It is an inherent desire of every woman to remain thin, slim and attractive. This is much more common when she is young or when she is working particularly in fashion industry. She strives hard and seeks any solution to remain slim and prevent belly bulge. However, with growing age and after menopause, the battle seems to be lost, and fat begins to accumulate around her belly.
According to doctors, it is very common to gain fat around the abdomen during and beyond a woman’s menopausal phase. Menopause is a phase in a woman’s life when there is complete and permanent cessation of menses. Menopause also brings an end to her fertility. Let us know why fat gets accumulated around the belly after menopause and how to lose it.
What Causes Belly Fat After Menopause?
As a woman grows older several changes develop in her body. It can be external as well as internal. External changes include graying hairs, wrinkle formation and so on. Internal changes include cessation of menses, fatigue and slowness, increase in weight due to fat accumulation especially around the abdomen etc.
- Hormone imbalance: it is considered as a principle cause for deposition of excess of fat around the belly. After menopause, the female hormone estrogen begins to decline. At the same time, there is rise in androgen, a predominantly male hormone. Shift in these hormones is mainly responsible for bulging belly in women after menopause. Also there is rise of cortisol hormone, a stress hormone due to receding level of estrogen. It further contributes in fat accumulation around belly.
- Hereditary: some women have tendency to gain fat around their belly, it is in their genes.
- Slow metabolism: with growing age, body metabolism becomes sluggish. As compared to men, it is more pronounced in women. Deposition of fat is more around the abdomen as compared to other areas or body.
- Sedentary life: with growing age and after menopause, when the children also grow up, a woman tends to become less active physically. This factor is also responsible for weight gain, particularly around the belly.
How To Lose Belly Fat Caused By Menopause?
Though it is a difficult task for a woman to lose weight after menopause, certainly it is not impossible. In fact she has to reduce her weight to prevent development of medical problems like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. With dietary changes, modification in lifestyle and daily exercise she can do it.
Diet: Reduce or avoid eating fatty foods. Deep fried food, oily food are completely no-no. Also reduce the intake of sugar. Drink tea and coffee without sugar. Avoid eating processed food and processed carbohydrates. Eat more vegetables, fruits, cereals. Eat fish, lean meat, and dairy products having less fat. Opt for olive oil for cooking your food. Also eat less at a time but eat frequently instead of three large meals. Also eat foods that are rich in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant estrogen’s, their action mimics like estrogen. After menopause when there is low estrogen level, phytoestrogen are beneficial in counteracting their loss. Flax seeds, legumes, cereals, soy products, tofu, sesame seed, fenugreek, barley, rice, oats, licorice are some of the foods that contain phytoestrogen.
Exercise: Exercise regularly, a brisk walk for 45 minutes or swimming, cycling or low intensity aerobic exercise is useful to burn body fat. Mild to moderate strength training exercise in gym can be effective; however before doing it you should consult your doctor and do according as your health permits. With age your abdominal muscles become lax, tone them by including core exercise in your workout. It helps to flatten your belly by burning excess of fat.
Reduce stress: There is increased secretion of cortisol hormone when you are in stressful situation. Excess of cortisol may help in deposition of fat around abdomen. The best solution is to de–stress. Yoga and meditation are effective in relaxing your mind and body.