Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #043: Belly fat during the menopause – what I can do about it

Belly fat during the menopause – what I can do about it.

Belly fat – many of us struggle with it. But yes, there are ways in which you can successfully combat it.

What is belly fat?

Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is the fat that accumulates deep in our abdomen and is stored around our vital organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Not only can this fat affect our appearance, but it can also pose serious health risks, such as an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Why does belly fat increase during the menopause?

During the menopause, women experience hormonal changes, particularly a drop in oestrogen levels. This hormonal decline can lead to an increase in fat accumulation in the abdominal area. Oestrogen plays an important role in the regulation of fat metabolism, and a lack of oestrogen can lead to an increase in visceral fat. In addition, other factors such as genetic predisposition, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and chronic stress can also contribute to the accumulation of abdominal fat during the menopause.

What can you do about it?

There are a few things you can do. However, it is important that you are consistent.

  1. optimise your diet: Focus on fibre-rich foods such as leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and legumes to stay full and reduce belly fat. See also our newsletter #36 11 foods that keep you full longer.
  2. incorporate exercise: Regular physical activity can help reduce belly fat. Try to be more active every day and find types of exercise that you enjoy (newsletter #016: What I’ve learnt about the miracle of walking over the last 20 years).
  3. stress management: Stress can favour the accumulation of belly fat. Find healthy coping strategies such as meditation, yoga or walks in nature (newsletter #024: 6 Fantastic Relaxation Techniques for Your Stressful Menopause)
  4. get enough sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep, as lack of sleep is linked to higher levels of belly fat. Try to improve your sleep by creating a relaxing sleep environment and reducing stress before bedtime (newsletter #029: Insomnia – Why and what can I do about it?)
  5. give up smoking: Smoking can promote the accumulation of belly fat and is associated with several health risks. If you smoke, consider seeking professional help to quit smoking.
    6 Prioritise hydration: Drink enough water to boost your metabolism and help reduce belly fat. Avoid sugary drinks and instead prioritise water, unsweetened tea or sparkling infusions with fruits and herbs.
  6. control portions: Make sure to keep an eye on portion sizes and don’t overeat. By avoiding excessive portions, you can reduce calories and help to lose belly fat.
  7. plan regular meals: Try to incorporate regular meal times into your daily routine and avoid long breaks between meals. Consistent food intake can stabilise your metabolism and improve control over belly fat.

By integrating these tips into your daily routine (newsletter #008: How to successfully implement new habits during the menopause), you can tackle belly fat even more effectively.

You’ve probably already noticed that men also gain belly fat. Is there a difference to women?

What is the difference in abdominal fat distribution between men and women?

The difference in abdominal fat distribution between men and women lies mainly in the type of fat and the health risks associated with it. In men, abdominal fat tends to accumulate around the waist, which is known as the ‹apple shape›. This is often referred to as visceral fat and is located around the internal organs. In women, on the other hand, abdominal fat is more likely to accumulate around the hips, thighs and buttocks, which is known as the ‹pear shape›. This fat is often referred to as subcutaneous fat and lies under the skin.

What is a healthy waist size?

Women should have an abdominal or waist circumference of less than 80 centimetres and men less than 94 centimetres. Exceeding these measurements increases the risk of illness. An abdominal circumference of over 88 centimetres for women and 102 centimetres for men means a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. If you want to measure your abdominal circumference, place the measuring tape at the level of your navel.

Belly fat can be a challenge, but with the right measures it is possible to reduce it and improve your health.

We hope this information will help you to better understand the onset of menopause and take practical steps to deal with it.

If you need personalised advice or support on your journey through the menopause, contact The Women Circle here.

In our next edition, back on Saturday 9am, we’ll be covering more aspects of the menopause and women’s health. Stay informed and feel comfortable in this special phase of life.

If you would like to get in touch with us, please get in touch.

Joëlle & Adrian

PS: If you like the Meno Health information, why not send it to your friends?

Lesen Sie unsere Newsletters

Schliesse dich den vielen Abonnentinnen der Meno Health Information an. Und erhalte jeden Samstagmorgen Tipps für deine Wechseljahre. Abmeldung jederzeit möglich.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful. See our past newsletters
Alle Newsletters anzeigen