For most youngsters, weight loss is pretty straightforward. With an already high metabolism, they only need to make a few lifestyle and dietary changes. In no time, they will have attained their desired fitness goals. However, after hitting 50, you come to realize that losing any body fat is quite challenging. You will perhaps have to double your efforts to get rid of the fat hanging around your stomach, thighs, arms. This brings us to one of the most challenging parts to shed fat from around our tummies. Losing belly weight is not as easy as it was in your twinkling 20’s or early 30’s. Your slowing metabolism and reduced activity rates may make you add even more belly weight. As such, you may realize that your stomach keeps protruding outward while yet wanting it flat. The good news is that you can lose belly weight after 50 naturally and safely by adopting several practices. This article will discuss these practices and how they can help you get a flat stomach despite hitting 50. If this is your goal, keep reading to discover these practices and more tips for a flat stomach.
What Is Belly Weight?
Belly weight refers to the fat around your abdomen (2). Most people tend to refer to this weight or fat differently. Some may call it a stomach overhang, paunch, pot belly, visceral fat, abdominal fat, or simply, belly fat. No matter how many names are given to belly weight, the fact remains that it troubles most people.
It is, therefore, no surprise that almost everyone in today’s society wants a flat tummy. In most cases, most of us want a flat stomach for its improvement in our overall physical appearance. However, a flat stomach does more than just improve our physique.
It also reduces our risk of several health conditions. Despite this, most people do not know this and instead focus on the physique aspect and end up leaving their pot belly as it is. Keep on reading to find out more about these health conditions.
Why Struggle To Lose Belly Fat After 50?
When it comes to fitness, some people think it only counts before you hit your 50’s. Perhaps this might be your perspective. If so, then you may be wondering why you have to break your back to get a flat stomach after 50.
Whether you are in the mid-20 or late ’50s, the fact remains that belly fat is dangerous. Understanding the potential health threats of having this extra fat in your midsection can shed light on why you need to lose it.
According to Medical News Today, shedding off these extra fat layers around your midsection is crucial, and for various reasons. Regardless of your age, the site acknowledges that belly fat increases your risk of the following health conditions (9):
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease and heart attacks
- Breast cancer
- High blood pressure
- Colon cancer
- Alzheimer’s diseases and some types of dementia
In light of this, it is safe to say that belly fat can be unattractive and a risk factor to your health. So, you need to take up various efforts to get rid of it. Considering this, a question remains, ‘when do you know you have eliminated your abdominal fat?’
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your waist circumference will shed light on this (6). Since your waist circumference or size takes into account your belly fat, you will know when you shed it.
It means that you must measure your waist circumference before and after implementing various practices. The CDC recommends women maintain a waist size of 35 inches while men keep it below 40 inches (6).
Can You Lose Belly Weight In One Week?
Is it possible to lose belly fat after 50? Of course! Is it possible to do so within a week? Unfortunately, no. Like with any other weight loss program, losing your belly fat for good entails slow and steady practices (10).
So, there is no miracle pill, workout plan, or diet that can help you lose your abdominal fat in one week. According to Science Daily, there is no proof indicating that these touted diets, plans, or pills can fight abdominal fat over such a timeline. These are just claims and antics used by various marketers to sell their products (1).
So save yourself the money and time of even thinking of purchasing such pills or diets. Again, the truth is that you cannot lose weight in one region. No matter how much you target your abdominal fat, you will get to shed fat evenly and throughout your body.
The good news is that there are various practices you can implement altogether for faster results (11). Depending on your efforts and how much belly fat you have, you can shed these fat layers quickly. Let us examine these practices.
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How To Get Rid Of Belly Fat Quickly After 50?
When it comes to weight loss, we all know that metabolism plays a crucial role. Metabolism describes the process where your body converts everything you eat into energy. For weight loss, you will have to consume less than your body burns.
The problem is that after the age of 40, your metabolism tends to slow down steadily (12). So, after 50, your body may burn fewer calories than you are consuming. Although this may jeopardize your weight loss results, you can, however, rev up your metabolism and change this.
The good news is that some methods of eliminating belly weight after 50 also happen to boost your metabolism. Without further elaboration, let us look at these practices:
One of the most effective and fastest ways to lose belly fat is by focusing on healthy eating. Healthy eating goes beyond cooking or eating healthy foods. No, do not get discouraged. We are not about to tell you that you are doing the wrong thing.
You indeed are on the right path. However, healthy eating is a broad category. This involves more than just consuming healthy meals. To lose your belly weight, you will also have to implement the following healthy eating practices:
Sticking to Your Calorie Limit
Every food that you consume contains calories. In a day, you are supposed to consume various calories. To lose belly weight, the calories you need to consume will be determined by your age, sex, and the amount of weight you want to lose (8).
You may not know that eating too many calories may promote more stored fat in your belly. So, you have to stick within your calorie range. Here is an example of how many calories you should consume after 50 (8):
- 2, 000- 2, 200. This is if you are sedentary active.
- 2, 200- 2, 400. Consume calories within this range if you are moderately active.
- 2, 400- 2, 800. Stick to this calorie range if you are very active.
- 1, 600. This is the calorie limit for women who are sedentary active.
- 1, 800. Only moderately active women are allowed to consume these calories daily.
- 2, 000- 2, 200. Very active women are the ones who are supposed to stick to this calorie range.
If you are not sure of where you lie, the best thing is to seek professional advice. Also, get help from a licensed nutritionist to determine the foods that fit your calorie limit.
Consuming More Soluble Fiber
If you are already eating high-fiber foods, then kudos to you. If yet, then start incorporating more high-fiber foods, and particularly soluble fiber. Fiber is essential in your diet as it helps in stimulating early satiety. Consequently, it helps prevent abdominal obesity (3). Some examples of foods rich in soluble fiber include avocados, blackberries, legumes, and flaxseeds.
