10 Ways to Beat Menopausal Belly Fat

10 Ways to Beat Menopausal Belly Fat

Probably one of the worst things that happens to many of us as we move into then out of menopause is our belly or should I say menopausal belly. More specifically belly fat. How in the world are we supposed to get rid of the menopause belly fat when it’s harder than ever to lose weight?

I know it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve dealt with since my hysterectomy. It’s been so frustrating that I was worried it was affecting my overall health. After all we’re told women’s waistlines should be 35″ or less. 40″ for men. But keep in mind that depending on your height and other factors, your waistline may be smaller or larger than 35″

Don’t give up. Yes it’s a battle, but it’s a battle that you can win. How? The following 10 tips will help you beat the battle of the bulge:

  • Exercise. I’m going to be honest, I’m glad that I’m a fitness instructor. My job requires me to keep moving three to four days a week. You need to get up and get moving too. One of the best ways to fight menopause belly is exercise. If you haven’t been exercising, start slow. Take a walk. If you exercise like me, it’s time to mix things up. Include interval training by ramping up the intensity of exercise mixed with resting/recovery periods.
  • Watch your carbs. This was one thing I knew I needed to look at but made the mistake of going with a keto diet. Again, keto does not work for me. This is why: Why I don’t do keto anymore. You don’t need to follow any certain program to cut back on carbs, but my doctor recommends the Mediterranean Diet for me which I am following. Find what works for you. If you find you do better following a program, a great place to start is Paleo Grubs then adjust from there. Healthy, low-carb recipes.
  • Portions, portions, portions. This one is key. We tend to fill our plates and often our portions are 2 to 3 times what they should be. Rule of thumb, protein portion is the palm of your hand.
  • Choose healthy fats. The body needs fat to function, but it’s better to choose fats from vegetable sources like olive oil and avocado versus butter and shortening.
  • Water. Water should probably be higher on the list. But since I’m always talking about how important water is, I wanted to focus on the other important points as well. Remember half your body weight in ounces of water daily. 200 pounds equals 100 ounces of water.
  • Time your meals. It’s not just WHAT you eat, it’s when you eat it as well. It’s better to have heavier meals earlier in the day. Also try to avoid too much snacking throughout the day but especially after 3 p.m.
  • Try something new for exercise. Our bodies are such amazing machines that adapt to everything we ask them to do. Mix up your exercise routine. Add in hiking or biking in addition to your normal fitness classes.
  • Sleep. Insomnia is the worst enemy to a woman going through menopause. Starting today, decide what time you are going to climb in bed then start winding down 30 minutes before that time.
  • Find a fitness buddy. It’s so easy when you exercise alone to put it off or tell yourself you’ll do it later. But if you have a friend waiting for you, you are more likely to stick to your program.
  • Talk to your doctor. Exactly what I did 2 months ago when I made the decision to go back on HRT. I feel better, and my belly is looking much better as well. Your doctor can advise which medications may help you feel better too.

As everything else we’ve experienced as women throughout our lifetimes, menopause is simply another chapter. Embrace it.

how menopause changes your body

How menopause changes your body. What can you do about it?

Menopause. The word itself can put even the strongest woman on alert. We hear all these horror stories about menopause but really don’t know 100% until we experience it ourselves.

Menopause literally means pause in menses. Cessation of our menstrual cycles. That can be a good thing if like me your periods became increasingly more difficult to deal with. But what about how it affects our bodies? That’s a whole other ballgame isn’t it? (Be sure to check my Youtube Channel for many videos on menopause, hysterectomy, fitness, exercise, sex and more: How To Stay Fit Over 50 With Denise)

Some very lucky women cruise right on through menopause while others, like me, have to deal with a whole range of issues. From weight gain to insomnia to the pot belly, all symptoms are not the same for all women.

Symptoms of menopause.

The question becomes what can we do about it? To properly answer that question, we need to go back to the beginning. A woman is considered in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months. For me, I had surgically induced menopause through my hysterectomy. No 12 months wait for me.

If you still have your ovaries, estrogen production has significantly decreased. We also experience changes in our metabolism. If you feel you’re have a more difficult time losing weight since menopause, you’re probably right.

With reduced estrogen, you may find you tend to hold fat in certain areas. You may find an increase in appetite. We also experience a decrease in cortisol – the stress hormone.

Women in menopause and perimenopause have been found to have elevated night cortisol levels. What does this mean? Our bodies are constantly on alert and elevated cortisol levels leads to belly fat plain and simple.

With all the information we now have, are we fighting a losing battle? The simple answer is no but we are fighting a battle that’s for sure. So what can we do about it?

What can we do about menopause symptoms?

First breathe. There are some simple steps we can do to help alleviate the side effects of menopause:

  • Move. Can’t make it any plainer. Get up and get moving. Exercise has been proven to lower levels of body fat in menopausal women. Don’t like to go to the gym? It’s okay. Get outside and walk. If you struggle to motivate yourself, join me and my online fitness classes. You can join live or take a recorded fitness class when it’s convenient for you. Join me here: Online Fitness Classes with Denise All levels including beginner, Senior Fitness and Gentle Flow Yoga at your fingertips.
  • Strength training. Strength training increases muscle mass which increases metabolism. If you’ve been lifting weights for a while, it’s time to increase the amount of weight you lift. If you’ve never lifted weights before, consult with a trainer or contact me for private training virtually.
  • Watch what you eat. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be either. My goal is always to help you feel strong and sexy in the skin you’re in which is why I don’t promote dieting. Focus on eating clean by eating your food as close to it’s natural source as possible. Eat boneless, skinless chicken with grilled veggies or a salad over a chicken pot pie as an example. Not too difficult right?
  • Sleep. It’s important that you give your body the right amount of sleep. If like me you tend to deal with insomnia, you may need to turn the tv off 30 minutes earlier than normal to allow your body and mind to unwind and relax. Melatonin also has been helping me to get and stay asleep.

And most important? Think about menopause as a positive not a negative. No more periods! No more cramps! Those are by far the things I’m happy about since menopause. My life is my own again.