Most people like to eat muffins, but no one wants to have a muffin top. Unfortunately, some of the most common menopausal symptoms are weight gain and hot flashes.
During menopause, body fat begins to add around the belly, hips, and thighs, causing low self-image and increases the risk for heart disease. But it’s possible to lose weight and get rid of menopause belly fat by making the following changes.
Weight loss, to a certain extent, is about calories in and calories out. Yet studies published show there are better food choices regardless of the number of calories in each bite.
Some processed foods may claim to have lower fat and calories than an avocado. Still, the fat in avocados is healthier. When you change your diet, mindful eating is wiser for reducing symptoms of menopause.
Your meal plan should include whole foods, not ones with added sugars and fats. It’s best to stick to lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to avoid fat storage.
Some medical advice is to follow the Mediterranean Diet, which is a high-fiber and low-fat diet. One large study in Australia found that the Mediterranean Diet reduced hot flashes and weight gain for menopausal women. Researchers aren’t sure why, but it could be that this diet stabilizes estrogen levels.
Regular exercise helps with weight loss regardless if you’re menopausal. Physical activity fights fat and increases metabolism. But it can be harder to lose weight as you age.
Some doctors recommend increasing your physical activity to include a combination of resistance training and high-intensity cardio. You may need to increase the intensity of your workouts to see an effect.
But if hitting the gym isn’t your approach, walking can do wonders to rejuvenate the soul and remove the pesky belly fat. It’s wise to set achievable goals at first so that you feel the burn and reward when you get up and move.
The magic of water on your body can’t be emphasized more when reducing belly fat. Water makes you feel fuller, flushes out toxins, and moisturizes your skin. The exact amount of water depends on your body, but the rule of thumb is 6-8 glasses each day.
Doctors recommend drinking water first thing in the morning. If you start hydrated, your body may function better. You also may be healthier overall. Besides helping with hunger, water may help ease hot flashes and other uncomfortable low estrogen symptoms.
Low estrogen causes menopause. Estrogen is a sex hormone produced in the ovaries and, along with progesterone, regulates menstruation, fertility, and other bodily functions. Levels naturally decrease as women age, but at some point, levels suddenly plummet. The plummeting estrogen thrusts women into menopause.
The shift into menopause typically begins around age 51. Still, women can have menopausal symptoms for years before and after the transition. When this happens, a standard treatment is hormone therapy.
In a nutshell, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy replaces the missing hormones with natural ones. For menopause, using an estrogen or estriol cream is an excellent solution to decrease the symptoms. You rub a small amount on the tender part of your skin (wrists, neck, inner thighs), and the estrogen flows through the skin to the bloodstream.
There are different kinds of estrogen hormone therapies (ERT), but ones made from natural ingredients and mimicking the natural hormones in your body may be better.
Sugary drinks, such as soda, juice, and sports drinks, may help you gain belly fat. The amount of sugar in one soda is about all the sugar you need in one day.
It seriously raises your blood sugar levels, and coming down from the crash can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Not to mention the calories. Even if the drink says zero calories, it can have additives that mess with hormones. It’s best to limit sugary beverages to help you lose menopause belly fat.
Changing your portion sizes may help you fight fat during menopause. Americans tend to overeat and have become accustomed to the extra-large sizes served at fast food joints and restaurants.
But the number of calories in typical restaurant portions can be almost as much as the recommended daily calorie intake. Eating large quantities at home is common as well. One solution to cutting portion size when you’re eating out is to ask for a to-go container when the food arrives. You can pack it up for later.
Another option when eating at home is to make the portion of your vegetables the main course and everything else smaller on the plate. Or share your food with your partner.
Losing weight during menopause can be difficult, but one way may be to get enough sleep. Sleep disruptions are typical during menopause. Less sleep means you’re grumpy, more stressed out, and apt to indulge in fatty foods.
Some studies indicate that less sleep may cause your metabolism to slow. When your metabolism slows, you’re unable to burn calories as fast as before.
Melatonin cream can also help you rest. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body that helps to regulate circadian rhythms. Rubbing a small amount on your skin about one hour before bed helps you fall asleep faster.
Stress has significant effects on your hormones and health. Symptoms of menopause include feeling more stressed out and moody. Finding ways to reduce stress may also help you stop increasing belly fat.
But telling someone to stop stressing may have the opposite effect. Finding time to exercise, eat better, and sleep more will help you reduce stress.
Getting rid of the menopausal muffin top may not be easy to accomplish. However, using alternative therapies, such as estrogen replacement therapy, may give you the extra help you need. Along with hormone therapy, changing your diet and adding in exercise are smart moves to blast belly fat forever. Make some positive changes today to experience the possibilities.