What is a Menopause Belly?
Most women want to look great, maybe not celebrity status, but we want to be able to look great at the beach or whatever.
We want our partners to drop their jaws anytime they see us – I know I do!
However as we age our bodies like to store more and more fat. It’s just natural.
If you’re like me then probably your least favorite area is your stomach, and this is exactly where our bodies like to store extra energy (fat).
I think I tried everything to get that area to thin up but just nothing was working. It was so darn stubborn and if you’re feeling that same pain then I know exactly how you feel.
A woman at any age can have excess belly fat, from teenagers to those more experienced in life.
Hhowever, women are more likely to store extra belly fat as they age and transition to menopause, which is when their menstrual cycle reaches its end.
This is because estrogen levels decline as you transition into menopause. This also changes where the fat accumulates on your body the hips, thighs, and butt to your belly. This is because your fat is originally meant to be a store of energy for breast milk.
You need some belly fat because it helps to protect your organs and serves as a store of energy in case leaner times are ahead.
However, it does not take much extra belly fat to cause massive problems.
Belly fat and especially visceral fat is the worst kind of fat, and I mean for people with 10-15 lbs or more of fat there.
Because it starts to get put inside your abdomen where it congests your organs and increases pressure within the abdomen. This is visceral fat and it is thought to be the cause of all kinds of problems such as heart attacks, heart disease, cancer and other adverse health effects.
It is possible to look skinny on the outside but have a lot of visceral fat in the inside causing health problems. This is what’s been dubbed “skinny fat” and it is pretty scary!
So the goal should no longer be to become skinny, it should be to become “metabolically healthy” which even means you could look overweight but still be healthy!
This means that it is crucial to your health to maintain a healthy weight there.
Because women over 40 like to store fat, they are of highest concern to reduce that weight.
However, not only does menopause put weight there but it also makes it harder to lose that weight. It will take work but I have found a great and very affordable program that helps to get rid of belly fat. You can read my bikini belly review here to see how it works and try it out yourself.
How do you Know if You Have too Much Belly Fat?
We all know you want as little fat around the belly as you can get, visible abs are regarded as top physical shape because belly fat is so hard to get rid off.
So if you have more fat than you’d like to have around there as far as your preference goes then by all means start working to get it gone!
But how do we know when it’s too much and it’s starting to cause health issues? 10-15 lbs or so is getting too much but I didn’t really know what that meant, so I did some research.
I found a nice little way to know when it’s getting dangerous:
Our bodies are all generally similar – as far as bone structure goes. Certainly there are differences however if your waist line is greater than about 35 inches then you probably have too much belly fat there. This is when you should really take care of the issue for your health’s sake.
So the bad news is that it causes health problems, the good news, however, is that you can fix it.
Treatment for Menopause Belly
This is just for menopause related muffin tops and not belly fat for younger people. If you are younger you can read about how to lose belly fat here.
All in all menopause belly really isn’t that different. It’s just a little harder because your hormones make your body want to put it there.
As we age we produce less and less estrogen. This loss of estrogen is a major factor of weight gain. Generally, this fat is stubborn fat – which like it’s name means – it is very stubborn. No matter what you seem to do it just stays there!
This means healthy eating is very important and unfortunately many people get this wrong. They start cutting out things that they think are bad such as fats. Fats are essential for our bodies and the best way to lose weight is to have a healthy, balanced diet. However this does not mean to drink a cup of chicken grease; try to use healthy fats such as those in vegetables, olive oil etc.
It’s also not good to eat 2 or 3 meals a day, this is faulty information. Your body is more inclined to store fat if it thinks food might be scarce – even though it’s not your body doesn’t know that. It has become more common knowledge to eat many smaller meals throughout the day. This will help coax your body to letting go of some of the fat.
Exercise is also very important, and becomes more important as you age to help and offset the hormones. Exercise helps the body raise metabolic action and produce hormones such as HGH as well as consuming more calories. Try to burn at least 350 calories in a workout.
Interestingly enough a large reasons so many women are overweight is strictly because of their hormones. To combat this you will want to know how to combat this.
Leptin – Leptin’s primary function is to help the body control it’s weight. However as we age and slowly stack on extra weight more leptin gets released into the body. This is because leptin is produced by fat cells, the more you have the more they produce.
How this is done is leptin reduces your appetite so that when you have excess weight you eat less so your body pulls energy from its fat stores. If you’re too skinny then it makes you eat more.
The problem is too much leptin in your body and you build up a resistance to it, this leptin resistance does nothing to suppress the appetite.
This means you want to get to a healthy weight range for it to start working properly again.
Cortisol – is a stress hormone. Cortisol is one of the leading reasons for weight gain. Stress is terrible for our health in many other ways but it also helps us to massively put on the pounds. Unfortunately as we age many of us become more stressed.
When we get stressed we tend to eat more, especially comfort foods which have a lot of calories. One good example is mac and cheese – which isn’t bad until you start eating it often.
Cortisol raises insulin levels which in turn lowers your blood sugar, this makes your body crave sugary foods.
Light exercise is a great way to lower stress levels, such as a nice easy jog through a park or a brisk walk around the town, I know for me exercise really helps lower my stress levels.
Estrogen – When we have high levels of estrogen it helps us stay lean and active, and also allows our bodies to convert glucose into energy much more effectively. However after 40 or so our bodies estrogen levels crash which instead causes us to become champions and gaining weight. We get less calorie burn during exercise, it’s harder for our bodies to make energy from glucose and our resting metabolism falls (this also makes us get cold easily). Higher levels of estrogen raise our resting metabolic rate (which is the main source of calories burned).
Estrogen therapy has been effective at raise metabolic activity in lab rats so this may be effective for humans.
Sleep helps lose belly fat
Getting the right amount of sleep is always overlooked when you want to lose weight. I mean, it seems like exercising is better for it, right!?
Well, not really. Exercising is amazing for your body but you burn the most calories when you sleep and when you are just existing.
If you are able to raise your metabolism up, you really rack up the amount of calories you burn just existing.
For example, you might burn 1200 calories at age 50 just on background processes, but what if you could raise it up to 1700?
That’s like running 3 miles!
It’s not how much sleep you get, but the quality. You need to get more deep sleep than you probably do. Make sure to take a look at my review on resurge, because this product is the best on the market right now for helping you to get better, deeper sleep.
Hormones play a key role in weight gain after menopause which is why it’s been dubbed the menopause belly. However there are ways to go about fixing this, one again is the bikini belly program by shawna kaminski. She has gone through menopause herself and remains in great shape, so she knows how to help you. Her program is designed to help women lose their menopause belly.