How to Get Rid of Menopause Stomach Fat Around the Waist

The hormonal changes that take place during menopause produce myriad changes in your body. One unwelcome change involves your tendency to store more fat around your midsection. Your natural slowdown in metabolism compounds the problem of excess fat storage. The basic tenets of weight loss remain the same regardless of age. But as you get older, weight loss will require more diligence, effort and commitment. Considerations for Hormone Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy can help ease symptoms of menopause by increasing your body’s store of female hormones, which naturally decline during this time. Dr. Cynthia Stuenkel, a spokeswoman for the North American Menopause Society, says that these treatments do not appear to prevent weight gain associated with menopause, however.

Reducing Calories

As you age, your body’s energy needs change, and it does not need as many calories to carry out its daily functions. Your metabolism slows down. This means continuing to eat the same amount of food as you did in your 20s, 30s and 40s will lead to weight gain in your 50s and beyond. You simply need to eat less than you used to if you want to make any headway with your weight-loss efforts. The United States Department of Agriculture offers daily calorie guidelines based on age, gender and activity level. If you are over 50, you only require about 1,600 to 2,200 calories daily, depending on your activity level

Increasing Physical Activity

If you want to lose menopausal belly fat and fat in other parts of your body, step up your physical activity. Thirty minutes of physical activity at least five days a week will promote heart and overall health. When it comes to weight loss, however, you might require more exercise -- perhaps up to 60 minutes daily. Moderate-intensity exercise works best -- a leisurely stroll around the park probably will not be sufficient for weight loss. Moderately intense exercise should cause you to break a sweat and raise your heart and breathing rates, but not so much that you cannot carry on a conversation. If you find it hard to get this time in during one session, you can break it up during the day; sessions should last at least 10 minutes for optimal benefit. Strength training, which you should perform at least twice a week, promotes the formation of muscle, and increased muscle mass boosts metabolism. Your strength training can take the form the weightlifting or body-weight exercises.

Improving Diet

Cut back on foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat and sugar. Though you need to cut calories, do not reduce them too drastically; while this might facilitate a quick drop in pounds, it will harm your weight loss efforts in the long run. Crash dieting will slow your metabolism and cause your body to store more fat later. A Pennsylvania State University study found eating more whole grains led to a reduction in belly fat. Led by Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, the study had 50 obese patients follow a calorie-restricted diet. One group ate whole grains while the other ate processed grains. While all the participants lost weight, the group eating whole grains showed a reduction specifically in belly fat.