How to Lose Belly Weight After 50

As you age, weight tends to settle around the midsection.
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Losing weight can become more of a challenge as you get older, but it’s still possible to tone your tummy and maintain a healthy physique. According to the Mayo Clinic, middle age signifies a period when people normally begin to lose lean muscle mass and gain body fat. Weight distribution may send much of that fat to the midsection, especially on women, but you can keep it in check with smart eating and regular exercise.

    Banish belly fat with regular cardio, which is more effective at burning calories than strength exercise. While it won’t allow you to “spot reduce,” cardio can eliminate excess fat in all areas of your body and won’t neglect your stomach. More intense exercise will burn more calories, but it’s fine to start slowly and build up to longer and harder sessions. Try to meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations of 150 minutes or more of moderate physical activity each week with biking, jogging, dancing, swimming or aerobics.

    Include strength exercises in your routine, even though you can’t eradicate belly fat with only them. They’re very effective at toning muscles and can give your stomach a sleeker look, but they also perform the important work of keeping bones and muscles strong and ensuring that you have a balanced, steady core. The classic crunch and situp are great for strengthening abs, but it can be more helpful to do exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. In a 2001 study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, bicycle crunches were found to be the ab exercise that engaged oblique muscles most effectively. Try static exercises, too, such as holding a plank pose for as long as you can.

    Cut the amount of calories you need to steadily lose weight. By cutting 500 calories per day from your diet, you’ll lose about a pound per week, and eventually that extra fat will come off your stomach. As the Mayo Clinic notes, you’re likely to need fewer calories as you age, especially if you’re less active. Keep track of what you eat with an online calorie counter, and forgo processed foods and sugar-rich foods in favor of foods with low-energy-density levels – meaning they have many nutrients and few calories.

    See your doctor for approval before starting any new diet or exercise program. Losing belly fat is a gradual process, so it’s normal to see slow but steady change. Check up again if four to six weeks of a new program have passed with no evident change.

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