4 Ways to Get Rid of Menopausal Belly Fat
If you’ve noticed the pounds creep on around your midsection during perimenopause or menopause, you can blame it on your hormones. Your body is working twice as hard to achieve hormonal balance as your oestrogen and progesterone levels are dwindling off, and this can have a significant impact on your weight and where your body chooses to store fat. And the drop in oestrogen prompts your body to store excess fat on your tummy instead of elsewhere on your body.
To exacerbate the problem further, these hormonal changes and how they make you feel – tense and anxious – send your stress hormone, Cortisol, levels skyrocketing. This can increase your chance of gaining yet more tummy fat.
Lifestyle choices, daily habits, stress, sleep and nutrition all play a big part in preventing and tackling excess pounds around the middle, and even making just a few small, gradual tweaks can really pay off over time.
Know your nutrition
Start by eating less – it’s recommended that you eat 200 fewer calories per day when you’re in your fifties. To keep menopausal symptoms and belly fat at bay, focus on a diet rich in meat and plant-based proteins like avocados, legumes and black beans, healthy fats, fresh fruit, and mineral-rich green leafy vegetables. Also, think about reducing or eliminating processed grains and sugars.
Finding a balance that works for you can be tricky, especially when learning to live with all of the changes that menopause brings, so it may be helpful to work with a nutritionist to learn exactly how to overcome poor eating habits and embrace a more nutritious lifestyle through your diet.
Managing stress levels is crucial, so this means implementing daily practices such as mindfulness or walking. When we experience stress, the stress hormone Cortisol rises, prompting us to overeat, leading to weight gain later on down the line.
Do more of the things that help you feel positive, practice mindfulness, spend time with people who bring you joy and take some time to go for walks in nature. Studies show that taking just 10 minutes each day to focus on your breath can positively impact both your physical and psychological wellbeing.
Crunches, sit-ups, planks, resistance training, and Pilates are efficient ways of working out your entire core and abs to tone up your midsection and eliminate menopausal belly fat. But find a form of exercise that you enjoy so that you’re motivated to do it. Jogging, cycling, swimming and tennis are all great ways to get active, and they will lower cortisol levels and increase happy hormones too!
Take a medical approach
Fat stored around your middle can increase your risk of heart disease and other conditions, such as diabetes. As well as implementing healthy habits in your daily life, Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) will help reduce increasing fat around the midsection after menopause and improve your heart and bone health. Your doctor will also support you with the nutrition and lifestyle advice and adjustments that you need to enjoy a healthy and happy life post-menopause.
Enjoyed this? Sign up to our mailing list for weekly tips, tricks and skinspiration from our medical director, Dr Sophie Shotter.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.