Belly fat is also known as visceral fat. It is hazardous as it intertwines your organs and causes metabolic disorders, heart disease, and even some cancers. Subcutaneous fat is easy to get rid of, but belly fat is stubborn, and it is hard to shove it off.
Our margin for error narrows down regarding health and fitness as we age. For example, we cannot eat whatever we want and still get results as we used to when we were younger. We cannot work out the way we want to, and we cannot sleep and do all sorts of other things we used to do when we were younger that got us results.
Factors that keep us from losing belly fat
As we age, our bodies begin to change as well. We may experience the following changes in our body:
- A decline in metabolic rate
- Less efficient in burning fat
- Harder to lose weight and tone up.
- Ladies gaining weight around the midsection after Menopause is extremely common. Estrogen levels drop dramatically, causing fat to accumulate around the belly.
Our hormone levels change as we approach our senior years and can cause imbalances that lead to weight gain. For example, a decrease in the hormone leptin signals to the brain that we are hungry, even when we are not. This can cause you to eat excessively and gain weight. Additionally, an increase in the stress hormone cortisol can also lead to weight gain, particularly in the form of belly fat.
Losing weight in older adults is often a challenge because of restricted physical activity and other health concerns. We all want to sit fit and look great from the outside and feel wonderful from within by staying healthy. You know that diets don’t work and so do the commercials on the television that go on endlessly about weight loss products and ideas. Weight loss does not mean buying some product or giving up on food; You need to understand that you can lose weight at any age. Start by changing your mindset and go back to your basics, take one step at a time. You are not going to do this overnight. Change your environment and follow these simple guidelines. They can bring a massive difference to your waistline even in your 70s.
How can we have a flat stomach?
1. You need physical activity.
Weight loss in older individuals is complicated because when weight loss does occur, there is a lot more muscle and bone loss than in younger individuals. Caloric and dietary restrictions can lead to a significant loss in muscle mass and bone density. This further increases the risk of fractures and injuries from falls. Staying physical activity is one of the best ways for seniors to maintain muscle and bone strength during a weight loss protocol. Indeed, it’s crucial to maintaining a healthy weight.
As age sets in, all the systems in our body inevitably start their slow decline, and physical activity helps preserve almost all aspects of our health, from the heart to brain to immune health. It is completely understandable that muscle and joint pains prevent you from doing too much. However, any physical activity you can feasibly tolerate is a good start. Working with a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist is a good idea if you suffer from muscle and joint pain, especially from surgeries and fractures in the past.
Doing activities such as water aerobics, chair yoga, Tai chi, or everyday physical things such as walking the dog and gardening are all excellent ideas. This is why we use the term “physical activity” rather than exercise. Anything that will move your muscles and body is good. If you have suffered from some injury or disability, start with simple physical movements that you can do within your limits and aim to do it consistently.
Set yourself little challenges such as raising your legs slightly higher on your chair or stretching your arms further. You can start with 30 to 40 minutes a day for two to three days a week and then build up. Even if you feel a little fatigued after a workout, it is good. Go slow to prevent injuries.
2. Meal plan
There is so much buzz around about different kinds of diets. You have the intermittent fasting diet, The ketogenic diet, the paleo diet, and the vegan diet. People lose weight on all these diets because they all work on a set of core foundational principles:
- It helps you control your calories and portions.
- They are higher in protein and healthy fats That keep you full longer.
However, any restrictive diet is not a long-term solution. We have a balanced approach that pulls different aspects of all these other diets and melds them into one. Most importantly, it is essential to have a schedule-based meal plan. Looking from the sustainability perspective of how you can stick to your diet over the long haul, decide when you should eat.
Extreme dieting makes you feel hungry constantly. When depriving your body constantly of food, you are also putting undue stress on your body. Eating less and expecting a flat belly long-term would not work. The hunger hormone ghrelin is also a fat-storing hormone.
Suppose you practice eating less and exercising more. You may temporarily lose weight, but you also increase your hunger hormone ghrelin or your fat-storing potential. Hence once you resume your normal eating, you will find that your body gains back weight very quickly.
As you age, you will not need as much energy as you did in your younger days. So if you were to eat as you did in your youthful days, you would start to gain weight. Once you reach your mid age, you need to change your eating habits. Eat slightly less and consume between 4 to 5 smaller meals a day.
3. Drink enough water
Drinking plenty of water is foundational for weight loss. Fat loss requires millions and millions of enzymatic chemical reactions that happen inside your cells. Cells are made up of 70 percent water. Hence, water is an essential element for all chemical reactions to take place inside the cells.
