As women age, oestrogen levels decrease and the way their bodies distribute fat changes as well. If losing weight in your twenties was difficult, expect it to be even more challenging once you have passed the 40 mark. While it is more difficult to lose weight after 40, it is possible and well worth any effort it takes to get a flat tummy. Not only will a trimmer waistline make you look better, it will also improve your health and reduce your risk of some serious health conditions.
Step #1: Get Your Priorities Straight
The more important it is to you to reach your goals, the more likely you are to succeed. While getting a flat stomach may be important to your self-confidence, it is the association between belly fat and a number of serious health conditions that should provide you with the greatest motivation. People who have extra weight around the middle have been shown to be at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and high cholesterol.
Losing the fat on your abdomen is an important step towards living a healthier life in your 40’s, 50’s, and beyond. Instead of just thinking about looking better in your swimsuit, imagine the positive and lasting impact losing those extra pounds could mean.
Step #2: Upgrade Your Exercise Plan
Women often find it frustrating that men can lose weight so much faster than they do. Men have more muscle, giving them a greater capacity to burn calories. Women also lose muscle as they age. To compensate for the loss in muscle, you need to either do more intense cardio exercises or perform them at longer intervals than you would have ten years ago. Many of the more popular workouts today have sections where they do high-energy intervals, or blasts, that speed up the heart rate to burn more calories than maintaining the same intensity throughout the workout.
In addition to cardio, you need a well-rounded exercise routine that is good for body and mind. Yoga and Pilates are good choices that you can do at home with a video or in a class at the gym. They also improve flexibility and strengthen the core which just happens to include the abdominals!
Step #3: Eliminate Stress
Stress causes the release of a hormone called “cortisol” which leads to more belly fat. Meditation, breathing exercises, and talking to friends are just some of the ways that you can step back, calm down, and take control of any situation. Take steps to plan ahead and stay organised so that last-minute problems don’t creep up. The better you are at planning, the less likely you are to encounter surprises that stress you out.
Step #4: Say “No” to Dieting
￼Do not make the mistake that many women make in thinking that you have to resort to starvation diets to lose weight after 40. While a slowing metabolism means reducing your calorie intake to get the flat tummy you want, the bigger focus will need to be on making healthier choices from which you get those calories. Eating foods that are high in hydrogenated oil leads to belly fat. Eating foods that are high in unsaturated fat leads to an increase in muscle tissue. Use small amounts of olive or canola oil to cook and eliminate prepared and processed foods from your diet. For snacks, or to add a little more taste to salads, eat nuts. Also, change from whole-dairy products to low-fat. Don’t eliminate dairy altogether as you need calcium for healthy bones and it also reduces levels of cortisol. Confused by conflicting information about what is healthy and what isn’t? Consider going to a nutritionist to work out a healthy way of eating that is tailored to your tastes and your lifestyle.
Step #5: See Your Physician
Belly fat often goes with ageing, but so do a number of health conditions that may be causing your sudden weight gain. Make sure that you have a clean bill of health before you start working towards your goal.
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