So, unfortunately as we age, our metabolism starts to slow down, our muscle mass loss is quicker and we lose our waists. For women, our waistlines thicken and lose our shape and for the boys, that cuddly beer belly starts to shine through.
Can we do something about this. Yes of course, but again, as we age, our exercise and activity needs change. It’s not all about diet, there’s a lot of activity that needs to take place. We can’t just diet and think that’s going to fix it. Yes it will to a degree, but for the plus 35s (yes sorry it does start then! unless you are genetically blessed, and we all know at least one of those friends!), you need to work at it and change some habits.
What causes the pesky belly fat to hang around? Well stress (cortisol hangs onto the fat) it’s a serious cause of belly fat resistance so we need to reduce that, eating too much for our activity level (if you are sitting down all day, you don’t need to eat so much), lack of sleep or interrupted sleep try to get some good shut eye which could mean changing a few evening rituals, lack of activity, too much alcohol, too many lattes and overindulging in the dairy altogether, eating processed or packaged foods or another serious cause is, “I just can’t be bothered syndrome” which collectively is, I can’t, I don’t feel like it, its too dark, I have a sore toe, I’m too tired and I don’t have time. All of which takes a bit of time to actually change in our mind to allow us to exercise.
The To Do List
Unfortunately we aren’t all made the same way so not all workouts and advice suits everyone, if you can adhere to a book or an app, then great, but if you can’t you need some motivation, like a Personal Trainer at least once a week to knock on your door and get you moving for at least 30 mins, will keep you on track. This way you can at least receive a more personalised program tailored to you.
But, in general, here are some things you could try:
You need to combine muscle growth with cardiovascular exercise to get the best results. Constant moderate exercise and doing the same thing day in and out will not help entirely. So you need to mix it up.
- At least once a day, at lunchtime if you work in an office, in the morning before work or after work, you need to have a moderate walk for 15-20 mins.
- Office workers, make sure you get up out of your chair once every 30 mins and have a walk around.
- Try to not have more than one milk based coffee in one day, if you do make it medium at most and try to stick to tea and water mostly. Add a lemon or a strawberry, or even cucumber is nice in your water bottle if you fancy something a bit more interesting.
- Try to control stressful periods with taking yourself out of the stressful situation and into something different for at least 10 minutes when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Put some thought into what you are grabbing for lunch if you are out ‘n’ about, more clean food protein and salad is the best option, try to stay away from chinese, mexican, roasts with gravies and chips etc, you know the drill. A salad sandwich, home made salad, or leftovers is the best option. If you have to eat out, try Japanese, a salad bar (just avoid too much processed meats), or the roast with the veggies and no chips and gravy. There are plenty of more healthy option cafes around these days so choose one of those if you can.
- Your workouts need to be frequent and different, if you can’t sign up to a class/gym or a personal trainer, try adding a bit of a jog to your walk, walk for 2 mins, jog for 30 seconds, walk for 1 min, jog for 1 min, then run up a hill, then back to walking. The body fat responds to the random activities well and the change of intensities.
- Building muscle is soooooo very important to add into your days. Fairly easy to do, there are plenty of resources but try some basics first that don’t need any equipment: squats, lunges, push ups, crunches, tricep dips, burpees, etc. Contact me for a free basics program.
- I’m a massive advocate for exercising outdoors because it just makes you feel so much better all round, so here are some more things you can do… Get on your bike and ride, go outside for a beach walk, most beaches have stairs or at least some dunes to run up and down, the sand changes the intensity and builds great leg muscles, the local parks have equipment and benches use them to step up on, push ups and tricep dips, go for a hike on the weekend, or more adventurous, try actual hill climbing or join a group to take you out rock climbing.
But seriously, even if you are just sick of the fat for vanities sake and want a hot bod, you really need to consider making some changes if you have belly fat. This visceral fat is dangerous to your health, its stored around your abdominal wall and organs and associated with increased risks of type 2 diabetes, hormonal fluctuations, heart disease, various cancers and Alzheimers disease. It’s a scary health issue not just a vanity issue especially if you are ‘mid-life’ shall we say!
Addressing it as soon as you can see it is the best time to get on top of it. Then you can look super hot and be super healthy too.
If you need help with this, I’m here to help you navigate making changes to your lifestyle, even if it’s just a couple of visits to get you on track or a check-in once a week to get you moving.
I have been personal trainer and nutrition coach since 2007 and I love to help people make the changes needed to be not just body healthy but emotionally happy too, they generally go hand in hand. So wherever you are, if you are reading this and just don’t know where to start, contact me for a chat to see what we can put in place for you! You can also follow me on instagram @create_health_fitness.