I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten a little softer around the mid section recently. It’s common among women over fifty, but it has sent me on a mission to see if I can lose belly fat after menopause. I want to banish the belly fat, midlife muffin top, and develop lean muscle mass. Tall order, I know, but I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and see what is actually realistic for a woman of my age.
Like many women, I’ve had my ups and downs with weight management. In my mid forties found myself in the doctor’s office being told I was fifty pounds over weight and technically obese. After panicking, and trying a variety of weight loss plans that didn’t work, I decided to work with a doctor specializing in weight loss and spent a year losing weight on a no carb/low carb diet. You can read about my 50 pound weight loss here.
Even with a doctor’s help, losing fifty pounds wasn’t easy, though once I got in the groove, making healthy choices became easier. I vowed to keep the weight off so when I notice weight gain, I immediately take a look at my diet and exercise and tweak it before things go too far awry.
Having gone through menopause three years ago, I am seeing a significant change in my metabolism and have been struggling to keep my weight in check, especially over the past year (2020). You may chalk the weight gain up to stress, not being able to get out and exercise for several months and finding myself craving sweets, or it could just be post menopausal belly fat.
In my quest to avoid post menopause weight gain, as well as to improve my overall health, I have spent a fair amount of time researching and trying various weight loss regimens, including those designed to reduce belly fat in women over 50.
There are a few of this outfit left; here’s the top and the bottoms have already sold out. It seems like things are either on back order or sold out so quickly.
Learning about reducing belly fat in women over 50 has been an interesting mixed bag of advice, some is contradictory, confusing or simply not practical. I’ve tried the “best foods to reduce belly fat” “quick ways to reduce belly fat” and “the best exercises to reduce belly fat” as well as reading all sorts of medical articles about hormones such as estrogen and belly fat.
I decided to not only research how to lose weight over 50, but to try some of the best diet plans for women over 50, the best exercises to lose weight over 50, fat and whether intermittent fasting helps reduce belly fat in women over 50.
- What Causes Belly Fat In women over 50?
Poor diet, lack of exercise and high caloric intake are at the heart of all weight gain, however as we age, our metabolism slows. A slower metabolism burns fewer calories which means that more calories are stored in the body as fat. As women go through menopause, our estrogen levels decrease modifying how our body distributes fat. This combination of causes often work together making it difficult to lose weight as we make our way through menopause.
Even though our metabolism is slowing, and we may have a reduced appetite, Americans don’t tend to reduce their caloric intake, nor do we increase our exercise in middle age. If we are able to do both, not only will our clothing fit better, but our health and longevity is also favorably impacted.
Through a combination of strategies, we can lose belly fat, banish the dreaded “muffin top” and develop lean muscle mass, even as we age. While it may take a little longer, getting in shape is definitely something that can be done, and it’s definitely worth the effort.
- The truth about spot reducing belly fat regimens:
Short of surgery, we can’t actually spot reduce, or reduce fat in one area of our bodies. With a combination of diet and exercise, we can reduce overall body fat, develop lean muscle mass and improve our health though. Employing a healthy diet, portion management and exercise, we can significantly change our physical appearance as well as improving our health.
Unfortunately, targeted exercise such as crunches and sit ups alone will not spot reduce belly fat either. Reducing belly fat requires a multi pronged consistent approach. Below you’ll find some tips and tricks that help me keep my weight in check and which have improved my health.
- The dangers of belly fat
Visceral belly fat is fat that wraps around your abdominal organs. It is linked to type two diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, high cholesterol and stroke. Some studies indicated that visceral fat makes proteins that can inflame your body’s tissues, and narrow your blood vessels which can result in high blood pressure as well. Healthy blood sugar
- Menopause and belly fat
Studies have shown that decreasing estrogen levels can cause a redistribution of fat, and that women on estrogen replacement therapy often have a lower percentage of body fat. Natural hormone replacement therapies have become popular, not just for the purpose of easing peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms but also to maintain a more youthful appearance and a slimmer physique.
For women who can’t be on hormone replacement therapies, reducing sugar intake, eliminating processed foods, avoiding diary, alcohol and caffeine can help reset blood sugar and insulin levels which in turn can help reduce visceral belly fat and improve one’s overall health. Making these modifications can help “reset” our system and reduce belly fat in post menopausal women.
- How to Get Rid of Bloating
We sometimes mistake bloating with belly fat. The difference between bloating and belly fat is that a bloated or distended stomach is firm, where as belly fat is soft.
Bloating can be caused by serious underlying health conditions but it can also be caused by lactose, food, or fructose intolerances. Work with your doctor to ensure you don’t have an underlying health condition. If you have cleared potential underlying conditions, you can experiment to reduce a bloated stomach by drinking more water, eliminating dairy, reducing the consumption of foods that cause gas, eliminate fructose/simple sugars and any other foods that may cause bloating from your diet.
These simple diet changes not only improve our overall health, but also make an immediate impact on our appearance and how our clothes fit.
Don’t under estimate water either. Increasing water intake can help reduce bloating, help flush out toxins and even improve our skin.
- How to get rid of belly fat
To reduce body fat start, start by choosing a diet low carbohydrate diet plan for women over 50. Studies show that eating a low carbohydrate diet, reducing caloric intake, and adding light to moderate exercise is the only to reduce weight, maintain healthy blood sugar and reduce the risk of type two diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. There are many low carb diets to choose from, Keto, the carnivore, and low carb vegetarian type diets.
Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any diet plan. I like to look at the primary foods I will be eating to ensure that I like most of the foods I will be eating. I also take a little time to look up menus and recipes that I enjoy. Creating a diet with foods you enjoy, and that you can easily prepare is important. There is nothing worse than trying to develop healthier habits only to hate the foods and exercises you need to do to maintain it.
Best types of exercise:
Diet is only half of the equation, an exercise program which includes strength training, and aerobic activity is also important. High intensity interval training has been shown to help reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass as well.
I have written about weight workouts at home (see below) and I personally walk between two and five miles five days a week.
Read these posts for more practical tips on how to lose weight and create a healthy lifestyle.
Does Intermittent fasting and keto really work?
What to I really need for a good at home workout
Love this post…these days it seems like just drinking water will make me bloat. It’s a constant work in progress. What I’ve found to be truly helpful is to keep moving- for some reason that keeps my metabolism working! Have a great weekend xx
I agree! I am usually a bit bloated the first day I increase my water consumption, then I have to go to the ladies room a lot, then it seems to regulate, and the bloat is reduced. Moving is definitely important! It just feels good to move!
This is such a hot topic for women of certain vintage and seems to be a constant battle with weight gain where we don’t always win, sadly. I find that good balanced diet and regular high calories burning exercises help to keep it at bay
I know! I”ve had a few ups and downs with my weight. Keeping healthy is my focus these days.
Amazing tips! Thanks for sharing!
First of all you are beautiful and look amazing. If you want to burn more calories away you will look stunning.
Hi. Just wondering if you did track your Covid weight and fat loss progress anywhere? I am embarking on a similar journey.
I did not track my Covid weight loss, but there turned out to be much more to the story. I will have to share an update soon.