health + wellness

How to Beat Belly Fat + Feel GREAT Through Menopause

June 26, 2024

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How to Beat Belly Fat + Feel GREAT Through Menopause

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Why do my pants feel so damn tight? 👖
You're eating right, working out, doing all the things you used to do, and BAM—you turn 50 and...

Weight gain! Belly fat! Tighter jeans!

What gives?

As if menopause wasn't uncomfortable enough, many women also experience unexpected (and unwelcome) changes to their bodies.

For me, the weight came on fast and furious. (As in, it came on fast, and I was furious!)

Look, I'm all for body positivity and loving your body no matter what, but it felt so unfair!

It seemed like overnight I went up a size or two, but nothing in my diet or lifestyle changed.

I knew something needed to change, so I searched for answers. 

Visual learner? Check out the video version of this blog!

You are not going crazy

Extra belly fat is caused by changes in our hormones and metabolism slowing down. So, what can we do? There are a few things I've discovered in the kitchen and gym that really help keep belly fat at bay—without removing all the joy in life.

#1 - Shop the perimeter of the grocery store

That's where the food is fresh, not processed and prepacked. Processed foods can have a larger effect on your waistline and even heighten menopause symptoms. (As if there weren't already enough good reasons to pick fresh when you can!)

#2 - Cook in bulk

I'm always on the go (and I live in NYC), so I can't always cook at home. But when I do, I meal prep to make it easier to grab healthy options from the fridge.

#3 - Get these three books

"Get Off Your Sugar" by Dr. Gerald Joffrey.
I swear by his technique. He really has helped me kick sugar and fight inflammation in my body.

"Eat, Taste, Heal" by Dr. Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, and Ayurvedic chef Johnny Brannigan.
Their goal is to create harmony within the body using common foods and healthy lifestyle practices as medicine.

"Love Real Food" by Kathryne Taylor.
This beautiful book filled with wholesome, sustainable vegetarian dishes will change your mind about kale and quinoa.

#4 - Try intermittent fasting

As a highly organized person, I thrive off routine and have found I LOVE intermittent fasting. It allows your cells to repair and your body to remove waste. Plus, it will help you not just shed pounds but fat as well. Some studies even suggest that intermittent fasting can help reduce your risk of type two diabetes. So many wins!

#5 - Eat more protein 

As women get older, we need more protein to maintain our muscle mass and boost our energy. As someone who doesn't eat meat, I have to be really intentional. I've started incorporating fish back into my diet, but I also get protein from walnuts, almonds, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, quinoa, eggs, and almond butter. I also add protein powder to my morning smoothie. Adding as many of these foods to my diet as possible throughout the week boosts my protein levels in a way that tastes good and makes me feel great.

I find the extra protein has helped me have more energy to work out and shifted my body composition, so I feel more fit and toned!

#6  - Water, water, water

The more waste we can flush from our bodies, the better! And since most menopausal women produce more sweat, we need to make sure we’re as hydrated as possible. Water helps our energy, gives brightness to our skin, and helps maintain our weight!

Now, full disclosure, I find water really boring. But I add lemon, fruit, or more liquid to my morning smoothie to help increase my hydration.

#7 - Strength training + yoga

I alternate between strength training and yoga throughout the week. Strength training is particularly important for women over 40 to help maintain bone and muscle mass. Yoga helps me both mentally and physically. It improves my flexibility, balance, form, and allows me to take a moment to think, breathe, and be at one with my thoughts.

 If you can’t go to a studio or gym, there are plenty of YouTube strength training and yoga videos that you can do right in your living room!

#9 - Walk it out!

Want to keep it simple? Walking is shown to have the biggest benefit to women’s health long term. I don't care if you're walking fast. I don't care if you're walking on a treadmill. I don't care if you're walking in place in your living room. Just keep your body moving! Living in NYC, I walk A LOT, but I intentionally take a walk every afternoon to help boost my mood, energy, and add more movement to my day!

I hope these tips help keep the belly fat at bay AND your mood and energy rockin’! 

Please don't get discouraged. None of these habits are quick fixes, and it might take time to see results. But giving yourself a little extra self-care and love will be rewarded ten times over! 

If you’re feeling a little stuck, download my free "Unlock Your Bold Guide"! It has five steps to activate that inner boldness to achieve your next chapter, whatever that is! 

Lastly, do you have a belly fat hack that helps you maintain your weight through menopause and beyond? Drop it in the comments. The more, the merrier!

To Our Health and Happiness, 

Tamsen 

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