Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Can We "Older" Women REALLY Beat Belly Fat?

Now that I am on the backside of 50....uh hmmm...I find it harder and harder to control my weight. Just recently I have not been able to control the belly fat. So I take off to the doctors to find out what I can do. I am diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, which causes my adrenals to pump out more of the hormone that causes belly fat that's so affectionately called "menopot." I am told that during menopause, most women gain a pound every year unless they change their exercise and eating patterns.  So now I am on this quest to see if it can be reversed; the belly fat, not the menopause...I think once you're in it, you're in it...COL (chuckle out loud)

Even if you don't have any weight gain during perimenopause, your cloths may not fit like they used to because fat redistributes from the limbs to the abdomen. Research from Rush University Medical Center  is showing that higher levels of testosterone promotes this, rather than lower estrogen. It is suggested that a good core workout like pilates can help. Well, I guess this exercise will now have to be added to my daily walking.

Did you know that gaining 20 pounds during menopause can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, not to mention breast cancer! BUT this can all be reversed. And I am trying my hardest (more than I ever have in my life) to make these changes. I am in the gym now at least 4 times a week. I wasn't able to go to the gym last night, so I got on my Healthrider for 30 minutes, burning a little over 500 canaries. (I really have to be more careful with my diet on the weekends. I tend to "allow" myself to have more than I should.)

For me, it is frustrating to cut back on my diet and find that it still doesn't work to shed those pounds, but I am told there are two factors to this; age and body composition. When we are sedentary we lose muscle as we age. This slows the metabolism because muscle cells require more energy to function and when lost, overall calorie needs decrease and weight is gained even with a marginal diet. Whew, all of this is just a perfect storm for belly fat!  NOW I KNOW and can BEGIN NOW to correct it!
To combat this belly fat, I believe I should add weight training to the routine. At least with two 20-minute sessions to start out with. Don't worry folks, I will consult with my doctor first!

According to Joan Endyke, registered dietitian with a master's degree in nutrition and food science, and a certified personal trainer, "with fat storage shifted to the abdominal area, insulin may not work as well and linger in the blood stream, creating inflammation and making it more challenging to lose weight. To minimize this, limit or avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, crackers, soda, juices, sweetened coffees, cookies and others. Replace them with anti-inflammatory foods such as whole fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and other whole grains, cinnamon, small amounts of nuts, and lean proteins such as fish and chicken."

She also gives a tip to "eat a 100-calorie-pack of almonds one hour before meals to quell appetite and then skip the starch and pile on the non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or green beans to accompany a lean protein."  Good advice Joan!!

So get out there and exercise and eat better foods.
Here's to your health!

Photos by Microsoft


  1. Hi Brenda: You are a smart woman to work on that weight now. I never seem to be able to get a pound off. Good luck, Martha

  2. Thanks, Martha! I've never had to struggle so hard to lose a pound!! I am finding out that I can't use the same method I use to when I was younger. Thanks for the good wishes,

  3. It's all in the attitude...and you've got a good attitude sweetie. Keep it up!

    Big hugs,

  4. oh wow Brenda, you're joining the gym too? i've always wanted to join but it's hard when you dont have someone to go with you and hubby doesnt seem to want to go with me and his excuses is too tired after work and too busy to find time *sigh*, i'm like you struggling with my belly fat and i always hate everytime i go out for a birthday party or events to have to wear a corset/shapewear to contain it, always wish that i'm like my friends, no mattery how much they eat , they always stay slim even without having to go for exercise i guess some people dont have that prob. but anyways...Here's to your health and keep up the good work! thanks for sharing the helpful info again!

    x susan