Menopause diet belly fat: Belly fat in women: Taking — and keeping — it off
6 Foods to Avoid During Menopause
Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is a good idea in general, but it’s especially true for women who are nearing or have just passed through menopause, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist in Cleveland.
“Good nutrition can make a big change in how you feel with regard to menopause symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, and exhaustion, as well as bloating and possible weight gain,” Jamieson-Petonic says. Women of menopausal age should make sure to eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein for optimal health, she says.
That advice is backed up by a survey of 400 post-menopausal women documented in an article published in April 2019 in journal Menopause, which found that women who ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables were less likely to report having experienced menopausal symptoms than women whose diets contained more fatty foods and sweets. Decreasing your consumption of these and certain other foods may be able to ease a lot of the discomfort linked to this natural transition and help you stay healthy in the years to come.
Foods That May Worsen Menopausal Symptoms
Potato chips and cookies might taste good, but they’re usually high in sodium, loaded with added sugars, or both, which can make you retain water and feel bloated, Jamieson-Petonic says. If you’re craving a snack, try a healthier alternative, like string cheese, carrots dipped in hummus, or a few whole-grain crackers with peanut butter — they’ll satisfy your need to nibble without filling you up with the symptom-trigger stuff.
Think twice before you add that extra-hot salsa to your taco. Foods that rate high on the heat scale can trigger sweating, flushing, and other symptoms of hot flashes, according to the National Institute on Aging. If you’re looking to add some kick to a bland dish, Jamieson-Petonic suggests skipping the jalapeños and sprinkling on spices that provide flavor without as much heat, like cumin, curry, turmeric, and basil.
In a rush? Drive-through restaurants may be convenient when you’re short on time, but their meals often serve up a massive amount of fat, Jamieson-Petonic says. Fatty foods can increase your risk for heart disease, a condition that women are already at greater risk for after passing through menopause, according to the American Heart Association. “These foods also tend to promote weight gain, which can exacerbate menopause symptoms as well,” Jamieson-Petonic says. The better solution? Have quick, healthy foods on hand by freezing leftovers at home or packing a lunch. If you have to eat a meal on the fly, skip the cheeseburger and choose healthier menu options. A grilled chicken sandwich on a whole-grain bun with lettuce and tomato is a good alternative, she says.
Although it may not be necessary to swear off all cocktails and wine, there are plenty of good reasons to keep your alcohol consumption moderate. As suggested in the 2015–2020 U. S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking for women is defined as one drink per day or less. Women who have two to five drinks a day have 1.5 times the risk for breast cancer as those who don’t drink at all, and heavy drinking can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, according to the North American Menopause Society. Plus, some women find that alcohol makes them more susceptible to hot flashes, Jamieson-Petonic says.
“I tell women to listen to their bodies,” she says. “If alcohol aggravates their menopause symptoms they should try to avoid it.” If you still want to indulge occasionally, Jamieson-Petonic suggests trying a white wine spritzer with fruit, which is lower in alcohol than most standard drinks.
Love your morning cup of joe? It could be worsening your menopause symptoms. A Mayo Clinic study published in February 2015 in the journal Menopause found that menopausal women who consumed caffeine were more likely to have hot flashes than women who didn’t consume caffeine. If you’re craving a warm drink, try a cup of hot ginger or peppermint tea — both caffeine-free — Jamieson-Petonic says. Or if you’re in need of some extra energy, try going for a quick walk instead of relying on caffeine for a kick.
Besides being high in saturated fat, foods like brisket and bacon can lower the body’s serotonin levels, Jamieson-Petonic says. “When serotonin drops, we feel angry, grumpy, and irritable,” she says. When you’re shopping for meats, skip the greasy, marbled cuts in favor of trimmer alternatives, like chicken, turkey, and ground beef that’s 90 percent lean or better.
The foods that are good for you during menopause are good for you at any stage in your life. Build healthy eating habits now and you’ll enjoy better health for years to come, including through menopause.
Menopause Symptoms That May Surprise You
Most women experience some physical or emotional symptoms when they reach menopause, which is typically in their early fifties, though it can occur at any age between 35 and 59. Hot flashes are the most common of these symptoms — at least two-thirds of women going through menopause experience them — but there are many other uncomfortable signs to watch for, too.
For example, the most noticeable signs and symptoms at menopause include:
Menopause symptoms, including missing or late periods, are different for every woman. Most women tell of having irregular periods before they stop menstruating altogether.
While almost all women at menopause will complain about hot flashes or menopause itching, many do not notice more serious menopause symptoms that can increase the risk of heart disease and require a doctor’s attention, including increases in:
- Blood pressure
- Blood-clotting proteins
- Glucose intolerance
- LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Total cholesterol
According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause is diagnosed after your body goes 12 months without a period. While menopause can happen in your late 30s, 40s or 50s, the average age is around 51.
After menopause, it is important to get regular physical exams and checkups with your physician, because a woman’s risk of certain more serious health conditions may escalate with the loss or decline of estrogen, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessel)
- Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
- Sexual dysfunction (vaginal dryness and low libido)
- Urinary incontinence (menopausal vaginal and urinary tract changes)
- Weight gain (slower metabolism and inactivity)
Many women relied on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the past to manage menopause symptoms like hot flashes; however, doctors hesitate to prescribe HRT today. Many scientific studies link HRT to the increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Now many women at menopause take prescription drugs or use different self-care strategies to manage uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture
- Exercise regimens like yoga and low-impact aerobics
- Herbal preparations like black cohosh
- Lifestyle modifications (smoking cessation, improving sleep)
- Phytoestrogens (plant-derived chemicals such as soy that have estrogenic action)
- Over-the-counter preparations
- Relaxation techniques like meditation
If you are wondering what unusual menopause symptoms you may experience at this time of life, read on.
4 Health Risks Women Face After Menopause
Your period — or more specifically, the stopping of it — isn’t the only thing that changes after you go through menopause. The higher hormone levels that keep your menstrual cycle regular have additional roles in the body. Without the protective effects of the hormones, especially estrogen, women face new health challenges.
RELATED: Menopause Symptoms That May Surprise You
“Postmenopausal women are unique in that their health risks increase not just due to age but also due to the loss of estrogen,” says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, the executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System.
When Are You Postmenopausal?
Menopause is diagnosed after the fact, once you have gone a full year without a single period, Dr. Pinkerton says. Before that, you might skip a cycle or have periods spread out farther than usual. During this phase, you are in perimenopause, not menopause.
During perimenopause, the amount of estrogen in your body fluctuates wildly. Once you are menopausal, however, this hormone drops to a very low level and stays there, according to NAMS.
New Health Risks Emerge as Estrogen Level Declines
Women who have no health issues before menopause face increased odds of problems after going through the change.
In addition to the loss of estrogen, other shifts also happen in the body that can harm your health after menopause. For example, blood pressure, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and the blood fat triglycerides tend to go up after menopause, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), although scientists are unsure why this happens.
While every woman faces a unique risk based on genetics and other factors, it is important to be extra vigilant with these four commonly troublesome concerns.
1. Heart Disease Risk Jumps at Midlife
Women often think breast cancer is their biggest killer, but the biggest danger after menopause is actually heart disease. Nearly a third of women develop cardiovascular disease, the AHA says. The rate of heart attacks in women begins increasing roughly a decade after menopause.
A key reason is that estrogen helps keep blood vessels flexible, so they contract and expand to accommodate blood flow. Once estrogen diminishes, this benefit is lost. Coupled with the other changes, like the rise in blood pressure, which can thicken artery walls, women’s hearts suddenly become vulnerable.
Reduce the Heart Disease Risk Factors That You Can
Your family history influences your risk, and it is something you cannot control. But your overall risk can be lowered by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a diet high in vegetables and low in red meat and sugar, exercising 150 minutes or more each week, and quitting smoking if you do.
