When I went through menopause, there was one thing I wanted to get rid of, and that was belly fat! Instead of purchasing a whole new wardrobe, I decided to spring into action and find ways to shift it.
There are several natural and healthy ways to get rid of menopausal belly fat. Diet, exercise, drinking teas such as green tea, hibiscus tea and rosehip tea can help reduce the fat deposits around your middle.
Let’s read on to see why you have menopausal belly fat and what we can do to reduce it.
What causes belly fat after 45?
If you have always taken pride in your slim figure, you may be wondering why your belly suddenly has excessive fat lately. Let's read on to examine why your waist can expand during menopause.
The sudden weight gain around your abdomen during menopause is typical for women as they go through 'the change'. Imbalanced hormones, stress, diet, or lack of exercise can cause belly fat when you are 45 or over.
Your body's process to burn what you eat, and drink is called metabolism. And a slow metabolism caused by low estrogen levels during menopause is a common reason we develop a fat belly once we reach 45.
When your metabolism is slow, you are not burning all you put into your body. As a simple equation, you need to burn more than you put into your body to lose stubborn belly fat.
Another reason you may have sudden weight gain around your middle could be stress-eating. This study shows a link between stress and menopausal weight gain in women over 45.
Factors that can cause stress in women during menopause could be fluctuating moods, an 'empty nest' syndrome, job or financial stress, or having to care for ageing parents.
While it sounds like a lot to take in, the good news is that once you understand what is causing your belly fat, you can take steps to get rid of it.
A sudden increase in belly fat after 45 is typical in women. Lowered levels of estrogen during menopause can slow your metabolism. Other factors such as stress and poor diet can contribute to unwanted weight gain.
Drinking natural teas can help shift belly fat
Losing weight can be challenging, but you don't have to miss out on some of life's little pleasures. Imagine that you could enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and get rid of some menopausal belly fat simultaneously.
Drinking certain natural teas can help shift weight gained during menopause from your belly. Natural teas can assist your digestion, speed up your metabolism, and reduce your BMI.
Green tea to burn calories
While you are relaxing and enjoying the strong and smooth flavours of Green Tea, you can rest assured that it has the properties necessary to burn calories.
The active ingredients in green tea are a combination of caffeine and the plant compound Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These two active ingredients can speed up your slow menopausal metabolism and help to burn excess belly weight.
The plant compound EGCG has been shown to provide weight loss benefits for people who are obese. This study observed obese subjects who drank green tea regularly and noticed a decrease in body weight over three months.
It is also possible that the EGCG and caffeine in green tea may specifically target fat cells and inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. When the enzyme is inhibited, the hormone increases to promote a breakdown of fat cells.
Green tea is available as a powder or in leaf form. It is effortless to brew up into a simple tea or use it in your cooking to help beat your menopausal belly fat.
If you want to know which type of green tea is the best in Australia, read this article.
Hibiscus Tea to enhance metabolism
Sipping Organic Hibiscus Tea sounds exotic, doesn't it? The great news is that you can imagine you are relaxing on a tropical island while hibiscus tea can enhance your metabolism and melt away your menopausal weight.
Hibiscus Tea is a metabolic enhancer which means it can speed up your slow metabolism during menopause. Besides, the data from a 2014 study showed how consuming HSE (the active ingredient in hibiscus tea) reduced obese participants BMI, body fat and waist-to-hip ratio. Therefore, sipping hibiscus tea could be a safe and natural way to reduce your belly fat.
Hibiscus tea has a slightly tart flavour; to sweeten it, use a natural sweetener like Organic Stevia Leaf Powder. You can consume the tea hot or serve cold with ice blocks and a twist of fresh mint for that tropical feel.
Hibiscus tea can conflict with some medications such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or inflammatory medicines. Read this article if you have any concerns and want to learn more about this topic.
Rooibos tea for a slim tummy
If you like strong tea with an option to add milk, rooibos (bush tea) has many properties directly linked to menopausal weight loss and a slim tummy.
