Perimenopause, Menopause, and Belly Fat
The changes in hormone levels the precede full-blown menopause can occur for up to a decade of a woman’s life. That can be an awfully long time to live on a roller coaster of emotion, emotional eating, and weight gain, not to mention low libido, painful sex, and other unpleasant symptoms. What we’d like to focus on here is the relationship between these hormonal shifts and abdominal fat.
Why Belly Fat Increases with Age
Yes, there may be a slight correlation between stress eating and weight gain. However, specific research has been conducted to better understand why post-menopausal women are more prone to belly fat than younger women. The answer: estrogen.
What is interesting about the estrogen-belly fat relationship is that the problem may be too much estrogen or too little. One research study suggests that the drop in estrogen inhibits the body’s fat-burning capabilities and promotes belly fat. On the other hand, when the balance between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone leans to the estrogen side of the fence (estrogen dominance), there is a greater likelihood of insulin resistance and subsequent gain in belly fat.
What a Woman Can Do
The whole matter of hormones and weight management can be incredibly frustrating for most women. There is no need to go it alone. The team at River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics is here to help you identify hormone deficiency and develop a plan for hormone-balancing. Additionally, experts suggest that women:
- Develop healthy eating habits. The Mediterranean Diet makes in on the Best-Diets list year after year for a reason. This particular way of eating, revolving around healthy fats, lean meats, and ample fruits and vegetables, promotes healthy blood sugar levels and cardiovascular activity. Fiber is also an important component to a well-rounded diet.
- Engage in full-body exercise. Rather than finding and sticking to one thing, women can benefit from combination exercises such as cardio (even a nice, brisk walk) and strength-training. Interval training, which alternates between high- and low-intensity moves, has also been praised for efficacy in weight management.
- Hormone replacement therapy. Sometimes, no matter how much you diet and work out, your hormones will stand between you and your best body. Hormone replacement therapy has evolved over time to deliver more benefit with much less risk.
Receive the care you need to effectively manage hormones and general health. Call our Houston office at 713-955-6560.