The AHA also encourages women to know their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and body mass index (BMI). Plugging these numbers into the ASCVD risk calculator, introduced in 2013 by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, can help you assess your 10-year heart disease risk.
Even though estrogen protects the heart, taking postmenopausal hormone therapy has not been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, the AHA cautions.
2. Bone Health Becomes a Factor at Midlife
Women are 5 times as likely as men to develop osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become thin and weak and more easily fracture. Before menopause, women’s bones are protected by estrogen, but in the year before the final menstrual period and continuing for about three years after, bone loss is rapid, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
RELATED: 10 Essential Facts About Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis Symptoms Can Be Invisible
You may not even notice that your bones are weakening, as osteoporosis may not cause symptoms for decades. A bone fracture can be the first sign of the disease. This is why women 65 and older are urged to get the bone mineral density test known DXA or DEXA (for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), which measures bone thickness in the spine, hips, hands, heels, and wrists.
Osteoporosis Screenings and Testing You May Need
If you are postmenopausal and have other risk factors, including rheumatoid arthritis, a parent’s history of a hip fracture, smoking, alcoholism, or a low BMI, talk to your doctor about having a DXA test before 65.
You can also use an online tool called FRAX to estimate your fracture risk in the next 10 years. This takes into account your age, gender, BMI, smoking, alcohol intake, certain medications, and other risk factors.
How to Boost Bone Health in Midlife
To keep your bones strong, make sure some of your exercise routine is weight bearing, which is when your bones work against gravity, such as brisk walking or jogging. Don’t smoke. And eat a healthy diet including foods high in calcium (dark leafy greens, dairy, and canned fish such as salmon and sardines) and vitamin D (fortified orange juice, cereal, and milk, or from 15 minutes of sun exposure several days a week).
3. Urinary Incontinence Bothers Many Women at Midlife
Difficulty controlling the bladder begins in perimenopause and continues for years after. Following menopause, some 16 to 18 percent of women complain of urinary incontinence.
The most common type is stress urinary incontinence, when coughing, sneezing, or physical activity causes leakage. Urgency incontinence happens when leakage is accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to get to the bathroom immediately. Many women have a mix of the two.
RELATED: Bladder Issues Can Hamper Your Sex Life, Study Suggests
This occurs because the tissues of the bladder and urethra (the tube where urine flows from the bladder) contain estrogen and progesterone receptors and are thickened by the hormones. Once the hormone levels drop, the tissue thins and weakens. In addition, the muscles around the pelvis may lose tone with aging, a process known as “pelvic relaxation. “
RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections
To prevent urinary incontinence, empty your bladder as often as possible. And do Kegel exercises, contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. The key to proper Kegels is to work the subtle muscles controlling the stream of urine (rather than the butt muscles). Hold each contraction for two to three seconds, building up to five sets of 10 repetitions per day, according to NAMS. If problems persist, talk to your doctor or seek out a physical therapist with expertise in working the pelvic floor.
4. Midlife Weight Gain: It’s Easy to Pack on Pounds After Menopause
In the seminal menopause study known as SWAN, almost 30 percent of women going through the change gained 5 percent or more of their body weight in just six years. Even women who maintain the same diet and exercise routine can pack on pounds in midlife, writes Stephanie Faubion, MD, a women’s health physician at the Mayo Clinic and a NAMS board member.
Menopausal Belly Fat Is More Than an Aesthetic Issue
This extra weight, especially around the abdomen, is dangerous, Dr. Faubion says, because it boosts your risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers (including breast cancer and uterine cancer).
Why Fat Migrates to a Woman’s Midsection at Midlife
Part of the reason for the increased risk is the loss of estrogen, which shifts fat from the hips to the midsection. Women close to menopause who experience sleep problems, night sweats, and mood issues may find that these symptoms interfere with eating a healthy diet or exercising.
RELATED: Light Therapy May Give Women Quick Relief From Midlife Sleep Trouble, Study Shows
Cutting back on calories is the most important way to counter increased weight after menopause. Other important tips for countering midlife weight include adding more vigorous exercises to your routine, eating your biggest meal at noon, not snacking too often, and doing stress-reducing activities like mindfulness or yoga to eliminate the need for that mood-mellowing pint of ice cream.
How to lose weight during menopause: 10 ways
People going through the menopausal transition may gain weight. Those who wish to lose this weight may have more difficulty than usual, and keeping the weight off can be challenging.
Weight gain occurs before and during menopause partly because of a drop in estrogen levels.
Low-quality sleep and regular, age-related reductions in metabolism and muscle tone can also contribute to this weight gain. The weight tends to develop in the abdomen.
Although losing weight can be more challenging during menopause, there are various methods that many people find effective.
This article will discuss the relationship between menopause and weight, as well as proven ways to lose weight during the transition.
Females reach menopause after going a full 12 months without a menstrual cycle.
During menopause and perimenopause — the period leading up to menopause — people may gain body fat and find it harder to lose weight.
Menopause is linked with increases in body fat for the following reasons:
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 the menstrual cycle
- maintaining bone health
- 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.
Natural aging processes
Weight gain during menopause is also linked with regular aging processes and lifestyle habits.
As people age, they tend to become less physically active. Their metabolism also naturally slows down. These variables lead to a reduction in muscle mass and an increase in body fat.
Doctors also associate menopause with poor sleep, which can stem from hot flashes or night sweats. Research in animals links sleep deprivation with weight gain.
The following are strategies that can help people lose extra weight during menopause.
Regular exercise is an excellent way to promote weight loss and overall physical health.
Many people experience decreases in muscle tone as they get older, and a loss of muscle tone can cause an increase in body fat. Exercise is a key way to build muscle and prevent age-related muscle loss.
Research shows that aerobic exercise can decrease body fat after menopause. Another study has found that resistance training three times a week can improve lean body mass and reduce body fat in postmenopausal women
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that people should aim for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week and that people should do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week.
A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training will help reduce body fat and build muscle.
Menopause-related weight tends to settle around the abdomen. Find tips for losing belly fat here.
If a person is not already active, they may find it easier to increase their activity levels gradually. Little ways to build more activity into the day include:
- doing yard work, such as gardening
- taking a dog for a walk
- parking farther away from the building entrance
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- standing up to take phone calls
- going for a walk or getting another type of exercise at lunchtime
To lose weight, people need to consume fewer calories than they use up. Making dietary changes is a key part of losing weight.
Healthful, nutrient-dense foods should be the basis for all meals and snacks. A person’s diet should contain a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
A Mediterranean-style diet is a very popular and effective diet for health. A 2016 study has reported that this diet can improve heart disease risk factors, such as blood pressure and lipid levels, and result in weight loss.
People should make a point to eat:
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- lean proteins, from beans, fish, or chicken, for example
- whole grains in bread and cereals
- healthful fats, such as from olive oil or avocados
People should avoid processed foods and those containing high amounts of trans or saturated fats. Some examples include:
- white bread
- pastries, such as cakes, cookies, and donuts
- processed meats, such as hot dogs or bologna
- foods with a lot of added oils or sugar
Reducing the consumption of sweetened drinks — such as sodas and juices — can also help. Sugar-sweetened beverages carry a lot of extra calories.
A dietician or nutritionist can help establish a healthful eating plan and track progress.
Getting enough high-quality sleep is vital for maintaining a healthful weight and overall health. Low-quality sleep can lead to weight gain.
Research has linked sleep disturbances to aging processes and metabolic disruption during menopause. Alteration in sleep quality and circadian rhythms can affect:
- appetite hormones
- body fat composition
- energy expenditure
In addition, symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can disrupt sleep.
Focusing on getting a sufficient amount of restful sleep can help reduce menopause-related weight gain.
Overall, there has not been a lot of well-conducted, conclusive research into whether alternative medicine is effective in reducing symptoms related to menopause.
While these therapies may not lead to significant weight loss, they may help relieve some symptoms and reduce stress.
