Are you struggling with stubborn midlife belly fat or menopausal muffin top? One of the surprises about menopause is the physical impact it has on our bodies. The seemingly inexorable slide of our middles over our jeans just isn’t fair.
It doesn’t help to know that it’s our dropping estrogen levels that are partly to blame. Fat that used to settle around our hips, thighs and bums is now stored deep in our bellies which isn’t a healthy change. We know there’s additional health risk to carrying around 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, are finding it more challenging to keep it off 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 stubborn midlife belly fat
- 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.
- 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.
- Talk to a practitioner or naturopath about supplementing your estrogen/progesterone levels bio-identically. A drop in estrogen levels is a contributor to belly fat.
- Target this deep abdominal fat with core building exercise. Not crunches necessarily but try yoga poses like the cat. I like riding my bike, I think it takes a certain amount of balance and core strength to stay upright!
- Avoid those transfats and white carbs honey. Packaged foods, enriched flours (pasta) and partially hydrogenated oils are no bueno.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ration your sugar. This one is hardest for me. I’ve had my sweet tooth since childhood. But excess sugar leads to too much insulin which leads to higher blood sugar being stored as belly fat.
I believe it’s almost impossible to keep belly fat in check without doing extra exercise. I know I’m not as active as I used to be and the motivation to be active isn’t always there. Moving is the key to keeping “menopause muffin top” from taking over our wardrobes. Whatever you do is better than nothing. Can you add a daily walk to your routine?
We’d love a flat belly not just for health reasons but because we want to look good in our clothes right? What’s the one thing you can try today? Start with one and work through the list. Here’s looking at you babe – muffin topless.