Around the time of menopause, estrogen levels drop and fat redistributes away from the lower body, where it served as a fuel reserve for childbirth and breastfeeding, to the abdomen.
You may think you can't lose belly fat after 50, but really it just takes more exercise and dietary diligence than it did when you were younger.
Becoming more physically active goes a long way in helping to address belly fat in people of any age, including women.
Cardiovascular exercise promotes visceral fat loss when combined with calorie restriction better than dieting alone. You'll also need to weight-train to mitigate the natural loss of muscle mass as you age.
For the weight-training portion of your workouts, target each of the major muscle groups -- hips, back, chest, abdominals, legs, arms and shoulders -- with at least two sessions per week. You may face a number of stresses in your 50s: kids in college, aging parents and changes in your career.
Choose lean proteins, such as chicken breast, white fish or tofu, and plenty of leafy greens to fill up your plate at most meals. A serving of healthy unsaturated fat, such as 3 ounces of fatty fish, an ounce of walnuts or a tablespoon of olive oil provides critical nutrients essential to heart and bone health. Scientific American: Why Does Fat Deposit on the Hips and Thighs of Women and Around the Stomachs of Men?
With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. Even if the number on the scale is the same as it has always been, your waistline may expand as your proportion of body fat to lean mass changes.


This fat that expands your belly is likely visceral, or intra-abdominal fat, surrounding internal organs. As you age, your energy expenditure lowers because you naturally lose lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.
As Rush University Medical Center notes, the first type of fat lost in anyone who loses weight with exercise is visceral fat.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that participants over the age of 50 who participated in 90 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise -- cycling indoors -- five times per week lost significantly more visceral fat than those who only restricted calories. A study published in a Brazilian medical journal in 2014 confirmed that post-menopausal women in their 50s who did cardio exercise, weight training and flexibility movements experienced less visceral fat gain and muscle loss than women who did not.
During your strength-training sessions, choose weights that make you feel fatigued by the last two or three repetitions in a set of eight to 12. A 16-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2006 examined the effect of sleep on almost 70,000 women. Chronic stress leads to the secretion of cortisol, a hormone that makes you crave high-fat, high-sugar foods. A study published in a 2012 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed postmenopausal women who changed their eating behavior to eat fewer desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages and fried foods, and who ate out at restaurants less often, experienced the most weight loss. A study published in a 2014 issue of Diabetes discovered that overeating saturated fats caused more visceral fat development that eating too much unsaturated fat.
She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University. The good news is that you can take measures to minimize belly fat, even after you hit the half-century mark.


Sarcopenia, this natural loss of muscle, begins in your 30s and continues throughout your later years; you lose about 1 pound of muscle every year. Fidgeting as well as walking regularly also helps increase your daily calorie burn so you control belly fat. Increase weight gradually, as well as the number of sets, when the weights start to become manageable.
Researchers found those who regularly got less than five hours of sleep gained significantly more weight than those who slept an average of seven hours per night.
Snack on whole foods such as fresh fruit and raw nuts, or enjoy a container of plain Greek yogurt. Physically inactive women will see the greatest effects of sarcopenia, but because it's based on factors of aging, even active women will notice its effects slightly. Make getting seven to eight hours of sleep a priority to support your belly-fat losing efforts. For these reasons, it takes extra calorie-burning efforts and calorie trimming to get results. A small study published in a 2012 issue of Menopause found that women over the age of 50 who added yoga to their weekly routine lost more belly fat, as well as experienced improvements in other health markers, than those who did not.



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