As we navigate through our menopausal years, many of us find ourselves increasingly frustrated by the stubborn belly fat clinging to our waistlines. This unwelcome “meno-pot” is often caused by hormonal changes that alter the ways our bodies store fat—but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it!
In this guide, I provide you with five of my favorite exercises for melting stubborn belly fat. Try these, then get started with The Eat Clean Diet to keep it off for good.
Belly Fat Burner #1: Burpees
Burpees can seem intimidating if you’ve never done them before, but the payoff is worth the effort (I promise!). These exercises are easy to do with no equipment, and they effectively target belly fat by engaging multiple muscle groups—boosting your metabolism and burning lots of calories.
How to Do It
- Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower into a squat and place your hands on the ground.
- Kick your feet back so you are in a plank position.
- Perform a push-up (optional).
- Jump your feet back towards your hands.
- Explosively jump up, extending your arms overhead.
Belly Fat Burner #2: Med Ball Slams
Med ball slams are dynamic, engaging, and perfect for blasting belly fat. They combine strength and cardio, targeting the core muscles intensively. This explosive movement enhances calorie burn and can be a fun way to release stress.
How to Do It
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball overhead.
- Hinge at the hips and knees, slamming the ball down to the ground with force.
- Squat to pick the ball up on the bounce.
- Return to standing and lift the ball overhead again.
Belly Fat Burner #3: Goblet Squats
Goblet squats are excellent for strengthening the lower body while engaging the core. This exercise helps in toning the midsection and improving overall metabolism, contributing to belly fat reduction.
How to Do It
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest.
- Squat down, keeping your back straight and chest up.
- Push back up to the standing position.
Belly Fat Burner #4: Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are a powerhouse for burning belly fat. They target the entire body with an emphasis on the core and hips, boosting your heart rate and increasing fat burn.
How to Do It
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands.
- Hinge at your hips, swinging the kettlebell between your legs.
- Thrust your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell to chest height.
- Allow the kettlebell to swing back between your legs and repeat.
Belly Fat Burner #5: Bear Crawls
Bear crawls are a great way to work out your core muscles. This exercise improves overall strength and stability, making it effective for targeting belly fat.
How to Do It
- Place a mini-band around your thighs, just above your knees (optional for greater resistance).
- Get into a tabletop position on your hands and knees (you can also modify by going to your elbows).
- Lift your knees slightly off the ground.
- Move one hand and the opposite foot forward, then the other hand and foot, maintaining tension in the band (if you’re using one).
- Continue crawling forward, then backward, and side to side.
Keeping Belly Fat Off with The Eat Clean Diet
Working out is only one part of achieving the results you want; you’ve also got to pay attention to what you use to fuel your body. That’s why my holistic approach to wellness is based on what I call the “3 E’s”: exercise, emotional self-care, and eating clean.
The exercises above are a great first step towards transforming yourself, but I encourage you not to stop there. Find Eat Clean recipes you can use to improve your diet immediately and discover a new lifestyle that helps you become your favorite version of yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about Belly Fat in Menopause
How is belly fat different from other kinds?
Belly fat, particularly during menopause, is different from fat elsewhere on your body because it’s mainly visceral fat—which is deeper and more harmful than subcutaneous fat. It’s also an active part of the endocrine system, which means it has a larger impact on your overall health. The better you can burn it away, the lower the risk you may face from cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
Why is belly fat harder to burn during menopause?
Hormonal changes during menopause lead to a redistribution of fat to the abdominal area, making it harder to burn. This visceral fat is more stubborn and resistant to typical weight loss methods—meaning you’ll have to get a little creative about how you burn it off!
Why aren’t crunches effective for burning belly fat on their own?
Crunches target only the superficial abdominal muscles and don’t effectively burn the visceral fat around them. A combination of movement and strength training is much more effective for significant fat-burning and metabolism boosting.
The Movement Formula from my 3 E’s of Wellness program states that you need to engage in 30 minutes of exercise performed at a MHR (Maximum Heart Rate) of 65% or greater, at least 5-6 days per week. This is the gold standard for physical movement if you want to achieve optimal results.
How do the principles of The Eat Clean Diet support fat burning?
The Eat Clean Diet emphasizes nutritious eating, which complements physical exercise in burning fat. It focuses on whole foods, reducing processed food intake, and striking sugar from your diet—thereby supporting overall health and weight management.