Menopause is accompanied by several changes. These are the usual symptoms women face during this period, which include hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. Of the many bodily changes a woman witnesses at this point in their life, one of them is that of the menopause belly.
Gaining weight during menopause is quite common, and if you’re going through this transition, it’s natural to see your belly getting softer and your face getting fuller. The weight that accumulates in your abdomen feels thick and fleshy at this stage.
Even if you have always had a flat tummy, menopause often causes women to notice a slight bulge peeking out of their trousers or pants, and that’s the sign of a menopausal belly.
In this article, we will be talking about how to bring menopause belly under control and the ways in which you can prevent it.
Why Do Women Develop Belly Fat During Menopause?
There are many reasons why women develop belly fat during menopause, and some of the reasons are as follows:
The period of perimenopause and menopause are both often accompanied by bloating. Based on what a person has been eating, their abdomen could shift and get bigger through the course of the day.
Gas or water retention can also be the reason behind this kind of bloating. It isn’t exactly caused due to weight gain and could be similar to bloating women experience during their period.
As a woman approaches menopause, the estrogen levels drop, and there is an increase in the levels of a hormone known as androgen. These changes in hormonal levels can often lead to weight gain. With the loss of muscle mass, your metabolism slows down as well.
Witnessing hunger in a new way is not uncommon for menopausal women. One might notice they are beginning to crave different kinds of foods, much like in the same manner when periods make you want to reach for food items that are sweet, salty, and rich in carbs.
Shift in Body Mass
During and after menopause, a person’s body shape changes, which is a natural occurrence. The fat that is present in an individual’s thighs and butt could shift to their belly, and they could notice that although their weight hasn’t increased, they aren’t able to fit into their old clothes in the same way.
Although genetics and diet could be the reason behind this, it’s also often tied to the aforementioned hormonal changes.
How to Get Rid of Menopause Belly
Menopause belly doesn’t come with a warning, and it’s not easy to make it disappear. However, you can take a few steps to control belly fat. Weight gain during menopause can impact the way someone feels about their own body.
Listed below are the safe ways to get rid of menopause belly:
Change your Diet
There isn’t a particular diet that can help in shedding belly fat, which is why it’s vital to look at it holistically. Increasing the calories you burn on a daily basis becomes just as important as consuming fewer calories.
- Eat less sweets, processed foods, and meat.
- Shift more towards vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
- Going for a Mediterranean diet helps in maintaining muscle mass.
- Focus on frequent smaller meals.
Engage in Exercise
With the decrease in energy levels, women could find themselves not having the will to exercise, but engaging in physical activities is the only way to prevent fat from being accumulated in different places in the body.
A heavy workout isn’t always needed to accomplish this. Instead, even going on a daily walk can help you stay fit. Look for exercises that tighten and strengthen your abdomen muscles.
Try whatever you enjoy in terms of exercise, and keep changing up your routine every now and then to make it interesting. Burning calories becomes easier with cardiovascular exercises such as dancing, swimming, and biking.
Manage Stress Levels
Research suggests that fat accumulation in the abdomen can often happen due to the release of a hormone called cortisol, which results from stress. Stress is often connected to weight gain, including belly fat. Therefore, managing your stress levels can help control the situation.
Try to see how you can manage your stressful schedule, and also devote more time to meditation and yoga that can help you practice mindfulness. Reaching out to a professional who works in the mental health field can also aid in identifying your stress factors and dealing with them efficiently.
Get Enough Sleep
Stress can also be caused due to lack of sleep. Therefore, no matter how busy your routine is, make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
By prioritizing your sleep, you get to enhance your mental health, which will ultimately work in your favor while trying to lose weight. Try taking magnesium or melatonin supplements if you have trouble falling asleep. Also, reduce your screen time before going to bed.
Explore Cosmetic Procedures
In case you feel that the weight you have gained due to menopause isn’t going away and is making you feel self-conscious, you can ask your doctor about the safe cosmetic procedures you can explore to get rid of it. This can include liposuction or a tummy tuck.
There is also the option of CoolSculpting. It’s not as invasive as liposuction, and there is no scarring involved in it, either. It is, however, important to know that the effects of CoolSculpting will change with the changes in your body.
How to Prevent Menopause Belly
Preventing menopause belly isn’t exactly possible since weight gain is a part of the package when it comes to going through the transition of menopause.
There are, however, a couple of steps one can take to prevent menopause from causing major changes to their bodily shape, and those steps include:
- Staying active: Developing an active lifestyle can help control weight gain during menopause. Participate in physical activities about three to four times a week. This can help prevent the decline in estrogen levels.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can increase the symptoms of menopause and affect your energy level. Smoking harms your body in many ways, and even more so as you age. Therefore, menopause is the ideal time to get rid of this habit so that your energy levels improve, which ultimately helps you to stay active.
- Consulting a doctor: In case there are certain health concerns you’re experiencing, it’s better to discuss them with your doctor beforehand. They can help you stay aware of the changes that are about to happen so you can also prepare yourself mentally.
Menopause belly occurs during menopause when women often gain weight in their belly, and the fat from other areas of their body accumulates in their belly.
Women can develop menopause belly due to changes in metabolism, hormonal changes, and shift in body mass.
Belly fat can be lost during menopause through exercise, proper diet, and stress management, among other things.
Menopause belly can be prevented by maintaining an active lifestyle, discussing your health concerns with your doctor, and giving up smoking.
Yes, stress does contribute to belly fat during menopause.
Once a woman approaches menopause, it’s vital to be prepared for the weight gain one might witness. Putting on weight is extremely common during this transition, and this weight is often reflected in a person’s belly.
The only way to reduce belly fat as a menopausal woman is by resorting to exercise, maintaining a stable diet, and managing your stress levels.
Suppose you still have concerns after making the necessary changes. In that case, it’s best to speak to your doctor to determine the next steps, especially if you’re considering going for a cosmetic procedure to get rid of belly fat.