, an activation of a menopausal gene, as well as changes in exercise and diet.
A decline in estrogen causes fat cells in the abdominal area to store more fat. It may even reduce your bodys ability to burn fat.
When the menopause gene is switched on, it contributes to belly fat. Heres 3 simple ways women can turn this gene off.
Unfortunately, most women gain between five to ten pounds during the first decade after menopause.
Research shows that postmenopausal women have an increase in intra-abdominal and trunk fat when compared to premenopausal women.
The studies found that during early menopause, theres an increase in intra-abdominal fatthe deeper visceral body fat. These changes were consistent across age and weight.
An increase in intra-abdominal fat is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol.
Therefore, this shift in body fat storage is more than just a cosmetic issue.
The decline in hormones during and after menopause is just one part of the menopause belly. For many women, their level of activity slows with age.
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Age Genetics And Overall Health Also Affect Belly Fat
As humans age, muscle mass declines. People who have a lot of muscle mass burn more calories per hour than people with less muscle mass. So losing muscle mass can slow your metabolism and make it easier for you to put on weight.
Some people are also genetically predisposed to hold more weight in the belly. Studies have also shown that people who were small at birth more readily gain belly fat later in life, compared to people who were of average weight at birth.
Your overall health affects belly fat too. If you have or joint problems that make it difficult to exercise, for instance, you are probably more likely to gain belly fat than women who are able to move without .
Key Takeaways For Battling Menopause Belly Fat
The above steps outline exactly what you need to succeed. Youll notice they arent specific rules or instructions eat this meal, do this exercise but are instead a set of loose lifestyle guidelines that can help you change the way you think about weight loss.
Everything we practice at The Sport Dietitian is about sustainability and lifestyle adaptation that revolves around you. Fad diets dont work. They arent going to help you keep off your menopause belly fat because they dont fit into your unique situation. And you need to be making sure your weight-loss strategies are something you can stick to.
Once youve gone through menopause, this is what life will be like from this point onwards. Its not a case of battling the meno-pot short term the threat of that belly fat is here to stay.
Follow my advice and you can form a resistance to this ever-present risk factor.
Having said that, there are some basic things we recommend that you consider incorporating into your weight-loss and exercise programme to battle menopause belly fat. Again, if they dont work for you, then dont try to force them. However, if you can get them to work for you, they can be very effective tools.
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What Causes Menopausal Weight Gain
Although weight gain can be caused by a number of things, the most common cause of menopausal weight gain is the breakdown in communication between hormones and fat cells.
Our hormones are responsible for sending signals to our fat cells to store fat. During menopause, our hormones get out of whack, and that communication breaks down, causing changes in metabolism , digestion, appetite and heat regulation .
Shift Your Shape With More Movement
It is important to remember to take a reality check. You didnt get the excess weight overnight and youre not going to lose it all in a minute, advises Carol. She suggests if youre trying to lose belly fat, the best thing to do is start with cardiovascular exercises and activities that you love. If running on a treadmill is not your thing, then find a movement that brings you joy youll be more inclined to do it. Now, take your strength to the next level.
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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!
Belly Fats Hormonal Connection
Perimenopause and menopause are stages of major flux in a woman’s hormone levels. Estrogen may be dropping but also spiking. In this state of imbalance, hormonal or metabolic imbalances that were once simmering invisibly on the back burner can start making themselves known.
One of estrogen’s actions is to deposit fat onto your hips. As estrogen levels decline, that signal can weaken and fat deposition shifts to your abdomen, resulting in an expanding waistline. Sometimes this happens without weight gain its more about body fat redistribution. If you were pear shaped as a younger woman, you might become more apple shaped as you age.
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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.
How To Lose Hormonal Belly Fat
Something happens in your 40s and 50s that you wake up one morning and its as if your body has put on 10lbs of belly fat overnight. Yikes! Struggling with belly fat and sudden weight gain as early as perimenopausal thru to post-menopause is really common. Data shows that post-menopausal women really struggle with obesity. Youre not alone. According to science, you can actually lose hormonal belly fat! Below is advice from Doctors, Registered Dieticians and Exercise Physiologists thats exceptionally helpful to women who are frustrated with their menopausal belly . Plus, reducing abdominal belly fat reduces your risk of other serious illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes, which can impact your quality of life.
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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.