How Diet and Hormones effect Belly Fat at Menopause, I will help you reclaim your waistline

I have gotten a lot of questions about diet, hormones and how it effects our weight loss efforts and that shift of weight to the middle.

I know for me it was always so darn confusing and frustrating to feel I had tried everything and feel that nothing is working.

Belly fat, is often about hormones and calories. Some of us if we over eat or have a surplus in calories, it might go to muscle or gaining fat in the lower body…thats me, for some it is the belly.

I have my Free Belly Blasting Guide that I created to help get your waistline back.

When I’m asked what is the best diet for me to do?
It is hard for me as a coach for women in menopause to just give a black and white answer.

AS our hormones decline, we are not as resilient as we once were. Menopause changes your body, what used to work just does not work anymore.

Did you ever notice when you were young you could exercise like a crazy person, diet and get results? Now you try those same things and you gain even more weight or the waistline gets bigger not smaller.

To much, flour and sugar, or even eating the way you always have just does not work, and we find ourselves wondering what the heck will work.

There are two hormones that are the biggest players now, and they are not estrogen and progesterone. Yes, those two are important, but cortisol and insulin now are the ones that make the biggest difference.

Cortisol we really do need in that goldilocks range, we need cortisol to live, but chronically high more belly fat along with insulin. Those to hormones have a very strong influence on belly fat for women.

Estrogen and progesterone together do help block the negative influence on belly fat.

So as our estrogen starts fluctuating in our late thirties then declines, and progesterone falls even faster than estrogen we start to lose that protection we used to have that kept our waist smaller, and estrogen made us better able to handle stress to.

For some women who have more belly fat, this is usually because of lower estrogen and progesterone.

Both menopause and stress result in a situation of lower estrogen, higher in testosterone, and even higher in cortisol and insulin.

  • We need to work on relaxing the body to keep cortisol in the goldilocks range.
  • Daily walks, massage, reading, fun stuff….rest based lifestyle.
  • Also eat optimally, and exercise just enough to be as insulin sensitive as possible.
  • Nutrition approach to lower insulins fat storage effect: I tired and it worked for me. You can try it and see if it WORKS for YOU try having most of your starch earlier in the day and post workout only.
  • Exercise intensely to drive carbs into muscle, rather than being stored as fat.
  • I exercise in the morning, so I had tried for a while just having most not all starchy carbs post workout and it worked well for me for a long time. Now I still have starchy carbs, berries, or banana, or cherries, post workout in the am and then at dinner I have a small amount of starch most nights….
  • But try most of your starchy carbs it in the am, and post workout and see for a couple of weeks. If you are late day person for workouts great, you will get the benefits of post workout, and for evening for having starch in the evening for better sleep.
  • If you workout in the Am and it does not work having most of your starch then try all your starchy carbs or most of it at dinner for optimal sleep….YOU may need some in the am and some at dinner
  • We do not need as much starchy carbs as we think we do. Our food choices do matter, try to get the majority of your calories say 80% from lean protein,(protein we need at each meal) fibrous veggies(which are carbs), and low sweet fruits.
  • Be careful of fruits some women it holds them back from fat loss, start with 1-2 day and see you can always cut back, berries have fiber, and tons of antioxidants.
  • The rest of your calories from Starchy Carbs think sweet potato, white potato, rice oats, starchy veggies such as butternut squash, turnips and other starchy veggies…
  • Weight training is key, if you are highly stressed then more traditional type weight training, resting longer in-between sets might work best for you.
  • I eat a ton of fibrous veggies at your meals, and drink water to shed water, those veggies help you shed bloat as well, and celery, cucumbers.
  • Food sensitivities can hold you back, or cause bloat, gas, digestive problems, and hold onto belly bloat.

Sprints are great for the whole core, and fat loss, I say for me it was the best ab exercise, that finally made me get rid off the small pouch below the waist. They can be done outside or on any machine.

  • For high intensity exercise you may only be able to do one day of it and might be enough for your body. The other days maybe 2-3 regular traditional strength training It will depend on you, as I was asked this. Walk on all days as much as possible.
  • Another routine is 3 days of circuit based strength training, which is moving quickly back to back from one exercise to another. For 15-20 minutes tops, and walk afterwards to burn up the fat that was just released doing the workout…at least 15 minutes, the longer the better though to lower the stress hormone cortisol and lose the belly.
  • Drink plenty of water, forget the drinks with sugar, and all those calories that do not help weight loss.
  • At menopause, our old ways of exercise, and diet just don’t work anymore, we need to try a new way. What we ate in our 20’s and 30’s and got away with it, and with exercise, just stops working with the change in hormones.
  • Shifting to more of a fibrous veggies, lean protein, some fats at your meals and work towards finding your starchy  carbohydrate tolerance.
  • To Start try : One palmful of starchy carbs, or 1/2 cup berries, or rice. Squashes you can start with 2/3 cup – 1 cup ….All starting places, you can always adjust up or down as needed by how you feel and the results.

Many women I talk with just can’t wrap there head around doing less exercise if they are used to doing 6 days a week, we have had it so ingrained in us to do more, some women need to do more, or move more now if they never have.

I found it was scary , when I gave up marathon running to do less than half of what I used to do…I thought for sure I would gain weight. but to my surprise I lost weight, and got back to my before baby waist…I have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren..it works. Plus I shifted my diet to more veggies, less starch, and good amount of protein at each meal.

I tried no starch and that totally backfired to, especially if you do high intensity work and lift weights your need some starchy carbs.

Many women who continue to do more exercise, don’t get the results they want, or the dent in the midsection…..Controlling stress, sleeping more, abs are not about doing more exercise, they are more about optimal nutrition for the menopausal metabolism, and smart exercise, finding the right amount for you.

Exercise is great for our health and only a supplement for an optimal nutrition/diet. With consistency with your diet, moderating your stress you will see results.

Don’t bother with the scale that only gives you weight lost,  that could be water weight, or muscle. To measure progress the best thing to do is take your waist it measurement once a week, to see if you are heading towards your goal. It takes time, but with consistency and making a few shifts in diet and exercise you should start seeing results.

I have created my Free Belly Blasting Resource Guide, to help, and give you 8 Super Simple Strategies, to help reclaim your body and get your waistline back. #whittle your middle

Any questions shoot me a message, I love to help. xo