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How to Get Rid of Menopause Belly Fat

By Mary Kyle Blogger
 
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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, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/wo00128) 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 Comment53 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

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
Anonymous

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: http://mutusystem.com/how-to-engage-your-transverse-abdominis-muscle-cor... --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
Anonymous

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
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What rubbish - that's the wrong attitude. I am 48 and was pushed into early menopause when I had to have my tubes and ovaries removed due to ovarian cysts. I have lost my very large belly through diet and exercise - although it was the last bit of fat I lost - it went in the end. Don't give up ladies. It can be done. :-)

February 17, 2015 - 3:27am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Finally someone who has spoken the absolute truth! I've been an avid weight trainer for over 3 decades. I've watched what I ate and did lots of cardio too. I have always worked hard to maintain my physique. When menopause hit it left me with weight around my waistline and nothing and I do mean NOTHING has gotten rid of it no matter what I do - and trust me I've pretty much tried it all and was ok with suffering along the way and for what??? True I have high standards as I've been involved in a sport that is somewhat vanity driven for a very long time but I'm not one to settle for the status quo. Everyone with half a brain knows that if a waistline had gotten thick with fat no amount of ab exercises is going to spot reduce it away. It will tighten the muscles but the fat will still be there. I am still in good shape with muscle and all but I am used to being lean. The other thing meno did was screw my skin up and add fat In Weird areas such as elbow etc. I had big shapely arms before and I see it all disappearing no matter what I do. About the only thing that has helped me and only a little bit was low carb eating. I don't advocate eating low fat as some do. Low carb seems to keep some of the water gain from carbs Away so for me it's not even true weight loss but it tricks my mind into feeling better about what has happened to me. I am not overweight by any stretch of the imagination however I do think that most women who are menopausal sedentary and eat too much can make great improvement just by getting themselves together and taking this issue by the horns-start exercising and eating right which means reduce calories because most women have in fact lost muscle mass because of their lifestyle. Perhaps perfection is out of reach but inprovements are definitely not! It boils down to asking yourself what are you willing to do, what are you willing to give up, and how hard are you willing to work to accomplish this feat.

January 8, 2015 - 8:00am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I think your wrong ! And I'm just about to prove it and I'll be back on in about 3-6 months ! And if I'm wrong I'll admit it and put my picture up and if im right I will anyway before and after shots !

September 14, 2014 - 8:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Simple - since I have been following those exercises for several years due to a lower back condition and never eaten large amounts of rice, pasta or bread, I can confirm that it is rubbish and you will still have increasing weight around your middle. Looks like there is bugger all you can do other than listen to the quacks preach at you!

July 16, 2014 - 6:08am
Junebab

curious as to results or updates, 50+ with pregnant looking belly. Watching what i eat, taking calcium, D3, Garcina Cambrogia, and putting in at least 21/2 hours of walking/hiking and reclining biking/w farklets, or aerobic video. some weight training. no results.

July 8, 2014 - 8:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Junebab)

actually, after I took garcinia cambogia I got more "flabby" fat in my belly :( uggh and I thought that stuff was amazing. My tummy was not as hard as it was, but it was fuller and flabbier, I would take out the garcinia and just do stomach exercises

August 13, 2014 - 3:56pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

ME 2 !! Let Me know if you found something that works... I've feeling like the person that wrote about the only thing that helps is surgery.. but my husband said he is scared for me to do so... to many scary stories.. but i told him i would use a Dr. that some one i know used.. Good Luck to you and if you find a answer for your self please let me know to try too! ..

January 11, 2015 - 8:14am
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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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