Lifestyle & Health : Restricting tummy weight gain

September 20, 2016

Dear Readers,

Businesswoman and mother of four, Stacia, 52, used to believe that she would always be slim, even after four pregnancies. But Stacia now writes that "middle age spread" is upon her. She still has long slim legs and lean hips but her belly is causing real problems with how her pants fit!

Her waist and belly region have gained more than two inches and she now has a belly overhang. She has also gained a bit on her bra size, which is ok by her. She asks how to restrict tummy weight gain.

Most women gain weight as they age and maintaining the usual weight becomes more of an issue as they approach menopause. Statistics show that about 30 per cent of women between 50 and 59 are obese! A bigger waist measurement is common with menopause, but women need to get knowledgeable on just what this can mean healthwise!

 

HEALTH PROBLEMS

 

A waist measurement of greater than 35 inches is associated with a significant increase in health conditions such as stroke and heart attack and increased health complications leading to death.

Weight gain near or after menopause has significant consequences for women. They are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, and breast, colon and endometrial cancer at this time.

This weight gain can be fought successfully and prevented by paying attention to healthy eating habits and dietary content, and of course, keeping active and getting in some exercise.

The hormonal changes associated with ageing make it more likely to gain weight around the abdomen area rather than the hips and thighs, but usually, menopause alone is not the culprit. Rather, it is a catalogue of related occurrences! Genetic factors play a part, as well as lifestyle choices. Drinking alcohol, eating fast foods, staying up late at nights and not getting enough rest, snacking while watching TV, staying around a desk all day at work and calling colleagues instead of walking to their office are all decisions that cut down on our caloric burn and favour weight gain.

 

MENOPAUSAL WEIGHT

 

There is no magic route to reverse menopausal weight gain, but women can try the following:

- Move about more. Exercise.

- Eat less. You will need to eat 200 calories less in your 50s than you did in your 40s. Choose more fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.

- Cut back on sugar. Skip the sugary drinks.

- Cut back on alcohol.

- Team up with friends to discover a healthier new lifestyle.

Successful weight-loss programmes require permanent changes in diet and exercise habits!

Decreasing levels of female oestrogen near the menopause and the absence of oestrogen later on result in a slower metabolism. This means that if you eat the same as before, you will actually gain weight! Exercise increases the body's metabolic rate. There is much to be gained by discovering new sports and exercise programmes as we grow older.

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