Potential complementary and alternative therapies include:
- herbal treatments
Practicing mindfulness while eating can help change eating behaviors and may prevent weight gain.
Mindful eating can help a person become aware of internal, rather than external, cues to eat. It can be a helpful approach to binge eating and eating related to emotional states.
In some studies, mindful eating led to reduced food intake in overweight individuals and people with obesity.
Tracking meals can help a person identify which unhealthful foods they regularly consume and in which contexts. This information can help with making specific dietary changes.
Research shows that people who keep food logs, weigh themselves regularly, and maintain high activity levels are more likely to have clinically significant weight loss.
Share on PinterestAvoiding distractions, such as watching the TV, can help prevent overeating.
Portion sizes in restaurants have increased over the years, and people are eating out more, so it can be difficult to gauge how much food a person actually needs per meal and per day.
To determine how much to include in a meal, it can help to understand standard serving sizes of some common foods. For example, some standard servings are:
- bread – 1 slice
- rice and pasta – ½ cup cooked
- fruit – one small piece
- milk or yogurt – 1 cup
- cheese – 2 ounces, or the size of a domino
- meat or fish – 2 to 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards
The following tips can help people control portion sizes:
- Measure out snacks instead of eating them from the bag.
- Avoid eating in front of the television — sit at a table instead.
- When eating out, opt for less bread and fewer appetizers.
- Use a kitchen scale and measuring cups to measure portions at home.
Meal planning and having healthful foods on hand will make a person less likely to choose unhealthful foods in a pinch.
Stock the kitchen with healthful foods for simple meals, and plan for these meals, to prevent quick, less mindful eating. Carry healthful snacks to prevent trips to the vending machine.
Having the support of family and friends is an integral part of weight loss. Having a workout buddy, for example, can help people stay motivated to exercise.
Some people like to track their progress on social media, which can help with accountability.
The key to keeping weight off is to maintain healthful habits in the long term.
Fad diets tend to result in short-term weight loss, while adopting healthful habits, including cooking routines and getting regular exercise, are more likely to result in long-term effects.
People often experience an increase in body fat during menopause. This is linked with reduced estrogen levels, lower-quality sleep, and reductions in metabolism and muscle mass.
Researchers have linked low estrogen levels with an increase in body fat, particularly abdominal fat. Maintaining healthful lifestyle habits can help with losing weight.
People who have concerns about their weight or symptoms of hormonal fluctuations should speak with a doctor about appropriate treatment.
What to Do About Menopause Belly Fat
If you struggled to button your jeans this morning, gal, you are NOT alone.
Most women gain some weight during midlife with menopause belly fat – anywhere from two pounds to 15 is within “average” range, depending on whom you ask. Like most things menopause, the experience can vary widely from woman to woman, but some hormonal weight gain is common.
While it doesn’t appear that menopause itself causes weight gain, where body fat goes is impacted by the decrease in reproductive hormones. In midlife, weight is more likely to gather around the middle instead of in the hips and thighs.
Hey, wherever you wear your weight, however much weight you wear, we think you look terrific. However, because excess abdominal weight brings more risk factors, it’s our Symptom of the Month.
Are you having a hard time losing that menopause belly? A menopause-certified health coach can be helpful. Book 30 minutes for your personal consultation with a health coach.
Menopause and weight gain in stomach
Even women who typically carry weight in their hips and thighs can find themselves gaining around the middle once they hit perimenopause.
Why there? Well, estrogen, tells the body to deposit fat in the thighs and backside rather than around the middle. When estrogen declines, the body begins to accumulate abdominal fat.
Why does it matter where fat lands? Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance
A larger waist circumference puts women at risk of metabolic syndrome (also known rather more dramatically as “Syndrome X”). Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health issues that, together, significantly increase health risks.
You are said to have Metabolic Syndrome if you have three or more of the following measurements, according to the American Heart Association:
- Abdominal obesity (40+ inch waistline for men; 35+ inches for women)
- Triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater
- HDL (“good”) cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
- Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 mm Hg or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater
- Fasting glucose of 100 mg/dL or more
Metabolic syndrome or even just one of its components (like larger waist size), can lead to increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
You may also have heard the term “insulin resistance” – it’s a warning flag for heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, vascular disease, and stroke. Increased belly fat is considered a primary risk factor for insulin resistance.
In insulin resistance, your body’s cells don’t allow the natural hormone to do its job of making glucose available for energy. When your body ignores insulin at normal levels, your pancreas has to start producing more of the hormone to compensate and continue to meet the body’s demand for energy. Blood sugar levels rise, and above a certain level, the person is said to be diabetic.
So yes, increased abdominal fat can be a real danger to your health.
How to lose menopause belly fat
Sadly, it’s difficult to impossible to lose weight from a specific area of your body. But, that doesn’t have mean the menopause belly bloat is here to stay. The best way to get rid of menopausal and postmenopausal belly fat – if you’re not genetically predisposed to lose from your belly first – is to lower body fat overall.
And the steps to lowering overall body fat and otherwise getting healthier? Yep:
Steps on how to lose those extra pounds
Lots of fiber, greens, veggies. Good for you, they’ll fill you up. However, you may burn through the fruits and veggies quickly, so make sure your meals and snacks also contain protein as well as healthy fats which is great for hormones and nutrition. Soluble fiber in foods like avocados, Brussels sprouts, and flaxseeds are great for improved digestion and avoiding the afternoon slump. Don’t forget to be taking your vitamins for menopause.
Drink water, not sugar! Not only is water good for you, it can give you some temporary feelings of fullness, which might help you reduce portion sizes in your next meal. How much water? Our PTs recommend that you calculate the water you need by dividing your body weight in half to get the number of fluid ounces: two-thirds of that should be plain, uncarbonated, unflavored, no-sugary-stuff water.
Turn off the television, put away the smart phone, just back away from screens altogether. Sit at a table (no hunching over the kitchen sink) with an actual plate and silver (and a glass of water) and enjoy your food. Being aware of the tastes and textures, of the people you’re with, all those good things, can help you eat more slowly and feel full sooner.
Sitting too much can contribute to your risk of metabolic syndrome. Find that thing you’ll do – walking, biking, swimming, dancing, gardening – and do it. Building muscle after 40 is good. Lifting weights is a great idea, so do that too, if you can: you build muscle mass, which helps further reduce visceral fat.
I know, I know, way easier said than done, particularly at this time of life. But we know lack of sleep contributes to poor dietary choices and subsequent weight gain, so take steps to get good sleep. We recommend you try our top-rated CBD oil for sleep.
Ditch the sugar
So hard around the holidays, but an excess of sugar does you no good at all. Even the temporary lift in mood is exactly that … temporary. Sugar messes with your hormones and generally disrupts your health. If you can’t cut it out, at least cut back.
Intermittent fasting in menipause is an upwardly trending technique that seems to have positive results for many women, but should be done with extreme care and previous medical consultation, if necessary.
The good news is that as little as a 5% reduction in body weight can help with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Weight loss can be tough – even when just 5% is your goal – but you can do it with a few lifestyle modifications. Build some healthy routines. Stick to them until they become habit (remember how hard it used to be to remember to take your reusable grocery bags into the store with you?). Enjoy a healthier you.
Need some support? Join a community like Gennev’s Community forums, and we’ll be behind you all the way.
Why you gain belly fat after menopause (and why it’s ok) (January 2020)
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 mom’s 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. There’s a sense of hopelessness. It doesn’t 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 couldn’t find one (mainstream) article that said something that all women need to hear: This is something we ALL go through (if we’re lucky enough to live that long).
After seeing this time and time again, I really wanted to help change the narrative on menopause, and aging in general. Full disclosure: I have not gone through menopause, so I’m sure many of you might be thinking something along the lines of, “wait until you’re MY AGE.” I know that I can’t speak from personal experience, but I can speak from clinical experience, so hear me out before you ex-out.
menopause fun fact #1: all bodies age.
