Any woman in her early forties dread the infamous “menopause belly”.
After all, no one wants that extra fat that hangs over your midsection after your forties. But women at this age must realize that developing this annoying excess belly fat is completely normal. The good news is there are different ways to fight it.
Such excess belly fat is caused most of the time by the drop of estrogen that occurs during menopause. Note that this extra weight around your midsection triggers inflammation and increases your risk of diabetes and heart-related concerns. This means that vanity alone is not the only reason why all women want to fight menopause belly.
It is a common fact that exercise and a healthy diet are the pillars for trying to lose weight. But here are five other ways to melt belly fat caused by your imbalanced hormones.
Address The Hot Flashes
Night sweats and hot flashes occur when women experience fluctuating estrogen levels during their perimenopausal and menopausal stages. According to Carmella Sebastian, M.D., the author of “Sex and Spaghetti Sauce: My Italian Mother’s Recipe For Getting Healthy and Getting Busy In Your 50s And Beyond”, eating the right diet before and during menopause can stabilize shifting hormones and reduce these uncomfortable hot flashes.
Women who experience this problem are often recommended to eat healthy foods referred to as the “Flash Fighting Four”. This nutritional plan is a combination of vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and lean proteins. Women who eat this diet to prevent hot flashes also tend to lose weight faster while keeping their bones protected.
Prevent The Trigger
Trigger foods during perimenopause and menopausal stage are usually anything fatty and sugary.
As the body experiences the ups and downs of your hormone swings, cravings similar to the ones of your monthly cycles are just as normal as the ones when you are in the menopausal stage. Knowing when your body is truly hungry is the key. So do not give in to the little cravings you think you have, but only to real hunger.
If you are not eating a balanced meal, now is the perfect time to get started.
Stay away from processed foods that contain too much sugar, trans fats and saturated fats. Such food does nothing but put more inches around your midsection. Stick to a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3, lean proteins, and fiber. Also balanced meals help manage your blood sugar levels and prevent stress.
Stay Away From Stress
Exercising and getting your heart rate up can definitely help you burn fat and improve your stress level.
Incorporating aerobic exercises will help you stay in shape and fight off that menopausal belly you have been dreading. You can try running, HIIT, swimming or cardio classes – any workout that gets you breathing hard and your heart pumping faster.
Stress is inevitable in your life, but it also adds torment to your body causing you to gain more weight. But if adopting an exercise routine is impossible right now, try at least pace walking. Make sure that your speed is forcing your to breathe harder to know that you are actually working out. Research states that menopausal women who stay active by taking regular walks have less menopausal symptoms.
Sleeping can be a bit difficult for women experiencing menopause because hot flashes usually get in the way of a relaxing night. And because insomnia is another symptom of menopause, you can imagine why every woman in this stage is irritable and short-tempered.
Sleep is an integral part of effectively losing weight and reaching a good mood. To ensure you get enough sleep, pamper yourself before going to bed. Take a warm bath and listen to a relaxing music. Dim the lights to get that relaxing feel and try to add essential oils from an air diffuser to help you feel more relaxed.
Many doctors recommend supplements that could help promote a calmer sleep for women suffering from menopausal symptoms. A few examples are melatonin and valerian root extract. If you wish to take supplements like these, talk first to your doctor for recommendations and for the correct dosage for you.
Keep Cortisol Levels In Check
Cortisol is a hormone that regulates the immune function, kicks in the fight or flight response, and raise blood sugar and blood pressure. But when cortisol stays elevated for far too long due to chronic stress, it can cause you to gain weight.
Belly fat contains 4x more cortisol receptors compared with other cells. Remind yourself that if you get too stressed, you are elevating your cortisol and therefore feeding your belly fat.
The secret to preventing this hormone from going rogue is to exercise regularly and get enough sleep. High intensity interval training is the a great recommendation to achieve good results in a shorter period of time.
If you are in your forties, you are probably expecting the arrival of menopause anytime soon. Even if you do not have the menopausal belly yet, it is wise to start following the tips above as early as you can. That way it is easier for you to fight off the other symptoms of menopause and ultimately prevent your body from getting that dreadful hanging belly flab.