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The Real Reason You’re Piling On Belly Fat (And What You Can Do About It)

Sep 24, 2016

Have you noticed how, as the years have been ticking by, you’ve started to get somewhat thicker around the middle?

You don’t have that hour-glass figure that used to be the envy of all of your girlie friends these days, and you’re starting to feel embarrassed about the way you look. So you’ve started investing in slimming underwear in an attempt the hide the belly bulge, started cutting back on calories in order to shift those excess pounds and you might even have found yourself sucking in those tummy muscles when you’re getting undressed in front of your partner. Don’t worry- we’ve all done it!

But if you’re honest with yourself, you’re not entirely surprised by these things.

Because the very same thing happened to your mother at around the same age, and your grandmother, and your great-grandmother. And now, it seems to be happening to you.

So, as much as you absolutely loathe what’s happening to your waistline, you’ll just have to put up with it, right?

Wrong!

No matter what your age, you can continue to enjoy the same sexy and feminine figure well beyond the menopause without needing to resort to corsets!

Why those pounds are piling on

The real reason why your waistline is thickening isn’t quite what you think. Your metabolism hasn’t come to a screeching halt overnight, nor are your genes responsible for your changing shape.

So what is really going on?

As we all know, the menopause is a time of changing hormonal levels. Your production of oestrogen and progesterone slowly tapers off and your body has to work extra hard to achieve optimal hormonal balance under these changing conditions. One of the knock-on effects of your changing hormones is your weight, and where your body stores fat.

Firstly, that drop in oestrogen you experience tells your body to store excess pounds on your tummy instead of your bottom and thighs, making you more apple-shaped than hourglass.

Secondly, these hormonal changes (plus the way you feel about these changes) causes your levels of the stress hormone cortisol to shoot up. In turn this increases your changes of gaining yet more tummy fat, and you’re going to feel pretty rubbish too.

Thirdly, the hormonal changes you experience during the menopause also affect the quality of your sleep, which further impacts upon your symptoms of your menopause and that dreaded belly fat. Thanks to decreased levels of leptin (an appetite suppressant) and increased levels of ghrelin (an appetite stimulant) you are also far more likely to make poorer food choices and overeat. It’s a deadly combination.

Why do some menopausal women get fat, and others don’t?

But not all women pile on that belly fat and become decidedly ‘round’ once they hit the menopause. Some stay beautiful, sexy and ageless like Helen Mirren and Michelle Pfeiffer. So what is their secret? (And can I have some please?!)

You’re probably guessed already that it comes down to the lifestyle choices they are making.

If you’re eating the wrong foods for your body, aren’t getting the right nutrition, still have toxic lifestyle habits, are under chronic stress, or neglect your own health somewhat, you’re going to be in trouble with many aspects of your health including your weight.

The Helen Mirrens and Michelle Pfeiffers of this world don’t do any of these things. They care about their bodies and they care about their hormones and so they make healthy lifestyle choices to help keep them on track and looking beautiful into their 50s and beyond.

Good news- you can beat belly fat!

Start making positive lifestyle choices and you can reclaim a younger and sexier body shape, as well as staying fit and healthy and helping your hormones to rebalance in the most natural and effective way. Here’s how to get started:

Reduce your stress

Stress is your enemy when it comes to your hormones, especially during the menopause. It increases your cortisol levels, piles on the weight and leaves you more prone to overeating, makes you feel terrible and increases your menopausal symptoms. Prioritize relaxation and start asking people for help.

Get more active

Most of us don’t get as much exercise as we’d like to think, but we really must start making the effort as it significantly aids hormonal balance, blood flow, brain health, bone density to name just a few. But don’t panic- the optimal amount is just 30 minutes three times per week. Walking alone isn’t quite good enough I’m afraid- you need to be getting out of breath.

Focus on food

Great quality nutrition is vital for whole-body health, and plays an important role in supporting your hormonal balance, keeping menopausal symptoms at bay, and keeping you healthy and happy at the same time. The best way to do it is to increase your consumption of lean protein, increase healthy fats, pile the fresh fruits and veggies on your plate and make sure you include plenty of mineral- rich green leafy veggies. Of course, it’s also important to quit those processed grains and sugars.

Master your mind

Keep your mind healthy and you’ll start to feel happier, healthier and get your hormones balances. Finally, you can become your best cheerleader instead of your own worst enemy, and claim the kind of life you really deserve. And importantly, you’ll help reduce your cortisol levels and keep off that belly fat. Why not use the positivity, guided visualization and anchoring tools I’ll teach you in your menopause therapy sessions to gain the control you need? You can also try mediation, yoga, keeping a gratitude journal, or even get more fresh air! It all helps.

As you can see, you do have control over what is happening to your body during the peri-menopause and menopause, and it can begin right here and now if you want it enough. Your symptoms will vanish, your happiness will soar and you will start feeling great again. Start by tackling your stress, eating the most nutritious foods to support your health, getting more active and also taking care of your mind as well as your body.

The trouble is, this can often be harder than it sounds and you really need someone to take you by the hand and help you find your path towards healing. For that reason, I’d love you to join me on my bestselling ‘Natural Solutions For An Easy Menopause’ programme where we will holistically challenge your menopausal symptoms to help you get your life back.

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