According to this study, drinking rooibos tea can help you regulate your food intake and aid in weight loss. It is because the tea can help increase leptin levels, a hormone that stops you from feeling hungry.
Rooibos also contains the active ingredients polyphenol with flavonoids to fight fat. Polyphenol is a natural fat burner that can increase your metabolism and have your midriff looking slim in no time!
Ginger tea to reduce your BMI
The aromatic and robust flavour of Ginger Tea is delicious, and it can also help decrease the weight have gained during menopause.
The active compound in ginger is zingerone. It can speed up your slow metabolism during menopause and help you lose weight around your stomach. The amount of zingerone in ginger is quite significant, and it is present mainly in the dry or powdered form.
This study shows how women with obesity responded when given powdered ginger each day for 12 weeks. There was a reduction in BMI, waist and hip circumference and body weight. The conclusion was that ginger could help overweight people lose weight.
If you like ginger tea and want more information about it, read this article.
Rosehip tea has fat-burning properties
Rosehip tea sounds like something you would drink in an English garden. With its fat-burning properties, rosehip tea can help you lose menopausal weight gain, particularly around your stomach.
The active ingredient in rosehip tea, which comes from the Rosa canina plant, is tiliroside which may have fat-burning properties. Tiliroside is a flavonoid that comes from plants, fruits, and vegetables and can be beneficial in repressing your appetite and aiding in your weight loss.
This study showed decreased visceral fat (belly fat) in obese subjects over 12 weeks when given rosehip extract. Therefore, it can be a safe and effective way of increasing metabolism and reducing belly fat.
There are a variety of natural teas and beverages that you can drink to help you lose belly fat during menopause. Green tea, Hibiscus Tea, Rooibos Tea, Ginger and Rosehip can be beneficial when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Change the way you eat to help get rid of belly fat.
When your clothes are feeling tight, you probably wish you could magically get rid of excess weight. Besides herbal teas, you can lose belly fat gained during menopause with some adjustments to what and how you eat.
When going through menopause, it is common for your BMI to increase due to hormonal changes. Health professionals use this index to predict the risk of metabolic disease. High BMI can mean fat is distributed to the stomach area.
There are many ways to maintain a healthy BMI. Avoiding processed foods and making your diet high in fibre but low in fats and carbohydrates can contribute to the return of your pre-menopausal body.
We are going to have a look at which foods can help with belly fat and those you should avoid.
Eat more soluble fibre and protein
When eating foods high in fibre, it is important to note that some foods are also high in carbohydrates. We have selected foods with high soluble fibre and low carbs, and let's not forget to add some protein!
- Avocado Eating avocado can leave you feeling full longer.
- Broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cabbage. Steam and squeeze some lemon juice on for an extra flavour.
- Raspberries and blackberries we can occasionally eat as a delicious dessert.
- Asparagus are spears of fibre. They are delicious with salads or served hot.
- Chia seeds are a versatile soluble fibre that can fill you up quickly.
- Macadamia nuts, pecans and hazelnuts are handy to have in your bag as a snack food.
- Green beans are legumes that are lower in carbs than most.
- Flax seeds are high in soluble and non-soluble fibre.
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and lettuce can be eaten raw or cooked.
- High protein food includes fish, eggs, beans, soy products such as tofu, low-fat dairy products.
Foods to avoid
To lose belly fat, you should also avoid processed foods and fast foods, generally high in dangerous trans-fats.
- Processed snacks like potato chips and sweet biscuits usually have high sugar or salt levels.
- Fast food like fish and chips are great on the way down, but we know how they feel in your belly straight after eating.
- Fatty meat like bacon or lamb chops should be avoided unless you remove all fat before cooking.
- Alcohol should be avoided or just consumed in moderation.
If you change what you eat, you may be able to reduce the weight you have gained around your belly during menopause. Food high in fibre and low in carbohydrates can promote a feeling of fullness and prevent you from snacking. You should also avoid consuming some certain foods for a better result.
Keep a record of what you eat to help trim your waist
Sometimes I reach the end of a day, and I can't recall exactly what I have eaten. Therefore, keeping a record of what you eat can also be a way to help you lose menopausal belly fat.
