Age-related hormonal changes can lead to belly fat. Stay healthy and fit with these tips.
Weight gain seems inevitable as you reach middle age. But the truth is, that’s not necessarily the case. Natural hormonal changes mean you can start noticing the symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. But you shouldn’t just sit back and let the number on the scale keep rising.
Here’s what happens to your body when pants with an elastic waistband are your number one choice now: Weight distribution changes as you enter menopause. The extra pounds pile up right around your belly. Before, during and after menopause, estrogen levels begin to fall and metabolism slows down. This makes it difficult to lose weight, especially in the waist area. And belly fat is not only annoying, but also unhealthy. Studies show it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and possibly even early death.
Here are 9 ways to lead the battle against belly fat:
1 Exercise more frequently and vigorously to counteract post-quarantine weight gain
Start with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to burn off the weight gain of menopause. Your program should include aerobic exercise such as swimming, walking, cycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training. Mix high-intensity bursts with lower-intensity activities during your workout.
Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Then two or more days per week of muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms.
Do not be discouraged in advance from undertaking such a program. You won’t necessarily be at the same level as you were in your twenties. But you have to redefine normality. A different metabolic profile is now normal. And the scope has decreased. What you thought you would do when you were 20 won’t happen when you are 50. You have to get that out of your head.
An increase in activities in everyday life is a recipe for success. You don’t have to go to the gym, but you do need to lift enough weight to keep your muscles strong and your metabolism boosted. Try activities that involve lifting, pushing, and pulling.
2 Standing is better than sitting, if and whenever possible
The formula is simple: the more your body moves, the more calories it burns. An easy way to do this? Stay as upright as possible throughout the day. Not only does this increase calorie burn, but it can also help prevent other health problems. A January 2018 study published in the journal Obesity showed that prolonged sitting is associated with higher levels of abdominal fat. As well as fat that accumulates around organs like the liver, increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
To stay awake more often, you have to get up and pace when you’re on the phone. You park further away from where you drive, which means you have to walk a bit more.
And if your job requires you to sit at your computer all day, try a standing desk. A study published in January 2018 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reviewed studies on standing desks and found that a person burns 54 calories a day by standing instead of sitting for six hours.
3 Control portions and plan your meals properly
Your metabolism slowed down when you hit menopause. It burns a few hundred fewer calories a day. They can therefore accumulate very quickly if you don’t reduce the number of calories you eat. At this point in your life you are also freeing yourself from the daily chores of preparing meals for your family. And you just want to take a break from cooking. What happens then is that you inevitably end up consuming twice as many calories as you need. You are more careful when cooking yourself than when eating ready meals.
Reducing the number of restaurant and take-out meals is an easy way to control portion sizes. But the timing and frequency of your meals can also make a big difference. Research shows that you can manage weight better by eating three meals a day. Start the day with a hearty breakfast that includes lean protein and aim for a light dinner. Eating your main meal at midday can be beneficial for weight.
4 Choose wisely and eat meals with healthy fats
Fat has flavor and makes our food taste better. So the good news is that you don’t have to eliminate it from your diet entirely. You just have to learn to be more demanding.
The healthiest fats are those that come from plant sources like olives and nuts. But remember that healthy fats, like those in avocados, have the same number of calories as the fat in ice cream. The same goes for extra virgin olive oil. You need to be extremely careful when using it and measure the amounts of fats and oils you are consuming.
5 meals and snacks in time for snacking in return
It’s not only important what you eat when you’re on a midlife diet, but also when you eat. For example, eating ice cream at midnight or chips at 6 p.m. are generally not good ideas. The general message about meal timing is clear: don’t overeat and don’t eat too late.
Another way to control calories is to avoid snacking throughout the day. What a postmenopausal woman does after 3 p.m. each day can determine the size of her abdomen. This is when most women tend to overeat and overeat.
To help you control your snacking, start paying attention to your circadian rhythm. Eat during an 8-12 hour window each day. Then don’t eat the rest of the time. Complete your diet at an appropriate time, e.g. B. at 7 p.m., and resume it 12 hours later, at 7 a.m. the next morning. Restricting mealtimes can be an effective strategy for treating overweight and obese adults.
6 Vary your training and try new activities
It’s easy to get into a workout rut and even easier to break the workout habit. But at this stage in your life, there is no question of not moving forward. To control your weight, you should ideally exercise three or four times a week. With a session of intense activity lasting just 15 to 20 minutes. It is extremely effective in reducing excess body fat. And by all means, do strength training, even if it’s just using your own weight.
According to a classic study published in the Journal of Sport Behavior, the best way to follow an activity program is to vary your exercise routine. Any kind of physical activity is better than none at all. But if your body gets too used to a program, it won’t burn belly fat (or any fat) as effectively as it did when you first started exercising.
7 Update your healthy sleep strategies to get better rest and fight weight gain
Insomnia is a very common symptom of perimenopause. This transition phase can last four to eight years. All that time you’ve been having poor sleep means you’re probably feeling too exhausted to exercise. Good sleep is essential in old age. One of the things that really helps fight menopause is getting good sleep.
Too little sleep affects our hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin and leptin become dysfunctional when you don’t get enough sleep. Aim for at least seven (and ideally eight) hours of sleep. Keep your bedroom cool to offset hot flashes and night sweats. Turn off all bright screens for at least an hour before going to sleep.
8 Find a friend or group to exercise with
To attack belly fat, you need to burn between 400 and 500 calories most days of the week through cardiovascular exercise like brisk walking, jogging, biking, dancing, or swimming. Do you need motivation? Find a friend who needs to work out as much as you do and make an appointment to work out together. A training partner and training together is beneficial for both training and emotional support.
If you don’t have a buddy to accompany you on your weight loss mission, it might be time to try a group fitness class. Participation in regular group fitness courses leads to a significant reduction in stress and an increase in the physical, mental and emotional quality of life compared to regular training alone.
9 Adjust your coping strategies and address your stress levels to reduce weight gain
If your fat is stressing you out or vice versa, don’t overlook this link. There is a link between stress and fat. When you’re stressed out all the time, your cortisol levels rise, making it easier for belly fat to accumulate.
Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, stimulates the liver to increase blood sugar production. It helps the body convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into usable energy. As part of the body’s fight or flight response, cortisol is released during times of stress to give your body a natural boost of energy. But when cortisol levels are consistently high due to chronic stress, the same effects can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
To reduce stress, use quick and easy calming techniques. Get out and enjoy the green. Research shows that being in nature reduces stress. Consume less alcohol. While drinking wine or alcohol may seem like a stress reliever, it’s not a long-term coping strategy. The additional sugar from alcohol also contributes to obesity.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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