When you hit a certain age, things happen to your body that you may feel you have no control over — such as an increase in belly fat. You can thank a decrease in hormone levels, estrogen for women and testosterone for men, that starts in your 40s for the growing midsection you’re now dealing with in your 50s. The expanding fat deep in your abdomen surrounding your organs is called visceral fat. Not only is this type of fat uncomfortable, but it’s also bad for your health and increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While you may not have much control over your hormones, making changes to how you eat and exercise may help you lose some of your abdominal girth. Consult your doctor to discuss a diet and exercise plan that works for you.
- When people are already 40 years old or older, they are most likely in a stage of intense work activity, making important decisions and still raising children, so life is often very active and full of worries.
This supposes a level of stress that although you do not believe it influences in your descent of weight.
- Stress causes you to release a hormone called cortisol that is responsible for the fat being directed to the abdomen and deposited there firmly. We know that controlling stress is very difficult, but the fact that you understand that it is harmful to your silhouette will make you think more in detail about the control you must have over it.
Another tip is to drink a spoonful of olive oil on an empty stomach, which influences the food that is eaten, preventing the fat from being absorbed.
Offset the natural loss of muscle mass as you pass age 40 with weight training. Hit the gym at least twice per week to perform, at minimum, one set of eight to 12 repetitions of an exercise for each major muscle group. If you use the muscle, your body will slow the rate at which it lets it naturally slip away. This keeps your metabolism humming at a relatively high level and makes weight loss more manageable.
- In addition to weight training, perform regular cardiovascular exercise to help you burn additional calories and expedite weight loss, including from your belly. Even if your gross weight on the scale doesn’t change, you will find that the percentage of fat stored in your belly diminishes. Belly fat is some of the first fat you lose when you become more physically active.
You may eat more to alleviate anxiety, have little time to prepare healthy meals and produce more of the hormone cortisol, which encourages the body to store and hold onto belly fat.
If you haven’t already, your 40s is a time to begin a mind-body practice, such as yoga or meditation, that helps you manage life’s challenges. Any self-care regimen is helpful too; a soothing bedtime routine and delegating some work tasks, for example, can help lighten your stress load. When you feel less stressed, exercising more and eating less are more appealing.