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You’re In Your Thirties and Beyond: What To Do About That Extra Belly Fat (For Real!)   

June 8, 2023

Hi, I’m Angela
I'm a functional medicine practitioner & hormone expert working primarily with women in their 40's and 50's to create lasting health.
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If you’re like most women in their late thirties and older, one of the most common things you have to face is menopause-related belly fat. All those years of eating healthy, working out, and living well suddenly changed when your hormones shifted—and it threw your body off balance! You’re not alone; many of us are trying to figure out what we can do about this dreaded problem called “menopausal belly fat”. We hear advice from friends or posts on social media that might help but aren’t validated for safety. Well, don’t worry—we’ve got good news: This blog post will give REAL solutions so you know exactly how to start getting rid of that extra weight in your midsection. With just a few simple tips from positive experts and experienced professionals, you’ll learn how to work smarter rather than harder, so your 30s and beyond can be a time where YOU control the situation instead of it controlling YOU!

The Spare Tire 

As women reach their mid-to-late thirties and beyond, they often start noticing changes in their body composition, specifically around the waistline. This can be due to hormonal changes that occur during the transition into menopause. When estrogen levels decrease, our bodies become less able to process sugars, which may contribute to weight gain, particularly in the belly area.

Many women have noticed changes in their body composition, specifically around their waistline. They feel like their jeans or pants are not fitting well anymore and may even need to change sizes. Surprisingly, these changes often occur despite not eating more or eating poorly. The weight gain tends to concentrate in this area, causing concern.

To address this, many women try different approaches. Some attempt to reduce their calorie intake, practice longer periods of fasting, or eliminate carbohydrates from their diet in the hope of losing weight, especially around the waist. Others increase their exercise intensity, believing it will burn off the excess fat. While these methods may show some short-term results for a few women, they often prove difficult to sustain and don’t lead to long-term fat burning or optimal weight maintenance for most.

It’s important to find effective strategies that work for your body and lifestyle, as it can be challenging to consistently follow these approaches, especially when combined.

I want to share some good news with you: it’s possible to maintain your metabolic health as you approach your forties and go through menopause without starving yourself or exercising excessively. There is a solution and an explanation for this.

Metabolic Health and Your Hormone Shifts 

As we age, especially when we reach our forties and beyond, our sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) decrease rapidly. This decline starts in your mid-thirties and accelerates as you approach your late forties and early fifties.

One consequence of decreasing estrogen is that it affects the natural movement of the gut, which is important for the metabolism, digestion, absorption, and elimination of food. As estrogen levels drop, this process slows down, leading to gradual changes and often weight gain.

Lower estrogen levels also affect our ability to process sugars, causing blood sugar imbalances and reduced insulin sensitivity. If you’re experiencing increased belly fat, it may be related to both hormonal changes and blood sugar issues.

Understanding these changes is crucial.

Maintaining Metabolic Health

I want to provide some general advice, but to truly understand your specific metabolic health, we would need to work together one-on-one and conduct proper lab testing. Fortunately, there are excellent lab tests available that can give us a comprehensive view of your metabolism and help identify the specific factors contributing to a potentially slow metabolism during menopause. However, it’s important for many women to start somewhere on their journey to better metabolic health.

  1. Reduce sugar intake: Sugar is abundant and often hidden in packaged and processed foods, even in seemingly innocent products like pasta sauces. It’s important to be mindful of your sugar intake, as your body may not process it as easily as before due to lower hormone levels. To reduce your net sugar intake, consider lowering your consumption of simple carbohydrates, particularly white grains like pasta and white rice. These can quickly convert to sugar in the body and lead to insulin spikes, slowing down metabolism and causing belly fat.
  1. Be extra mindful of your carbohydrate intake: It’s not necessary to completely eliminate carbohydrates, but focus on consuming healthier options like whole grains and multi-grains, avoiding processed and white varieties. Most of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables, including low and medium-starch options. Being selective about the type of carbohydrates you consume can make a difference in managing sugar intake and supporting metabolic health.
  1. Incorporate movement after meals: Another important factor to consider is the impact of movement on stabilizing our blood sugars. You don’t necessarily need high-intensity exercise for this. While some women find it effective for specific goals in the short term, most of us should focus on mindful movement, especially as our hormone levels change and we notice increased belly fat and difficulty processing sugars after meals.

After eating, it’s beneficial to engage in some form of movement. It could be as simple as taking a 10, 15, or even 20-minute walk after dinner. This post-meal movement helps bring down and stabilize your blood sugars, which in turn optimizes your metabolism and aids in reducing belly fat. These quick tips can make a difference.

  1. Prioritize sleep: Sleep is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in our metabolic health. As we age, our sugar and insulin levels rise, while our metabolism slows down. Unfortunately, many people, especially women, are experiencing a sleep epidemic. Lack of quality sleep has a significant impact on our metabolism.

To improve our metabolic health, it’s important to prioritize sleep. Establishing a consistent sleep routine is key. Avoid screens and electronic devices in the bedroom, ideally for at least an hour before bed (two hours is even better). Aim to go to bed between nine and ten in the evening to ensure sufficient rest.

Being mindful of our sleep habits can have a profound effect on our overall well-being and metabolic health.

An Essential Step Toward Overall Wellness 

Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can be highly effective, but it’s important to note that what works for some may not work for all. To truly understand what’s happening with your metabolic health, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional and conduct the proper lab testing. 

Hormone testing is essential to understanding hormone levels and balance. Additionally, metabolic testing is typically required to assess how the body utilizes fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as everyone’s genetic makeup is unique and nutrient processing can vary.

By analyzing these lab results, we can create a personalized plan, especially regarding nutrition. Understanding what’s happening in your body is crucial, as it helps prevent uncontrolled weight gain and regain balance. Many women notice weight gain during the transition to menopause without any changes in their habits. Whether you’re in your early thirties or already in menopause, these changes can occur within a broad age range.

By gaining a deeper understanding of your body through testing, you can learn how to regain balance and manage any changes you may be experiencing.

Extra belly fat for those in their thirties and beyond can present an uphill battle. But when armed with the facts, you can recalibrate your stance and summon the confidence to take on the challenge for real. With metabolic health being essential to overall wellness, create sustainable tweaks to your lifestyle that address established risk factors with thoughtful practices and lasting intentions. Remember, it’s never too late—or too early—too begin the integration of healthy habits into your life. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your individualized metabolic health, feel free to connect with me through my website. I can help you create a lifestyle plan for long-term success with your health and wellness.

Additionally, consider joining my Facebook group where you can find support from an awesome community of females and gain access to valuable information. If you need more help pinpointing where to start, we are here to assist—schedule a discovery call today. Take charge of your wellness journey and get yourself on the road to feeling better, living fully for life without feeling bogged down by extra belly fat.

Are you tired of that stubborn belly fat and other not-so-fun hormonal changes in your 30s? Let us help you get to the root of the issue. Schedule a free discovery call with us and we’ll dive deeper into your symptoms to create a personalized plan just for you. 

While you’re at it, why not join our like-minded community in our Private Facebook Group? We’ve got your back!

DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 

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