I agree with Sasahammer - limit or eliminate gluten and grains. You might also check out the book Wheat Belly. I know if I eat grains, especially wheat I feel bloated and miserable. I've also eliminated dairy as I seem to have a sensitivity to it and that has also helped.
Ms. Ruth brigs up a good point "While it's true that we can't spot reduce, and your body will take the fat off whatever area it's going to (you might wish to reduce your belly but you notice your butt or face or arms lose the fat faster), overall your belly will get smaller, as you continue to lose weight."
And unfortunately, old adage is always true..the first place you gain weight, is always the last place you will lose it!
The best you can do is to tone that area (your core), and strengthen it.
I've had pilates instructors (and I'm sure others, too) explain it best:
Think of your core as a corset (or girdle for you younger folk, lol). The corset (core) holds you in. The tighter your core is...the the more the corset draws you in. A lot of times you hear instructors say, as you are doing a pose or whatever, to "zip it up"...basically to tighten up that corset...your core.
And yes, the more you do it (doing core strengtheners), the more you naturally hold that pose (zipped up) throughout the day.
Even sometimes when I'm not gonna do a whole "core routine" one day, I still think of ways to engage my core. Sometimes just sitting on the couch watching tv, I will extend my legs out so they hover above the coffee table (straight out), then raise and lower them maybe 5 inches, slowly up and down...which engages my lower abdomen (lower core).
Less estrogen equals lower carb tolerance. Make sure the majority of your carbs are coming from fruits and veggies. Eat starches in very limited amounts and it's best to consume these post workout. This will help with the menopause middle.
I'd agree with the good bra suggestion. After menopause, our breasts have changed as well & gravity has had an effect on us-- we are not the same size/shape we were at 30 or 40. (I'm 58 so I reckon I've got a little experience with this.) If you're having to shorten those straps way up, to hold the girls up.... causing the back of your bra to ride way up your back.... you're defintiely wearing the wrong size bra.
I'd also agree with good posture, which includes when we're sitting. And I'd agree with core exercises-- there are crunchless core exercise videos right here on Spark. A quick one to get started with could be Bootcamp: 7-minute Belly Blast Workout With Dumbbells. That one is done standing, you don't even get down on the floor at all. The dumbbells part is for one little section of leaning side to side. You can do it without the dumbbells even. Don't be put off about the "bootcamp" word... it's not super strenuous, and it's only 7 minutes long.
After I've done some core exercises, it makes me more conscious of my core muscles and my posture-- at least for the remainder of that particular day. lol Which is a pretty good argument for doing at least a little something in the way of core exercise every other day or at least twice a week. When we exercise, it tones up the muscles in whatever area we're working on, which is what people are talking about-- losing inches even if we're not losing a lot of weight. So it makes sense to be exercising and toning up the muscles, while we're eating at a calorie deficit.... so we lose the pounds and lose some inches, too.
While it's true that we can't spot reduce, and your body will take the fat off whatever area it's going to (you might wish to reduce your belly but you notice your butt or face or arms lose the fat faster), overall your belly will get smaller, as you continue to lose weight.
Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh
Good for you for releasing the 21 pounds. Walking is excellent exercise for core muscles. I've found that, over time, walking has made me "naturally" stand taller and hold my stomach in, without even thinking about it. Not 100%, but I've definitely made progress. Overall weight loss will help, as there isn't much we can do to spot reduce problem areas, but walking is a good way to strengthen abdominal muscles without crunches.
"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."
current weight: 217.7
Fitness Minutes: (27,520)
4/1/14 4:16 P
After losing a few pounds I got myself fitted for a new bra and gained a waistline. It is amazing what the right bra can do for your figure. Little did I know I had been wearing the wrong size and the wrong type of bra for my size and height. Make sure you have someone who knows how to properly measure you for a bra and don't be afraid to spend more on a good bra, I left with two new bras, a great looking new figure and more than $300 less in my wallet. Still the best money I have spent all year!
"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abe Lincoln
current weight: 163.8
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
4/1/14 2:37 P
I am enjoying healthy meals and have adapted an active lifestyle where I exercise daily, I have released 21 pounds but since hitting menopause, I have a large middle, I look like I'm pregnant. If I stand sideways, it looks like a beer belly! It starts at the top of my breastbone. Huh? Any thoughts? Forget crunches, LOL. Thanks for any input.
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