Have you been eating healthy foods for the last month and still cannot see any changes in your waist circumference? The culprit might be your food portions and sizes. As much as you are eating healthy, you also need to watch how much you eat.
Again, we come back to the concept of each food containing calories. When you overeat, you tend to surpass your daily recommended calorie limit. Here are some practices from Medical News Today that can help you watch your portions and avoid overeating (14):
- Eat food from a plate instead of eating it straight from a packet or container.
- Serve yourself food in smaller bowls, containers, or plates.
- Split your main meals or entrees with someone else whenever you dine out.
- Use measuring cups and plates to determine how much you should prepare and eat.
The other method that can help you lose belly weight after 50 both safely and quickly is exercise. There is an assumption that training is only a thing for the baby boom generation. However, this is not the case.
Exercise is recommended for any healthy and fit individual. So, do not be surprised to find folks sporting grey hair working out in the gym beside you. The only difference you will spot is in the exercises they perform and their intensity.
It brings us to one of the most asked questions, ‘What exercises can help you lose belly weight after 50?’ Well, the exercises to lose belly fat in this age group include:
These are among the most recommended exercises, especially for women above 50 (5). The category includes activities such as walking, dancing, jogging, and swimming. The good thing is that aerobic exercises tend to work the majority of your large body muscles.
Therefore, they are very effective in toning various body muscles and reducing your body weight. If you want to lose belly weight, you must do aerobic exercise for more than 20 minutes. Similarly, you must repeat the exercise three or four days a week (5).
Get advice from a fitness trainer before opting for aerobic training to get rid of belly fat. They might suggest better methods or guide you through such a workout plan.
Strength Training Programs
Going grey does not mean you cannot take part in a strength lifting program. You can lift weights to either build muscle or lose belly weight. According to Medical News Today, strength training or resistance training can help older adults reduce their abdominal fat (7).
The results are even faster if these adults combine both resistance training with aerobic exercises. Coupling the two routines can help adults over 50 reduce belly fat and also preserve their muscle mass (7).
If these two are your goals, then consider a strength training workout routine. However, first, talk to your doctor and instructor. Remember also to seek professional help to determine the weights you will lift or incorporate in your workout.
Both men and women over 50 can also try HIIT workouts that last between 15 and 20 minutes. A particular study summarized by Medical News Today acknowledges that you can lose body fat steadier and faster using HIIT routines (13).
The study acknowledges that participants lost significant abdominal fat after 12 weeks of starting the HIIT program (13). In light of this, it is safe to say that these high-intensity interval training programs can promote the loss of belly fat.
You are advised to seek professional help instead of just trying any HIIT workout plan you find online. Remember that you are no longer in your 20’s and being over 50 increases your risk of various exercise injuries. So, let a professional create a HIIT workout routine specifically for you, suiting your belly weight loss needs.
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Cautions On Exercising After 50
Although you might be willing to exercise after 50, your body may perhaps suggest otherwise. Since your health comes first, you need to be cautious of your exercise regime for short and long-term gains. Here are essential things you need to consider before you start any exercise program after 50:
Your Health Conditions
You need to talk to your doctor first to determine if your existing health condition may restrict you from exercising. Issues such as bad knees and back pain may restrict exercises that most importantly involve lifting (4).
With that said, you may be forced to drop a strength lifting exercise program despite it helping you target your abdominal fat. In this case, your doctor may recommend another exercise program or weight loss program, such as healthy eating.
Your Fitness Level
What happens is that an instructor first evaluates your fitness level before going ahead and suggesting a workout routine. Only after they assess your fitness levels will they craft or recommend a specific workout routine.
For beginners, these experts will recommend beginner level belly fat exercises. Likewise, they will recommend advanced level routines for those who fit the advanced level. It is advisable that you start slow and then move yourself up the ladder (15). This technique reduces your risk of injuries and helps you ease through your workouts.
As mentioned earlier, the journey to losing your belly weight will be slow and steady. This means that you have to make some long-term changes that promote this weight loss. One of these changes is starting an effective belly fat loss program.
Before you even choose such a routine, consider what suits your current needs. This is because you will have to adopt the exercise regime into your program. You will have to make it part of your daily routine for it to bear fruit. Considering this, go through your daily routine and determine the most appropriate time to exercise.
The Bottom Line
Having large amounts of belly weight is harmful to people in all age groups. This is because too much visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes.
People over 50 can reduce their abdominal fat naturally by either eating healthy or exercising. They have to also focus on low-calorie foods, portion control, and the consumption of soluble fiber to improve their eating habits.
Similarly, under exercise, they must implement practical workout plans that suit their belly weight loss needs. Remember to talk to both a doctor and dietitian before making any lifestyle and dietary changes.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ‘One weird trick’ to cut belly fat? Follow a heart-healthy diet! (2018, eciencedaily.com)
- 11 natural ways to get rid of belly fat (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- 25 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science) (2020, medicinenet.com)
- Fitness After 50: The Gym Goes Gray (2005, webmd.com)
- Get-Fit Advice for Women Over 50 (2019, webmd.com)
- Healthy Weight (2019, cdc.gov)
- Hit the weights, not the treadmill, to reduce belly fat (2014, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How can I lose weight? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How do you lose belly fat? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to Lose Weight Safely (2021, webmd.com)
- How to naturally lose weight fast (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Slideshow: 10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism (2019, webmd.com)
- What are the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT)? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What are the best ways to stop overeating? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Working Out when You’re Over 50 (2019, webmd.com)