As menopause approaches, it's common for women to begin to gain weight as well, especially in the middle of the torso around the waist. As annoying as weight gain is, the biggest problem with an increasing waistline is the health risks that can come along with it. If you're looking for ways to lose belly fat, check out these helpful tips.
Estrogen and Weight Gain
Women gain weight during menopause thanks to the reduction in levels of estrogen in the body. As ovaries produce less estrogen, the body tries to find other sources of estrogen. Because fat cells can produce estrogen as well, the body may begin to generate more in an attempt to even out hormone levels, and this results in weight gain.
7 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat
If you're dealing with more weight around your middle than you would like, these tips are likely to help you discover some of the best ways to lose belly fat.
Drop the crunches
While many people like to focus on working their abdominal muscles in an effort to lose weight, studies have found that this actually does very little to burn belly fat. Crunches can improve your abdominal strength, but will not help you lose much fat around your middle.
Some of the best exercise for losing any weight, including weight in your torso, is cardio, especially high-intensity cardio. While many people disregard the effects of exercise like running on belly fat because it cannot target the stomach specifically, it can actually make a significant difference.
Cut down on carbs, not fats
Often, people think that reducing fat in their diet can help them reduce fat on their bodies. While fats are not universally beneficial to the body, cutting down on carbs actually shows a more significant weight loss result and is likely to be a better diet for losing belly fat.
Adding in strength training to your normal exercise routine can also help your body burn fat more efficiently. Even just a moderate level of strength training helps you lose belly fat faster.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep your portion sizes reasonable. Overeating will cause weight gain no matter what you eat or how healthy it is, so keeping your portions correct can help you to lose belly fat.
Sugary beverages in particular are how some people consume far more sugar than is intended daily, and sugar is bad for weight loss and for losing body fat. Try to cut down on sugar, especially in drinks and packaged foods.
Spend time with like-minded friends
Studies have shown that people tend to match their health and activity levels to that of their closest friends and family. Find friends to work out with you and you'll be more likely to work out as well.
With these tips, losing belly fat can become an achievable goal rather than a far-off hope. To learn more about things that you can avoid to slim your waistline, read about some common drinks that make you gain weight.
- Vispute SS et al. (2011). The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25(9). Retrieved June 15, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21804427
- 8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/eat_smart/8-ways-to-lose-belly-fat-and-live-a-healthier-life
- Davis, S.R. et al. (2012). Understanding weight gain at menopause. Climacteric, 15(5), 419-429. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/understanding_weight_gain_at_menopause_english.pdf