Menopause is really one of the most sensitive seasons of a woman’s life. Not puberty, not body change before, during, and after pregnancy, but the very easy and yet, complicated sail that is called menopause. The basic reason is this, in all of these former seasons, regardless of the changes your body undergoes, with proper work and due diligence, it snaps back into shape.
At menopause, however, it proves to be a little more difficult. This is because as we age, our body metabolism begins to drop which makes it difficult to lose fat. In fact, many researchers insist that this decline begins from the age of thirty and continues to drop as we get older. Body metabolism is the ability of your body to break down, absorb, digest, and use every nutrient that goes into it, to put it in simple terms.
At an early age, you are still very active and busy. From going to classes to reading, cooking, doing the chores, having a social life, getting married, taking care of the kids, and all the other duties we end up getting responsible for. These engagements give our bodies the necessary activities it needs to break down and absorb every nutrient. In most cases, every calorie is burnt down, every nutrient moves to the required body part and the body runs in a very stable state.
As we grow older, most of these responsibilities drop. The kids start their own lives and eventually leave the house, we retire and really do not need to go to work as much, nannies and help come to assist with the chores and the number of things we really have to do is not as intense. At this point, the body does not get as much activity as it needs to break down, absorb and distribute all the nutrients and calories that get into it. Hence, the seeming increase in body weight as we get older and into menopause.
So we start up looking a certain way and tell all the people around us what we really looked like in the good old days. We age and notice a slight change in body shape and it doesn’t really bother us. Then another change takes place, then another and it begins to look like a real concern. Ideas and options come in on how we can lose the fat we do not necessarily need. We take on exercising and register at a gym. This goes on for a couple of months but is very hard to sustain because of the unending list of things we have to do.
Many people resolve to hire a personal instructor, as it is done a lot these days, or just take drugs or use slimming teas. We all have many reasons why we want to lose weight and our motives are relative. Basically, there is still an underlying reason that clouds the heart of women. Which are the stereotypes and standards set by society for women to look a certain way.
So we begin to work really hard to lose the fat and ‘get back into shape’. I don’t want to get into the various extreme measures many women take to conform and look ‘the way’. Regardless, it is highly important to say at this point that you are very beautiful, regardless of the ‘state’ you find yourself in. Do not let these words lose their potency because you have heard them so many times. They are and will always be valid no matter how we try to abuse and discredit them. You are a complete package and under no obligation whatsoever to harm yourself just because. Anyone who doesn’t accept you does not deserve you. Never forget that.
Why Menopausal Women tend to Gain Weight
The reason why menopausal women tend to gain weight is that at menopause, we deal with slower metabolisms and a very radical revolution in hormones. This hormone change does not come cheap and it takes on several forms which very clearly leave their marks on us. With all the reasons stated above, it becomes a real struggle to get the body to switch back. The body, which is obviously in a state of rest, needs more motivation than usual to burn calories.
The major point of concern for the loss of fat is in the stomach and the inability to look ‘snatched’ which is the word that majorly defines youthfulness to lots of people. With other symptoms like night flashes, sweat breakouts, and so on, it really does not feel fair to add weight gain to it. It can really be annoying to lose fat, especially in the stomach region.
From its roundness which can sometimes be firm or loose and makes it look like you are expecting to the gradual slump where everything gathers and settles at the lower part. Wearing a trouser or a skirt becomes a chore at this point because even if you get to button them, your stomach stands on them and it looks very unattractive. At least, that is what you have allowed yourself to think. Apart from trousers, tightly fitted shirts or gowns are said goodbye to, and our very elegant crop tops. It can be very infuriating.
Remember at this point that your body at thirty and your body at fifty-five are definitely not the same. A lot of changes have occurred, will occur, and are still occurring so be patient with your body and yourself. Eventually, it will give you what you want.
How then, with all these facts, can menopausal women lose fat and gain muscle? Is it really possible to get rid of menopausal belly fat? It is definitely very possible and probable to lose fat, get rid of menopausal belly fat, and gain muscle. Our bodies are different, in looks, size, and how it responds to other external factors. It may not work as quickly for you as it would for others and it does not mean that anything is wrong with you. Your body is just distinct and chooses to respond the way it wants to. Eventually, the end goal will be achieved with consistency and follow-up.
How Menopausal women can lose fat and gain muscle
The following are some ways menopausal women can lose fat, get rid of menopausal belly fat, and gain muscle.
