Menopause Belly: Is it Real Or Am I Just Eating Too Much?

Health and Wellbeing
2 Mins
Menopause Belly
Jody Allen
It is very common for women approaching menopause to gain weight, particularly in the stomach area.

The fat that accumulates in the stomach area is called 'Subcutaneous Fat'. But that isn't the 'fat' you have to worry about so much. Visceral Body Fat is the fat wraps itself around the body's organs and can build up in the arteries. The main cause of Visceral fat and Subcutaneous Fat is a poor diet.

More Reading: Menopause Weight Gain: How to Maintain Your Weight and Your Health During Menopause

Is Menopause Belly Real?

Belly fat is real - no matter how old you are, but as women approach menopause, the effects of the drop in estrogen make it easier for women to gain weight, particularly in our mid-section. Estrogen influences where body fat is distributed in the body and it does seem to enjoy accumulating around our middles. The problem with a menopause belly is that the added weight makes it harder to move.

How To Determine How Much Visceral Fat You Have?

Unless you want to spend thousands of dollars on an MRI or CT scan, it is impossible to accurately guess how much visceral fat you have on your body. But there is a way to 'Guesstimate' the percentage of visceral fat.

Using a set of scales that measures body fat, get a reading, and divide that figure into 10. That's the approximately percentage of visceral fat on your body.

Another simple way to determine if you have visceral fat is to measure your waistline. A woman's waistline that measures over 89cm means you are carting around a bit of visceral fat and therefore have a greater risk of health problems.

Good News About Visceral Fat

The good news about visceral fat is that it is easier to lose than subcutaneous fat. When you exercise and move your body, visceral fat is lost as sweat or pee. Visceral fat responds well to regular exercise. So incorporating a 30 minute walk every day, and watching your calorific intake will substantially improve the amount of visceral fat your body carries.

Easy Ways to Trim Belly Fat:

Implementing small changes will see a huge difference over time. Stick to these:

  • Walk for at least 30 minutes per day
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet
  • Drink water instead of soft drinks or coffee
  • Engage in strength training at least twice per week

Making Exercise Fun:

As we age, we have more aches and pains, which give us an excuse to sit more, and move less. If you struggle for motivation to move, try the following:

Buy Yourself a Smart Watch

Smart Watches are a fantastic investment in your health. They can be a step counter, calorie counter, they measure how far you have gone (and will alert a significant other if you have a fall). They keep you accountable - and there are some fantastic apps you can add that make exercise fun.

This is the Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) Sapphire Edition. It comes in five different colours (soft gold, silver, slate grey, titanium and carbon grey) and two different sized faces (47mm and 51mm). It has a heart rate sensor, a huge 16 day battery life and even a built-in LED flashlight

Stockist: JB Hifi

Exercise with Friends

Spend time with your friends and exercise at the same time. Whether you walk together, cycle or go to the gym. Plus friends keep you accountable!

Engage in Exercise You Love

If you enjoy a particular exercise, stick with it. Whether you are into mountain bike riding, boxing or dancing, find an activity that you love, and it won't feel like exercise at all!

Some suggestions for fun exercise include:

  • Water Aerobics
  • Zumba
  • Yoga
  • Trampolining
  • Martial Arts
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Rollerskating
  • Pole Fitness
  • Join a team sport such as Netball, Soccer or Volleyball


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