As women get older, it can be harder to keep your figure in trim. The metabolism slows down which makes it harder to lose any extra weight. Fat cells also produce estrogen, and as this hormone begins to decrease in the menopause, your body may well try and compensate by producing extra fat cells!
Add to that the increased levels of stress hormones cortisol that often accompany the menopause causing the body to block insulin, which in turn leads to excess sugar being stored in the body as fat, no wonder many women of a certain age complain of an increase in their waist and midriff!
There are no quick fix short cuts to regaining your waistline at this time of life, but with some consistent hard work, and sensible eating, it is possible not only to regain your waistline, but also to keep the weight off.
First and foremost you need to up your exercise. Walking is an excellent exercise for menopausal women. Not only will it burn the calories, and trim the waistline, but it also has a therapeutic effect as well. Most of us feel better after a good brisk walk in the open air!
When you are walking briskly without feeling breathless, introduce some hand held weights and swing your arms as you walk. This will increase the aerobic quality of your exercise, as well as help to tone up your arms.
Walk like this at least three times a week. Purchase a pedometer to monitor how much walking you do each day in the course of your daily life, and try and increase this. Maybe you can take the stairs rather than the elevator and walk sometimes rather than driving or taking the bus.
However, exercise is only part of the solution. Most women of menopausal age need to watch what they eat. As well as eating healthy food, keep an eye on the portion sizes, as this is often the most common downfall of those looking to lose weight.
Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast every day. The key here is 'healthy'. Try and limit your coffee intake and up your slow energy releasing foods such as oats and nuts.
Try and watch the amount of carbohydrates you eat. To help stop excess weight settling on your midriff switch from white carbohydrates, such as white bread etc., to brown. Try not to have any carbohydrates after 6 pm, instead load up your plate with extra vegetables.
Make protein more of a priority. This slows down the speed that your stomach empties, and when added to a brown carbohydrate can help you to feel full for longer. Doing this does not have to be complicated, try sprinkling some nuts over your breakfast, or adding them to a salad. Protein also stimulates the production of glucagons, a fat burning hormone. But again, although protein is good, always watch your portions!
Introduce some small, low fat snacks into your day, in-between your three basic meals. This will keep your metabolism running smoothly and help with weight control.
Ensure that you still eat 'good' fats. These are not the kind found in chocolate! These are 'EFAs that are found in seed, nuts and oily fish.
Always sit down and eat your meals properly. Do no eat on the run if you can help it, and try to eat earlier in the evening rather than later. If you are eating out, try having a small portion of nuts or seeds before you leave, and this will help you order more sensibly.
Keep an eye on the amount of caffeine you have during the day. Caffeine causes corisol to be released into the body, and this in turn leads to excess sugars being stored as fat, as they are not carried away by insulin.
Alcohol is negative calories, that is, there is no nutritional value in alcohol. If you are piling the pounds on around your waist and midriff then try and cut this out totally. Otherwise, try and limit your intake to special occasions.
Don't give up! You do not have to resign yourself to carrying excess weight around your middle just because you are of a 'certain age'. Be committed and you will soon see the results, and banish midriff and waistline weight gain forever!
Bruno has a wide experience with fitness, wellness and diets. His hobbies are hund, making money online and enjoying his tredemølle project. Please read more about his tredemølle project at http://www.aktivshop.no