I’m pulling back the curtain on Flipping 50 programs in this post. Every single belly fat solution here is included in the 28-Day Kickstart and the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women.
Whether you want or need to lose weight… OR, it’s just that the belly fat won’t budge, OR you want to get your energy and mojo back, these are the pieces. Each one I present is tied to research specifically targeting women 50+ (included below).
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I’m a prove-it-to-me girl, too.
It all starts (and ends) with these steps. They aren’t core exercises. Your core muscle may need attention but if your exercise habits didn’t change, yet your belly fat did, then you’ve got to look at the whole picture. Exercise alone though isn’t the answer.
You’ve got to set yourself up for:
- wanting to exercise
- having energy to do quality exercise
- recovery, through nutrition that supports positive exercise change
Trouble Getting Motivated? Feed Yourself Fiber First
Eating 30 grams of fiber each day – even if you do nothing else – could improve weight loss significantly. Subjects in a study followed either a more complex diet and increased fiber or only increased fiber. Both groups lost weight. The group that followed all changes did best, but only by a marginal increase.
Recognize Your Sugar Intake. What Causes Belly Fat Anyway?
Simply said, increasing sugar intake, making no other changes, increases body fat, while decreasing sugar, making no other changes, decreases body fat. When belly fat won’t budge take a closer look at what you’re eating you don’t recognize as sugar.
I say “limit” sugar as opposed to omit because eliminating is almost impossible. Fruit is sugar. A sweet potato is sugar. Beets are sugar. So you want to be aware of the fact that your body just recognizes sugar once it’s in the body. It doesn’t say, oh, this sugar is from pineapple or beets, it’s good, and digest it differently. When food gets broken down and it rapidly turns to sugar as it’s digested, the good stuff too can spike your blood sugar and therefore your fat storage.
Eat Protein for Breakfast
Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss.
It boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and positively changes several weight-regulating hormones (GIP, and ghrelin are two).
Lower calorie diets (moderate intake compared to excess or calorie restricted) with high nutrient density including protein are key to maintaining muscle while losing fat weight.
Per meal recommendations of 25-30 grams of protein benefit metabolism and body composition both. Surprisingly, for my clients energy has also been a big benefit – even within the first week.
Boost Omega 3
Fish oil can reduce inflammation and cortisol, which in turn help fat metabolism and lean muscle gains. In adults over 50 there’s a resistance to gaining lean muscle tissue, so if you do find it harder to lose weight, there’s a reason. But you can overcome it and fish oil may be a part of your arsenal. A study showed taking 4 grams of fish oil daily alleviates that resistance to adding muscle that can come (does not HAVE to) with age. Further, Omega 3 supplementation boosted the ability of the body to gain muscle from protein in the diet. Add that to your proper exercise and you’re golden for longevity you love.
Go Gluten-free and Add Pro and Probiotics
You want to get the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. I know you’re reading that a small percent of the population is actually celiac (allergic to gluten). Yet a high percent of us are actually sensitive to gluten, and it can indeed affect your weight.
- Add pre (garlic, beets, artichokes, chickpeas, pistachios)
- Add probiotics (raw fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt)
- Eat deeply colored plant foods (rich in polyphenols)
Everything in Moderation?
No. If you’re sensitive you want to be 100% “in” on getting things that disturb your gut “out.” At some point you may retest (lab or literally with food) to see how you’re doing. You may heal your gut and be able to handle it again. But having some every day, having a little here and there? Just no. If you really want to feel better, you won’t.
If you think some of the foods you have to give up are addicting, wait until you feel good on a daily basis. You’ll never go back.
Oh, and those addictive foods (or over exercise, for that matter?) are exactly a clue (the I can’t give it up, I have to…) that it’s ADDICTION not healthy choice.
Shift to Resistant Starches
Women need carbohydrates to be happy. Carbs support sleep. If your mood and energy tank while you’re on a diet it’s not likely you’re going to see sustained weight loss. You need to identify the right carbohydrates and the right time to eat them. It’s not intuitive! Your exercise will be so much more effective if you’ve got the right fuel.
There are details you want to be aware of when it comes to carbohydrates we’ve been led to believe are “healthy.” They may contribute to belly fat.
Eating too much lectin could interfere – molecules bind to leptin receptors, inhibiting leptin’s ability to signal that you’re full. Beyond that lectins can cause digestive issues after long time exposure, but can go undetected except for the inability to lose weight. Removing high lectin foods – like the 6-11 servings of grain a day recommended by the USDA food pyramid is a good start. Dried beans, legumes, soy and peanuts, even quinoa and nightshades contain them.
I learned that my DNA predisposes me to gluten sensitivity (and foods with lectin are almost all also full of gluten) so I have a stronger commitment to eliminating them now. More about testing your DNA.
Leptin resistance develops when inflammation is present. Reduce inflammation by supplementing with Omega 3 and or eating omega-3 rich foods like salmon and sardines regularly. I do both, as well as avoiding lectin-containing foods whenever possible.
The very thing you’ve been trying to do backfires on you big time. If you reduce calories your body shuts down (metabolism and hormone production – including leptin). For women in menopause fasting may or may not be right for you. Discuss with a coach your past and present situation including relationship with food first.
Fasting? Alternate day fasting did not benefit midlife women in one weight loss study. You may need to test it for yourself.
Decreasing caloric intake overall combined with increased protein intake and meal replacement (e.g. smoothiefrom clean quality protein) supported not only results but compliance. It seems fasting is just too extreme to maintain and often results in a binge that follows. That said, if you’re inclined and you can, intermittent fasting won’t hurt your results: it just won’t necessarily boost or enhance them.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT stimulates growth hormone (and testosterone) which stimulates leptin.
Long endurance exercise will kill your efforts. More is not more. More is self-sabotage. This is a mixed and complicated message, I know.
Yes, you need to move more.
However, you need to exercise LESS.
You want to do short, focused exercise sessions that include HIIT, weight training, AND low intensity movement.
Your effective workouts can be 10 or 20 minutes long most days of the week and then longer “play” on the weekends.
Moving more is about what you do all day every day. The 30 minutes of “exercise” is not going to save you from sitting on your bum 23.5 hours a day.
When you start eating better, and because of it sleeping better, your exercise will improve your life. You will naturally be inspired to move more each and every day. Twenty-three hours more movement daily even at a lower level than you exercise for 30 minutes is what makes the MOST difference between those overweight/obese and not. So yes, exercise, but move more all day for the most impact on your health and hotness.
Good Night, Hottie!
If you skip sleep or don’t prioritize it’s importance in saying good bye to your belly fat, your leptin levels can be 15% lower than if you were sleeping. So Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) production is elevated and Leptin (your satiety hormone) is down without sleep.
Want support with making these changes in a way that’s not overwhelming?
Take 28 Days and feel better fast. Four weeks is going to pass anyway. You A.) change nothing and feel the same, B.) try something extreme and feel worse, or C.) you could do this with me and feel way better! (I’d choose “C”!)