How Belly Fat Works
How Belly Fat Works in Women Over 40
If you are close to or have started menopause you will have found that you have accumulated some belly fat that is extremely hard to get rid of even when eating healthy and exercising. Did you know that the decline in estrogen actually increases the amount of fat in your body? Visceral fat increases dramatically during this time and it is quite unnerving. Visceral fat is considered toxic because it is excess fat in your stomach area that wraps itself around major organs such as kidneys, the pancreas, and the liver. It actually changes the way that your body functions and can cause heart disease, cancer, and stroke among other health complications.
Due to the increase of toxic visceral fat you may have noticed that your breasts increased in size or that your belly fat is noticeably getting out of hand. According to a 2014 journal Biomedical Research International indicates that after the age of 40 around 65 percent of perimenopause women are overweight. Also, women 73.8 percent of women who are 60 years or older become obese. This weight gain is normally gained in belly fat. The weight gain is often related to the reduction in estrogen. Unfortunately, this visceral fat is behind the abdominal walls and is dangerous.
Here are some other contributors to Increased Belly Fat
1) Decreased Metabolism: when a woman decreases the production of estrogen they will need to decrease the amount of caloric intake to make up the difference. The reduction of estrogen is the cause of a slow metabolism. If a women reduces the amount of caloric intake they will ensure that they will not gain any weight. This will ensure that their slow metabolic rate balances out with the newly reduced caloric intake or diet. Another alternative would be to work with your doctor to increase your estrogen levels.
2) Abnormal Sleep: With the many hormone changes that women go through during perimenopause and menopause women can often develop abnormal sleeping patterns. When women develop abnormal sleeping patterns this can also produce an increase production of the hormone cortisol due to stress. The increased production of cortisol causes the increased production of visceral fat. Visceral fat is responsible for unhealthy belly fat. Try to get as much sleep as you can to reduce the production of cortisol. Developing a sleep routine will help and also by blocking out all of your distraction. You may even find that meditation before you sleep can help.
3)Decreased Activity: Decreased estrogen levels relates to a woman’s sudden decrease in the need to want to do physical activity. Studies have shown that when a woman is low in estrogen production or had a surgery that has taken out of their ovaries their physical activity levels decrease by 50 percent to 70 percent. When their estrogen levels are replaced their physical activity goes back to a normal level. If you find that you have a decreased desire for activity I would suggest contacting your doctor to find out if it is due to low estrogen levels. If your estrogen levels are corrected it could help increase your physical activity levels. Remember increased physical activity equals a reduction in belly fat!
As always the best way to help reduce belly fat is to try to eat as healthy as you can and exercise..exercise…exercise. Try to reduce the amount of calories that you consume and I know that at times you may not feel like exercising but it is important to move around and to stay active. A brisk walk, biking, swimming, walking up and down stairs, or some type of activity will truly help you get rid of your belly fat.
You could also consider eating foods that reduce inflammation and belly fat such as citrus fruits(orange,lemon,kiwi,tangerines), fish, almonds, and spinach and green veggies.
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