My client is going through menopause and wants to know how to shift her "hormonal fat" around the torso area. She has a nutritionist and goes swimming twice a week and does Pilates. The area has not changed since January.
As women reach menopause, there are known physiological changes that may affect fat metabolism. It is known that estrogen and progesterone (hormones) may play an important role in lipolysis (fat oxidation). Thus, with the onset of menopause and the decrease in hormone levels, it could affect the efficiency of fat oxidation.
However, despite the effects of menopause, it is still important to keep in mind that your female client is engaged in sufficient aerobic exercise and resistance training to offset the possible side affects of menopause and thus enhance fat oxidation and caloric burn. In this case, swimming two times per week plus Pilates is not enough cardiovascular exercise to elicit sufficient caloric burn and thus enhance fat oxidation. I would suggest the following:
- Aerobic Exercise: Focus on duration of activity (at least 30 to 40 minutes a session at moderate intensity of 60 percent or greater). The ideal total minutes of aerobic exercise is 200 minutes or more per week.
- Resistance Training: Two to three times per week including Pilates.
Once cardiovascular training is enhanced, the client should see changes in body composition in about 16 weeks or longer. The key again will be total minutes of aerobic exercise per week.