Are you a woman over 40 with a growing belly? Read on…
You had been a pear shape – carrying extra weight in your hips, thighs, and butt all your life, and suddenly you notice a weight gain around your mid-section.
Many women notice their belly growing fat after 40.
As you age your fat distribution tends to shift.
You get less fat deposited in the arms, legs, hips, and butt, while more grows in the belly area.
This stomach fat trend increases after menopause because hormonal changes take place that changes the way fat is broken down and stored by the body.
Having your belly grow fat has more significance than merely being an undesired change in your appearance; it can also cause a significant increase in health risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
The Body has Two Types of Fat:
1. Subcutaneous fat is found directly under the skin. It is less likely to be a health risk compared to the other type of fat called visceral fat.
2. Visceral fat is belly fat. It lies deeper inside and actually wraps itself around the internal organs of the abdomen.
The latter type of fat is the dangerous kind and most responsible for your belly growing fat.
Belly fat is particularly unhealthy because it is “metabolically active“.
What this means is that it more freely releases fat into the bloodstream.
This increased blood fat can lead to higher cholesterol levels and artery disease.
Visceral (belly) fat does not just take up space; it actually produces hormones and other substances that can adversely affect your health.
These hormones can promote the development of insulin resistance which is a precursor of Type 2 Diabetes or even produce estrogen in post-menopausal women, which can increase their risk of breast cancer.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat Over 40
The good news is that belly fat responds well to exercise and a reduced-calorie diet.
The key is to be consistent with your weight loss efforts.
Exercises should combine aerobic exercise, such as walking, with strength training. This combination has been shown, through research, to be highly effective in reducing belly fat.
An effective way to schedule your exercise is to alternate aerobic and strength training exercises six days of the week with one day of rest.
For your diet, stick with nutrient-dense foods (i.e. vegetables, fruits, beans, nut & seeds), and avoid processed and refined foods.
For more on how to follow a nutrient-dense diet, watch my free video series – 4 Daily Habits for Weight Loss
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About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.