Both men and women struggle with belly fat and you’ll probably agree when I say that getting rid of the bulge is never easy. And the problem becomes increasingly annoying in our 40s.
Why Is It Difficult to Get Rid of Belly Fat in Your 40s?
It’s mainly because of muscle mass – or to be more specific, the lack of it. We lose our muscle mass as we age and as a result, this slows down our metabolism. Slow metabolism leads to fewer calories burned.
But this is not the only culprit. Our body also experiences hormonal changes, and if you’ve read up a bit about hormones you’ll know that weight loss and weight gain can be driven by hormones.
Starting at puberty, women’s body store subcutaneous (soft) fat while men store visceral (hard) fat in the abdominal area. Then once we hit our 40s, hormonal changes take place. Women go through menopause (and perimenopause) and that’s when our body’s way of storing fat changes. We gain more hard abdominal fat due to low estrogen and testosterone levels while men gain more soft fat.
How to Lose Belly Fat in Your 40s
Visceral fat that stays deep inside the abdomen can be harmful to your health in many ways. It has long been linked to heart disease, breathing problems, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The silver lining: There are a lot of things you can do to lose weight in your mid-section. We share how we have helped our clients who are in their 40s look trimmer, while working towards a tight belly that they can hopefully maintain for life:
1. Manage stress
Chronic stress is a major cause of weight gain so it makes sense to manage your stress level. Try yoga and meditation to help you ease your mind, practice living in the present, and breathing techniques.
2. Include compound exercises
Most people exercise less as they get older which should not be the case considering that your body’s metabolism also slows down at this time. Adding compound exercise in your routine will not only help you build strength but also burn more calories.
What are compound exercises, you ask? To put it simply, these exercises are moves that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. For example, deadlifts – which target your hamstrings, back, glutes, upper body and core all in one exercise.
3. Make dietary changes
Take extra care of your food intake when trying to lose weight at an older age especially if you’re targeting belly fat. Consume more protein and avoid refined and processed foods. You should also make an effort of not indulging in sugary drinks, fatty food, beer and other items that may add to the bulge in your belly.
4. Drink mint tea
Some fitness experts recommend drinking a cup of hot peppermint tea 20-30 minutes after a eating a big meal. Doing so helps you avoid bloating and you’ll look slimmer within a matter of hours,. It also has long-term benefits for weight loss.
Research shows peppermint calms the stomach muscles and improves bile flow, which is what your body uses to breakdown fats. Ultimately, the tea helps food pass through your stomach quickly, warding off bloat and improving digestion.
5. Do some cardio workouts
Running and jogging are great for burning fat, while at the same time improving heart health.
Additionally, running retrains the mind and body to hold the neck, torso, shoulders, and hips in their proper positions, which transitions to better posture in everyday life. If you haven’t jogged or ran for quite some time now, you can start with walking 30 minutes to an hour a day until your body gets used to it.
Exercising and adopting an active lifestyle can be done more consistently if you’re doing it with a group of people. That way you’ll feel more accountable and at the same time, have fun losing weight and keeping the weight off. Enroll in a fitness club or a workout class in gyms such as Pure Barre and you’ll notice inches off your waist in no time.