I'm not a fan of the term "meno-belly" for a number of reasons. Nevertheless weight gain around the waistline can be a real issue for many of us when we hit our 40s and 50s.
So here are my "five S's" for managing your waistline
Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates. Instead opt for a well balanced diet that includes lots of fibre, healthy fats, complex carbs and lots of lean protein. Make sure every meal looks colorful.
And not to be a "fun sponge" but be mindful of your alcohol consumption. A glass of rose can have in excess of 70g of sugar per class (about 7x fun sized Mars Bars).
Easier said than done, but try and find ways to manage and control your daily stress levels - be it relaxation techniques, list making, journaling, delegating etc. When we're under constant stress, we produce too much cortisol (the stress hormone) and this can lead to an increase in fat being stored around the waistline.
My late father always used to tell me to stand up straight and not slouch if I was sat at the table! He's was right too. Having good posture makes such a difference to our appearance and also self-esteem. By standing tall with shoulders back, not only does it draw-in your stomach muscles, I almost guarantee that you'll begin to feel more confident and positive.
Staying strong is soooo important, especially as we age. Sarcopenia is the medical term for loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as we age. We can massively slow down this process by lifting weights and doing resistance training. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so the more muscles we have, the more calories we burn throughout the day.
Last but not least, self-love is crucial. My personal journey of early menopause has really crystallized this point. Your body is going through a significant change and it can be really hard to work through. Make time for yourself by acting on this advice and be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, be grateful for the good things and practice self-care. You've got this!