You can try all of the creams and supplements, and drink all of the green juice you want, but aging is part of our natural biological process that we just can’t avoid. As the reproductive organs (like the uterus and ovaries) age, reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone decline as well. The decrease in these hormones is the main trigger for many of the symptoms that women face as they go through menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, elevated heart rate, sleep disturbances, mood changes, urinary tract issues, and vaginal dryness.
menopause fun fact #2: fat is your friend.
When your ovaries no longer produce estrogen, the body’s adipose tissue (fat tissue) takes over to produce and regulate estrogen in the body. An increase in body fat is our bodies’ way of adapting in order to regulate estrogen production as we age. Since estrogen depletion is the main cause of many of the negative side effects associated with menopause, increased regulation of this hormone can help mitigate many of these undesirable symptoms.
menopause fun fact #3: lack of fat equals lack of estrogen.
Estrogen depletion can lead to changes in the brain and nervous system (which might present as memory loss), can lead to increased risk for cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes, can lead to increased risk for low bone mineral density (leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis), and can exacerbate to all of the other symptoms I’ve mentioned above. Most surprisingly, estrogen depletion can also lead to decreased water holding ability and elasticity in the skin, which can cause dryness, itching, and increased wrinkling. So if we’re going to waste our time obsessed about our external appearance this little fun fact proves we’ll never be able to have it all!
I think it’s fascinating that that magazine and blog articles are swimming with information on how to lose weight post-menopause, but nobody is talking about just how harmful that mission might be. The sad truth is, no matter how convincing my argument, it’s never going to be enough for many women to stop living in fear of fat. This is an issue of body image, not body fat. And we cannot improve our body image if we are constantly trying to force our body into fitting a social ideal that goes against every single one of our body’s natural biological processes.
I think it takes recognizing that this change in your body is not because something is wrong with you. You are not malfunctioning. You are simply living in a culture that isn’t accepting of fat bodies and old women. So, instead of putting our energy towards fighting fat and hiding your age, let’s redirect it towards fighting fat and age phobia. This means doing the work to not only embrace the fat on your body, and your age, but to embrace fat on all bodies and women of all ages. These means even the largest bodies, and even the oldest ages. How will you start to embrace? Let me know in the comments below and let’s get a conversation started.
Why Belly Fat Is Harder to Lose After Menopause
It’s not your imagination: Most women’s bellies get bigger as they get older, even if the women continue to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Here’s what causes belly fat in women and why changing hormones make belly fat harder to lose.
Blame low estrogen levels.
As women go through perimenopause—the multi-year period that precedes the total cessation of menstrual cycles—their ovaries gradually produce fewer female hormones, particularly estrogen. By the time a woman’s menstrual cycles have stopped, her body produces almost no estrogen.
It’s this lack of estrogen that seems to trigger a shift in fat. Almost all women (and men, for that matter) gain weight as they get older, but studies have found that women who have entered menopause have significantly more visceral fat, or fat located deep in the abdomen, than similar-aged women who have not yet experienced menopause. Some women remain the same weight before and after menopause but notice a significant challenge in their silhouette. In almost every case, women add inches to their waist after menopause.
Women who use hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms tend to have less visceral or belly fat than other menopausal women, which lends support to the theory that lack of estrogen drives the accumulation of belly fat. Unfortunately, when women stop hormone therapy, they gain belly fat.
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 arthritis 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 pain.
There are ways to manage belly fat.
Belly fat is not just a cosmetic issue—it has real health consequences. Excess visceral fat increases your risk of cancer, and a waist size of larger than 35 inches (for women) is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. You may not be able to completely prevent or halt the accumulation of belly fat, but you can keep it in check.
Exercise is the most effective way to lose belly fat. Eating a healthy diet (and eating sweets and drinking alcohol only in moderation) is beneficial, but diet alone cannot reduce belly fat. So, incorporate physical activity into each day. Studies have found walking 50 minutes a day three times a week or 30 minutes a day six days a week can prevent (or help you lose) belly fat.
Taking estrogen can keep belly fat under control, but because estrogen may also increase the risk of developing endometrial or breast cancer as well as the risk of stroke, heart attack, and dementia, estrogen therapy is not recommended solely to control weight or belly fat. There are risks and benefits to hormone therapy after menopause; your healthcare provider can help you understand these factors in the context of your personal health history.
You may not be able to eliminate belly fat after menopause, but you can remain healthy and active. Your healthcare provider can help you manage your health risks and stay vibrant.
How to lose weight after menopause
How to get rid of belly after menopause?
To get rid of the belly, you will have to focus on nutrition and exercise. You can do yoga, you can practice stretching exercises, strength training and aerobic exercise are suitable – as long as they are regular. When it comes to nutrition, here are some tips.
Soybeans contain compounds that are chemically similar to the hormone estrogen and therefore have the same effects of weight gain and bloating. Therefore, it is important to reduce your intake of processed, unfermented soy – such as soy milk or soy water.
Avoid carbonated drinks
The most common culprits for bloating are beer and soda. And if you do not want to find an unpleasant surprise in the morning, refrain from using them at least two hours before bedtime – or better, give them up altogether. Soda and alcohol slow down your metabolism and are bad for your internal organs – so a flat tummy is just one of the benefits of avoiding them.
Drink mint tea
Mint is a natural remedy that helps relax and calm the gastrointestinal tract and prevent bloating. Mint tea or a drink made from water to which a few drops of peppermint oil have been added will not only calm your nervous system before going to bed, but also give you a flat tummy.
Eat More Protein
Protein is essential for building muscle tissue, and it also helps us keep us feeling full and eliminates the need for sugary, high-calorie snacks. Try to eat protein foods at every meal – this is both tasty and healthy.
Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast is bad for your blood sugar and may even increase your cells’ insulin tolerance in the long run. In addition, skipping breakfast, we will probably eat more during lunch, and this food is unlikely to be healthy.
why you need belly fat
Jesse Haggerty is a private nutritionist, board certified intuitive nutrition consultant and personal trainer, author of The BodyLove Project, on why belly fat occurs during menopause and why it’s good.
In my practice, I often meet women at a crossroads: one stage of their life has ended and another begins. These are sixteen-year-old girls who are actively changing their figure, young women who are beginning to understand that they are not at all like sixteen-year-olds, newly-made mothers, whose bodies have also changed a lot after giving birth, and, of course, women during menopause.
Naturally, each stage changes our self-perception and body image, but for many women the most significant stage is menopause.It seems to them that the body is giving up. There is a feeling of hopelessness. When you start looking for information about menopause, you immediately come across articles on how to “fight menopause”, how to “remove belly fat” during menopause, and this also does not add optimism. I did not come across a single article on popular resources where it sounds what every woman needs to hear: menopause is an absolutely normal stage in life (if we were lucky enough to live up to it at all) . EVERYONE goes through it.
Observing women who find it difficult to accept their changing body, I really wanted to change the usual discourse about menopause and aging in general.I admit honestly: I have not yet faced menopause on my own experience, so I foresee that many will think: “It’s easy for her to say, I would live with mine.” I understand that I have no personal experience, but I have clinical data, so please listen.
Fact # 1: Everybody gets old.
You can buy up all anti-aging creams and dietary supplements, sit on freshly squeezed vegetable juices, but, whatever one may say, aging is a natural biological process. The reproductive organs (uterus and ovaries) age over time, and the production of reproductive hormones (estrogen and progesterone) decreases.A decrease in the production of these hormones is the main trigger for many of the symptoms that appear during menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, increased heart rate, sleep disturbances, mood swings, urinary disorders and vaginal dryness.
Fact # 2: Fat is our friend.
When the ovaries stop producing estrogen, adipose tissue takes over the function of producing and regulating estrogen. By building up adipose tissue, the body adapts to new challenges.Since decreased estrogen production is one of the main causes of uncomfortable symptoms during menopause, additional agents (fat) that help regulate estrogen can alleviate them.
