Cardio and calorie counting won’t help shift menopause weight

The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause

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When women hit the menopause, many will begin to notice their weight creeping up despite their best efforts to shift it. This is due to the imbalance of hormones but a health expert revealed women can get on top of it and battle the unexpected bulge around their waists.

Nutritionist Karen Newby shared how sufferers can take charge of their weight and lose fat fast in the years both before the menopause and after it.

Perimenopause is the term used for the years leading up to the midlife change, which can start when a woman is in her early 40s.

It can cause symptoms like hot flushes, irregular periods, mood swings and weight gain.

“Then you’re suddenly like, ‘Why have I got this weight around my middle?’ or ‘my waist is gone!'” Karen added.

“It’s often the first sign of hormonal changes.

“And the reason it goes to around the middle is to do with changes in our oestrogen levels.”

So how can women shift their unwanted belly fat?

While diet and exercise are major components when it comes to losing weight, regardless of how much women work out or eat healthy Karen noted that their efforts are redundant without managing their blood sugar first.

She continued: “A big reason for weight gain in perimenopause is that oestrogen is related to blood sugar handling.

“We become more insulin resistant because of our oestrogen dropping.

“This means we have to produce more insulin to get the blood glucose out of the blood and into our fat cells.”

The health expert revealed people should focus more on eating nutrient-dense foods and not on calorie counting.

“No matter how much cardio and calorie counting you do, this isn’t going to get your body out of stress mode, whereas blood sugar handling will,” she explained, admitting “the problem is that menopause happens at a time when women are incredibly stressed.”

Karen’s first top tip is to reduce stress, as the more cortisol (stress hormone) a person has, “the more likely you are to put on weight”.

By reducing stress, women are also reducing the stress hormone cortisol.

The more cortisol a person has “the more likely you are to put on weight”.

But she also highlighted that protein is a lifesaver for people wanting to lose weight.

She said: “The biggest way to lose weight at this age is to increase protein – it’s like putting coal onto your energy fire.”

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