Belly fat can be a real torture for women – your jeans don’t fit right. Your tops look stretched across your middle, and you simply cannot dress the way you want to. The bad news is that this fat around the middle is quite common, simply because it is a part of aging. The good news is that you can still cut down on belly fat and stay in shape, no matter what your age!
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So let’s take a look at what you can do to cut down on the extra fat around your middle.
But first, let’s just take a quick look at what causes this fat deposition:
- As you age, your muscle mass diminishes, and fat in your body increases. This loss of muscle mass also affects the rate of metabolism. And you no longer are able to burn calories quite as effectively. Naturally, you start putting on weight.
- Additionally, with age, your level of activity progressively decreases. So again, you burn fewer calories and you end up putting on weight, especially on your tummy.
- Decreasing levels of estrogen, perimenopause and menopause can also affect the weight distribution in the body.
- And women with an ‘apple’ shaped body are naturally prone to gaining weight around their middle. In fact, doctors believe that heredity and genetics also play a role here.
Mind you, this was just a quick recap; you can look up more where we’ve already discussed the causes of weight gain after your 30s in greater detail.
Now the next question that you must be thinking about is…
Why is belly fat not good for you?
Belly fat is not really limited to the subcutaneous fat located just under the skin. This is basically padding, so by itself it is not threateningly harmful. However, belly fat also includes visceral fat. This fat lies deep inside the abdomen, surrounding the internal organs. It is this visceral fat that is cause for concern. It can lead to a number of health complications like:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Colorectal cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
These are just some of the concerns. In comparison, subcutaneous fat poses mainly cosmetic issues. Additionally, being overweight can lead to premature death due to health complications.
So, how do you know that you’re having excess belly fat?
The idea is to simply measure your waist. Here are the steps:
- Place a measuring tape around your stomach; make sure it is placed just above the hipbone.
- Pull the tape snug around you, without the tape digging into your skin.
- The tape should be level all around.
- Relax and exhale while measuring your stomach. This way you’ll get the correct measurements.
If your waist measurement reads more than 35 inches, that is, 89 centimeters, you need to start working on losing weight around your middle.
And now, for the part you’ve been waiting for…
How to get rid of belly fat?
Engage in targeted abdominal exercises. Practicing the exercises that are meant to tone your upper and lower abdomen is the first key to getting rid of belly fat. Try crunches, you can always look these up on the internet. Or you could turn to a fitness expert. But this alone will not be very effective. You must combine such exercise with the following:
- A healthy diet: go for plant-based foods, fruits and green vegetables are very good for you. Go for lean protein as well as low-fat dairy items. These are considerably easier to digest, and that helps since at this age your metabolism slows down. Go for healthy fats found in fish, nuts and in a few nut varieties.
- Keep an eye on portion sizes: as long as you eat small and measured meals, your calorie intake is under control. Taking small meals also helps your metabolism.
- Include physical activities in your routine: even though your age might keep you from engaging in vigorous activities, try and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. It is better to engage in light physical activities – take a walk, go bicycling at the park. Keep moving around in between your work.
And once you start losing weight, don’t relax just because you’re seeing results. Instead, you should keep on track to lose the belly fat. And your doctor and fitness mentor can help you do just that. So good luck, and good health.