Getting rid of belly fat was not a concern for me until ...after menopause. I realize that many women who read Heart Choices are much too young to know anything about belly fat after menopause. But I guess it's similar to belly fat after pregnancy. When you look down and see that extra roll of fat, it's not very pretty. And by the way, this is not a picture of me.
So, is there a secret formula to melt away the belly fat?
If I do 100 sit ups every day will that take care of the problem?
How about those pills that promise to be the magic bullet?
I hate to be the one to tell you this but ...it still comes down to the basics. You've got to cut back on the amount of calories you consume and get moving and ...get some exercise.
There are many reasons people gain weight in their belly. Here are a few:
Too many calories
Not enough physical activity
Aging related weight gain
As you get older, your metabolism slows down and so the amount of fat in your body increases. And I can tell you the fat distribution seems to shift to the abdomen.
I always remember having a thin waist when I was younger but now I really have to work at keeping it.If I gain weight, guess where it goes? Right to my belly and ...I hate that.
Having excess belly fat isn't good for your health either. It increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
OK, so what's the best way to lose belly fat?
Reduce the amount of calories you consume: Now, I'm talking about eating a healthy diet and not starving yourself. Increase the complex carbohydrates in your diet. This would include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This adds fiber and creates a feeling of fullness. Lean meat, fish and poultry can be added. Consume less simple sugars. Junk food and soda contains lots of sugar. So, skip the sweets and fast food.
Regular exercise that includes cardio: This is the best way to lose weight, including belly fat. Going for a daily walk is one of the best exercises and can be done anywhere without any special equipment. So, no excuses. If it's raining, walk in the mall. (But you must keep moving and not stop to shop.)
Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Spot reducing doesn't work! But in addition to your cardio, firming up your abdominal muscles will help flatten your belly. On another post, I'll have to share the sit up routine I learned at Sheryl Cooper's dance studio. She's Alice Cooper, the rock star's wife. I continue to do this routine just about every day.
Strength training: Some research shows that incorporating strength training in your exercise routine can be helpful. As women age, we lose muscle. Less muscle accounts for why we burn fewer calories than men do. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and ...the more you can eat without gaining weight. Doesn't that sound good?
As you can see, there's no easy way to melt away that fat around the belly and keep it off without healthy eating and exercise.
I keep saying this but it's about adopting a healthy lifestyle. And it's got to be one you can live with for the long term. After all, it's about taking care of your body so you have the energy and stamina to do the things God has called you to do.
So, let's get going girls (and guys too)!
I'm linking to Sandy at GodSpeaks Today on this Fitness Friday. Last week, I got all messed up on my days and forgot to write a post. Hmm ...is it the age thing? By the way, Sandy wrote about the importance of rest. After all, it's important to have balance. Did you know that sleep is another key to losing weight? Be sure to check out Sandy's blog and make sure she's awake!
I hope you'll add your comments and let me know if you've had success with getting rid of belly fat ... or not. I think we can all help each other.
Remember that losing
belly fat is not a sprint it is a marathon. Losing weight takes time and effort, but following these three simple tips should increase your results. Eat the proper amount of calories – neither too little nor too much do exercise properly and drink water in excess.