Most women will come to an agreement that the menopausal period is intimidating, challenging, frustrating and intriguing. Most importantly, the change that women go through during this period is alarming because of the weight gain and other symptoms that take place.
During menopause, there is a distinctive reduction in estrogen and an advanced rise in testosterone. This heightened testosterone level results in an escalation of visceral fat, which most know as belly fat. Menopausal related belly fat is something that cannot be naturally prevented. However, if you eat a nutritious diet and include daily exercises as well try to reduce your stress, you can slow down the progress of belly fat, which can result in diabetes and heart disease.
It is noteworthy that women try to make changes to their lifestyle before menopause takes place. This is the time when estrogen works in her favor and protects her from heart disease. Women tend to collect plaque during menopause.
The cause of weight gain
There has been no recent and concrete scientific indication that menopause is the ultimate culprit for a widened waistline. However, there has been a sign that menopause might be related to body composition changes and fat dispersal. A few studies done show that menopause is linked to an increase in abdominal fat; in addition to reduction of lean body mass; no matter what the age.
While judgment is undecided whether or not menopause is to be blamed for belly fat, other things are responsible such as lifestyle choices and aging. As you get older, your lean body mass decreases and you burn less calories due to inactivity.
When you don’t get sufficient sleep because of night sweats and stress, it can result in fluctuations of serum leptin and ghrelin levels; therefore causing an appetite increase. A Nurse’s Health study was done using 68,000 and the study discovered that women who got five hours of sleep or less added approximately two and half pounds to their weight. In the same study, women who slept for six hours added 1.6 pounds to their weight.
Sixty one percent of peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women have reported insomnia problems. If you have night sweats while sleeping, you should consult your primary physician for a way to manage this. The ideal number of hours varies from one individual to the next, but up to 8 hours of sleep is a good rule to follow.
The good news
During the mid-life period of your life, you can manage belly fat. Al you have to do is to make some lifestyle changes to put you in a healthy BMI group, which ideally would be about 18.5 to 24.9. Be sure to include lean proteins, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates in your diet. Combine good diet with exercise; at least three days each week and thirty minutes on each occasion.
Other things to consider
There are other things to think about when it comes to getting rid of menopausal belly fat. These include:
- Making sure that you limit your consumption of saturated fat, cholesterol and trans-fat
- Eating smaller portions of food
- Avoid over-consuming sugary beverages and too much caffeine
- Moderately consume alcohol (red wine provides health benefits)
- Lower your salt intake and try to stay away from processed foods
- Reduce or stop the smoking habit
- When you eat out, don’t eat all of the food. Take some home and use for lunch the next day
You have to stay committed and put out extra effort to achieve the results that you seek. While these strategies may work with less effort for other women, menopausal women have to try harder. Once you put the work in, you will be able to maintain healthy weight and cope with annoying belly fat.
Don’t expect to look like a twenty one year old. This may disappoint you! Aging causes you to lose your skin tone and lose muscle mass. However, consider that you are not alone in this. Set practical goals and keep focused on your health to be happy about that body of yours!