How To Lose Belly Fat In Menopause
It's natural to gain some weight during the menopausal years. If you're hanging on to a dream of regaining your 20-year-old figure, you're likely to be disappointed.
But that doesn't mean that you have to put up with becoming unhealthily plump with an apple-shaped body. There are many reasons why you might develop a fat belly during the menopause. The best approach to shifting the flab is to make lifestyle changes that help you get rid of that belly fat linked with menopause, and take you through the transition happily and healthily.
There are three key areas to tackle, if you want to reduce that stubborn tummy fat, and you need to look at them all and work them together. You could also read my review of this amazing book on losing belly fat.
Exercise to lose belly fat
Increasing your levels of exercise to lose weight is an absolutely key strategy in midlife.Exercise can also help relieve depression.
Don't think in terms of spot reduction - it's not possible. If you're carrying too much weight, even if a lot of it is concentrated on your midriff, you need to go for an all-over reduction.
Crucially, include different types of exercise. Make sure you indulge in both an aerobic exercise program and strength training exercises regularly.
Why? Most types of aerobic exercise are great for heart health and improving your stamina, but on their own they won't be enought to make an impact on those pounds around your midriff. You need to lose fat and gain muscle, because muscle can replace fat and give you a sleeker, more toned and stronger body, which burns calories more efficiently.
When you're choosing which types of exercise to try, make some of your aerobic/strength-training activities weight bearing exercise. This is very important to give you strong, healthy bones as you get older.
If the idea of exercise doesn't appeal, start adding it to your life little by little. Begin with a brisk walk. Add 10 minutes of stretching exercises. Go for a swim with a friend, get out for a bike ride, or join a badminton class.
Introduce new activities one at a time, and don't go from zero exercise to hours of strenuous activity overnight - you'll risk injuring yourself. Start slowly, progress steadily. You'll find that exercise makes you feel better not just physically, but mentally as well, and that will encourage you to keep active.
Eat well in menopause
If you've spent your life going on and off slimming diets - STOP! Menopause diets simply don't work.
You'll know by now that the weight may come off, but almost inevitably it creeps back on again - and next time it's even harder to shift. Your body is smart, and if it feels deprived of food, it stores fat even more determinedly, making it harder each time to shed unwanted pounds.
A far better approach is switch gradually to a healthy menopause diet for gradual weight loss. Pay careful attention to food serving sizes. Choose healthy snacks and don't skip meals.
Learn how to deal with stress
Last, but definitely not least, learn to nurture yourself.
What's that got to do with your efforts to lose belly fat? Much more than you might think. Stress and belly fat are closely linked.
Cortisol is the hormone behind menopausal muffin top, and cortisol and stress are strongly linked.
As a midlife woman, you are probably in a stage of life that is throwing out more challenges than ever before. There are so many demands to juggle, people making demands on you, jobs and chores to be done- it's no wonder if you often feel stressed by it all.
Once you get into that stress cycle, your hormone levels fluctuate, extra sugar and fat are released into your bloodstream and end up creating that pinchable spare tyre of fat.
Stress affects health in many ways, and that's why it's important de-stress in whichever ways you can. One way to lower your stress is to take good care of yourself and put your needs top of the pile now and then. It goes against the grain for a lot of women, but it's an essential weapon in your bid to lose belly fat - and it's important for your long term good health as well.
The three keys to losing belly fat
1 - Eat healthily and mindfully and stop dieting.
2 - Do plenty of exercise - aerobic, strength-building and weight-bearing.
3 - Keep your stress levels low by taking good care of your needs and making stress reduction techniques a regular part of your life.
You'll find loads of information on this site to help you lose belly fat using this three-branched, holistic approach. The payoff is not just a trimmer, firmer body, with little or no but a happier and calmer lifestyle which can help you right through the menopause and on, into the next phase of your life.
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