How to Get Rid of Menopause Belly Fat

By Mary Kyle Blogger
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How to Get Rid of Menopause Belly Fat
Photo: Photospin - Auremar

I went through a relatively early menopause. By age 49, I had not only climbed the menopause mountain but was over the top and to the other side. The only problem was that menopause left me sporting a bulging belly, the likes of which I had not seen since I was six months pregnant!

I went on a diet (didn’t work). I jumped rope (didn’t work). I walked (didn’t work). I did a million sit ups (didn’t work). I went in for my annual and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Well, I see you have that menopause belly thing going on. It’s a real @)#(*$#$& to get off!” Needless to say, that sage advice didn’t help me out either in my search for a way to get rid of my newfound companion.

Since my doctor didn’t offer any advice, I’ve spent the last year wearing “fat” clothes in an attempt to hide this new shape. Frankly, I’ve had enough! I’ve decided to fight back and started researching. My search started with the Mayo Clinic. (See, After all, if the Mayo Clinic doesn’t have a clue, who will?

I learned that women have two types of belly fat – subcutaneous fat (the wonderful unsightly bulge we see around our middle) and visceral fat (fat which is buried deeply underneath our subcutaneous fat and settles around our organs). Viseral fat is the type of fat which causes the real health problems in women – diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and colorectal cancer, to name a few. It’s the visceral fat that we need to attack in order to regain that flat tummy of bygone years.

The good news is that according to the Mayo Clinic, visceral fat will respond well to diet and regular exercise. So, I was dieting. I was exercising. What was I doing wrong?

With respect to diet, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following: reduce portions and caloric intake, avoid saturated fats and replace them with polyunsaturated fats, eat more fruits and vegetables and less white bread and pasta. This should go a long way to reducing your belly fat.

In addition, daily moderate exercise was recommended along with weight training, the amount and type depending on your current activity level.

Add a Comment61 Comments

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November 26, 2015 - 6:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

Since having a total abdominal bi lateral salphingo-oophorectomy, as an emergencey, no time to get used to the idea, no more children for me and only early 40's. Put me into the menopause then i had a PE due to surgery. So now no HRT. I have been fighting the symptons of the menopause, and feel i have to justify my pot belly, as each time i meet people they tend to look at my stomach first. I cannot do stomach crunches as my muscle was cut through in surgery. It feels like an uphill struggle at times. Any suggestions.

May 25, 2015 - 8:08am
EmpowHER Guest

At the age of 52, I reached my menopausal period and left me with a belly fat. As what I have read recently, there are 4 types of belly fat and I have a protuding belly (based on that article I've read) So, let's base it on what you have learned, a subcutaneous belly fat's description fits on me. If there's a problem, there are solutions for that. However, it really takes time before you'll notice the changes. I want to win back my 20's physique. A slender and healthy one, that means I should take action like what I did before to maintain my slender body by eating a balanced diet and take time to exercise to burn fats. I have also a supplement maintenance back then and I should take it again to expect a better result. Caralluma fimbriata is a cactus plant that breaks down excess fats and suppresses your appetite. You can control your calories intake. Perhaps, healthy lifestyle is the best way to reducing unwanted fat.

April 23, 2015 - 11:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

Getting older is not a bad thing. Being unhealthy is, and that includes psychological health. Believe me, I'm going through all the menopause changes and have had to deal with my negative attitude about those changes. Many cultures use this time to support, embrace and celebrate that time in our life. So sad that our society teaches us to "fight" it!
That being said, hot flashes ARE uncomfortable, and I'm getting more into the healthiest lifestyle I've ever had. maybe that's my best lesson. I'm learning most of all to shift my attitude about my menopause. I don't try to hide my flashes or the fact of my Time of Life. I'm seeking out the wisdom of other women to support and get support, and to feel GOOD about myself. And you know what? I found that the flashes, etc. do lessen!! Realizing that when I apologize, fear, agonize, deny what is so natural within me, it's a type of self hate. Time to get over that. Women have NOTHING to apologize for or hide! Menopause is not a disease!

