Menopause, Belly Fat, and Weight Gain

Hello, and welcome to another Self Care Saturday post. In the month of April, I am focusing on the topic of Menopause. If you did not see my first post, you can find it in the archives.

Menopause is a fact of life. It is part of the middle ages, and there are different aspects of it. Just like kidney disease, dementia, or really any other topic everyone’s journey will look different. But, there are some main topics that are more common to all women going through Menopause, and one of those is belly fat and weight gain.

I encourage you to watch the full video below. There are no gimmicks here, no easy, or fast ways to lose belly fat, but good sound discussion on the topic. I am not promoting the course that she is selling at the end, I have no idea if what she offers is good, or not.

There are a few things I would like you to pay particular attention to.

  1. NEAT- I have talked about this before via using a step tracker, and getting up and moving every hour. I have two dogs, and one way I increase my NEAT is to take them out every hour, when I am home, from 8 am to 8 pm, even if it is raining. They love this! My back fenced yard, around the perimeter is exactly 125 steps. When I first started this I would do 2 laps or 250 steps. I now do 6 laps every hour. It is really a habit now, and I just do it. My dogs are used to it and will remind me. We play ball and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes, when the weather is super lovely, I do my laps and then I sit on my swing listening to all of the nature around me. It truly is a beautiful part of my day.
  2. LBT- Licks, Bites, and Tastes. You will see what she means.
  3. The amount of protein they are promoting. If you have kidney disease or may be at risk of getting kidney disease please be very careful about consuming this much protein. I have talked a lot about getting back to stage 2, and while there are many things I think have allowed my kidneys to heal, consuming a lower end, but quality, amount of protein is one of them.

All in all, I feel like this is a good video, and lines up with articles and studies I have read. They do not promote any particular kind of diet, supplement, or gimmick. They do promote weight training, and I have discussed that before and how important it is for women to do weight training. They do talk a bit about heavy weights, and I urge you to go slow, especially if you are over age 50, and especially if you are over 50 with kidney disease. Please consult with your doctor before lifting heavy weights over age 50.

Once you hit menopause, and your estrogen begins to decline and eventually disappear, the fat you carry will shift from your hips and thighs to your abdominal area. Note, that they state the abdominal area is the last place most women will lose weight. You can’t target it via abdominal work, or decreasing sugar. It is a process, and most likely you will see results in your face, and chest, long before your waist.

You also will not need as many calories as you age. This is just plain true. So, you may not even realize how much you may be over consuming what your body needs.

If you would like to work with me as your health coach to conquer your health goals, send me a message via the contact form below.

Disclaimer

Holy Fructosenomics!

OK, so I totally made that word up. But, I had already done a post last year titled What the Fructose! So, I had to come up with something. For the purposes of this post, because the topic is very complex, and there is a lot to it, I am going to make some key points I want you to know. There will be some other articles below, for you to read. If you are not used to reading medical research they might be kind of kwonky. I do a lot of research when I do these kinds of posts, and believe it or not there is not a lot of actual recent research on High Fructose Corn Syrup, you can probably guess why, ahem lobbyists. Now, with that said there is no evidence that High Fructose Corn Syrup actually causes obesity, but there is definitely a correlation. But, I found some other facts more interesting rather than if it makes you fat. I am not talking about Fructose found in fruit. I am talking about HFCS as an additive to almost everything you might eat that is processed.

  1. There is no good research that states HFCS makes you obese. However, there is very good evidence that it causes fatty liver disease, increases all types of bad fats in the body, can possibly cause CKD whoa what, causes High Blood Pressure, and wait for it causes Metabolic Dysregulation ie. Metabolic Syndrome, the one thing I told you you don’t want to have if you are overweight, or obese. So, maybe doctors have gotten this backwards all these years. It might not be Obesity that can cause Metabolic Syndrome, but rather Metabolic Syndrome causes Obesity. Woop there it is! Be sure and read the thousands of articles I will provide below.
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup does not get broken down in the body like regular sugar. Our bodies, apparently, do not contain digestive enzymes that break HFCS down into a usable form of energy, and is rather sent to the liver to be stored as fat, and the liver tries to break it down. This makes perfect sense to me when you look at the issue of visceral, or abdominal fat being the main culprit of health and disease risk factors. If you are consuming too much HFCS then the liver can store, it will be stored as extra fat in the abdominal area, and around your organs. Insulin has no effects on HFCS.
  3. HFCS is much sweeter, and cheaper than regular table sugar. While it is true table sugar is half glucose and half fructose, the body has enzymes to break that down.
  4. HFCS is added to almost all processed foods. There are some that it isn’t but you have to read labels, and they are sneaky too. Be sure and read my other two posts on this topic.
  5. Some of my favorite products, yep calling them out, contain HFCS: Welch’s grape jelly, Heinz Catsup, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, salad dressings, Jif Peanut Butter, sat it isn’t so! My family hates the ones with no HFCS because they are addicted to the sweetness, so I have to buy two types, and hope they will at least try to get used to the non HFCS brands. They are more expensive too.
  6. Big companies making a gazillion dollars using cheap sweetener that almost certainly is causing us humans damage.
  7. Limiting added sugars, and especially HFCS to only 25 grams per day, or less, will help you get rid of stubborn belly fat, not sit ups, not low carb, or whatever whacky diet is out there. You will also see your cholesterol and triglycerides go down. All of these will be future topics.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to read labels, plan meals that are healthy, avoid processed foods including eating out. I have a family. They love these types of foods, and I enjoy them too, in moderation, but it is a struggle that needs to be overcome for the health and wellbeing of my whole family.

The best thing you can do for your health, and the health of your family is to stop eating foods with HFCS, imo.

Disclaimer

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31058204/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747444/

https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/64561-artificial-sweeteners-and-high-fructose-corn-syrup-effects-on-diabetes-and-weight

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/high-fructose-corn-syrup-questions-and-answers

https://interestingengineering.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup-and-the-obesity-epidemic

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-bad?

https://www.healio.com/news/nephrology/20200512/soda-sweetened-with-highfructose-corn-syrup-may-reduce-renal-blood-flow-increase-ckd-risk

https://www.mashed.com/225668/the-untold-truth-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

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