Welcome to arguably the toughest "fat patch" of all. Well, that certainly caught my attention as I started to read the article. The phrase "fat patch" when you're staring straight in the face of perimenopause doesn't sound too......hopeful! Hmmm, thought I'd better pay attention to this. The newest Health September issue article on how to Fat Proof Your Life is definitely a must-read, so please read on:
Welcome to arguably the toughest "fat patch" of all. We're due for an average gain of 12 pounds within eight years after menopause, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have shown. And fat burning plunges by 32 percent in post-menopausal women, possibly due to a drop in estrogen, reports a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
"You burn on average around 150 to 250 calories fewer per day," says lead study author Jennifer Lovejoy, PhD. Fight back with these expert fixes:
Cut calories: To ward off the pounds, you may need to slash about 200 calories a day now. Make sure you're getting enough lean protein and fiber to keep full, but stick to a low-fat plan, since your body isn't as efficient at burning fat as it once was, Lovejoy says.
Sleep on it: Stress hormones like cortisol can creep up now thanks to hot flashes and other discomforts, making you crave sugary foods, which your body then turns into belly fat. The best way to metabolize stress hormones and reverse this trend: Get enough zzz's, says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.
Sculpt Muscles: Don't want to eat less? Lift more. Since muscle mass diminishes with age, if you don't do anything to replace it, your body will shift to more fat and less muscle - which slows down your metabolism even more, says Dr. Northrup. Aim for two 40-minute sessions of weight training a week to keep muscle and bones at pre-meno level.