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Midlife

How to Tame That Stubborn Midlife Belly Fat

midlife belly fat

Have you been struggling with stubborn midlife belly fat or menopausal muffin top?  The seemingly inexorable slide of our middles over our jeans just isn’t fair and is one of the surprises about the physical impact menopause has on our bodies.

Dropping estrogen levels that occur before and during menopause are partly to blame. Although this can be treated through hormone replacement therapy.

The bottom line is the fat that used to settle around our hips, thighs and bums now gets stored deep in our bellies which isn’t a healthy change because we know there’s additional health risk to carrying extra fat in our abdomen.

If the measurement around your waist at your belly button is over 35 inches, you’re at greater risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

So that’s the not so good news about midlife. Trust me you’re not alone. Even those of us who have always watched our weight find it more challenging to stop excess weight gain after fifty.

I’d love to tell you it’s going to be easy, but it will take a little extra effort to keep that midlife belly healthy.

If you’re like me, you watch what you eat and keep active. But all of a sudden your body and belly just stubbornly refuse to respond to exercise and diet as they used to and the pounds are slowly gaining.

So what’s the answer?

How to Tame Midlife Belly Fat

  1. Keep an eye on your stress levels. Extra cortisol can hijack your other hormones and make it harder to keep belly fat off. Use yoga or supplementation to de-stress your life.
  2. Sleep is another casualty of a stress filled life. It’s been proven less sleep equals more pounds. As if being tired weren’t punishment enough! Good sleep is good for leptin, our bodies natural appetite depressant. Practice good sleep hygiene.
  3. Talk to a practitioner or naturopath about supplementing your estrogen/progesterone levels bio-identically. A drop in estrogen levels can be a contributor to belly fat.
  4. Practicing core building exercises like these workouts to strengthen your abdominal and oblique muscles.  Try yoga poses like these by Yoga by Adrienne on Youtube for a gentle routine you can practice 3-4x a week.
  5. Honey, just avoid those transfats and white carbs. Packaged foods, enriched flours (pasta) and partially hydrogenated oils for example. Transfats actually increase belly fat compared to other foods with the same amount of calories.
  6. Choose MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) foods like seeds, nuts and olive oil. Surprisingly, good fats are essential to taming your belly fat. Avocados and whole grains are good fat burners too.
  7. Start your day with a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar or lemon in it. A tablespoon of ACV or a squeeze of lemon will help your body burn fat and rid it of toxins. Be sure to drink with food and not on an empty stomach.
  8. Try and ration the amount of sugar in your diet. This one is hardest for me. But excess sugar leads to too much insulin which leads to higher blood sugar being stored as belly fat.
  9. Commit to exercising 3-4x a week by walking, cycling, hiking or running.
  10. Try eating smaller portions at mealtimes with your main meal consumed at least 4-5 hours before going to bed.
  11. Only eat when you’re hungry!

Eat a little less, move a little more and get enough sleep and rest to help you keep these good habits.

Not only is a flat belly a healthier way to age, but we feel better, look better and our clothes hang better. Reason enough!

What’s the one thing you can try today? Start with one and work through the list. I know you can do it. x

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