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Are you struggling with losing menopausal belly fat and keeping it off?
Menopause weight is like that clingy child that hangs on around your middle and won’t let go. You get rid of it for it only to come back in greater bulk and so much more stubborn to remove.
If you want to lose menopause belly fat and keep it off,
and get healthy I’ve got your back.
We will gently remove that child and give them their independence with all that we have.
Before we start, there is a WARNING, the first few paragraphs of this post are all doom and gloom but they are the facts.
How Many Dieters Fail
At least 95% of dieters will fail and fall back into old habits within 5 years. Let’s make a vow to ourselves to be in the 5%.
It’s also regrettable that each time you lose weight and put it back on it will all go back on as fat. An almost compelling case not to lose weight in the first place but we’re made of stronger stuff than that!
due to the decline in estrogen, shrinking muscles mean that your body uses less calories to fuel its daily energy needs. This can make losing weight over 50 especially menopause weight can be more challenging. But it can be done.
If you continue to eat as you always have and don’t increase your physical activity, even just a little, you’re more likely to gain body fat thanks to declining muscle mass which burns much less energy than when we were younger.
Regularly starting a new diet as so many of us did in our 20’s and 30’s can damage your metabolism making losing that body fat more difficult and possibly causing insulin resistance.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas to take glucose from food to the muscles for energy. In the case of weight gain insulin becomes less effective at its job leading to high blood sugar and in some cases causing diabetes.
Now the doom and gloom is out of the way how do we lose abdominal fat successfully in menopause and never have to diet again? Read on.
1. Create A Plan
The best thing you can do for success is to plan for it. What is your goal weight? What support will you have? Maybe someone else in your family or a friend also wants to lose the menopause weight.
Create the conditions you need by:
- Having the right foods available at home
- Make up a protein smoothie mix and have it ready to go for that quick substitute meal
- Have some snacks prepared -protein balls, portioned nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, berries and coconut yoghurt. Use the weekends to keep these replenished.
- Prep lunches for the week so you are not tempted to eat something that is full of empty calories.
- When you make dinner make enough for several nights and freeze some portions. That way you have something healthy on hand if you are late home or too tired to cook.
- Plan what movement you will add to your day and when. Movement can be as simple as a walk or 10-15 mins yoga.
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2. Always eat a good breakfast that includes protein
It will level out your blood sugar and set you up for the day. The protein can consist of eggs, almonds, seeds, greek yoghurt whatever floats your boat. Try this chia pudding recipe or this grain free muesli recipe. Maybe even this quick-to-make Low Carb Minute Muffins recipe
When eating meat it is always better, if you can, to choose grass-fed as the nutritional benefits are far better than the alternatives. They contain increased amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids and also provide vitamins and nutrients that generally come from eating greens. Check out this post at Groom And Style for some further insight into grass-fed products and some great infographics.
Include plenty of soluble fibre. Not just in your breakfast but in your whole day. My top choices that go well in breakfast are beans, apples, pears, avocado, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. The recipes mentioned above all contain soluble fibre in spades. If you make the minute muffins, smoother them with avocado, olive oil and some salt and pepper and you’ve go yourself a low carb meal full of healthy fats, soluble fibre and is low carb. Winner winner!
3. Eat for you
Don’t eat according to what the latest fad diet tells you to eat.
You have a unique body type which needs its own unique balance of macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Experiment with different combinations of foods to find what works for you. I find I have to keep my carbs pretty low but because I make sure I am eating protein and good fats I’m not hungry.
Learn your metabolic type which determines how much carbs, protein, and fat you should eat to have optimum health.
Try using an app like My Fitness Pal to help you see what you are eating each day. Just until you have a good idea of what your best meal looks like.
This leads to the next point which is:
4. Notice what foods give you energy and what foods take away
Don’t judge yourself for not eating well. Make a choice and notice why you made the choice. There is no right and wrong. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to continue on your healthy journey. When we label foods we eat as bad we are saying we are bad to eat them. This sets up stress, the enemy of weight loss.
If you have been on the healthy eating journey for a while a blow out is not going to make a difference. Our bodies are extremely resilient and will reset fairly quickly.
5. Focus On What You Get To Eat
Most dieters fail because they follow a diet that comes from a place of restriction and deprivation which keeps them in their gaol cell with hunger for bars. These sort of diets can result in significant weight loss however when you go back to eating the way you were the weight will go back on.
It is far more positive to focus on what foods you get to eat not what foods you don’t get to eat. We are so privileged to be able to eat a fresh beautiful salad which feeds us nutritionally and leaves us feeling energetic.
