How to Banish Belly Fat

The scientist who invented the word "menopot" tells you how to lose yours.

Interview by Nancy Stedman
pam peeke picture

PEEKE. Alcohol is an issue. You can pick up a Menopot from drinking one or two glasses of wine every night. Good science shows that it preferentially puts on fat in the belly. Alcohol also disinhibits women from eating carefully. Remember: You don’t have to do alcohol every night. Have a glass with dinner 1-3 times per week.

Being compliant with the quality, quantity and frequency of food will determine the girth size. Physical activity helps you seal the deal for optimal girth control.

MORE: What’s the ideal exercise prescription for a woman determined to whittle her middle?

PEEKE: Do cardio as much as you can, ideally five days a week. And even on rest days don’t sit around like a slug—get up and walk around. Do cardio by calories and intensity instead of minutes. Aim for 400 calories burned each session using intervals of intensity. You can run through 400 calories on an elliptical trainer in 30 to 40 minutes by doing high-intensity intervals.  Then you need to do weight-training two to three times a week. You want to increase your muscle mass so you have an optimal calorie-burning engine inside you. Don’t forget core training. It allows you to maintain good posture, and the stronger your belly, the stronger your back. By doing a thousand crunches will you get rid of the Menopot? No. What those ab exercises will do is give a fantastic shape to your waist once you lose the fat.

MORE: Are there times when the right exercise and diet won’t get rid of a Menopot?

PEEKE: The goal is not to get rid of a Menopot. Instead, the real goal is to minimize your Menopot. Women who’ve had multiple births or who gained more than 25 pounds in just one birth, may have a crepey sag in their bellies. That’s an elasticity issue, and it’s genetic. Women who’ve dropped 30 or more pounds may also have crepey stuff along with the subcutaneous fat attached to the skin. You need to have a conversation with yourself about what you’re going to do. You might decide to live with that belly or you may want to have a tummy tuck or body lift.

Dr. Pamela Peeke is the author of Fit to Live, Body for Life for WomenFight Fat After 40 and The Discovery Health TV National Body Challenge Program for the Whole Family

Next: 11 Foods (and One Trick) To Fight Belly Fat

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