LOSING BELLY FAT AFTER 50…IS IT POSSIBLE?
We have all wondered the same thing – is it possible to lose belly fat after 50? The answer is YES! It is possible. Why is losing belly fat so important anyway? When we were younger, our fat was stored in other parts of our bodies. However, around the time of menopause, estrogen levels drop and fat redistributes to the abdomen area. This fat that expands your belly is most likely fatty tissue inside the abdominal cavity surrounding internal organs and this increases the risk of disease.
Some of us may think the chances of us losing belly fat after 50 is impossible. At this point in our lives, we are naturally losing lean muscle mass that burns more calories than fat. Beginning in our 30’s, we lose about 1 pound of muscle every year resulting in our bodies becoming less efficient at burning fat and calories. It is possible to lose belly fat, but it takes more effort than it did when we were younger.
THE BEST WAYS TO LOSE BELLY FAT FOR WOMEN OVER 50
When trying to lose weight, it is important to incorporate all types of exercise in conjunction with good nutrition. Let’s look at the best ways to lose belly fat.
1. Cardio Exercise
By definition, visceral fat is body fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity and around a number of important internal organs. The organs that can be greatly affected by visceral fat include the liver, pancreas and intestines.
When we combine fat burning cardio exercises with a healthy, nutritional diet, visceral fat loss is promoted.
Cardio exercises can include either moderate or high intensity exercises. For example anything from ballroom dancing to running. It will totally depend on your level of fitness. If you are just starting out with physical exercises, you may want to start with light walking and work your way up from there.
2. Weight Training for Women Over 50
As we mature, we need to weight-train because of the muscle loss experienced in our bodies. When weight-training, it is important to target each of the major muscle groups — hips, back, chest, abdominals, legs, arms and shoulders.
Weight training can include using weights, resistance bands, or even yoga. If you are just starting out, you may want to start with a beginners yoga class, for example.
For more information about weight training and great information, read my article, “The Importance of Exercise“.
3. Get Sleep – Yes, It Makes A Difference
If you are not getting adequate sleep, it affects your appetite and causes your body to hold onto belly fat. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night will assist in your belly fat loss efforts. Getting the required amount of rest you need will keep your mind sharp. When you are tired, your brain will falsely lead you believe you are hungry. When that happens, you start to grab for those sweet and unhealthy snacks late at night. You need to avoid making those decisions. The best defense against that is getting the amount of rest you need.
4. Relieve Stress
Did you know that stress can also affect your belly fat loss? Chronic stress can lead to the secretion of cortisol – which is a hormone that makes you crave high-fat, high-sugar foods. Cortisol also encourages fat to settle in your middle area. Therefore, it is a good idea to incorporate meditation and exercises such yoga into your life.
5. Eat Healthy
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), removing candy, cookies, cake, cola and chips from your diet makes it easier to curb your intake of many of those foods that contribute to belly fat.
To lose belly fat, try the below suggestions:
• Consume soluble fiber foods (ones that are easily digestible and are absorbed by the body) such as flaxseeds, avocadoes, brussel sprouts, legumes.
• Avoid trans fats and limit partially hydrogenated fats such as lard, fatty meats, and high-fat dairy. For more information about trans fat, read my article “Weight Loss“.
• Eat high-protein foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts.
• Choose unprocessed carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates by eating foods like brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and quinoa.
• Avoid sugary foods such as cupcakes, candy, and sodas to name a few. There are many foods you should be aware of because of high amounts of fructose. You may even consume these foods on a regular basis and they include yogurt with fruit, salad dressings, tomato sauce, granola bars, dried fruits, and juices.
• Drink green tea instead of fruit juices.
Remember: Before starting any exercise or diet program, consult with your doctor.
Are you looking to lose weight or improve your overall health?
FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT
In conclusion, there are several things women over 50 can do to lose belly fat. It takes a bit more effort to do so, but it can be accomplished through exercise, weight training, obtaining enough sleep each night, relieving stress, and eating healthy.
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