Fact # 3: Lack of fat = Lack of estrogen.
A decrease in estrogen production can lead to changes in the functioning of the brain and nervous system (for example, in the form of memory loss), an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (for example, heart attack and stroke), an increased risk of decreased bone density (as a result, osteopenia and osteoporosis) and can worsen the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.Interestingly enough, a decrease in estrogen production contributes to a decrease in the skin’s ability to retain water. The elasticity of the skin decreases, dryness and itching appear, wrinkles become more and more. It turns out, no matter how you care about your appearance, it is physically impossible to maintain your figure, youthful skin, and health.
It’s incredible that everyone is writing about how to lose fat during menopause, but no one writes how dangerous it can be! And no matter how convincing my arguments may sound, many women will continue to be afraid of fat. The problem is body image, not fat itself. But the body image will not get better if we continue to try to cram ourselves into the framework of the “ideal”, contrary to all natural processes in the body.
I believe we need to realize and accept that age-related changes do not occur because something is wrong with us. We are just fine. We just live in a culture where fat and aging are considered unacceptable. Instead of wasting energy fighting fat and running away from age, let’s focus it on fighting fat phobia and the fear of old age.We must strive not only to accept our age and fat on our body, but also someone else’s fullness, someone else’s age. Even if it is a very strong fullness and deep old age.
Menopause – How Hormone Depletion Affects You
A Systematic Review of Body Fat Distribution and Mortality in Older People
Based on materials: https://www.jessihaggerty.com/blog/why-you-gain-belly-fat-after-menopause-and-why-its-ok
Translated by Marina Nestrugina, IntuEat Center for Intuitive Nutrition ©
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90,000 Why do women grow belly with menopause? Weight stabilization | INTERESTING ADVICE
There are many reasons why the belly grows during menopause, and the main one is hormonal changes. With normal functioning and a normal amount of gestagens and estrogens, the body maintains proper functioning. It is the hormones that affect:
- The work of the cardiovascular system
- Endocrine glands
- The central nervous system.
When the production of hormones occurs in the amount established for the norm, the natural shine and strength of hair, nails and skin is preserved. With the onset of menopause, most often the amount of hormones decreases, and the amount of fat cells increases.This is the main reason why the stomach grows during menopause. In addition, the functioning of the adrenal glands also contribute to an increase in body fat. They are responsible for the production of endrogens, so the female body sometimes begins to rebuild according to the male character.
With the onset of menopause, not only hormonal disorders appear, but also a number of other side effects:
Development of muscle weakness. It is normal for the muscles to begin to weaken.Since many women go through labor before menopause, the muscles and skin in the abdomen still stretch as a result. Due to a decrease in collagen production, the muscles lose their former elasticity
Metabolic disorders. It is an integral part of changes in the course of metabolism. As a rule, its course slows down, so the accumulation of energy is faster, and the body gives away resources much less. As food processing also slows down, many women find a belly appearing after menopause
Improper nutrition.As the body begins “global restructuring”, the daily diet must also be adjusted. In fact, due to the change in perception, many women are starting to consume large amounts of sugar and salt. As a result, the caloric value increases, and with it the weight
Lack of movement. Menopause often has a negative effect on a woman’s well-being: hot flashes, pressure surges, insomnia and general physical illness. Anyone who is not feeling well begins to move much less, which means that the weight continues to grow as well.
With the onset of menopause, every woman should be more attentive to her health. Since often weight gain during menopause and loss of former physical form worries many of the fair sex, they are interested in how to remove the belly with menopause. In fact, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to correct your figure.
- First of all, you need to visit a doctor to go through all the examinations and determine the type of food, which foods to exclude from the diet, as well as optimal physical activity for muscle training.
- As a rule, most dietitian doctors recommend reducing the amount of fatty, sugary and smoked foods consumed.
- In addition, it is recommended that blood tests be monitored closely, as some women develop diabetes, which contributes to weight gain and abdominal enlargement.
After menopause passes, the phase of stabilization of a new, stable state begins, so further adjustments can be made in all aspects: physical activity, sleep, food. It is important to understand that now you will have to focus on new norms that are not characteristic of a young body.
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How to remove the belly? Expert opinion | | Infopro54
The problem of a bulging abdomen worries both women and men. Firstly, it is ugly, and secondly, as it turned out, it is also dangerous. We talked about where the big belly comes from and how to get rid of it with our guests: fitness director of EDGE PREMIUM FITNESS Alexander Filimonov and Wellness coach, nutritionist consultant Anastasia Maksutova.
Please tell me, for what reasons can the belly grow? Except for pregnancy, of course.
Anastasia: The belly can grow for many reasons. If we discard genetic factors, then the main reasons are unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity and stress, which lead to hormonal imbalance. In each case, an individual approach to solving the problem is required. And if we cannot influence genetics, then nutrition and physical activity are exactly the factors that a person can change.
When with a big belly is it time not only to worry about aesthetics, but also to sound the alarm about possible health problems? There are data on the Internet that the waist circumference for women should not exceed 80 cm, and for men – 90 cm. Do you agree with these figures? And what is a big belly dangerous in general?
Anastasia: There are recommendations of the World Health Organization for waist circumference. With a normal body weight in men, it should be less than 94 cm, and in women less than 80 cm.If the waist circumference for a man exceeds 102 cm, for women – 88 cm, then this is already abdominal obesity.
The danger of such a “big belly” is not only in aesthetics. This is the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus. If a person reduces the waist by at least 4 cm and maintains the result, this can lead to an improvement in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
On the eve of the beach season, our readers are interested in the question – how to quickly get in shape.And especially, how to remove the belly – for some reason he “loses weight” usually last. How often do people come to workouts in fitness centers who want to reduce their belly? Or perhaps there is a proven diet to help you get things done quickly?
Alexander: Of course, most of the visitors to fitness clubs pursue the goal of getting rid of the belly and “pump up” abs. Nevertheless, this desire is veiled by the need to reduce the percentage of body fat, or, more simply, to lose weight.
Anastasia: Usually women want to lose 10 kg in a month, look for “proven recipes”, go on low-calorie diets and even lose weight, but after a while they gain even more extra pounds. The main secret when losing weight is that a person should spend more calories than he eats. Proper nutrition and physical activity! If a person actively pumps the abs in the gym, but does not follow the diet, then it will be very difficult for him to lose weight.
Judging by the numerous complaints in the thematic groups of social networks, is it harder to remove the belly with exercise than, for example, pumping up your biceps or tightening the buttocks? Is it so? And if so, what is the reason?
Alexander: In reality, local fat burning is impossible, so fitness and active lifestyle fans have stereotypes that belly fat is difficult to get rid of. Fat leaves in proportion from all parts of the body, so no matter how long a person trains, without dietary measures, the process of losing weight will proceed very slowly, and the result will not be so noticeable. Most choose the way to “build” the buttocks and “pump up” the biceps in order to visually reduce the waist. But still, in addition to muscle mass, fat is also added, which often does not look very aesthetically pleasing. From the point of view of physiology, gaining muscle mass and reducing fat are both not fast and painstaking processes, and certainly not comparable achievements in terms of complexity.
Are there any exercises aimed specifically at removing the belly?
Alexander: In the gym we train not fat, but muscles! That is why physical activity without a diet absolutely does not guarantee the appearance of “abs”. Of course, it will be, but under the fat layer. The muscles will be in good shape, but this will not affect the amount of subcutaneous fat. Creating a calorie deficit throughout the day is the best way to say goodbye to your belly.
And again we go back to food. What do you think about the food system, where it is allowed to eat only foods with a low (no more than 50) glycemic index? In the comments on thematic sites, many write that this approach helped them regain their waist. What is this index and is there any point in paying attention to it?
