Gone are the days when you used to eat whatever you like in your 20's without adding belly bulge. Hormonal sjifts and resting metabolism drop with age including muscle loss. Once you exit your 20's you lose about 2kg of lean muscle tissue every 10 years. The muscle that remains becomes fatty, weak and less efficient at using energy, which means on average women particularly can put on 7kg of body fat in those years. The right type of movement with diet is the only way to burn more calories. Step 1 Eat Smart. Step 2 Build Muscle.
Pump up the protein - your body starts to produce more insulin as you and insulin promotes fat storage especially around your belly. Women who tend to follow higher protein diets lose twice as much belly fat as women who follow low protein diets. Protein can be found in lentils, beans, seeds, oats, nuts, soy, dairy, lean meat, poultry and fish.
Go for whole grains - when you swap white flour and white rice for brown rice and wholemeal flour you get all parts of the kernel, the tougher bits to digest which means your body uses more energy to break them down. Eliminating pastries, cakes and biscuits does the trick.
Eat good fats - like those in nuts, seeds and fish as these have higher doses of omega 3 and omega 6 which increase muscle protein synthesis. Aim to eat salmon, linseed, soybeans and walnuts 3 times a week.
Improve gut bacteria - which helps your metabolism operate smoothly and keep your digestive system working properly. Eat fermented foods like yoghurt, miso, kefir, sauerkraut.
Get more fibre - soluble fibre reduces visceral fat so eat an apple, peas and legumes in your diet.
Start strength training - squats, dips, curls and resistance exercises are the only way to combat muscle loss and increase the quality of calorie torching lean tissue. Aim for full body strength training 3 times a week.
Use light weights, body weight, resistance bands to work your muscles until fatigued - that is until you can't lift another rep with good form.
Add cardio - like walking, swimming, running or skipping at least 30 minutes daily to get your heart and legs pumping and to spark the growth of new mitochondria which are responsible for burning fat.
An exercise program that combines strength, cardio and flexibility are the 3 elements of fitness and provide the most health benefit.
Keep stress in check - Constantly elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol don't just promote fat retention, they send it straight to the stomach and that goes for mental and physical stress. Getting less sleep of less than 5 hours a night also increases visceral fat. Aim to get 7-9 hours a night and do some deep breathing in between meetings to slash stress and reduce belly fat.
Lifestylist Health & Fitness