You may think that once you reach a certain age that weight gain is a given and that there is nothing we can do about this.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Let me dispose of that thought straight away and tell you that YES YOU CAN. No matter what age, you can control your weight, and you can get rid of menopause belly fat. So, if you are in middle age, perimenopause, or menopause, this blog is going to be a particularly informative read for you.
As a trainer helping 1000s of women lose weight successfully and keep it off, I know what works and how to get you results.
WHY WE GAIN MENOPAUSAL WEIGHT
Firstly, the Hormonal Fluctuations with the Oestrogen levels dropping can cause excess weight to sit around our tummies, and it can seem like it appears overnight. Then Sarcopenia (the decline of active muscle tissue) means our basal metabolic rate starts to decline, so our body is burning less calories daily. This natural process can actually start to happen in our early 30’s. Lack of Sleep can be a major player in weight gain, as it jumbles up the hormones that are responsible for feeling hungry and feeling full.
As we hit our 40’s our muscles mass slowly starts to slightly decline (if we do not exercise) as our body simply has no need to burn as many calories as we have less active muscle tissue. Hence that expression “use it or lose it” so we can turn this around by doing the right exercises, but it must be the right ones, which are multi compound moves meaning they use lots of muscles all at once. The wonderful thing with these is that they are super quick to do, and you only ever use your own body weight. The result of doing these exercises is that you then generate more active muscle tissue which then naturally fires up a once declining calorie burn. Then in our 50’s or when the menopause arrives is when we have a shuffle in our hormones and our oestrogen starts to dip, but again here comes the magic word with the right “exercises” we can help stimulate the production of our hormones which will help to then reduce any excess body fat we have gained.
Another important hormone we need to get working is one called HGH this is the Human Growth Hormone as this helps to speed up our calorie burn plus this hormone is responsible for plumping up our skin, making our hair shinny and giving us a sparkle in our eyes. Therefore, in Hollywood certain A-list celebrities have HGH Injections for this effect, but nobody ever needs to go to that extreme as we can do this all through exercise and excuse the pun but that is the beauty of exercise.
HOW TO LOSE MENOPAUSAL WEIGHT GAIN
When it comes to Perimenopause and Menopause, we want to look at working on bodyweight moves, as this helps to reverse the effect known as Sarcopenia – this is where our muscle tissue starts to deactivate which in turn will reduce our natural calorie burn. The good news is that with these exercises we can change this and naturally increase your body’s abilities to burn more calories and get back to how we felt and looked before.
One common mistake many perimenopausal and menopausal women make, in a bid to get their waistline back, is to do exercises like the Plank and Sit-ups, and these can end up broadening our waistline. So instead, we need to be doing standing cardio ab exercises, as this increases the calorie burn, helping to reduce excess belly fat. And by doing a special combination of MCM and MDM (stands for multi compound moves and multi directional moves) you draw in the waist muscles and increase the amount of body fat your body burns.
First, you need to be doing some form of HIIT training – this means High Intensity Interval Training – and the reason this works is that the short bursts of working harder help to spike an effect known as EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption). This means you have a rise in hourly calorie burn hours after doing a short HIIT workout. Therefore, I suggest doing any of my short HIIT workouts first thing in the morning as this is a terrific way to help your body burn off excess body fat. (Plus, these workouts help your heart health, fitness, and mental wellbeing.)
Then we also need to be looking at doing Cardio Tone workouts to help reactive muscle tissue that has become inactive due to what is known as Sarcopenia. As I mentioned earlier, this is a big cause of weight gain, the decline of active muscle tissue. So, by doing big dynamic moves, as I do in all my workouts, you can restore the muscle fibres back to being active, and this is one of the quickest and best ways to help reduce weight and manage your weight. The bonus of this is that it helps prevent osteoporosis, helps to improve you posture and it shapes your body up and gives a lift in all the right places. Cardio exercises also help to keep your heart strong and is also great for energy and reducing stress. This can be simply going for a run, bike ride, swim, or anything that is going to help get your heart rate up.
Exercise is truly a girl’s best friend when you’re going through the menopause, as it will help control your weight, shape your waist, keep your heart strong, reduce anxiety, keep your joints supple, and most importantly make you realise that this is simply a new chapter in your life where you can still look and feel your best.
Now let’s just talk about sleep. And this is where making exercise part of your life will help to improve the quality of your sleep, because being physically active requires you to expand your energy levels, and this will then at the end of the day help you feel more rested and give you a better-quality night’s sleep.
Let’s also look at food because it is important to make the right food choices, have plenty of vegetables, lean meats, pluses, good fats and always have protein with every meal, be careful on that sweet stuff known as sugar because this will increase weight gain, so just aim to eat healthy home-made food, and always check the sugar content. If you see on the food label that the ingredients of sugar per 100g are over 6g then put it back as this is high, (and if you are new to reading labels you will be so shocked to see how many products that you may think are healthy are stuffed with sugar).
So, the good news is THAT YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT OVER THE AGE OF 40 and most importantly the MENOPAUSE is not an illness and does not mean we have to buy bigger clothes! far from it, we can continue to look and feel fabulous and ooze confidence for this exciting new chapter and adventure ahead of us. It is just a matter of doing the right exercises to combat menopause fat and eating the right foods rich in the vitamins and minerals we need.