Weight loss and the menopause

Many of you have asked me how to lose weight after menopause.  Well, there is no way I can make this sound better, but the truth of the matter is that it does become more difficult to lose weight during the perimenopausal stage and after menopause, and it becomes more difficult with every year, especially around the abdomen area.

Some of you assume incorrectly that it is inevitable that we store more fat as we get older.  Many of us tend to store fat around our abdomen as we get older, and some of us feel that this is part of the ageing process, but the fact of the matter is it’s not – we are! 

The body is programmed to store fat around our bellies.  Putting it quite simply, belly fat  is just unused carbohydrates and the body will lay that fat down around your midsection.  What you burnt as fuel in your younger years, is now storing as belly fat.  This fat carries its own health risks, though.

The fat that lies deep inside your abdomen is known as visceral fat.  It’s stored around your internal organs and is linked to heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, breathing problems and more.

If your middle section has expanded or your weight has significantly changed over the years, it’s now time to take your health seriously. Finding and maintaining a stable weight is the key to living your best life but many of us have all but given up on losing that stubborn belly fat due to poor advice over the years.  We have all been told to cut calories and exercise more, and although this is obviously good advice,   more importantly it is what you eat that plays the most important part in losing that unwanted fat.  My favourite way to describe trying to cheat the system in losing fat, i.e. making bad food choices or exceeding the recommended amount you have eaten that day is, “you can’t outrun or out-exercise a bad diet!”

How true those words are, though.  Trust me, I have tried it and it doesn’t work! What you eat is 80% and 20% is exercise, if you want to loss fat.

Now, that’s all very well and easy to say, so how do you achieve losing fat? It’s actually all about the need to count macros.

What are macros, I hear you say?  Macros are better known as carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We need all three in our diet. 

Carbohydrates provide fuel which is the energy for your body and brain, and they’re found in all plant foods such as greens, fruits and vegetables, grains, rice and sugars. I prefer to stay away from grains; in an ideal world I tend to get my carbohydrates to provide energy from fruit and vegetables if possible. 

Sugar brings no value to our bodies at all.  Even if you are an athlete, sports people are changing their views on sugar as an energy source.  Sugar, especially in heavily processed forms, should be avoided.

Protein 

We need proteins to build and repair muscles, organs, skin, blood and regulate hormones. Protein is primarily found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy, tofu, eggs, nuts and nut milks, seeds and whole grains.

Fats 

Fats are, actually, important.  They insulate and protect our bones and organs and act as a backup for energy, and also help in brain development.

Healthy unsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines.  Unhealthy saturated fats which should be avoided are found in high-fat meat produce and processed foods like cakes and biscuits.  Most processed foods contain trans fats which should be avoided.

So, not all fats are bad, but if you are trying to lose belly fat then it is best to cut down on your intake of fat. Some fats, once you’ve reached your target weight can actually help your body burn fat, and I will have spoken to many of you about the use of olive, coconut or avocado oils. 

So that’s the explanations dealt with – but you’re possibly wondering where to start!  Here are five handy tips to help avoid belly fat.

  1. Plan ahead. Decide what you are eating in advance.
  2. Make sure the right foods are in the fridge and freezer!
  3. Never go shopping when you are hungry, and always have a list and don’t weaken!
  4. Eat simply and regularly.
  5. Do not go down the middle aisle in supermarkets, as you will only find processed, highly refined food! Keep to the fresh produce if you can; my personal choice is try to keep to keep it fresh and organic  as much as much as possible.

We run a great fat loss clinic to help you on your weight loss journey.  Our technologies include fat freezing, laser lipo and much more. 

Sometimes we all need that bit of help, encouragement and motivation.  There is so much to learn on how easy it is to obtain a leaner, lighter body, by just tweaking what we eat. 

Losing fat is all about eating, it’s not about denial or feeling hungry. 

Let us help you on your journey.

Penny 💐

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