Friday, March 6, 2009

How To Get Rid of Belly Fat

Getting rid of belly fat was not a concern for me until ...after menopause.

I realize that many women who read Heart Choices are much too young to know anything about belly fat after menopause. But I guess it's similar to belly fat after pregnancy. When you look down and see that extra roll of fat, it's not very pretty. And by the way, this is not a picture of me.

So, is there a secret formula to melt away the belly fat?

If I do 100 sit ups every day will that take care of the problem?

How about those pills that promise to be the magic bullet?

I hate to be the one to tell you this but ...it still comes down to the basics. You've got to cut back on the amount of calories you consume and get moving and ...get some exercise.

There are many reasons people gain weight in their belly. Here are a few:
  • Heredity

  • Hormonal changes

  • Too many calories

  • Not enough physical activity

  • Aging related weight gain

As you get older, your metabolism slows down and so the amount of fat in your body increases. And I can tell you the fat distribution seems to shift to the abdomen.

I always remember having a thin waist when I was younger but now I really have to work at keeping it. If I gain weight, guess where it goes? Right to my belly and ...I hate that.

Having excess belly fat isn't good for your health either. It increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers.


OK, so what's the best way to lose belly fat?


  • Reduce the amount of calories you consume: Now, I'm talking about eating a healthy diet and not starving yourself. Increase the complex carbohydrates in your diet. This would include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This adds fiber and creates a feeling of fullness. Lean meat, fish and poultry can be added. Consume less simple sugars. Junk food and soda contains lots of sugar. So, skip the sweets and fast food.


  • Regular exercise that includes cardio: This is the best way to lose weight, including belly fat. Going for a daily walk is one of the best exercises and can be done anywhere without any special equipment. So, no excuses. If it's raining, walk in the mall. (But you must keep moving and not stop to shop.)


  • Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Spot reducing doesn't work! But in addition to your cardio, firming up your abdominal muscles will help flatten your belly. On another post, I'll have to share the sit up routine I learned at Sheryl Cooper's dance studio. She's Alice Cooper, the rock star's wife. I continue to do this routine just about every day.


  • Strength training: Some research shows that incorporating strength training in your exercise routine can be helpful. As women age, we lose muscle. Less muscle accounts for why we burn fewer calories than men do. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and ...the more you can eat without gaining weight. Doesn't that sound good?

As you can see, there's no easy way to melt away that fat around the belly and keep it off without healthy eating and exercise.

I keep saying this but it's about adopting a healthy lifestyle. And it's got to be one you can live with for the long term. After all, it's about taking care of your body so you have the energy and stamina to do the things God has called you to do.

So, let's get going girls (and guys too)!

I'm linking to Sandy at God Speaks Today on this Fitness Friday. Last week, I got all messed up on my days and forgot to write a post. Hmm ...is it the age thing? By the way, Sandy wrote about the importance of rest. After all, it's important to have balance. Did you know that sleep is another key to losing weight? Be sure to check out Sandy's blog and make sure she's awake!

I hope you'll add your comments and let me know if you've had success with getting rid of belly fat ... or not. I think we can all help each other.

14 comments:

  1. Debbie:

    I laughed out loud when I read your comment about the belly fat picture. :) Funny.

    Yes, the research on belly fat is eye-opening. More and more, they are finding a connection between the measurement around your belly and your over all health.

    After two pregnancies (both c-sections) I had no problem getting my flat belly back. But I also worked out like crazy as soon as the doctor released me (well, actually before he released me, but I don't recommend that).

    I haven't hit menopause, but I'm preparing my body now with a healthy lifestyle.

    Great post, Debbie.

    Love you!
    Sandy

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  2. Debbie,

    Great post! I do hope to gain muscle now and firm up...especially my legs. My tummy area was of concern and still has some areas I'd like to firm up. I'll be glad when I get my strength back after this change in medication so I can get back to walking again.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

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  3. Belly fat can be a sign of things like insulin resistance, also called metabolic syndrome, which I found out I have. Sugar and too many carbs can make the problem worse. The bulk of my weight is around my middle and all this happened like an out of body experience as I approached menopause. Thanks for your information on this.

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  4. Loved this post. So glad there are others out there that are past menopause and struggle with this..especially extra lbs in winter.
    All that you shared is perfect but I am also making "green lemonade" for a supplement-made with Romainne lettuce, spinach, lemon, apples and I've added garlic. I take prescription med's which are bad for my liver so am trying to do a liver cleanse and eat more raw healthy foods-dried fruit as well. I'll let you know if my "gunk" as hubby calls it works..to help rid my body of toxins and lose some lbs. Blessings to you Debbie.
    Noreen

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  5. Debbie, you made me laugh out loud when I read your disclaimer that the picture wasn't of you! LOL!!! I think that is pretty obvious. You're so tiny.

    Belly fat, leg fat, arm fat ... it is all disgusting (speaking about myself here) and I'm ready for it to go. Now that spring is coming, I hope to get MOVING.

    Love!
    Beth

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  6. Hey Debbie..this is a big area of interest..and frustration for many! I am working on that belly fat..slowly. I had the twiggy body before kids..now its different. When I gain weight..I gain in my gut..and my chest..But the first place I lose is my chest.. I feel like I can never get rid of that muffin top.
    Thanks for the post. Good info. I didn't get a recipe up this week..Been very busy w/ my soap!
    Alyce

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  7. Oh! Please do share the ab routine you learned at Sheryl Cooper's dance studio - I would love to learn it :)
    I'll especially need it this summer after I give birth! :)

    Such a great post! Thanks, girl!

    Blessings to you,
    Kate :)

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  8. As I sit here reading this (top button of my jeans unsnapped), I once again have a new determination to get on my bike (remember, it is pink!), go for a walk, and to actually not eat the muffin, but rather consider that I do not want to be referred to as a "muffin top." Cute names cannot disguise the fact that it is indeed belly fat.
    Thanks ( I think ) for bringing my attention to my need to work on this area - again!!

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  9. I don't get belly fat, I get back/hip fat!! Hopefully these tips will help me out there!!

    Have a blessed day,
    Lindsey

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  10. I think it is very important to be aware of life's changes. I have some friends that are going through menopause - and so have learnt about things I can do to help myself through it. (I have at least ten years yet, I'm still in the baby baking stage...lol) but I've made a goal to be in good shape for when that time comes. But I just know after this pregnancy I will have to acquaint myself with my changed body again so I can make the most out of my exercise without always thinking 'If only I can get skinny enough to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans'. (In fact, I've already thrown away my pre-pregnancy jeans - and that alone has made me feel much better ;)

    Thanks for the post :D

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  11. I really enjoyed this post, and I never thought it was you in the picture. lol!

    So I guess it's time to get back to exercising.

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  12. Stopped over from Surrendered Sister.

    Before I hit menopause,I couldn't understand why women didn't tuck in their shirts as they got older. Now I do!

    In His Grace,
    Tammy

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  13. Oh gee, I thought at first that was a picture of my belly fat. I would laugh but it's really not funny. The older I get the harder it is to just walk around a bit. I know I should exercise more than I do which is not hardly at all. It's great that you are encouraging so many to get and stay in shape.
    Charlotte

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  14. How to get rid of belly fat and stay cool. That's a good exercise Debbie!!

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I love this place...Carmel, CA