For some women menopause may be easy, while others struggle with unpleasant symptoms such as belly fat, hot flushes, insomnia and mood changes. The biggest problem for most women during menopause is the bulging belly that looks like you are six months pregnant!
The problem most women faced with weight gain around the middle is that often conventional diets to lose belly fat during menopause fail and even doing a million sit ups won’t budge it.
So let’s explore why belly fat during menopause is so difficult to lose:
1. Growth hormone levels decline
Losing deep sleep due to insomnia during menopause decreases growth hormone levels. Growth hormone is a protein that helps regulate your body's proportions of fat and muscle. With less growth hormone, you reduce your ability to lose fat and grow muscle, slowing your metabolism and causing belly fat.
2. Oestrogen imbalance during menopause causes belly fat
Oestrogen casues belly fat during menopause firstly by increasing your appetite and secondly as oestrogen levels decrease your body looks for other places to get needed estrogen. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels which causes belly fat and makes weight loss impossible.
3. Progesterone deficiency and belly fat during menopause
During menopause, progesterone levels decrease causing water retention, bloating and belly fat.
4. Testosterone deficiency and belly fat during menopause
Testosterone levels decline during menopause causing weight gain. Testosterone helps your body to create lean muscle mass and muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do. This increases your metabolism making weight loss easier. In menopause, levels of testosterone drop resulting in the loss of this muscle slowing down your metabolism causing belly fat.
5. Leptin and belly fat during menopause.
Leptin, affects body weight and is secreted primarily by fat cells. Sleep loss and insomnia during menopause decreases leptin and tells the body there is a calorie shortage and promotes hunger. Low leptin levels will make weight loss difficult and can lead to a consistent increase in belly fat.
6. Gherlin and belly fat during menopause
Secreted by the stomach Ghrelin stimulates cravings and appetite and a lack of sleep or insomnia during menopause stimulates its release in higher amounts triggering belly fat.
7. Androgens and belly fat during menopause
Androgens cause weight gain around your mid section and belly fat. This is why it's called the "middle age spread".
8. Insulin Imbalance and belly fat during menopause
During menopause, your body may not be able to metabolise carbohydrates as well, which can lead to an increased storage of fats and higher levels of blood sugar. Excess blood sugar can cause insulin resistance and is directly linked to belly fat.
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