Once a woman hits her late 30s or early 40s, perimenopause can begin. This natural part of aging is characterized by a variety of symptoms related to the drop in estrogen in a woman's body. Symptoms include night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, irregular periods, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and belly fat. On average, a woman will gain an extra pound every year, and since the lack of estrogen and higher levels of testosterone affects weight distribution, all that added weight is concentrated in the belly area.
What's worse about the extra belly fat is that it increases women's risk for many serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. To help defeat the problem, women are encouraged to develop exercise habits, centered on a good core workout and muscle strengthening exercises. Good examples include pilates and light weight lifting. Even just one hour of moderate aerobic exercise each day can help women prevent menopausal weight gain. Examples of moderate aerobic exercises are running, jogging, swimming, walking, and cycling.
Women are also advised to change their eating habits, focusing on low-starch fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Good examples are leafy vegetables, crunchy vegetables like broccoli, brown rice, brown pasta, fish, and beans. Refined grains, sugary foods and drinks, pastries, fatty meats, and starchy fruit and vegetables should be eaten minimally, if at all. If calorie counting, women need to reduce their daily caloric intake by 200 calories in order to keep the belly bulge away.
“If done consistently, a change of diet and exercise can definitely help the 'menipot.'” says Pam Andrews of Perimenopause. Have it. Live it. Love it. “It can also help lessen other symptoms of perimenopause because it can help balance the hormones or just help the body function better. This confirms what doctors and grandmothers have always known; that eating right and exercising is just good for you, and will help you at any age.”
As medicine progresses, it seems all that really needs to be done is maintain a good diet and good health. This is the best way to address many ailments, and many of the problems that come with aging, such as belly fat during menopause.