Getting that middle age spread? You may have entered into the MENOPAUSE ZONE!

Have you noticed that your midsection is starting to get fluffier or you are getting that dreaded FUPA (fat upper pubic area)? The changing hormonal levels as we get older may be to blame.

When we approach menopause, our estrogen levels drop and our metabolism decreases. Diminished estrogen causes our bodies to utilize sugars and starches less efficiently resulting in unwanted weight gain. On average, women gain at least five pounds in the early stages of menopause and increases unless lifestyle changes are made. And continued weight gain, particularly around your midsection can lead to other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The more fat you carry around your waist could mean more health problems down the road!

*Women should have a waist circumference of 35 inches or less.

But you can take measures to manage your waistline before it gets out of control.

To prevent weight gain or lose the added weight - try these 6 things:

  1. Check your carbs. You don't have to eliminate eating carbohydrates altogether but reduce your portions. Stick to fist-size portions of complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, or potatoes and cut down on refined carbohydrates from pastries, white bread, chips, cereal and pizza. Read nutritional labels and avoid foods that have added sugars.

  2. Increase your protein. And your protein sources should be lean so extra fried chicken or a larger cheese burger isn't going to cut it. Think grilled or baked chicken or fish, leaner cuts of beef or beans if you are vegetarian.