Lose Belly Fat Over 55
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Obesity is a global health crisis affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds, from those of all backgrounds. It occurs when one consumes more calories than their body can burn through daily activities and exercise.
The extra calories stored as fat. Obesity increases health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure as well as physical issues like breathing difficulties, arthritis or sleep apnea as well as decreased work productivity and an increased need for health care services.
Now more than ever before, many low- and middle-income countries face the dual burden of malnutrition and obesity, due to an accelerated transition towards high-calorie foods associated with industrialization and wealth, coupled with urbanization and shifting work patterns that increase inactivity levels.
Genetic, metabolic and hormonal factors all play a part in an individual's risk for obesity. Prader-Willi syndrome is one of the causes of childhood obesity; underactive thyroid, Cushing syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome also can contribute to weight gain as can medication such as antidepressants, steroids or contraceptives; finally environmental factors like family culture or where one lives have an effect on weight.
Preventing obesity requires leading a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and cutting back on sugary drinks, but many individuals struggle to stick with such an approach and successfully lose the necessary weight due to family/cultural influences, lack of time or busy lives as well as stress.
We'll cover the following key points:
- Belly fat
- Gender differences
- How to lose belly fat
What is Belly Fat?
An occasional excess of body fat is normal, but too much can lead to serious health problems.
Some forms of this fat, known as subcutaneous fat, is stored just below the skin while more dangerous types - including visceral fat (belly fat) - reside deeper within our abdominal cavities, wrapping around organs.
Visceral fat has been linked with numerous health conditions and even increased mortality risks.
To determine whether you have too much visceral fat, you can use either your waist-height ratio or body composition analyzer (available at most fitness stores).
Visceral fat cells when activated produce hormones and chemicals that can lead to various illnesses, from low-level inflammation and reduced insulin sensitivity, potentially leading to diabetes, to precursors for angiotensin which causes blood vessels to constrict, raising blood pressure.
The Dangers of Excessive Visceral Fat
An excess of visceral fat can be detrimental to one's health and may put individuals at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Visceral fat produces hormones and chemicals that can contribute to serious health complications, including cytokines that increase your chances of diabetes and make insulin less effective, leading to heart disease and strokes.
Researchers have discovered that excess visceral fat is linked to high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes and cancer - among other health conditions. Belly fat may affect leptin hormone, which regulates hunger.
Furthermore, excess visceral fat may produce fatty acids that travel into liver leading to insulin resistance or metabolic issues that hinder metabolism.
How Visceral Fat Is Measured
Visceral fat cannot be seen or felt directly, unlike subcutaneous fat that collects just beneath the skin.
You may be able to pinch some padding from arms, buttocks, and thighs but this is not visceral fat as it doesn't build up around internal organs. Imaging scans such as an MRI or CT can detect visceral fat deposits; however, these are costly and not widely available.
There's no surefire way of measuring visceral fat, but one way you can gain an approximate idea is through waist measurements.
Women tend to reach the tipping point where visceral fat becomes problematic at 35 inches or greater, while for men 40 inches or larger poses greater health risks.
While you cannot directly see or touch this invisible type of fat, diet and exercise can significantly lower visceral fat levels - by eating healthily, cutting back on sugary snacks, and engaging in physical activities regularly you can greatly decrease visceral fat levels significantly!
What Causes Visceral Fat?
There are two kinds of body fat: subcutaneous (pinchable), and visceral fat, which accumulates deeper inside your abdominal cavity and accumulates on organs that support you, producing chemicals and hormones which damage cells causing further fat storage and increase in body size and illness.
Visceral fat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and certain cancers such as breast and colon cancers.
When we consume too many calories without exercising enough, our bodies store any extra as visceral fat.
Not only will this cause your belly to expand and give you an apple-shape figure, but visceral fat also produces harmful chemicals which damage cells in our stomach and liver, increasing insulin resistance, cholesterol levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes, among many other health complications.
Visceral fat can be more difficult to lose than subcutaneous fat, but you can reduce visceral fat by following a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity.
Studies have shown that visceral fat begins shrinking more rapidly when you reduce caloric intake while simultaneously increasing physical activity levels; so it's crucial that a balanced plan includes both of these strategies in order to be successful at losing visceral fat.
What Are the Signs of Visceral Fat?
Some ways of telling if you have too much visceral fat include measuring your waist circumference and BMI. Your doctor may also order imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans when they suspect visceral fat to get a more comprehensive view.
Good news is that visceral fat can be eliminated through proper nutrition and physical activity.
Aim to include lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lots of fruits and vegetables as staples of your diet while limiting processed and sugary food sources as much as possible and drinking plenty of water every day.