- Exercising; Many women have tried exercising and are getting or have gotten very frustrated with it. You probably feel that exercising does not produce so many results and is not as effective as a lot of people say it is. But before you zone out, it is note-worthy to ask yourself if you have been doing it right all these while. No matter how useful a thing is, if it is not done right, it will not produce the required results.
Exercising is one of them. Many women just put their bodies through very painful exertions and making your body go through all that will only weaken it and not necessarily encourage it to lose body or belly fat. Exercising can help you gain muscle as you get rid of and lose all the fat you do not need. All you majorly need to engage in while exercising is aerobic exercises. Like swimming, walking, cycling, and all the activities that involve the movement of your arms, legs, waist, and joints.
Don’t just push your body into intense movements. Start slowly until you arrive at a high point. It is a buildup so that your body does not break down. You could start from thirty minutes, then move to 1hour and increase it until you know your body’s limit. Moving to an immediate high will not work or produce results. Start gradually and slowly engage your body.
Walking is another exercise that helps menopausal women lose fat and gain muscle. Long walks early in the morning or in the evenings. Walking burns more calories than you would expect.
Many researches have revealed that every adult should partake in serious exercises for at least 150 minutes every week. These exercises as stated earlier must categorize the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, and arms.
To lose fat and get rid of menopausal belly fat, get a personal instructor or employ any of the exercise mediums stated above. Throw some balance in and gradually build your body up to adapt to it. It works.
- Always put your body in motion; As stated earlier, at this stage, there is a great tendency to remain in a certain spot and not really do much. It feels like there is really no reason to engage the body because there is actually not much to do. Many engagements, responsibilities, and chores have reduced or even been completely eradicated.
This is the point where you must consciously put your body to work. Stand as much and as long as you can. Walk around at every single opportunity you get. If you need a cup of water or a refill, stand up and walk to get it even if you have help.
When you are going out and the distance is not too far, instead of driving, walk there instead. You would lose all forms of fat and gain muscle this way. Do not be too relaxed and give your body unnecessary reasons to accumulate calories that it does not need.
Always try to ensure that your body is in motion. A study review has revealed that a person who weighs about 143 pounds, could relatively shed 54 calories in one day just by walking around and standing instead of sitting, for six hours. That is a major shed off which happens just by being intentional about what you have formerly ignored.
Henceforth, stand more than you seat and walk almost everywhere you can. Get up randomly, stand facing a window reminiscing or get a chore that would keep you on your feet for about 20 minutes every hour. Do everything you can do yourself and only disallow what will extremely task and exert your body.
If you can still cook, cook for yourself, if you can still do your laundry, do it by yourself, every single thing you know can still be done by you, make sure you do it by yourself. It would seem very tasking at the beginning but as you continue, your body gets used to it and even reminds you that you have been sitting for too long.
Your body must always be in motion so remember the future rewards and begin today.
- Be mindful of the carbs you ingest; Foods come in different proportions and measures of nutrients. Likewise, nutrients come in their different magnitudes regardless of if they are in the same class or not. This means that there are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, oils, minerals, and other types of nutritional value in food. Rice for example contains more carbs than fish or meat. Fish, meat, and eggs are all proteins but contain different proportions of the protein component. Which basically means that they cannot be consumed in the same measures.
Majorly, most of the meals we eat contain carbohydrates so it is very important that we are mindful of what is eaten as menopausal women. Not only what is eaten but what is contained in what we eat. Carbohydrates contribute majorly to the increase in fat in the body, especially in the belly region. This is because carbs convert to sugar in the body when they are consumed. Diabetic patients for instance are not permitted to eat so many carbs because they do not need the extra sugar. Examples of meals with high carbohydrate inputs include; rice, pasta, noodles, sweets, chocolates, and so on.
One way menopausal women can lose fat and gain muscle is by being mindful of the proportion of carbs that is consumed with every meal. When carbs metamorphose into large quantities of sugar, they become harder to shed off. This is why it is important to watch how it is consumed before it is even consumed.
Carbs are quite disadvantageous for menopausal women and research has proven that when carbs are reduced in menopausal women, they minimize the risk of weight gain. Ingest other nutrients or preferably, more proteins, than carbohydrates. Better still, consult with a nutritionist to know what would work best for your body. Do this, however, with this knowledge and information and take conscious steps to work towards it.
