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Belly Fat and Menopause by Deon Hall Garriques

Effective weight management is more than just eating well and exercising, especially for women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s which are usually the perimenopause and menopause years. During the perimenopause and menopause years, a woman’s body undergoes many hormonal changes.

Certain hormones are responsible for weight gain, particularly around the midsection, where the number of fat cells is greater than in other areas of the body.

Adrenaline and cortisol, are the stress hormones that are released by the adrenals whenever you are stressed.

  • Adrenaline tells your body that there is a threat or imminent danger; when your body perceives imminent danger, it goes on defense to protect itself from the perceived danger.

  • With this defense, blood flow ceases its usual function of supporting the digestive and reproductive systems and is redirected to protecting the body.

  • Cortisol is released in response to protecting the body from danger and shuts down many bodily systems to protect your body.

  • Your brain thinks it’s time for an energy boost and stores some for later.

  • This breaks down the muscles to get glucose for energy that the brain thinks the body needs, creating less muscle mass to store the excess glucose.

Progesterone, a female sex hormone released by the ovary, plays a key role during menstruation. A decrease in progesterone levels causes an increase in body fat and fluid retention.

Estrogen is a reproductive hormone responsible for managing blood sugar and metabolism, therefore plays a critical role in weight gain and weight loss resistance. If blood sugar is off balance, your body can become resistant to insulin, and your cells are unable to absorb the glucose from the food and your liver converts the glucose into fat.

The thyroid is responsible for metabolism and regulates several body functions. The thyroid produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and these two hormones affect every cell in your body. Thyroid malfunction can lead to weight gain.

Tips to manage midsection weight

To lose weight, most people increase their exercise and eat less, however, intense exercise and restrictive diets could make the problem worse instead of better.

Eating less and exercising intensely, signal your body that food is scarce, which leads to stress, increased weight gain, fat deposits, and overeating because your body does not know that food is not scarce.

Instead, here are a few things you can do:

  • Reduce and manage stress levels. Incorporate different modalities such as spending time with friends, meditation, and long walks.

  • Incorporate the right exercise to boost metabolism, shrink fat cells and build muscles such as weight training which helps to increase muscle mass and speeds up metabolism,

  • Increase consumption of foods that will rev up your metabolism, like healthy fats (e.g., salmon, coconut oil, walnuts).

  • Avoid carb-free diets, instead, choose slow carbs like most fruits and vegetables.

  • Check the health of your thyroids. If your thyroid gland is not working well, you will continue to experience weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Incorporate iodine-rich foods (seaweed, shrimp, tuna, eggs, etc.).

In Good Health,

Deon Hall Garriques


Menopause & Perimenopause Facebook Group:


DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and a broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.



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