The simple outdated answer to lose weight and belly fat while in menopause is by reducing the number of calories you consume while increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity. To lose 1 pound, you need an expenditure of approximately 3,500 calories.
You can achieve this either by cutting back on your food intake, by increasing physical activity or ideally by doing both, and you’ve probably tried that already…….
In this model, for example if you consume 500 extra calories per day for one week without changing your activity level, you will gain 1 pound in weight (seven days multiplied by 500 calories equals 3,500 calories, or the number of calories resulting in a 1-pound weight gain). Likewise, if you eat 500 fewer calories each day for a week or burn 500 calories per day through exercise for one week, you will lose 1 pound.
Sound pretty straight forward, doesn’t it?
However, most women who have tried this method of losing weight, eventually find out that this formula doesn’t work consistently. Maybe it worked for you the first couple times you tried to eat less and exercise more, but eventually it stopped working.
Specially during menopause, things work differently…..metabolism changes and it’s important to apply effective strategies to counteract the slowing of your metabolism, and gaining weight faster.
Science and Research are now challenging the “calorie is a calorie” belief and calories in/calories out is not as fool proof as once thought.
If a person is consuming 1,200 calories of sugar, where someone else is consuming 1200 calories of nutrient rich, insulin stabilizing foods, the person who will achieve the best results the quickest is the latter mentioned.
Two of the biggest contributors to weight gain, and belly fat are cortisol and insulin resistance.
Taking in a variety of slow-digesting foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber not only keeps insulin levels steady, but it also keeps you feeling fuller, longer- key for controlling hunger and stabilizing the number of calories you consume.
If you eat a protein rich breakfast, by mid morning your stomach isn’t rumbling and you feel just as energized as you did a few hours earlier.
You are a lot less likely to raid that box of doughnuts at work or hit the vending machine.
Likewise, if lunch consisted of chicken, broccoli, and brown rice, not only would you not succumb to a three pm slump, you’d more easily resist ordering and picking up pizza on the way home and instead make healthier, lower-calorie dinner choices.
Without even really thinking about it, by eating more nutrient-dense, delicious foods, you’ll effortlessly eat fewer calories overall while gaining more vitamins and energy, and effortlessly losing belly fat, even during menopause.
An easy way to look at a weight loss plan to reduce belly fat is as follows:
Breakfast: Protein, carbs, & fat (example: steel cut oats, omelet with chopped spinach, mushrooms, tomato, avocado and an apple)
Snack: Smoothie ( 4 cups of leafy greens, banana, frozen berries, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Protein powder optional)
Lunch: Protein, fat, & fruit/veggies & ½ cup of grains ( example: chicken, stir-fried veggies, quinoa, and strawberries)
Snack: handful of almonds or a date stuffed with almond butter
Dinner: Protein & Veggies (example: tempeh & green beans)
Think of each meal as being as healthy as possible, having vegetables taking up at least ½ of the plate (at east half of those raw).
Protein and fat are on the other side. Think 40/30/30 carb, protein, fat ratio.
What you eat the first half of the Day Matters The Most!
In order to lose overall weight and specially belly fat, you must eat a substantial breakfast, snack and lunch in the proportions mentioned above. You can skip supper if you’re not hungry but breakfast and lunch should not be missed. Just try it and be surprised at how much more energy you have , and how less you crave sugar or suffer the afternoon crash. 🙂
You will be surprised at how quickly the carbohydrate requirement can fill up with just fruit and vegetables and a small amount of grains.
Grains offer important nutrients, and they do have a place at the dinner table, but for the sake of weight loss, it is helpful to limit grains to one or two meals per day max and ensure those grains are as unrefined as possible.
The other thing to keep in mind is that if you have strong sugar cravings, and haven’t been eating very healthy for a while, the first few weeks of any plan is going to be hard for most, the feelings of deprivation are often due to food addictions, and resistance to change..
If you get through the first couple of weeks, it becomes easier, and once you reach your weight loss goals, you can add in a few more calories, and even have the occasional “treat”.
Carb cycling is also a great way to lose weight while avoiding the feelings of deprivation carvings.
Some foods that help lose weight and fight belly fat during menopause are:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Green Vegetables
- Lean protein
- Whole Grains that are unrefined
- Peanut butter.
—–BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION. I’ll help you find the right path for you.