Why Do You Have a Fat Belly?
Putting on stubborn belly fat in menopause is a pain, but before you work out how to tackle it, it's helpful to understand the reasons why your belly might be rounder and podgier that ever before.
Take a look through this list, and see which reasons apply to you - then take action. You can learn how to lose belly fat, it's just a question of knowing how.
Take an honest look at your eating habits. Too much junk food, too many sugary or fatty snacks instead of healthy snacks, unhealthy meals, not enough fresh fruit and veg and wholegrains?
A crucial factor in the fight against belly fat is simply the number of calories you consume in a day. Fast foods and processed foods often conceal a high calorie count, and don't satisfy you for long, so you eat more. A poor diet is also linked with depression.
Lack of exercise
Do you take 30 minutes of exercise every day? And include strength training as part of your exercise? If you're not working at building muscle as well as losing fat, then your menopause stomach fat isn't going to start shrinking the way you want it to.
A predisposition to lay down fat on the belly can be influence by genetics. Were your parents or grandparents plump? Do you take after them in your general build? You could be more likely to develop an apple shape in midlife than someone who comes from a family of skinnies.
Too much stress
Is your 'to do' list a mile long? Do you find it hard to fit everything into your day, and do you do a lot of fixing for other people - family, kids, colleagues?
If you're constantly under pressure, you're tapping into the relationship between the hormone cortisol and stress. Your body responds to stress by releasing the hormone cortisol, which encourages your body to store fat around the middle. Stress and belly fat go hand in hand.
Your body burns food less efficiently as you get older. Even if you've maintained the same weight for years, if you go into your menopause without making changes to your diet and taking more exercise, you're likely to gain, especially around the midriff.
Women in menopause sometimes complain of increased stomach bloating, which can contribute to an apple-shaped body. Stress during menopause can affect your digestion, and can also cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can cause a bloated stomach.
Think about the reasons that contribute to YOUR fat belly. And find out more about menopausal weight gain. Then you can work out the best ways to reduce the fat around your abdominals.
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- Stand up straight!
Your posture makes a huge difference to the appearance of a fat belly.
Stand sideways on to a full-length mirror and let your belly hang free. Not nice.
Now, put your shoulders back, stand straight, hold your stomach in. What a difference!
Cultivate good posture and your figure will always look better than it does if you slump. You can't get rid of belly fat itself just by standing straight, but you can make it look a lot less obvious.
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