February 18, 2015 - 9:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I was wondering (from p. 1) if this was going to lead to exercises for TVA (Transverse Abdominal Exercise). The core is located under the diaphragm (between lungs and stomach area). Your lower abs extend down your hip bones. I know exercising these areas works. It's more in the breathing you do with the exercise so that must be a part of it. I'm fairly blessed with abdominals. My problem is the pesky thigh area. No way. No how am I gonna rid myself completely of it. I'm going to share a couple of websites that will cure this problem for you. It will also get rid of any digestive issues or GERD you may have caught along this glorious life path. This first one is the stomach vacuum, comprising of about 6 or 7 exercises. This one works on your core, i.e. your diaphragm and your hip bones. It's all relative. Trust me. It is: --Good luck ladies. I'm positive this will help your situation. It flattened what belly I did have.

August 14, 2014 - 3:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

Here's the REAL DEAL. Ladies, wise up! As you age and go through menopause, Mother Nature (remember her?) directs your body to take fat from your rear end, thighs, hips, and even your shoulders and upper arms, and causes it to end up in your lower belly. You cannot CHANGE what Mother Nature is doing. You can be sure that you watch your diet, exercise, and don't allow yourself to simply go to pot (so to speak) but you CAN'T change the fact you are now post-menopausal and that your middle and lower belly especially is going to be bigger; your waist will thicken no matter what you do (like eating only carrots and lettuce and running 10 miles a day). And if you do the latter (run ten miles a day) you will succeed in doing not much more than punishing your knees and soon, you will be scheduling knee replacement. Seriously, most women get fat cells (while in the womb of their mothers) distributed throughout the lower abdominal area. These fat cells enlarge during but especially AFTER menopause, and they glom onto every little bit of fat that you eat. Even if you are not eating much, they do their dirty work quite efficiently. And as stated earlier, the brain directs the body to lose fat in the rear end and those other areas mentioned, and deems it be stored in the lower belly. It also deems that your once curvy thin waist thicken. YOU CANNOT STOP THIS PROCESS. The only way to get rid of the lower belly after menopause is a tummy tuck and that is only cosmetic. It won't get to the deep visceral fat around the organs. These articles that tell you that you can reclaim the shape you had pre-menopause are absolute trash. No one stays looking like they did at 25 unless they have gone through tens of thousands of dollars of cosmetic surgery. And they keep going through it. We age, we wrinkle, and unfortunately fat often ends up where we don't want it to. Live your life and skip these worthless articles. Seriously.

July 26, 2014 - 3:48pm
GoodStew (reply to Anonymous)

Anonymous says: "You cannot CHANGE what Mother Nature is doing"

Wrong, wrong, wrong. You can settle if you want to... but I'm not having any of the above.

I lost 42 lbs, wear a size 6 and my waist is 28" (vs 24" when I was 20 yrs old) not bad for a 67 yr old woman. It's all about the hormones.

September 25, 2015 - 1:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to GoodStew)

I appreciate your response because I am not one to settle either - and you stated that it's all about the hormones - but no one ever lays out the process on how to combat these hormones.

October 1, 2015 - 8:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to GoodStew)

Please tell me how you did this? Do you take HRT? I am so afraid to take it but I have now gained 40 lbs since my complete hysterectomy (5 years ago) threw me into menopause and the last 20 (all in my belly)
Have came on in the last 2 years with NO changes to my daily habits! Could this be lack of Estrogen or do I just need to step
Up the cardio? I am considering starting estrogen if it will help with this Menopause Muffin Top! I am just so afraid of More weight gain, if I am im fact Estrogen dominant, instwad of lacking & afraid
of cancer risks. I am only 5' so it really is bad on my body!! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

September 29, 2015 - 8:53am
Self-concious (reply to Anonymous)

I completely agree with you. I'm 58, my body shape matches my mother's at my age almost exactly. The only redeeming factor is that although pretty flat-chested my whole life, my breasts have gotten a whole lot bigger after menopause, unfortunately they now lay on my big fat belly. My arms and legs are scrawny as anything, I'm not overweight, 5'-7, 130 lbs but my waist is 37"! Yikes! Mother Nature really does have her own plan, I'm assuming belly fat will keep your organs warm if you lived in a cave?

Well I don't live in a cave so I really hate it. But it is what it is and I've noticed my 62 year-old husband has the almost exact same body shape.

June 15, 2015 - 12:45am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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