Recording what you eat in a food log can be a simple way to self-monitor your intake, and it can help you lose fat from your belly. Counting calories can also help you with portion control when dieting.
Dieticians will sometimes recommend starting a food diary to lose some weight. When you create a food log or journal, you should list every meal and snack, no matter how small, to keep track of how much you are eating and the types of food you eat.
The benefits of keeping a food diary are documented in this study which found that self-monitoring food intake can help you change eating behaviours. This method could be an excellent way to shift stubborn belly fat.
Counting calories is another common way people keep records of what they eat.
Calorie restricted dieting is where you try to eat a certain calorie amount each day. Like keeping a food log, calorie counting is about keeping a record, but you convert the food into calories.
You can purchase calorie counting books or use the numerous phone apps and websites available to help you keep track. Use whatever works for you, and I think you will start to notice patterns and triggers that cause you to eat.
Recording what you eat or keeping an app up to date can make you stop and think twice before reaching for the snacks. Counting calories or calorie restriction may not work for everyone, but it can be beneficial for your goals to lose menopausal weight.
Go for the burn and exercise to keep belly fat away!
Once you have a handle on your diet, you can start thinking about an exercise plan to compliment it. Working out can be a way to exercise that belly fat away. Are you ready to feel the burn?
There is evidence that women begin to lose muscle mass as they age, and once they reach 45, they may have to work harder to maintain muscle tone.
Exercise can help tone and burn belly fat when you hit menopause. Moderate to vigorous exercise and simple weight-bearing workouts have many weight-loss benefits for menopausal women.
According to the guidelines provided by the Australian Government Department of Health, being active is essential for good mental and physical health. The recommendations for adults between 18 – 64 should be active on most days with a total of 2.5 – 5 hours of vigorous activity. Strength or weight-bearing exercise should be at least two days a week.
Cardio exercise, which will burn belly fat, is any exercise that elevates your heart rate for a prolonged period.
Your cardio workout can be as simple as going for a brisk walk every day to swimming, running, or cycling. You can also choose to work out in the comfort of your own home or join a gym with the convenience of personal trainers.
Always consider your body's limitations before commencing any exercise, and remember to check with your GP before commencing a vigorous exercise program.
Choosing a safe way to work out that includes cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercise can be a way of reducing the menopausal fat that accumulates on your belly. You don't need to join a gym; exercises can be done at home or outdoors.
Health problems and a heavy belly
Women who reach 45 are prone to weight gain around the abdominal cavity. A heavy belly during menopause can make us feel unattractive and cause some potential health problems.
We all have surface or subcutaneous fat. This surface fat is easy to see and is the same fat we have in our arms and legs. It is pretty likely to be harmless if you have some fat on your belly.
However, as women age, they can also develop unhealthy visceral fat sitting in the abdominal cavity, leading to health issues.
Some vital organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines, can be affected by visceral fat. It can cause health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol or breathing problems.
According to this study, abdominal fat can increase the possibility of heart disease during menopause. The fat that gathers on your abdomen may hold more risk than any other fat deposits on other parts of your body.
Another study also found that when women develop visceral fat, they also have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity. It means your cells can not use insulin effectively, leading to diabetes.
Therefore, a slim tummy is important as not only does it make you look good, but also it is a sign of a healthy body.
If you are concerned about any of those health problems you may be experiencing because of belly fat, contact your health care professional as soon as possible. Despite their effectiveness, some of the natural remedies we have talked about above can’t replace medical treatment.
As women age and go through menopause, they can develop visceral fat, which sits around vital organs in their bellies. This fat can cause health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol or breathing problems.
Getting rid of belly fat when you are over 45 can be difficult. Still, if you use a combination of exercise and diet, there is no reason you can't combat the 'middle-aged spread' that most menopausal women experience.
You can avoid the health problems women can face if belly fat becomes excessive with careful monitoring of what you eat, drink, and exercise. Drinking natural teas and beverages such as green tea and hibiscus tea can help by speeding up your metabolism to burn those calories.