I can appreciate a good belly laugh
Comedian Wanda Sykes has a very funny sketch about her menopausal belly. Her belly has a name, Esther, and Esther loves bread, alcohol and cheesecake. (Contains adult language and is Not Safe for Work).
I love how she takes a topic that most women don’t ever talk about and dives right in.
But I am not a fan of belly fat
Belly fat is associated with increased risks of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and some types of cancer, and I would like to do what I can to avoid these.
Belly fat is one of the “gifts” of menopause
As we approach menopause, our levels of estrogen and progesterone first fluctuate and then decline. Some of the not-so-great effects of lower estrogen levels are:
- An increase in certain proteins that cause fat cells to store more fat and slow down fat-burning
- A shift in one’s fat-to-muscle ratio—more fat, less muscle. As muscle burns more calories than fat, a loss of muscle means a slower metabolism
It’s likely that any weight gain will be more evident in your belly area, more so if your parents and/or close relatives carry their weight there.
And night sweats can add to the load
Menopausal night flashes impact sleep, and when we get less sleep, we tend to make poor food decisions.
- We find fattening foods more appealing and our brains are less likely to make good decisions
What’s a woman amidlife to do?
Now, more than ever, it is important to eat well. Please check out Amidlife’s eat well section to learn more.
Both strength training and cardio are important to keep you healthy amidlife. Please check out Amidlife’s stay fit section for suggestions on what you can do to keep strong.
Keep your stress under control and try to get a good night’s sleep. Please check out Amidlife’s relax section for more information on unwinding and sleeping.