Getting older has its advantages, but one downside of hitting 50 is it becomes more challenging to lose weight, but it's not impossible. With a few positive lifestyle changes, you can lose that stubborn belly fat that's a health concern because it can lead to other serious issues like heart disease, stroke and premature death. So while it may be more difficult, don't get discouraged. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal how to eliminate abdominal fat and help keep it off. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Why It's Harder to Lose Weight After 50
Dr. Suzanna Wong. a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and health expert with Twin Waves Wellness says, "It is harder to lose weight after 50 because your body has different requirements. It's most notable for women who are going through the menopause, but not impossible. Their body deals with carbs differently, and the loss in estrogen means their muscles break down much quicker unless they are doing resistance exercise and eating a higher protein diet. With less muscle your metabolism falls – meaning it seems harder to lose weight."
Robert Herbst a personal trainer, weight loss and wellness expert, and powerlifter adds, "One of the reasons it is harder to lose weight after 50 is age related loss of muscle. As people get older, they start to lose muscle. Since muscle is metabolically active, the less they have the slower a person's metabolism and the fewer calories they burn. Also, with less muscle, people generally become less active so they burn even fewer calories. As they gain more weight they become even less active and the situation compounds. The solution for this is to do strength training. By lifting weights one prevents or reverses age related muscle loss so your general metabolism will be higher. Also, after a weight workout the body's metabolism is elevated for 48 to 72 hours afterwards as the body recuperates. Additionally, as one builds more muscle through weight training, they will feel better and be stronger and are more likely to be active and engage in sports and recreational pursuits and do chores. All this adds up to more calories burned and easier weight loss."
Dr. Wong says, "Count calories. Make sure you are in a calorie deficit and belly fat will start to fall."
Pam Sherman, a certified personal trainer with The Perfect Balance recommends "creating a small calorie deficit for overall weight loss. This is the best way to lose weight by being accountable for what a person is eating/drinking."
Dr. Wong suggests, "Drink enough water. For women 2-3 liters a day, for men 4 liters a day. This helps your body to work effectively and reduces your cortisol levels, helping you to drop body fat from your tummy."
Find a Sustainable Diet
Caroline Grainger, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer at FitnessTrainer.reminds us, "Belly fat is stubborn. You're not going to zap it with a quick diet or one neat trick. It's going to take sustained intentional eating that you can stick to in order to really succeed. Your ultimate goal comes down to creating a calorie deficit."
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Focus on Cardio
Grainger states, "Good cardio workouts like walking, jogging, biking, swimming, and racket sports, are the best ways to burn calories quickly, and they're also the lowest-impact forms of exercise on your body, meaning you'll be able to keep up the habit."
Get Good Quality Sleep
Sherman emphasizes, "Get enough sleep! When our brains are tired, we crave sugar. Getting regular sleep can make it so much easier to keep your food on track!"
Stop Consuming Fruit Juice
Jesse Nicassio, former NFL player and CEO of Juke Gyms says, "Although fruit juice contains vitamins and minerals, it contains the same sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages. Drinking in high quantities may pose the same danger to belly fat growth. Unsweetened apple juice has 24 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce (240-mL) drink, half of which is fructose. Replace fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling with a wedge of lemon or lime to help reduce excess belly fat."
Reduce Alcohol Intake Levels
"This not only brings your calories down – but more importantly will help to reduce your visceral fat, which is fat stored around your organs – and always appears as belly fat," explains Dr. Wong.