Admittedly, belly fat is hard to lose after menopause. As you get older and get closer to 50, you’ll find that your periods are less regular or shorter than they used to be.
This is usually a sign that you are approaching menopause, which is a natural aspect of growing older in women. Menopause is defined as a period-free time of 12 months at the end of the transitional stage.
You may notice that even if you exercise regularly and maintain a nutritious diet, your stomach can grow larger as you get older.
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Menopause brings with it a slew of other changes to your body, in addition to the end of your monthly period.
You may encounter changes in your body’s hormones and have mood swings. Those are common happenings.
You may also acquire weight around your belly. This condition is sometimes referred to as “menopause belly.”
You may notice a change in your body form without gaining weight, or you may gain weight that appears to be concentrated around your middle.
Although it may appear that developing a belly bulge is unavoidable as you get older, there are a number of things that you may be able to control. Some of them you can’t control.
Here are some reasons why belly fat is hard to lose after menopause:
Low estrogen levels may be why your belly fat is hard to lose after menopause
Your ovaries gradually generate fewer female hormones, mainly estrogen, during your perimenopause phase. The perimenopause phase is a multi-year phase preceding the total cessation of your monthly periods.
When your menstrual cycles finally cease completely, your body generates very little estrogen. This lack of estrogen causes a change in fat distribution in your body.
Almost all women (and men) gain weight as they age. However, studies have shown that if you’re a woman who has reached menopause, you’ll most likely have much more visceral fat (fat that’s deep in the abdomen) than a woman of similar age who hasn’t reached menopause yet.
You may maintain the same weight before and after menopause, but your shape will most likely change dramatically. After menopause, you’re likely to gain inches around your waist.
If you take hormone therapy to manage your menopausal symptoms, you will have less visceral or belly fat. This goes to demonstrate that a lack of estrogen causes belly fat buildup.
Consequently, if you stop taking the hormone medication, you’ll gain belly fat.
Age, genetics, and overall health
Your age, genetics, and overall health could be some of the reasons why your belly fat is hard to lose after menopause. Your muscle mass decreases as you age.
If you have a lot of muscular mass, you’re likely to burn more calories per hour than if you have less. As a result, the reduction in your muscle mass will slow your metabolism.
This will make it easy for you to gain weight and your belly fat will be hard to lose after menopause. You may also be genetically inclined to carry excess abdominal fat.
In comparison to persons who were of average weight at birth, studies have indicated that if you had low birth weight when you were born, you’re more likely to accumulate belly fat later in life.
Belly fat is influenced by your overall health. For instance, if you have arthritis or other joint problems that make it difficult for you to exercise, you’re more likely to accumulate belly fat than you would if you were able to move around freely.
A slowing metabolic rate
Your metabolism slows as you get older. Estrogen plays a role in this decline. The metabolic decline can result in you gaining a pound or two over the course of three months.
As a result, if you’re a postmenopausal woman, you can gain hundreds of pounds over time just by having a reduced metabolic rate.
That’s even without reducing your calorie intake through food or increasing your caloric expenditure through physical exercise,
Reduced activity levels
When your estrogen levels are low, there’s a biological tendency for you to become more sedentary in your activity level.
Belly fat is hard to lose after menopause if you move around less throughout the day. You will obviously gain weight.
A decrease in your activity level may accelerate age-related muscle loss in your body. Your muscle mass is a key determinant of your metabolic rate and muscle loss is regularly connected to metabolic decreases and abdominal fat growth in your body.
Disrupted sleep patterns
Belly fat is hard to lose after menopause if you have a pattern of disrupted sleep. If you have reduced estrogen levels, this can also cause belly weight gain in a less direct way.
Dropping estrogen levels during your perimenopausal era produces the following acute menopausal transition’s trifecta:
- hot flushes, and
All three of them can contribute to your inability to get sufficient sleep and as a result, cause visceral obesity.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2008 found a relationship between your sleeping less than five hours each night and the accumulation of belly fat.
If you have poor sleep, this can be linked to your having high amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. This will likely increase the tendency for you to have fat deposits around your waist.
Poor sleep can increase your appetite, your cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods, and a high probability for you to overeat.
What to do if your belly fat is hard to lose after menopause
If you have excess belly fat, it isn’t only an aesthetic concern for you. It also has serious health implications. Excess visceral fat raises your risk for cancer.
If you’re a woman, a waist circumference of more than 35 inches raises your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
You may not be able to totally prevent or stop belly fat from accumulating, but you can keep it in check by doing some exercises.
Belly fat is hard to lose after menopause if you don’t exercise. The most effective technique to lose tummy fat is through exercise.
It will help if you eat a nutritious diet. Keep the consumption of sweets and alcohol in moderation. However, diet alone won’t help you lose abdominal fat. As a result, you should make physical activity a part of your daily routine.
Walking for 50 minutes three times a week or 30 minutes six times a week will help you to avoid (or lose) belly fat.
Although estrogen therapy can help you to reduce belly fat, it also raises the chance of you having endometrial or breast cancer, as well as heart attack, stroke, and dementia.
Therefore, you should not use estrogen therapy primarily to control your weight or belly fat. Taking hormone therapy after menopause has its risks and advantages.
Your doctor or healthcare provider can help you understand this in the context of your own unique health history.
After menopause, you may not be able to lose belly fat, but you can stay healthy and active. Your healthcare professional can assist you in managing your health risks and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
By changing your eating habits, you might be able to alleviate some of the bloating that comes with menopause. Excess weight gain during menopause has been linked to a diet high in fat, sugar, and salt.