Belly fat is like a four-letter word in an era where everyone is baring their midriff and wearing form-fitting outfits.
Whether in the beginning stages of menopause, already through menopause, or somewhere between, middle-aged females tend to have that dreaded “Muffin top.”
A plump waistline and lost muscle tone are common in women over 50, but this also raises the risk of certain medical conditions.
Of all body parts, the abdomen is one of the most difficult places to get rid of fat. Unfortunately, despite what you see in the media, there’s no magic pill, diet, or gadget to lose weight.
Beware of scams and false claims with empty promises. But don’t despair. Once you understand why you have excess belly fat, you’ll know exactly how to lose that belly fat quickly and effectively.
What is Menopause in Women Over 50
Many women over 50 experience unwanted belly fat for several reasons. Aside from general aging, genetics, poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, medical conditions, etc., menopause is one of the top causes of belly fat.
There are three basic stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. No matter which stage one falls within, they’ll likely have some extra fat in the mid-region.
In this article, we will discuss how to lose belly fat over 50.
Perimenopause is a transitional phase in a woman’s life when they’re about to enter menopause.
At this stage, hormones (e.g., estrogen) in the ovaries are reduced, which causes the menstrual cycle to be irregular.
Some women experience increased appetite, hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Perimenopause usually happens to women in their mid-30s to mid-50s and can last four to eight years.
Menopause begins when the female body stops producing certain hormones.
The lack of hormones means eggs are no longer released from the ovaries, so periods stop completely.
Following 12 months without a period, menopausal women advance to the next stage.
Postmenopause is the timeframe after having gone through at least a year of period-free menopause.
Due to diminished hormones, this is the stage when women over 50 have an increased risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and other medical conditions.
Postmenopause lasts for the remainder of life.
Why Menopause Causes Belly Fat in Women Over 50
One critical aspect of gaining belly fat involves stress and insomnia.
When going through menopause, most people talk about the decrease in estrogen or increase in androgen.
At the same time, levels of cortisol increase as well. Added stress further exasperates the release of cortisol. As a result, fat settles around the abdomen.
The only way to reduce cortisol and belly fat is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Most Effective Ways to Lose Belly Fat
There are several ways to lose belly fat. These science-back methods don’t include magic pills and potions. Ignore outlandish claims because they just don’t work.
Suffice it to say, shedding unwanted pounds takes a lot of time and effort. Nobody will see results overnight, but inches can be reduced over time.
It can’t be stressed enough that eating right is key to losing body fat. Weight from menopause is often linked to eating processed foods and other high fat, sugar, and salt products.
It would also be best to minimize the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Focus on nutritious meals high in fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium.
Top tip: Choose to eat 10% better than you did yesterday. You don’t need to transition from eating junk food all day to eating nothing but kale and cucumber.
Now that would be stressful! Instead, plan to change one meal at a time and celebrate when you follow through. That you can do right?
Weight gain, muscle tone, bone density, and flexibility are some of the benefits of exercise.
Women over 50 can choose what they most enjoy going, from running and swimming to walking and cycling to aerobics and yoga.
Many exercises are designed to target the abdominal muscles, such as crunches and leg raises, but we can’t spot reduce the belly fat.
What we can do, is strengthen the muscles in our core to support our torso and spine, and use resistance training and cardio to burn fat, build strength and increase our fitness.
If you are new to exercise and have never really loved it, I may be able to change your mind! Take the Fabulous50s 14-day challenge, and like thousands of women from around the world, you will LOVE it and LOVE yourself as you become a woman who exercises every single day.
Just give it a try, you’re worth the trouble.
Sometimes stress can affect one’s ability to eat right and exercise. Even anxiety over belly fat can make matters worse.
To reduce stress, consider meditation, spending time outside, taking time to rest and other calming activities. Also, it’s vital to get plenty of sleep, which is about six to eight hours each night.
Top tip: Turn the TV off! The negative programming we see on our screens can turn us into an anxious mess.
Replace the time you spend consuming bad news with exercise, learning, gardening, redecorating, playing with a pet…
Liposuction, CoolSculpting and tummy tucks are alternative ways of getting rid of belly fat. Cosmetic procedures that involve invasive plastic surgery are more costly and risky.
These extreme options are typically reserved as a last-ditch effort.
Let’s Get Started…
If you’ve been struggling with weight gain due to menopause and other age-related factors, don’t despair. You’re not the only one with a few extra rolls of belly fat. It’s also perfectly normal for women over 50 to feel depressed and have lowered self-esteem.
But too much anxiety and stress can make your stomach fatter. By following these tips and developing healthy lifestyle habits, you’ll be well on your way to losing belly fat and feeling good about yourself.
I hope you found some insights into how to lose belly fat over 50.
Not sure where to start and need a bit of inspiration and motivation? Are you up for the challenge?
There are also tips on how to hide your tummy as you strive to lose weight.
Lastly, join my 30 Day Challenge for anxiety and stress relief, and learn 30 practical tips you can use every single day to feel good and stay on top of your game, because once you know how to settle yourself and reset your nervous system, you are free.
What is your best go-to tool to relieve stress?