Anastasia: First you need to understand what the glycemic index is. GI shows how carbohydrates in food affect blood sugar levels.The energy from high GI foods is quickly released, resulting in a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI are absorbed slowly, so there are no spikes in blood sugar. Have you noticed that after you have eaten a bun or cake, you first feel pleasure, and then you feel hungry? And if you eat buckwheat porridge in the morning, then you will feel full for several hours. If a person is constantly snacking on something sweet (candy, cookies, bun), then the level of glucose in the blood will always be increased, the metabolism is disturbed.People with a sweet tooth often feel hungry. In this case, the body stores excess energy “in reserve” in the form of fat.
It makes sense to pay attention to the GI, but you need to understand that, even when eating foods with a low GI, it is important not to overeat. After all, foods with a GI level of up to 50 also contain calories that the body will absorb. There are foods that have a relatively high GI. For example, a watermelon. His GI is 75. And donuts have 76. But there is a concept of “glycemic load”. It is a measure of how high the blood sugar level will rise and how long it will stay at that level.I will not bore you with complicated calculations. I can only say that with an almost equal GI level, donuts will get your body almost 5 times more glucose than watermelon. Better to eat watermelon.
And what principles in nutrition should everyone adhere to at all times so that the stomach does not grow in principle? Or is it individual for each person?
Anastasia: When we talk about individuality, we mean the kind of hormonal disruption that led to the appearance of a large belly. If an organ of the endocrine system is overloaded due to stress, malnutrition or disease, then disorders occur and adipose tissue is deposited in a special way. Therefore, the recommendations are also individual.
There are 4 main body types: adrenaline, thyroid, ovarian and hepatic.
Adrenaline body type in people who live in a state of chronic stress, anxiety, anxiety. At the same time, fat is deposited in the middle of the abdomen, around the internal organs.The adrenal glands produce a stress hormone. With constant stress, the adrenal glands are depleted. The person does not sleep well, does not get enough sleep. Most of the hormone that regulates fat burning is released at night. Due to the lack of this hormone, a person ceases to feel full after eating and constantly overeats. Diet recommendations for this type:
- Avoid salty foods and unhealthy saturated fats, i.e. fatty foods;
- Increase the consumption of unsaturated fats, which are found in sea fish, nuts, linseed oil;
- Eat quality protein (fish, lean meat, legumes).
Recommended breathing exercises, exercises to strengthen the press and back. Cardio training will also be effective. At the same time, sports should not become another source of stress. If intense training and weight loss programs are stressing you out, you won’t get a flat stomach. Choose those loads from which you will enjoy. For some it is fitness, for some yoga, swimming, walking.
Now about the thyroid type of figure.This is an hourglass figure, when the waist is always visible, and when you gain weight, excess fat is deposited in the abdominal cavity and on the hips. Almost all cells in our body are affected by thyroid hormones. If the functions of the thyroid gland are weakened, then health problems begin. Problems often occur after pregnancy or during menopause. Women with this type of figure have a craving for simple carbohydrates, bread, rolls. Because the body requires fast energy.To improve health, it is recommended to limit foods that inhibit thyroid function: sugar, white rice, premium flour products, coffee. Include whole grains, eggs, vegetables, and fruits in your diet. For weight correction, aerobics and breathing exercises will be especially effective.
With the ovarian type of figure, fatty deposits are formed on the lower abdomen, thighs, buttocks. The main thing here is to remove the provoking factor: sugar, desserts, fried, salty, spicy and fatty foods, fast food.Eat more protein and healthy fats. Be sure to have breakfast! The sex glands are more active at night, so in the evening your ideal dinner is a protein meal with vegetables. The best type of exercise is training for all muscle groups, gymnastics, brisk walking, running.
The hepatic type of figure is very common among men – a dense protruding abdomen. Typically, these men have a craving for fatty fried foods. They love sweets and alcohol. These foods should be avoided. It is necessary to exclude trans fats from the diet, increase the intake of phytonutrients.If a person gets a lot of sugar, carbohydrates from food, this leads to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Another reason for the appearance of the abdomen is … dehydration. If a person drinks little water, the body tries to retain water, and swelling occurs. It is simple to calculate the rate of water: 30 ml per 1 kg of body weight. With this type of figure, cardio training, running, brisk walking, strength and static exercises are suitable. Circular workouts for all muscles of the body are useful.
There is a general recommendation for everyone striving for an ideal belly: watch your posture, strengthen your spine.Try slouching right now. What does your belly look like? Now expand your shoulders. I think you noticed the difference right away.
It turns out that the types of “big belly” in men and women are different. Is there a fundamental difference in male and female sets of exercises aimed at removing the belly?
Alexander: For girls, I would recommend to strengthen exclusively the rectus abdominis muscle, the so-called “press”. And do this no more than two or three times a week (in order to restore muscle tissue). It is also important to exclude the power load on the transverse muscles (sides), otherwise, with regular exercise, this will increase the waist. After all, muscles grow during training, and the press is no exception.
There are no male and female exercises for the abdominal muscles, but to achieve the desired result, the help of a trainer is imperative, since each organism is individual.
Summer has almost come, it will no longer be possible to hide your not ideal figure under a down jacket.Therefore, many people who are far from sports and who have not been involved in any physical activity all winter, have now gone to the gym. Or they downloaded exercise complexes from the Internet. Isn’t such a sudden immersion in sports dangerous? How to start working on your body correctly?
Alexander: Any information from the Internet, advice from famous bodybuilders and fitness models does not guarantee the safety of the training process and the achievement of the desired result. As mentioned earlier, each organism is individual, and what suits other people does not at all mean the effectiveness of this method for each person.All written workouts and exercises are selected taking into account the physical fitness and physiological characteristics of the counselors, therefore, it is important to consult a specialist (trainer) before using it in practice. The best path for beginners is a specially tailored nutritional and training program, supervised by a fitness instructor.
Is there anything you would like to warn our readers against, who are determined to remove their belly by any means? Is physical activity useful for everyone? There may be harmful trends that should never be supported.Are the same diet pills always dangerous, or sometimes you can’t do without them?
Alexander: You should always remember an important rule: movement is life! Physical activity affects the most important biochemical processes in the human body, improving well-being and improving the quality of life. Muscles are an amino acid storehouse, the presence of which is a guarantee of health.
- When it comes to training people over 40, it has been scientifically proven that physical activity at this age slows down the process of sarcopenia (replacement of muscle mass with fat), and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.In addition, this load rejuvenates the body and prolongs life.
- There are contraindications to physical activity, but these must be diseases that directly impede visiting the fitness club (oncological and any diseases in the acute stage, postoperative period).
- In any other case, you need to understand that fitness and physical culture are identical concepts, united by one denominator – health.
Before visiting the gym, it is very important to undergo an organism diagnosis and a doctor’s consultation, as well as inform the fitness trainer about the existing possible contraindications, because, taking into account them, a decision will be made on the permitted exercises, and the appropriate load will be selected.
Anastasia: As for the pills, you need to remember that any medications are prescribed by a doctor. If you do not know how the drug works, you can harm your health. You cannot engage in self-medication. If you have declared war on the big belly, I can congratulate you! You took the first step – made a decision to correct the situation. Start by adjusting your nutrition. Analyze your eating habits. What foods are difficult for you to refuse? Think why.
- Change the cooking method. Replace fried foods with boiled, baked, or steamed foods. Avoid fast carbohydrates such as sweets, cakes and rolls. Replace white bread with wholemeal bread.
- Avoid unhealthy foods: chips, sodas, canned foods, fast food. Eliminate alcohol from your diet. It is not for nothing that the belly of men is often called “beer”. Firstly, beer is a high-calorie product, and secondly, it negatively affects the human hormonal system.
- Eat 5 small meals a day. Three main meals and two snacks will keep you from overeating or starving. Complex carbohydrates, protein foods, vegetables, fruits should be the basis of your diet
- Remember to drink clean water.
- Try to control your emotions and not seize stress.