The worst mistake people make when losing weight is focusing only on diet and exercise. This may seem counter-intuitive. There is one more thing that is very important and that is your sleep. If you miss out on quality sleep, your body is highly resistant to losing weight.
Research studies show that if you go on a calorie-restricted diet and are sleep-deprived, you lose weight, but this weight loss comes from the muscle tissue, which further decreases your metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight further. You require at least 7 hours of quality sleep. Trying to shed weight without proper rest is like throwing a ball uphill, and the ball eventually coming down to the same place. Sleeping adequately helps prime your body and keep hormones in check, enabling you to lose the extra fat and keep it off.
Suppose you are not sleeping regularly for upto 6 hours a night and you constantly feel tired. In this case, your body is already under enough stress which means higher cortisol levels. Less ammount of sleep also increases ghrelin hormone, which stimulates hunger which means you may consume more high fat and high sugar food in a day.
Flat Stomach Solution
- Sleep between 7 to 9 hours every night
- Caffeine is a powerful subtance and should be avoided in the evening.
- Keep away all electronic devices one hour prior to sleep.
- Keep your room pleasant and dark to ensure that you get a good rest.
5. Manage your medication
It’s common to be taking multiple medications as we reach our senior years. While taking a prescribed medicine is essential, some drugs cause weight gain and may cause more harm than good. For example, some diabetes medications such as insulin, Sulfonylureas, mood medications such as antidepressants, pain medications such as Gabapentin are well known to cause weight gain.
It is not recommended to stop medications solely to lose weight. However, since you may require the medication, playing around with the doses without any medical guidance can cause more serious medical problems!
However, you can have an open discussion with your doctor. He can streamline or reduce the number of medications you take while maintaining the essential therapeutic effects.
Many different supplements in the market claim to help with weight loss. However, not all supplements are created equal. Do your research for a supplement that is safe and effective.
Some tips for finding a safe and effective weight loss supplement include:
– Check the labels: Be sure to check the label of any supplement you’re considering. The label should list all the ingredients and the amount of each ingredient.
– Research the ingredients: Once you know what’s in a supplement, research each ingredient to ensure it is safe and effective.
– Talk to your doctor: Before you start taking any supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor. This is especially imperative if you have any health conditions or are taking any medications.
Can you spot-reduce flat stomach?
It is essential to understand that you cannot spot-reduce fat, which means that having 100 or 1000 crunches every day will not melt away your belly fat. To reduce belly fat, you have to bring down your total body fat percentage. To give you an idea, a lean belly Is about 10% body fat for males and 20% body fat for females.
When you have a lot of belly fat, it’s also associated with inflammation. Highly processed foods such as sugar, fried foods, chips, crackers, and soda drinks cause inflammation. This makes the belly appear larger than it should be. This food also causes your insulin level to spike, also known as the fat-storing hormone.
Insulin encourages your liver to store fat around your belly area. Hence even if you are on a low-calorie diet, but your diet mainly consists of junk food, you will find it very difficult to shift fat from your belly. Remember, not all calories are equal. It is not about counting every single calorie. It is more about eating the proper calorie to burn fat and get a flat tummy.
The easiest thing to do right away is to cut out on all junk food, and you will notice the difference in just one week. Instead, eat such as green leafy vegetables and other high-inflammatory ingredients try eating more natural healthy meals. berries, ginger, turmeric, healthy fats from Salmon nuts and seeds. These foods will help Digesting food burns up to 12 calories per minute, making it easier for you have less belly fat and feel more confident in your clothes.
What is a healthy body weight for seniors?
Unfortunately, that answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. Body composition, or muscle to fat ratio, changes with age. Seniors tend to lose muscle mass and gain fat mass as they age. This shift means that BMI alone isn’t always an accurate measure of healthy body weight.
Waist circumference is a more acceptable indicator of health risks associated with excess body fat. For most adults, a waist circumference of more than 35 inches (88 cm) for women and more than 40 inches (102 cm) for men signals an increased risk for obesity-related health problems. When it comes to seniors, though, the cut-off points are lower. For example, a waist circumference of more than 31.50 inches (80 cm) for women and more than 35.43 inches (90 cm) for men signals an increased health risk in seniors.
Working out with small actionable steps will help you to take concrete actions towards weight loss, rather than just harboring this great idea in your head. Excellent weight loss advice is useless if you cannot do it. If creating these small, simple steps is difficult for you, visit our website for more weight loss info and help.
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!