Menopause Belly

As they age, it is not unusual for women to experience unwanted weight gain. Troublesome areas are frequently the hips, thighs, and rear.  Weight gain of this sort is common for many women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.

However, women approaching their 50’s or 60’s find that they are uncutomarily gaining belly fat and that this phenomena is new and was not problematic previously.

Belly fat weight gain is a well-known symptom associated with late perimenopause and menopause.  Unfortunately, gaining weight in this area is far unhealthier than gaining weight in other portions of the body.

Gaining abdominal weight puts extra stress on the body organs also located within this area of the torso.   By comparison, Megan Fox whose corseted waist only measured 18” (during the filming of Jonah Hex) is unusually small-wasted.

In late perimenopausal and menopausal women, excess belly fat can contribute to a host of maladies including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and various types of cancers. The advantageous side of this dilemma is that research indicates that possible life-style changes coupled with targeted exercise and supplementation can go a long way toward the battle of excess belly fat.

As women age they usually slow down and there is a decrease in estrogen levels, hormones as well metabolism. Unfortunately, women can experience an even greater weight gain than their male counterparts of the same or similar age.

This weight shift is usually more pronounced following menopause.  Instead of a continuing weight buildup and distribution to the arms, legs, hips and rear, more weight is added to the abdominal area.

The real danger is not the fat that can be seen, but the underlying fat buildup around the heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys and liver.  Again, menopause belly fat has been determined to put females at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.  The outer buildup while being more visible is less likely to contribute to actual health problems.  It is a sign however of an underlying problem (as previously noted).

There are a number of factors that can influence this visceral fat buildup.  Heredity and hormones are two well-known contributors to abdominal weight gain.  Surprisingly, some women have been known to gain belly fat without gaining weight, overall.  This phenomena is due to the fact that (as a woman ages) more weight is distributed to the abdomen and weight is actually lost in the arms, hips, legs, thighs, and rear.  Though the scale may indicate that an individual’s overall weight is still within acceptable bounds, the added gain in belly fat could still be cause for concern.

As previously noted, hormones can play a role in added abdominal weight gain.  As a woman ages, hormones and estrogen levels decrease.  Scientists have noted a direct correlation between these decreases and belly fat weight gain.  This symptom becomes more pronounced in late perimenopause and following menopause.

Unfortunately, this type of weight gain is not like other types of dormant weight gain, waiting as a sort of energy reserve.  Abdominal fat cells contain active hormones and other chemicals detrimental to good health. By way of example, some cells stored in abdominal fat actually contain hormones that produce insulin resistance, which in itself can lead to type 2 diabetes.  Other fat cells can produce hormones which may increase the risk of various types of cancer.

Researchers have found that a simple waist measurement is more useful to determining belly fat build up than trying to determine body mass index or waist-to- hip ratio.  Tests have determined that a waist measurement of 35 inches or more denotes an unhealthy weight gain.  Some researchers suggest a waist measurement of just 33 inches could be cause for concern (no matter what the weight).

Though visceral fat is buried deep within the abdomen, research has determined that it can respond well to a regular exercise regimen and improved diet.

Overall exercise is the best way to lose weight, coupled with targeted abdominal exercises. Low impact weight training has also proven effective.  As to diet changes, reducing the intake of saturated fats and increasing the consumption of complex carbs can be a plus. Portion control is important as well as avoiding in-between meal snacks or eating late at night.

Supplementation can become an important factor.  FemFlax® is an all-natural plant based perimenopause/menopause symptom management supplement that improves hormone balance and helps to avoid the risks of belly fat weight gain.