Gehrlein is the hormone which makes you feel hungry. It is secreted when you have an empty stomach. When you deprive yourself, this hormone will leave you feeling hungrier which in turn slows your metabolism. And this sort of hunger sees you craving foods that are definitely not in any diet book. The result can be weight gain.
Your goal is to speed up your metabolism so eat plenty of good healthy food regularly and make your bigger meals earlier in the day.
Hunger will also create cravings. I remember dieting in my twenties, after the first day all I could think about was chocolate smothered in caramel. Those thoughts would consume me until, if I didn’t satisfy them, I was not a nice person.
6. Don’t count calories
Focusing on calories is a sure-fire way to fail. It is a far better strategy to watch how many preservatives, additives and things like added sugars are in your foods. Try to stick to foods with the fewest ingredients. Wallet permitting make them organic and definitely, absolutely not genetically modified.
Instead, focus on the healthy foods that make up the calories you eat:
- Grass-fed beef
- Fresh leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
7. Slow Down when you eat your meals
Slow down and enjoy your food. Keep your meals as close to 20 mins as you can and chew your food enough for the saliva to start breaking it down.
This slowing down will help you to recognise when you are full. It may be you have had enough before you eat everything on your plate. Give your body time to catch up and signal what it needs.
Don’t be too generous when serving up your meal. Cut down on your portion size a little. You can always go back for more but in my experience, if you eat and wait 10 minutes the urge for more passes and you feel totally satisfied.
The dinner table is a great place to catch up with other family or household members which can slow down the pace of your meal.
8. Eat the right type of carbohydrates
Eating the wrong types of carbohydrates triggers insulin spikes which channel the energy from the calories you just ate straight into your fat cells and they will be the ones around your middle. May as well just have taped it there and said done!
This type of body fat is the dangerous kind. Called visceral fat it layers itself deep in your abdomen around your vital organs. And this fat is difficult to shift.
Carbs from prebiotics, protein and low GI foods will burn slower leaving you feeling fuller for longer and with more energy – nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fish, grass-fed meat, chicken. Carbohydrates from sugar and processed grains will give a quick energy burst then cause you to crash and have cravings.
9. Eat Fat
Fat will actually speed up your metabolism and help you feel fuller longer. The trick is to make sure you have good healthy fats such as:
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- nuts and seeds
- nut butter
- (not peanut butter)
Getting fat from
- grass-fed meat…
…is also a great way to fill up but these should be eaten in moderation.
The 10 Weight Loss Mistakes women in midlife make cheat-sheet
10. Remove inflammation
Eat probiotics and prebiotics or take probiotic supplements to help balance your gut microbiome. This is key to reducing aches and pains, skin irritaions, bowel problems and more.
Adding these into your diet will also impove your digestion and keep everything running smoothly which flushes everything through and improves your weight loss.
Inflammation can be caused by a gut imbalance or an intolerance to certain foods. Try a detox diet, eliminating gluten and dairy for a week then slowly introducing them back.
11. De stress
When you have stress in your body the blood flow moves away from digestion and into your arms and legs. Your digestion begins to shut down and your gut gets out of balance.
There are three main components to your best healthy life: healthy food, LESS STRESS and good sleep.
Practice checking in before you start eating to determine where your stress levels are at. If they feel high do some breathing and practice identifying 3 things you are grateful for today. The more relaxed you are when you eat the better your digestion will be.
Also, for better digestion, the chef finishes at least two hours before bed and the kitchen is closed.
Many women become less active when they hit midlife. But this is the time that the right type of movement is important.
When you’re sedentary, an exercise program helps you shed abdominal fat.
Exercise is good for improvement of mood, maintaining a healthy weight and boosting the health of your muscles and bones.
Resistance training with weights or bands is effective and can help you increase lean muscle mass. Muscle mass begins to decline in our 30’s in tandem with the decline in Estrogen. With less muscle we burn less energy.
Although all types of resistance training are beneficial, concentrate on the number of reps than the size of the weight.
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is also great for women in menopause although not high intensity cardio that will leave your body stressed. Consider walking, dancing, biking, swimming. Getting your heart rate up will help keep your excess belly fat down.
Whether you are in menopause or not the basic principles of losing weight remain the same. However when trying to –
lose menopause abdominal fat,
- it is important to make sure
- your hormones are balanced,
- you’re working at keeping stress levels down,
- you’re getting a good amount of quality sleep
- you’re doing the right type of exercise
- and you’re keeping your gut healthy
Our bodies are amazingly resilient. Do as much of these things as you can consistently and you will be repaid with higher energy levels, easier weight loss, better digestion even better skin condition. Tripping up every now and then won’t even factor if your constant is healthy. The weight gain, weight loss seasaw will be a thing of the past.
Give these tips a go and comment below to let me know how you go.