Apple Shape: What Menopausal Women With Excess Abdominal Fat Should Know

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If your belly fat makes you look like an apple around the midsection, take steps to get rid of it now. Belly fat can be dangerous for both men and women, especially for women who are in their middle years or experiencing menopause. The apple shape generally means that you have too much visceral, or abdominal fat, around your internal organs. Not only does visceral fat affect your appearance and self-confidence, but it may also place you at risk for high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Here are things to know about menopause's effects on belly fat and what you can do to get rid of your apple shape.

Are Menopause and Visceral Fat Linked?

Although abdominal fat is one of the easiest types of body fat to eliminate, it may not be so simple for menopausal women. Menopause typically causes problems with your body's ability to regulate its hormone production. When the female hormone estrogen declines, women tend to store more fat in the midsection than in the breasts, hips and thighs. The redistribution of fat can give you the apple shape, which means that your upper body looks thicker, larger or heavier than your lower body.

The decline in hormones can also make you feel tired and encourage you to eat foods that contain unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates to boost your energy levels. If you tend to eat more sugars and carbs in the late afternoon and evening, you can inadvertently cause additional problems with your belly fat. For instance, the excess fat may create stress on your chest and lungs, which makes you feel out of breath when you become active. You may avoid physical exercise in fear of losing your breath.

However, with the right encouragement and tips, you can overcome your belly fat.

How Do You Eliminate Your Belly Fat?

It's essential that you exercise, run, or walk at least 150 minutes each week, or five days a week for 30 minutes each session. Physical activity not only strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles, but it can also help you burn belly fat when done correctly. But if you find that you simply can't create a good exercise plan that works, ask a personal trainer for help.

Personal training benefits you in a number of ways, including helping you develop and execute a sound exercise plan. Your exercise plan should include activities that fit your current health state. For instance, if you haven't exercised in many years and suffer from medical problems and menopause, your body may not be ready to do intense cardiovascular exercises just yet. Instead, a trainer may begin with light aerobics and gradually increase your activities as you progress. 

Your sessions may also include weight and resistance training. A number of women don't lift or use weights when they exercise out of fear of gaining too much definition in their muscles. However, lifting weights or participating in resistance training allows your body to burn more calories in the long run. You may notice that your midsection appears smaller as you continue to train. 

Finally, personal training can help you choose the right foods for your meals. Your menopausal body is unique and requires specific nutrition to be healthy. One of the things a trainer might do is suggest that you add more fiber to your diet to help regulate your metabolism and digestive system. Fiber helps you stay satiated during and after meals, as well as reduces your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If your diet plan concerns you, be sure to discuss it with a trainer right away.

For more information about belly fat and menopause, contact a personal gym trainer today.