As you grow older, your metabolism gradually slows down until losing fat can seem impossible. No one wants to have a layer of fat hanging over their pants, and abdomen fat can be the most stubborn to lose. In fact, stomach fat is a common complaint among many that can carry a serious health risk.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who store fat in the stomach area are at high risk of stroke, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, insulin resistance, snoring, difficulty sleeping, certain types of cancers and other health diseases. There are two types of stomach fat. Fat which can be felt below the belt is called subcutaneous fat or superficial fat. Fat the lies deep inside the stomach, which can interfere with the function of the liver and other organs is called visceral fat.
The good news is that by using a few simple diet and exercise tricks, you can increase the speed of your metabolism while eating less and feeling more satisfied. The result is weight loss at any age. Through proper diet and exercise, you can reduce and prevent the stomach fat and love handles you carry around.
Eating a diet that’s high in fat will create belly fat. The first thing you need to do is avoid fried foods, sugary foods and high-fat dairy products. Instead, eat a diet rich in fruits, grains and vegetables. High-fiber foods such as whole grain bread or brown rice will aid in elimination of toxins, which will reduce belly fat.
But there are certain foods that can raise your metabolism. This causes your body to burn more calories, but if you eat sweet or starchy foods, this burn will use available carbohydrates — or sugars in your bloodstream –before it starts tapping your fat stores. Your body prefers to burn carbohydrates because the breakdown of carbohydrates make more efficient use of oxygen than does breaking down fat. If you eat a metabolic-boosting food along with a Twinkie, those Twinkie calories are going to fuel your heightened metabolism before your stored fat does.
Other foods promoted as burning fat, such as leafy green vegetables, provide low-calorie bulk to fill you up and reduce your appetite. Yet, other fat burning foods disrupt your absorption of dietary fat — not exactly burning fat, but your body disposes of it before it gets into your bloodstream. And some fat burning foods actually do increase the oxidation of body fat.
To burn stomach fat and love handles, you need to consume fat-burning foods such as, green tea, oat bran, apples, and grapefruit. Eat a breakfast of at least 600 calories. Include fruit, milk and whole grain cereal or oatmeal. Fruit contains natural sugar to help increase your energy level. Milk is rich in calcium, which will strengthen your bones and boost your metabolism. Whole grains contain fiber which improves digestion and makes you feel full so you eat less throughout the day.
Make sure you reduce your portion size and eat more protein. Because your metabolism is slower, you don’t need as many calories to maintain your body weight, so you should eat less. It can be difficult to break this habit, which is why you should eat more protein. This in turn, will make you feel full even when you consume fewer calories. Include lean meats, eggs or dairy with every meal for best results.
When your body does not get enough water, it stores fluid in order to keep you alive. That fluid is often stored in the form of abdominal bloat. Drinking six to eight 8 oz. glasses of water will help you avoid bloating. It will also give you more energy, which may enable you to raise the intensity or duration of your aerobic exercise routine.
Exercises That Get Rid of Stomach Fat and Love Handles
Senior citizens might have a challenge when it comes to abdominal exercises because most are traditionally floor exercises. However, plenty of low-impact workouts can be done to help burn off excess stomach and love handle flab without causing stress or injury.
To be successful at burning fat, exercise for 30 minutes every morning. Focus on cardiovascular work such as walking or swimming and do your routine before breakfast for best results. Following are the types of exercises you can do to get rid of stomach fat and love handles.
Strength train twice a week. Lean muscle not only helps your posture but increases your resting metabolism. Muscles degrade without use, especially as you age, so it is important to retain your muscle mass.
Russian twists are an effective option for senior citizens because they are done on a stability ball. Lie face-up on the ball, plant your feet on the floor and keep knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Extend arms above your chest, clasp your hands together and rotate your upper body to one side. When both arms are parallel to the floor, rotate to the other side. Continue to go back and forth in a smooth motion. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds then rest. Complete five sets of Russian twists.
Side bends strengthen your obliques and are performed in a standing position. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and hold a 1 to 2 lb. weight in each hand. In a controlled motion, bend to your left side until your left hand reaches your calf, then pull up to starting position. Repeat on the right side and do five sets of 15 reps per side.
Bicycling is a low-impact workout that tones your legs and your core muscles. It not only burn calories, but also increases your lean muscle mass at the same time. Some stationary bikes also work your upper body in unison with your lower body, to burn even more calories. Bicycling should be done for at least 20 to 30 minutes per session.
Swimming provides an aerobic workout to burn calories, as well as an anaerobic workout to build muscle. The water’s buoyancy provides resistance for training, and it is easy on the joints. Swimmers use almost all major muscle groups to push themselves through water, which burns a lot of calories, helping to shed midsection fat. Swim for at least 20 to 30 minutes per session.
Earlier, we told you that certain foods burn fat. While it sounds great, and certain foods are promoted as fat burners because they help with weight control, you still need to watch your calorie intake. If you want to burn fat, watch what you eat, watch how much you eat, and exercise! If you do, you will have fat loss. If you incorporate these two lifestyle changes into your daily routine, combined, they will go a long way in reducing the stomach fat and love handles you abhor.