Many women who follow healthy lifestyle habits sooner or later get stuck with stubborn fat around their bellies. It seems like no matter what you do: intense workouts, cardio, strict diet regime… the ABS WON’T SHOW… The situation gets even more annoying for postmenopausal women. What is the reason behind this strange phenomenon?
Hormonal Changes as We Age
If we get deeper into physiological and metabolic changes happening with aging we can see that apart of outer changes, even inner fat tissue does change its characteristics. These changes could be as a result of hormonal changes in women. Estrogen hormones are higher in youth and directly prevent fat gain and other metabolic disorders. After menopaus, estrogen levels decrease, therefore increasing risk of fat accumulation.
Fat also changes WHERE it is stored as we age, and this probably happens due to increased androgen (male hormone) activity after MENOPAUS. More fat is stored around the inner organs, giving the impression of a “rounder shape”. Taking estrogen replacement therapy can reverse these changes, but also increases risk of breast cancer and more, and is thus not recommended.
What to Do?
But what CAN you do to prevent these hormonal changes from ruining your dream physique? Let’s get back to changing our lifestyle habits. Let’s talk about STRESS. Strict regimes and prolonged stress causes your body to produce big amounts of cortisol, which slows down fat breakdown, promotes catabolism and insulin secretion. The consequence will most likely also be more fat between inner organs, rather than directly under the skin, since more fat cells exist here and more blood containing hormones flows to this area.Cortisol and androgen receptors seem to be higher in these areas too. Do while you cannot stop hormonal changes of menopaus, cortisol is a hormone you might be able to affect.
Take a step back and make your life easier by reducing intensity of workouts, getting enough sleep and nutritious foods. If you’re not competing there is no reason to force a six pack abs out of your gut. The stress might in fact have the opposite effect. Train and eat for your health, not for attention.