Let’s face it, menopause belly fat is nearly impossible to shed. For most of us, weight gain during and after menopause – especially that dreaded “menopause muffin top” – is pretty much guaranteed … unless you know these sneaky tricks to “fool mother nature”!
A recent study found that 30% of women ages 50 to 59 are not just overweight, but they’re actually categorized as obese.
The many risks of carrying extra weight are well documented and include, high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, just to name a few.
Increased fat around the waist (aka “the Menopause Muffin Top”) poses even more risks. The experts say that a waist measurement over 35 inches is seriously affecting your overall health.
It Helps to Understand the (Very Unfair) Reasons Why You’re Gaining Weight …
- Some women tend to exercise less as they age. In fact, 60% of all adults are not getting enough exercise, and this is more prevalent among the baby-boomer population.
- Women over 40 are also at a greater risk for hypothyroidism, which significantly slows down our metabolism.
- The rate at which the body uses up energy during exercise slows with age. This means that you have to increase both the length of your workouts and their intensity just to achieve the same results you got when you were in your 30’s and early 40’s. And that’s just not fair!
- As we get older we lose muscle mass, which lowers our resting metabolism, and (of course) that also contributes to weight gain.
- Reduced estrogen may also lower your metabolic rate. The lack of estrogen plays a role in how your body uses starches. And because your body uses blood sugar less effectively, that increases fat storage in the body, and makes weight loss much more difficult. Again, totally not fair!
All of these factors play a role in the difficulties we face when trying to lose weight or trying to prevent weight gain from happening in the first place during and after menopause.
Some Tricks to Melt Your Menopause Muffin Top
The trick is to override your body’s slow metabolism, while also watching your caloric intake and exercise output.
It’s simple: The more active you are, the less weight you’ll gain.
A National Institutes of Health review showed that people who did aerobic activities every day for 10 minutes or more had 6 fewer inches around the waistline compared to people who didn’t exercise.
After menopause, we need to beef up our daily exercise in order to speed up our metabolism.
This means getting out for a brisk walk every day for a half hour at a time.
No strolling down the lane! This walk needs to be fast enough that you’ll get out of breath after about 10 words if you try to carry on a conversation.
Bicycling or low impact aerobic activity such as swim aerobics or simply swimming are also great ways to boost your metabolism and shed any excess weight.
Low impact aerobic exercises will be easier on your joints and won’t aggravate arthritis, fibromyalgia or other chronic pain conditions.
Another good exercise routine for us “post menopausal” women is to start weight lifting or using weight machines. Yes ladies, I said LIFTING WEIGHTS!
These are considered anaerobic exercises. They benefit you by building and toning your muscles, while they exchange fatty tissue for muscle tissue. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate when compared to fat so you burn calories faster and easier.
Weight lifting is also good for bone health and can prevent osteoporosis.
Just start slowly, with 1 pound weights or resistance bands. Then gradually increase your workout to include heavier weights and a more demanding routine.
Here’s a look at some ways to Have Fun Working Out with Light Weights and Resistance Bands
When we’re going through menopause we experience fluctuating hormones that can cause a wide range of symptoms.
While some women may be tempted to immediately look for a medication (HRT) to help balance the hormones and reduce the symptoms, there are other options.
Yoga has been shown to help alleviate many of the symptoms brought on by menopause, including melting the dreaded Menopause Muffin Top.
Do you know the 5 Best Yoga Poses for Women Over 40?
Check out in this FREE yoga micro-course for beginners!
We’ve already talked about the sad but true fact that after menopause we have a naturally lower metabolic rate. Yes, your metabolic rate is directly related to your age … sorry
The caloric content of your daily diet therefore must be lower than it was when you were young and lived without fear of developing a muffin top.
A diet that’s rich in whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meats … and which avoids processed foods, and high fat, high sugar foods … is the diet of choice when trying to lose weight after menopause.
Your daily caloric content should be between 1500 and 2000 calories per day.
This quantity of calories along with exercise is usually enough to help any woman lose weight, even after menopause.
Here’s an article that lays out a do-able “menopause diet” for you in more detail.
Women should be screened for hypothyroidism, especially during and after menopause. Hypothyroidism can often have vague symptoms, such as low energy and moods, dry skin, dry hair, and weight gain.
Women with sub-clinical hypothyroidism have a particularly difficult time losing weight.
The most effective way to measure your thyroid hormone levels is through lab tests. Low thyroid hormone levels and elevated TSH levels are indicators that you might need to supplement your hormones.
Using some form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), either natural or pharmaceutical drugs, may be necessary in order to improve your metabolism and make it easier to lose weight.
If you choose chemical (drug) HRT be aware that continued hormone replacement therapy will be necessary for the rest of your life, and that your dosage will need to be monitored and adjusted over time.
Post-Menopausal Health Risks And Concerns
Post-menopausal women need to keep a normal body mass index and weight because we’re at a greater risk for things like diabetes and heart disease after menopause.
Pre-menopausal women have a protected cardiovascular system by virtue of having estrogen and progesterone around to help prevent heart disease; however, when this is lost during menopause, the risk of heart disease increases.
This is why other risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol need to be treated and managed to the fullest degree in postmenopausal women.
Even if you’ve never tried to lose weight or exercise before menopause, it’s not too late to start exercising and eating for a low cardiovascular risk profile. This is especially true if you have a family history of heart disease, including heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
This added exercise and reduced caloric intake can reduce the incidence of obesity, therefore reducing your risk of heart disease.
So let’s get to it Ladies!
We’ve got to do low impact exercises, eat cleaner and melt those muffin tops!
Post below and let me know your biggest challenge since menopause … we’re all in the same boat so let’s ride it out together!
We can do it!
Want to know more? Check out these FREE Resources ….
Free Micro-Course: The 5 Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Women Over 40
Free 10-Day Email Course: Got Arthritis? Help is Here!