- Remember to be physically active. Choose the type of movement that you like best: fitness, outdoor workouts, walking, outdoor activities, swimming.You should enjoy your physical activity.
I recommend that you find like-minded people who will support you in your quest to lose weight. And then the result will not be long in coming.
Anastasia, Alexander, thank you for such detailed answers and practical recommendations! We hope that they will help our readers achieve their goal and even more – not just remove the stomach, but also improve their overall health.
Summing up, we can conclude that it is quite possible to achieve harmony.It is important to follow a holistic approach – to engage in appropriate exercise and eat right. You should not blindly follow the advice that the Internet is oversaturated, but it will not be superfluous to turn to professionals – a nutritionist and fitness trainer. Any investment of time and effort in health, an indicator of which is, including the absence of a belly, will pay off many times over. And summer is a good time to start taking care of yourself!
Photo: pixabay.com, photos of speakers- from personal archives
90,000 How to lose belly fat? Scientists Prove Fast Diets Don’t Work | Healthy life | Health
Scientists from the University of Sydney have found that belly fat can adapt to intermittent fasting.And you can’t catch it with diets. This is why many people lose weight with ease, but cannot get rid of an unaesthetic tummy. A new study, conducted only in mice so far, has shown that during critical moments of hunger, fat cells turn on certain mechanisms to save energy and protect themselves from forced decomposition. Moreover, only belly fat behaves this way. But white subcutaneous fat (fat is brown) can “melt” faster.
What is the difference between white and brown fat? Can you measure it? And how to lose weight in the waist area? The head of the consultative and diagnostic center of the Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology, Candidate of Medical Sciences, nutritionist Ekaterina Burlyaeva told about this.
How is brown fat different from white?
Adipose tissue in our body is not the same. Brown fat uses nutrients to warm the body and is more common in children. Newborns have the highest percentage of brown fat – it helps the child not to hypothermia until the body has learned thermoregulation. For a long time, it was believed that adults do not have brown fat at all. However, more detailed studies have revealed that it is present in some adults.But in different quantities. Other studies have shown that brown fat is capable of increasing a person’s basal metabolic rate, which is the ability to expend more energy at rest. This means that the more brown fat a person has, the lower the risk of being overweight. True, the effect of burning calories with brown fat has been described in conditions of lower ambient temperatures. Some theories were even based on the fact that if a person spends more time at temperatures no higher than 18-19 degrees, then additional thermoregulation mechanisms will be activated.Accordingly, the metabolism increases.
How do we gain fat?
Obesity, depending on the size of fat cells and their number, is of two types. The first is hypercellular, when the number of fat cells – adipocytes – increases. The second is hypertrophic, when fat cells increase in volume. With the first increase in body weight, it is the hypertrophic mechanisms that first turn on, the size of adipocytes increases. If a person continues to eat more calories than they spend, hypercellular mechanisms begin to work, and the number of adipocytes themselves increases.During this time, excess weight builds up slowly. When losing weight, the reverse process occurs: first, adipocytes decrease in volume, as if deflated, but their number remains. Therefore, if at this moment a person breaks down and starts overeating again, then the weight is gained much faster, because there are already “adipocyte cells” for filling. An analogy can be made with a balloon that is either deflated or inflated.
Why is belly fat dangerous?
White adipose tissue is divided into subcutaneous adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue.The latter is located primarily in the waist area. Visceral fat is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The easiest way to determine if visceral fat is present is by calculating your waist-to-hip ratio. If the indicator exceeds the norm (up to 0.85 for women and up to 0.90 for men), then there is an excess of visceral fat. In addition, the ratio of adipose, muscle and fluid in the body can be determined using bioimpedance measurements. He has no contraindications, the study is performed within 5-10 minutes.
Visceral (or abdominal) fat is most often formed in men. In women up to about 55-60 years of age, subcutaneous fat usually predominates. And adipose tissue in the abdomen grows, as a rule, after menopause, when the hormonal background changes. There are such cases (and we see this in our clinical practice) when a person has a normal body weight, good indicators of body mass index. But at the same time, studies show an increase in visceral adipose tissue.
Why are fast diets bad for belly fat?
Fasting diets can lead to rapid weight loss.However, this happens due to a decrease in not only adipose tissue, but also muscle tissue. And muscles, even at rest, consume calories. And the more there are, the more calories are burned. If muscle tissue decreases, then the basal metabolism slows down, and therefore the ability to burn calories at rest. Therefore, in order not to gain weight, you will have to adhere to a lower-calorie diet. Otherwise, the extra pounds will quickly return, and even in greater quantities.
If a person’s caloric intake is adequate to his physical activity, then body weight decreases gradually.At the same time, muscle mass is preserved as much as possible. And in the future, his basic metabolism will not change. This means that he will be able to burn as many calories at rest as before.
How to lose weight in the waist area?
According to studies, visceral fat is more difficult to reduce than subcutaneous fat. Although, if the topic mass decreases, the amount of visceral fat also decreases. It is important here to combine proper nutrition and physical activity, and every day. In some cases, it is possible to prescribe special drugs that target visceral fat and help reduce the waist.
90,000 What is the Galveston diet and why is it advised during menopause?
From hormonal changes to weight gain, menopause has its own set of challenges. For women who cannot lose weight during menopause, the Galveston Diet can help.
How to Lose Weight During Menopause, Photo: pexels.com
MD and Obstetrician-Gynecologist Mary Claire Haver developed the Galveston Diet to help mature women burn fat and combat weight gain during menopause.Here’s everything you need to know according to WomanEL:
What is the Galveston Diet?
The diet is a combination of anti-inflammatory foods and intermittent fasting.
What can you eat?
When it comes to anti-inflammatory foods, the diet includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fatty dairy products, and healthy fats.
Sugar-added foods, meats containing nitrates / nitrites, fried foods, inflammatory oils, refined flours and grains have been shown to cause inflammation in the body.And so they should be avoided.
Intermittent fasting is an integral part of the diet. When following the Galveston Diet, the 16: 8 method is recommended, in which you fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8 hour window. Method 5: 2, in which you consume 500 calories two days a week and maintain your calorie requirements on other days, will also give similar results. But most people find it easier to stick to 16: 8 and include it in their diet.
Benefits of the diet
Diet studies have not yet been conducted.But because the diet encourages whole foods and restricts processed foods, it promises to be healthy.
You do not need to count calories, which makes the diet sustainable. The diet also encourages healthy habits such as planning and cooking.
Intermittent fasting is not suitable for many people. For example, people with diabetes, people with an eating disorder or taking certain medications. Limiting food intake to an eight-hour window can backfire.
Earlier, we also talked about how using social networks you can speed up and simplify your path to weight loss.
Tags: inflammation, hormonal background, hormones, women’s health, intermittent fasting, calories, menopause, extra pounds, excess weight, menopause, flat stomach, weight loss, proper nutrition, fat burning, calorie burning
How to remove fat from the abdomen and sides safely
Excess weight negatively affects the emotional and physical state.Makes life less vivid and lowers self-esteem. A comprehensive approach to weight loss and body shaping is necessary. Fat is deposited in the body not evenly, and will go away as well. You need to prepare yourself for things that won’t be easy. Exercises aimed at losing weight on one belly will not work. The body cannot lose weight in one area, it loses weight entirely. The desired effect can be achieved only through constant physical activity and proper nutrition.
Fat deposits limit human mobility.They can be deposited not only under the skin, but also around the organs. Influence the blood supply to the body, thereby provoking body edema. People often justify their weight by age-related changes. The real factor of extra centimeters is unhealthy and fatty foods, sweets and flour products. The first step towards success will be regular exercise and cardio training. Cardio improves blood circulation and promotes the breakdown of subcutaneous fat. Then you can start doing exercises aimed at strengthening the abdominal muscles.The musculature will begin to actively develop. It will be easier to get rid of body fat.
