Updated: Nov 7
Are you one of the 60–70% of midlife women experiencing weight gain as a symptom of menopause? If so, you're not alone. Most of the time, hormonal imbalances lead to added weight around the belly, a common frustration for many women.
In this blog post, I'm sharing six essential nutrition habits that you can start implementing today to help you finally shed that "menopause belly." So, keep reading and discover how to reclaim your confidence and well-being during this transitional phase of life.
Prefer to listen or watch the YouTube video version with additional details? Check out the video HERE.
Understanding Menopause and Hormonal Changes: As women enter menopause, several hormones in the body begin to shift, primarily estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can have a significant impact on various aspects of your health, including fat storage, stress, hunger, and satiety. It's crucial to acknowledge and embrace this new phase in life because it may last for several decades. To effectively manage these changes, consider adopting new lifestyle habits.
Before we dive into the nutrition habits, it's important to emphasize that managing stress and ensuring you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep most nights are critical components of your well-being during the menopause transition and thereafter. These factors often outweigh the importance of the foods you consume. If you'd like more tips on managing stress and improving your sleep, let me know by commenting "sleep and stress" below, and I'll create a future video/blog post on these topics.
Now, let's explore the six nutrition habits that can help you reduce that stubborn belly fat:
Eat Mindfully: Eating mindfully can help prevent overeating and improve digestion. Rather than hurriedly consuming your meals, take the time to sit down and savor your food. Eating slowly and extending your meals to at least 20 minutes allows your brain to signal when you're full. Aim to stop eating when you're about 80% full, and never leave a meal feeling stuffed.
Eat Three Square Meals: Contrary to the old advice of having six small meals a day, it's more beneficial to your blood sugar to eat three balanced meals. Frequent eating spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels, preventing your body from efficiently processing food. If you feel the need for snacks between meals, it's an indicator that your previous meal may need improvement.
Eat Carbs Last: To manage your blood sugar effectively, consume foods with high carb content at the end of your meal. Start with fibrous foods, protein, and healthy fats. This approach helps control blood sugar and limits the storage of excess energy as fat.
Improve Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential as you age, especially during the transition to menopause. Dehydration is common due to hormonal changes, and it can exacerbate symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered water daily. If you're transitioning from a typical American diet, consider adding a daily serving of high-quality electrolytes like LMNT or a pinch of sea salt to your water.
Start Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool to control blood sugar and reduce "hangry" feelings. If you're new to fasting, try a 12- to 13-hour fasting window. For those more experienced, extend it to 14-16 hours. Incorporate healthy fats, like organic C8 MCT oil in your morning coffee, to enhance fat-burning energy while maintaining low blood sugar. I go into more detail in the video.
Plan Your Indulgence Meals: Eating perfectly all the time isn't necessary. Aim to consume hormone-friendly foods 90% of the time, and allow yourself one planned indulgence meal a week. As you progress, consider planning up to two indulgence meals per week. These are great for special occasions while maintaining discipline and fat-burning for the rest of the week.
Building 30-20-10 Fat-Burning Meals: To support your weight loss journey, focus on 30-20-10 Fat-Burning Meals for 4-6 weeks. These meals are designed to keep insulin low, helping your body burn fat efficiently. Each meal consists of a minimum of 30 grams of protein, 20 grams of healthy fats, and 10 grams of fiber. Build your three square meals around this formula by choosing your meal type, protein source, healthy fats, and fiber-rich ingredients. Watch the video for examples of each of these.
Conclusion: These nutrition habits, including the 30-20-10 Fat-Burning Meals, can be your keys to success in losing hormonal belly fat in perimenopause and menopause. They'll help control your appetite, stabilize your energy levels, reduce cravings, and support your weight loss goals.
Remember, consistency is key. If you found this information helpful, please like and share it with your friends. If you're looking for step-by-step guidance and accountability on your journey to a healthier you, don't hesitate to reach out or consider signing up for a free 45-minute mini-coaching call to chat about your struggles and goals.
Let's get fired UPP,