“I feel like my results are much harder to achieve now that menopause is here. And I feel if I just look at food I’ll gain weight.” Have you said that to yourself lately? I’ve heard my clients say it. Menopause is a very challenging time for women and knowing what to do and how to accomplish your health and fitness goals through it can be hard.
As you age and enter menopause you will gain weight if you’re not cutting calories or exercising. So if you’re not now, start now. To make matters worse women find themselves accumulating fat in places that they haven’t before. After menopause women have a tendency to gain weight where men do, neck, chin, and the ‘spare tire’ area, due to the fluctuation in hormone levels.
Genetics and activity level will also contribute to where you accumulate your fat. There is really nothing you can do regarding your genetics, but you can adjust your activity level. Increasing exercise, specifically weight training and cardiovascular training can have a tremendous impact on your body fat percentage. Consult with a certified personal trainer to establish a program that will aid this.
There are two sides to the menopause coin. Exercise being the first. And diet is the other side of the coin. Making sure you’re controlling calorie intake with fresh, natural foods will also affect the amount of body fat accumulation. Stay with whole grain foods and lean meats. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and eat five to six smaller meals periodically throughout the day. This will help boost your metabolism and keep it burning at a higher rate.
One more word of caution for menopause and fat accumulation. Keeping your activity level up and your calories controlled will contribute to your fat stores. There are two types of fat; subcutaneous fat, the jelly belly, and fat around the hips and thighs. And the other is visceral fat. This is the fat around the vital organs. Studies have shown this to be more active and also have a higher association to disease. Not only will a healthy, controlled diet and plenty of exercise keep you looking good, but also keep you safer from developing diseases later in life.