You should aim for 30 minutes or more of both aerobic exercise (yoga/walking/biking) and strength training every day - such as yoga/walking/biking/swimming/lifting weights/push ups/sit-ups etc.).
Do men have more belly fat than women?
You may feel that you have more abdominal fat than women.
You may have a point. Men are more likely than women to have visceral belly fat, despite the fact that women tend to be fatter.
This is due to the differences between men and women in their eating habits. Men who are overweight are more likely than women to consume high-calorie, large meals.
All is not lost, however! This article will explain how to get rid of stomach fat and reach your desired body weight if you feel heavier around the middle. Both men and women can use these methods.
What to Do To Lose Belly Fat
No matter what influencers may tell you, there isn't a simple way to get rid of stomach fat. It's not possible to target only belly fat. Instead, you should aim to reduce your overall body weight.
Maintaining a healthy, consistent lifestyle is the best way to achieve this.
If you're looking to lose belly fat, here are 10 things that will help.
1. Create A Calorie Deficit
You need to have a deficit in calories if you want to lose weight. Eat fewer calories that you gain. You will lose stomach fat only during your cutting phase if you cycle between bulking and cutting to gain muscle.
Unfortunately, many people lose fat in the abdomen last. It's possible to lose the fat first from your face and limbs, which can make you feel as if there is no progress.
Your waist circumference can reduce if you lose weight consistently over several months. It just takes some time.
As hard as it may be, you must remain patient. If you have a deficit in calories you will eventually lose the weight around your stomach.
2. Foods High in Sugar
The main cause of obesity in all age groups is sugar. Sugary foods have many calories, but they don't make you feel satisfied. You will need to consume more to get full. Sugary food can cause blood sugar to spike and crash, leading to cravings.
3. Reducing your stress levels
The enemy of flat abs is stress! Stress causes our bodies to produce more cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that encourages us to store fat. It's a type of protective response in which we fight or flee from perceived danger. This hormone has an impact on fat that is around the waist.
What can you do?
When you feel stressed, learn and practice breathing and grounding techniques.
Schedule some time for relaxation every week.
Enjoy time with your family and friends.
Say no if you're the type of person that takes on too much responsibility!
Listen to music, create something, or draw.
If you are having difficulty managing your stress or anxiety, seek medical advice.
4. Sleep More
You are more likely than not to become obese if you sleep less than six hours. This is especially true if you have abdominal fat.
Sleeping to reduce belly fat
You will crave unhealthy food if you feel tired all day.
5. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can help with weight loss and are good for long-term health. Green leafy vegetables in particular are low in calories and are a great source of filling food. Fruit and vegetables will make you feel fuller and help to maintain a deficit in calories.
6. Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is essentially liquid calories. Alcohol won't make you feel full at all. After a few drinks you will likely have exceeded your daily caloric limit. You are more likely to overeat and crave junk food when you drink alcohol.
7. Protein is important for your health.
Most high-protein foods, like vegetables, are low in calories and very filling. Protein is also necessary to improve body composition and build muscle.
What are the best protein sources for weight loss?
- Chicken and turkey are lean meats.
- Greek low fat yoghurt
- Beans, preferably in their natural form rather than a sauce with sugar.
- Protein Powder
8. Resistance training
It is true that muscle burns more fat than fat. Higher muscle mass will increase your metabolism speed. This means that the more muscles you have the more you'll burn fat even when you don't go to the gym.
9. Walk More
The best way to lose weight is by walking. Increase your daily steps to reduce your fat.
Try to boost your step count. Instead of worrying about achieving a target 10,000 steps per day, increase it by 20 percent.
10. Including a supplement with your regime
Losing belly fat is a difficult task, even if you do everything correctly. We always recommend a 'food first' approach to diet and nutrition.
However, occasionally if you are exercising a lot alongside calorie restriction your body may need adidtional micronutrients and botanical extracts to help with recovery and ensure that you're not suffering from any deficiencies.
Military Muscle supports muscle growth, muscle recovery, sleep and includes electrolytes that are lost through sweat.
Visceral fat, insulates our organs. It has been linked with various health conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol. Visceral fat also stiffens up blood vessels leading to increased blood pressure and an increased risk for stroke.
Unwanted belly fat can not only increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but can also trigger inflammation throughout the body and result in insulin resistance. Visceral fat may even encourage new cell formation that eventually transforms into cancerous tumours in some instances.
Visceral fat can be reduced with healthy eating habits and plenty of physical activity, such as aerobic exercises such as jogging and running as well as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT).
For optimal results, aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day or 20-30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which combines short bursts of intense activity with rest periods.
You can add to your exercise and nutrition regime with a supplement to maximize your results.