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How to Get Rid of Menopausal Belly Fat

Smita Pandit Apr 16, 2019
Wondering how to get rid of menopausal belly fat? Find out why women gain belly fat during menopause along with ways to tackle this problem.
The term 'menopause' refers to the cessation of menstruation. All the stages of a woman's reproductive life cycle are influenced by hormones called estrogen and progesterone. A woman's reproductive organs respond to the cyclical changes that are manifested in the form of menstrual flow and thickening of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle.
A woman gets pregnant if fertilization of egg and sperm takes place during a menstrual cycle. As women turn 40, the levels of these hormones start declining. This affects the ability of the ovaries to release ova. The monthly menstrual bleeding becomes irregular, and the duration of the menstrual cycle become shorter, until it stops completely.
Menopause is the last stage of the reproductive life cycle. A woman experiences a variety of symptoms during the period that precedes or leads up to his stage. A woman reaches menopause when an entire year goes by, without a menstrual period.
Hot flashes, night sweats, excessive sweating, fatigue, weight gain and various other physical and mental symptoms are experienced by most women during this time. Most women feel dejected at the sight of unsightly menopausal belly fat. Here are simple steps that menopausal women can take for tackling the problem of increased belly fat.

Menopause and Belly Fat

Most menopausal women struggle with belly fat. So, why do women gain weight around their belly during this phase? Though belly fat in menopausal women may be a result of aging or could even be associated with the dietary habits or one's lifestyle in general, the decline in the levels of estrogen is definitely one of the biggest contributory factors.
Since fat cells also have the ability to synthesize estrogen, when there is an imbalance in the levels of estrogen during this phase, the body responds by converting the calories into fat. This is the reason why fat deposits around the waist and belly become very prominent at this time.
The use of synthetic hormone pills that contain estrogen can also cause estrogen dominance. While a woman is menstruating, the estrogen dominance is tackled by the release of progesterone.
Progesterone opposes some of the effects of estrogen. Being a diuretic, progesterone helps in tackling the problem of fluid retention or bloating that is caused by elevated estrogen levels.
While the fat cells are still producing estrogen, the amount of progesterone produced by the ovaries becomes negligible during menopausal years. Thus, subcutaneous or visceral menopausal belly fat gain could even be attributed to fluid retention in the abdominal region.

How Can Menopausal Women Get Rid of Belly Fat

Since accumulation of fat around the belly region is the body's way of responding to hormonal imbalance, correcting this imbalance through hormone replacement therapy would certainly prove beneficial. Here's what you need to do for getting rid of those unsightly chunks of fat around the abdomen.

Make Dietary Changes

There is a great need to understand the importance of the right diet. You must follow a healthy diet that provides your body with the necessary nutrients. There is a great need to cut down one's intake of unhealthy, fatty foods. Make sure that the digestive system isn't burdened.
Include lean proteins such as chicken, beans, lentils, non-fat cottage cheese or seafood to one's diet. Though most weight loss diets focus on cutting down carbohydrates, these are the primary source of energy. Women should include good carbohydrates to their diet.
Carbohydrates are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index. Whole grains, brown rice, oats, beans, fruits and vegetables are good carbohydrates that don't hamper weight loss. Avoid processed foods containing bad carbs and trans fats.

Exercise to Burn Fat

The best way to burn fat is to stay physically active. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons why most of us gain weight. While drug therapy may help in correcting the hormonal imbalance to some extent, the best way to get rid of fat is to perform certain exercises.
Cardiovascular exercises along with strength training exercises help remove belly fat. Besides abdominal muscles toning exercises; cycling, swimming, yoga, aerobics or any other form of physical activity would also help menopausal women to lose weight.
Use an exercise ball for strengthening the core muscles. Sit-ups, squats, leg lifts, leg crunches and pelvic tilts would certainly help in tightening the muscles and would lend a flatter appearance to your belly. Brisk walking, jogging or running may also help.
One can also join a gym and learn abdominal exercises that will help one to lose belly fat. There is a need to follow the exercise regimen religiously.

Stay Relaxed

Weight gain during this period may even be linked with stress. This is a stressful period for women due to the bodily changes that occur due to the declining level of female hormones. The physical as well as emotional symptoms may stress women out.
Thus, the adrenal gland may produce higher levels of cortisol which may stimulate the body to store fat, especially around the abdomen. Hence, it is essential to tackle stress. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can certainly help.
Women must try to stay relaxed. Every woman has to go through this phase and they must prepare themselves to tackle this problem. Keep your mind occupied, and indulge in activities that may calm your frayed nerves. Do anything that makes you feel better.
Every woman has to deal with menopause after she hits 40, and she must prepare herself beforehand. Making certain lifestyle-related changes would certainly help women in getting rid of belly fat. So, follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly so as to stay in shape during the menopausal as well as postmenopausal years.