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.