But why do we get menopause belly fat?
Is this really inevitable?
In fact, 50% of women experience sometimes considerable weight gain when menopause begins.
The disruption of hormones and especially those of storage is the main culprit.
But by adapting specific measures, it is possible to counteract this mischief to lose an unwanted belly.
Based on the glycemic index of foods, by not stimulating the insulin response and by changing the way you eat, you can achieve positive results fairly quickly.
Losing weight is not just about diet and exercise.
First, you have to know what foods to select, what exercises you should do, and how to establish an effective diet without starving yourself.
- 1 The impact of menopause on weight
- 2 Can you lose belly fat post menopause?
- 3 What to eat to lose belly fat during menopause?
- 4 How to lose belly fat?
- 5 Lose belly fat naturally
- 6 Exercises for menopause belly
- 7 How to know if weight gain is hormonal?
- 8 How to treat a hormonal belly?
- 9 How to lose belly fat during menopause?
The impact of menopause on weight
Many factors can cause a protruding belly, starting with menopause which is the most common cause.
Even if you are only in pre-menopause, the tendency to gain belly also asserts because the ovaries produce less estrogen.
Estrogen levels do not completely collapse because the adrenal glands and fat cells continue to produce it.
Contrary to popular belief, stimulation of estrogen during this period is not desirable because this production is directly linked to post-menopausal obesity and significantly increases the risk of breast cancer.
Reduced hormone production after menopause also affects energy, leading to a lower amount of burned calories.
Finally, hormonal changes also affect how fat is stored.
After menopause, the body stores a greater proportion of fat around the waist.
Can you lose belly fat post menopause?
Don’t be pessimistic even if these hormonal changes are causing weight gain.
It is possible to lose belly fat by attacking points that you can still control.
Of course, the first thing to change is your diet.
And in this case, what is most effective is to focus on a low glycemic index diet.
The glycemic index is a good way to find out how food affects your blood sugar.
And by focusing on foods with a low glycemic index, you manage to control your blood sugar levels, which at the same time reduces your insulin.
Insulin has a major role here as it is a nutrient that helps in fat storage.
When its rate is too high, your body makes reservations.
When its rate is mastered, it manages to burn fat.
What to eat to lose belly fat during menopause?
You will notice that when looking for high glycemic foods, they are always plant-based.
Plants are actually a source of carbohydrates and have the potential to raise your blood sugar quickly.
Products derived from animals such as fish, eggs, poultry, and meat are not glycemic because they contain almost no carbohydrates.
The glycemic index of fiber is also low, which slows the absorption of nutrients, and cushions the impact on blood sugar.
So you’ll be able to lose weight if you focus on fiber-rich whole carbs like:
- leafy vegetables
- non-starchy vegetables
- nuts and hazelnuts
All of these foods are low in carbs yet high in fiber and can be incorporated into your diet.
You can also add selected fats to your diet.
They mainly come from:
- nuts and seeds
- wild fish
- organic meats
You can also opt for healthy oils like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
How to lose belly fat?
As you reach your fifties, you are surely convinced that a low-fat diet is the only way to lose weight.
But adding selected fats to your diet is very beneficial contrary to popular belief.
Including certain fats but excluding harmful oils like soybean oil or all kinds of vegetable oils helps reinforce your cells by improving the transport of hormones.
In addition, consuming these specific fats significantly increases the sensation of satiety, which decreases your hunger.
Lose belly fat naturally
Once you plan your diet wisely, you can introduce weight loss accelerators.
You can consider intermittent fasting which is a one-time strategy to divide your day between a period when you decide to eat and a period when you stop any power supply.
Different methods are possible but it is recommended to start by reducing the number of hours between meals so as to fast 12 hours in a row.
A simple example is having breakfast at 7 a.m. and your meal at 7 p.m.
When you have taken this rhythm, you can afford to reduce the spacing between each meal, going to 10 hours between each and then 8 hours.
Intermittent fasting is a simple and safe method that is really effective for losing belly fat.
A study published in 2016 shows that four weeks of intermittent fasting makes you lose weight, body mass, and belly.
Exercises for menopause belly
Many studies show that exercise actually helps improve insulin sensitivity.
Whether it’s aerobics or resistance exercise, the benefits are significant.
They are even more effective when the two activities are combined.
Organize sessions of cycling, treadmill, or jogging three times a week for endurance then intersperse exercises with weights or rubber bands on the days off.
How to know if weight gain is hormonal?
Some signs of your weight gain may indicate that its origin is hormonal.
1- Your diet is healthy
You realize that what you eat is healthy, that you choose low-calorie foods, but you still gain belly or are unable to get rid of it.
2- You are very tempted by sugar
You crave uncontrollably sweet foods, which could be a sign of insulin resistance or diabetes.
Your body is no longer able to manage carbohydrates due to the insulin resistance of your cells, and the transformation into energy is poorly performed.
3- You suffer from resistance to leptin
Leptin resistance most often results from insulin resistance.
Leptin is a very sensitive hormone that, if you lack it, will starve you.
In response to this deficiency, your body retains fat in reserve.
In addition, if the leptin level is too high, the production of fat cells is also higher.
So you build up a lot of fat while making a lot of leptin.
When its rate is very high, your body no longer perceives the signal of satiety.
4- You have mood swings
You notice that for some time now you have been feeling irritable and suffering from frequent mood swings.
Similarly, if you feel constantly stressed, you increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which commands your body to make fat reserves.
5- You are exhausted and struggling to sleep
You constantly feel exhausted from sunrise to sunset, but when it’s time to rest, you can’t fall asleep.
How to treat a hormonal belly?
The “hormonal belly” is a little different, it tends to be placed a little lower, away from the navel.
If you think you’re eating a balanced diet but feel you’re lacking in calories, don’t insist, increase the calorie intake.
Improve protein intake, select healthy fats, decrease carbs except for starches, and increase fiber intake significantly.
Have your estrogen levels tested to determine if you are in pre-menopause or menopause.
Be aware that if monthly ovulation is disrupted or non-existent, your body is building up reserves and your resistance to insulin and leptin is increasing.
How to lose belly fat during menopause?
Different elements come together to explain weight gain during menopause.
But the major cause remains hormonal imbalance.
For this reason, the only way to combat the accumulation of fat is to control your diet to moderate the insulin response, select the foods consumed, and space out meals as much as possible.
It is difficult to counter the deficit of sex hormones but it is possible to prevent or alleviate the associated weight gain.
This requires you to question the way you eat, leave room for physical exercise as much as you can and learn to relax so as not to store fat from too much stress.