- Rate food portions; as you watch out for carbs, ration your food portions. Do not eat too small and do not eat too much as well. Every time you consume, eat in the right proportions and make sure that you stop as soon as you exceed the allocations proportioned to you.
Very importantly, do not eat food with lots of calories. The measure of calories consumed in food should be watched keenly. Like it was mentioned above, because of the reduction in activities, there must also be a reduction in the consumption of foods containing lots of calories.
Also, as menopausal women, activities reduce and lots of idleness replace most of our actions. In idleness, many women would most likely resort to eating and drinking (in many cases, alcohol). Alcohol increases fat both in the body and stomach region for menopausal women. In order to avoid these tendencies at this stage, it is very important to watch and ration what is consumed on a daily basis.
Even as we go out on dates or buffets, it is very important that everything we consume is rationed and rightly proportioned both in size and nutritional values. It is possible to lose weight and reshape your body during menopause and to do that, all these things must be taken into consideration.
- Keep time of meals right; the importance of eating at the right time cannot be over-emphasized for menopausal women. The time of meals will not only help in digestion but in keeping the body fit, muscled and in shape. It is advisable to eat three square meals in a day. Nutritionists advise that the latest time to eat dinner is by 6:30pm or latest 7:30pm. Eating late increases fat in the body and most especially, the belly region. This is why it is very important to know the right timing of meals and to stick to it religiously.
They also reveal that breakfast and dinner should contain more protein and lunch, more or carbs and food that add more calories. Starchy foods take time to be broken down and this is why it is advisable for menopausal women to take it during the day when there would be sufficient activity to aid in its breakdown.
Following this schedules strictly would help menopausal women to lose body and stomach fat as they add muscles. How to speed up your metabolism after 50 and during menopause is by eating right and keeping the proper time of meals.
- Be very wary of choice of fats; fats can be very advantageous for menopausal women especially as it regards losing weight and building muscle but only when it is consumed rightly. Not all kinds of fats can be consumed by menopausal women. Major fats to be consumed are gotten from vegetable fonts from things like olive, nuts and so on.
It is very important to be cautious, however, in the intake of fats. It is also very necessary to stop eating take outs and restaurant meals. Most of these meals are made without specific considerations to people’s needs. The spices and ingredients used may or may not necessarily be healthy for menopausal women so it is safe to completely stop or reduce these meals and generally meals, that we do not know the source of.
HIIT (What it is and how it helps Menopausal Women)
Broadly called High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT is an exercise module that involves intense exercise with rests at intervals. To put it simply, it is having really intense workouts for about 20 minutes and resting for 25 minutes. These exercises ensure the breakdown of calories without excess oxygen. HIIT helps to manage food cravings and helps to increase the levels of oxygen inhaled in the body per minute.
HIIT also helps to normalize glucose blood planes. For menopausal women, this is very important. Major foods consumed are carbohydrates and would need to be broken down as much as possible so that they do not build up and convert into fat for the body and stomach. The intense exercises help to stabilize this glucose.
In the beginning, the intensity of these exercises may require longer and quicker rest bouts especially since the body is not used to it. Subsequently, the time of rest taken and when reduced but it is very important to take rests in-between during HIIT so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.
HIIT helps menopausal women as the exercises help to burn calories and regulate glucose breakdown and processing. If you are wondering if it is possible to gain muscle after fifty years and during menopause, HIIT makes it possible to get muscle and body build up.
HIIT also helps to re-shapen the body for menopausal women and this happens because of the intense workouts. The intense workouts beat the unnecessary fats from unwanted parts of the body. This maintains body contour and figure.
HIIT also helps to increase metabolism in menopausal and older women. The workouts involve muscle circuit workouts, aerobic movements, and so on. These movements ensure that the body is actually put to work rather than in a perpetual state of rest that is expected for women that age. This way, metabolism builds up and even though it does not return to normal, it performs averagely well.
HIIT builds capacity and increases perseverance in menopausal women. Women at this stage have low thresh-holds for pain and inconvenience and this makes it so that they mostly cannot launch out into the deep and take risks. The short but very intense workouts force the body to adapt to a situation no matter how uncomfortable as it also teaches it to get used to other tight situations. These lessons can be applied to life as the need comes to make bolder decisions and even as it relates to health, fat loss, and muscle building.
With these considerations put in place, menopausal women can get back in shape and size soon enough. No woman has to look the way she does not want to. There is and will always be a way out.