Causes of belly and flank fat
The first reason is overeating. Overweight sufferers do not notice how many calories they are consuming. Harmful and fatty foods do not nourish the body with useful elements, and quickly cause hunger. Depression and stress push people to buy food that negatively affects their health. Chips, soda, sweets, fried meat, semi-finished products, fast food are a standard set of a person living in a fast pace of life.Stress follows us everywhere, let it be study, work, street, home. Learn to control your emotional state. Take a simpler approach to the circumstances.
Violation of the diet leads to fatty deposits. Snacks on the go, food consumption 2 times a day provoke gastrointestinal disorders. The imbalance of the hormonal background has a huge impact. Only a specialist can find out the reasons for a malfunction in the body. A passive lifestyle is a major factor in disturbances in our body and fat deposition.With age, people become less mobile than they used to be. In particular, this happens after 24 years, when student life ends. There is less and less time for sports. Constant physical activity will help keep the body fit and improve endurance.
With age, the metabolism slows down, thereby provoking the formation of fat in the abdomen. The reasons for this may be thyroid disease, diabetes. Also remember that a passive lifestyle is a major factor.If you notice that muscles have begun to sag on the abdomen, this can further lead to the formation of fat in the abdominal region. For a toned figure, you need to keep your body in good shape. Poor posture is often the cause of body fat. You need to learn to keep your back straight from childhood. After age 50, women experience menopause, which is a common problem. The body begins to rebuild, and the figure can completely change. Harmful gut bacteria can cause problems.An imbalance in the intestines leads to the formation of fat.
How to quickly get rid of belly and flank fat
Trying to quickly get rid of a saggy belly and sides, people deplete their bodies with diets. They begin to sharply limit the diet and starve. Believing that in this way they will be able to get rid of excess weight and body fat. Weight loss techniques negatively affect metabolism. Promising diets are provoking the stomach to grow even more actively. The body becomes hungry and begins to store calories, distributing them to different parts of the body.At the end of the diet, the weight will return as quickly as it left. You can only lose weight by training for a long time. You need to regularly exercise your body. Combine aerobics, cardio and strength training.
Strength exercises will help to remove subcutaneous fat, and visceral cardio training. It is impossible to tighten your belly in one week. This is a long and difficult process that requires a special approach and willpower. The end result is worth it: strengthen the muscle corset and tighten the sides.Proper nutrition is key to losing weight. You can go to the gym regularly, exercise intensely, but there will be no result. Due to the fact that a large number of calories enter the body. The diet should be balanced and include healthy vitamins and minerals. You need to eat at least 6 times a day, in small portions. For weight loss, it is enough to include in the diet foods rich in antioxidants that accelerate metabolism and improve digestion.
Getting rid of the belly and sides with the help of sports
We noticed a sagging belly and sides, it’s time to start acting.Fat deposits are not formed in one day, and it is impossible to remove them in a week. We usually notice them when it’s too late. Exercise is not easy when you are overweight. Immediately there are thoughts that you need to go to swing the press and do crunches. Such training will not bring any changes, the weight will remain in place, and the abs will not be visible under the layer of fat. The body cannot lose weight in a certain area. Therefore, training should target all muscle groups. The body uses energy primarily from those parts of the body in which there is good blood flow.From the abdomen, sides and arms, he spends calories last. There is poor blood flow to the skin in these areas. Therefore, before starting the lesson, you need to do a little self-massage.
Regular exercise is important not only for weight control, but also for maintaining a healthy body. You need to pay attention to aerobics, cardio, fitness, strength training, they effectively remove fat on the abdomen and in the waist area. Exercise lowers blood sugar levels and fights metabolic disorders.First of all, you need to draw up a training program. Choose exercises aimed at all muscle groups, especially abdominal. Regular exercise will help get your body in shape and tone your skin back. The results will be noticeable after 3 weeks of training, thereby motivating you.
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is aerobic training. The name comes from the word aero, movement in the air. During aerobics, the body spends a lot of energy, due to a fast pace.Regular exercise will not produce these results. It includes many different types of directions: step, water aerobics, sports, power types, fitball aerobics. The process of losing weight depends on the intensity and duration of the session. You need to do at least 1 hour. The advantage of aerobics is that it involves group training. The coach sets the right pace and shows the correct execution of the exercises. A beginner will always try to keep up and catch up with the rest. Aerobic exercise puts stress on the heart and circulatory system.The body adapts over time, resulting in positive changes. You can also learn technique and train at home. Use video tutorials and learn a lot of information.
Twisting is considered an effective exercise. When doing it, do not raise the body high. You will need to raise it 45 degrees, use the abdominal muscles. Try not to press your chin to your neck or rest your hands on the floor. The hula hoop rotation is one of the most popular weight loss methods.Warms up the abdominal muscles, improving blood flow to the skin. Prepares for subsequent abdominal exercises. It improves metabolism and strengthens the internal muscles of the press. The hoop must be twisted for 10 minutes without stopping, during which time the body burns 120 calories. You can choose any hoop, there are massage balls, weights and a regular sports hoop. For beginners, at the very beginning, a regular lightweight hoop weighing up to 1 kg is suitable. You can choose for yourself a dynamic workout aimed at lifting skin tone.
Nutrition for weight loss and fat burning
Proper nutrition has a positive effect on the human body. A balanced diet saturates the body with energy and nutrients. To begin with, you will need to switch to fractional meals 6 times a day, with a difference of 2.5 hours. Each meal should contain no more than 300 calories. Initially, the brain will resist and will want supplements. The human body quickly adapts to changes.After some time, you will begin to calmly relate to the right food and diet. Drink plenty of liquids without gas or sugar. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day. You can drink a glass every 2 hours. It promotes blood circulation and normalizes metabolism.
Include fresh seasonal vegetables in your diet. They are rich in amino acids and vitamins A, B, C. Natural products are quickly absorbed in the body. Healthy vegetables: broccoli, beets, eggplant, cauliflower, white cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, asparagus, green peas, pumpkin, onions, zucchini.Choose from seasonal fruits and berries grown in our gardens. They contain natural vitamins and macronutrients, rich in magnesium, potassium and copper. Avoid imported products, they are treated with chemicals for a longer shelf life. Fruits and berries strengthen the immune system, prevent viral diseases and infections. They restore the body to its former tone, promote the renewal of tissue cells, and rejuvenate the skin.
Try to consume more protein. Give preference to dietary meat and fish.Such food saturates the body with amino acids, and the stomach spends a lot of energy on its digestion and assimilation. The body begins to consume it from the abdomen and sides. Due to its high protein content, meat has become the main element of proper human nutrition. They contribute to faster weight loss. Turkey meat is easy to digest and contains a minimum of cholesterol. Its calorie content depends on the parts you consume. Usually, dishes are prepared from a sirloin with a vegetable side dish. Chicken, an affordable white meat that you can find on any counter.It can be stewed, baked, boiled, it is combined with any side dish.
Rabbit is the most dietary type of meat. Promotes the acceleration of metabolism and normalizes lipid metabolism. It does not contain sodium salt deposits. It can be safely added to the diet of young children. The meat is hypoallergenic and great for a sensitive stomach. Veal regulates blood glucose levels. You can include it in your diet no more than 2 times a week. Beef normalizes stomach acidity, contains a minimum of fatty layers.Due to this, it is considered a low-calorie meat.
Horse meat is great for those who want to become athletes in the future. Reduces blood cholesterol, improves metabolism and neutralizes the effects of external factors on the body. She has an unusual taste, unusual for most people. You need to choose only young meat, it contains a minimum amount of fat. It is worth giving up the purchase of imported frozen carcasses, steaks. Useful elements that used to fill meat have lost their energy value after freezing.Always buy fresh produce with no added chemicals. Pork, regardless of the opinion of many, is healthy. It contains B vitamins, is rich in potassium and iron. Due to its calorie content, it quickly restores energy and is easily absorbed. Choose the meat that best suits your diet.