Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy.
There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health.
Conversely, many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity.
That’s because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem (at least not from a health standpoint, it’s more of a cosmetic problem).
It’s the fat in the abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues.
If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if you’re not very heavy, then you should take some steps to get rid of it.
Belly fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.
Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity.
There are actually a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 ways to lose belly fat after 40:
1. Don’t eat sugar and avoid sugar-sweetened drinks
Added sugar (specifically HFCS) is very unhealthy.
Studies show that it has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health.
Sugar is half glucose, half fructose, and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amount.
When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat.
Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly.
Some believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar’s harmful effects on health. It increases belly fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems.
Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories.
Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, per each daily serving.
Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks.
This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices and various high-sugar sports drinks.
Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.
The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar.
If you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar.
Bottom Line: Excess sugar consumption may be the primary driver of belly fat accumulation, especially sugary beverages like soft drinks.
2. Eating more protein is a great long-term strategy to reduce belly fat
Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.
It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein is perhaps the single most effective change you can do to your diet.
Not only will it help you lose, it can also help you avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.
There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat.
One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat.
Another study in Denmark showed that protein was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years.
This study also showed that refined carbs and oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.
Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for.
So make an effort to increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources in the diet.
If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (like grass-fed whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then check out this article on how to increase your protein intake.
Bonus tip: Consider cooking your foods in coconut oil. Some studies have shown that 30 mL (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day reduces belly fat slightly.
Bottom Line: Eating enough protein is a very effective way to lose weight. Some studies suggest that protein is particularly effective against belly fat accumulation.
Getting enough protein is not easy for most people, especially women who are used to dieting and cutting calories. If you want to learn exactly how much protein to eat (along with over 20 sources and 40 recipes), join the 3-Week IF Diet Challenge, watch the presentation below:
3. Cut carbs from your diet
Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat, but carb-cycling is even more effective and sustainable.
This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.
Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carb diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets.
This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.
Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results. A major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days.
There are also studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver.
What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.
Just avoiding the refined carbs (white breads, pastas, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein high.
However, if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.
Of course, low-carb diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. They can have life-saving effects in type 2 diabetics, for example.
Bottom Line: Studies have shown that low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the organs and in the liver.
WARNING: Many problems can arise if you restrict carbs for too long, especially if you are over 40 and have a dieting past. The solution is to follow a carb-cyling, macro-balancing approach.
This way, you can avoid over-restiction, which leads to a lowered, damaged metabolism. Not to mention, avoiding carbs can get tricky in family, social, and life situations. You don’t have to avoid carbs like the plague.
Thousands of my students have commented on how much they LOVE how they can still eat carbs (even bread) and are still seeing amazing fat loss results. You can see what I mean HERE.
4. Eat foods rich in fiber, especially viscous fiber
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter.
It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss. This is true, but it’s important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal.
It seems to be mostly the soluble and viscous fibers that have an effect on your weight. These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut.
This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your stomach and small bowel, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months.
In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin.
What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like oats.
Then you could also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in many studies.
Bottom Line: There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber may lead to reduced amounts of belly fat, which should cause major improvements in metabolic health.
5. Metabolic Exercise is very effective at reducing belly fat
Exercise is important for various reasons.
It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease.
Getting into all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appears to be effective at reducing belly fat.
READ ALSO: 9-Week Home Metabolic Workout Plan That Is Guaranteed to Burn Stubborn Fat
However, keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.
In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.
Metabolic exercise (like bodyweight training, short bursts of exercise, running, swimming, etc) has been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat in numerous studies.
Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance.
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity.
Bottom Line: Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.
Most people follow either a no-exercise or exercise more approach. This is terribly wrong and disastrous to your weight loss efforts.
If you are between the ages of 38-65 the ONLY type of exercise you need to do aside from walking, is short bursts of metabolic-focused exercise. I give you exactly what you need inside The 3-Week Ketogenic Diet
6. Track your foods and figure out exactly what and how much you are eating
What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.
However, surprisingly, most people actually don’t have a clue what they are really eating.
People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever, but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.
I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.
It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.
If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.
Check out these articles here for a calorie calculator and a list of free online tools and apps to track what you are eating.
I personally do this every few months. I weigh and measure everything I eat to see what my current diet is looking like.
Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
5 Steps To Get Started On Intermittent Fasting…The Healthy Way
STEP 1: Start Preparing Now
Don’t put your health off.
TAKE A SMALL ACTION RIGHT NOW: Do something today to move forward, even if it’s just downloading my best-selling, results-getting program The 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet
It’s best to start intermittent fasting during a less stressful week as it does take a bit of preparation (both mentally and around your home).
If this week isn’t ideal, then schedule a date in your calendar right now for when you’ll start.
STEP 2: Clear Out Your Fridge And Pantry.
Don’t keep tempting foods lying around.
It will trip you up on those bad days. You won’t always feel motivated to stick to intermittent fasting, so make it easier for yourself to succeed.
STEP 3: Restock With healthy Foods.
Ensuring you have plenty of healthy foods around is essential. Here are some of the basic categories:
- Green leafy vegetables,
- Seafood and fish,
- All meats,
- Healthy fats (e.g., coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, tallow, lard)
- Some nuts and seeds,
- Some fruits like avocados and berries.
STEP 4: Be Prepared For Keto Flu (If you’re Combining With Keto)
If you’ve been eating a lot of sugary and high-carb foods, then you’ll probably experience keto flu..
WHAT IS KETO FLU? As your body adjusts to burning fat instead of sugar, you’ll initially feel dizzy, hungry, tired, and may even have headaches.
6 TIPS FOR GETTING OVER KETO FLU:
- Eat Slightly More Fats. But don’t go overboard if you’re unused to eating fats as your body may have a hard time digesting it at first.
- Eat More Calories. It’s easy to cut out all your regular high-carb foods and not replace it with anything. Add in more leafy green vegetables (try a green veggie smoothie), eggs, fatty fish (like salmon, mackeral, and sardines), and fatty meats (like oxtail, brisket, bacon, ribeye steaks).
- Add in Some Clean Carbs. Add in a small amount of root vegetables (like carrots and sweet potatoes) to help with your transition.
- Make Sure You Get Plenty of Salts. It’s easy for your sodium and potassium intake to drop too much on Keto, so make sure you add salt to your food and eat plenty of foods high in potassium like avocados and dark leafy greens.
- Drink More Water. Dehydration can often cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue. So make sure you keep hydrated.
- Exercise (If Possible). Exercise when you’re feeling the symptoms of Keto Flu may seem like a horrific idea. But, it can help your body become more metabolically flexible and therefore transition from a sugar burner to a fat burner faster. Obviously, only exercise if it’s safe for you to do so.
STEP 5: Have A Support Group
It can be tough going it alone. Get your family and friends on board so you can help support each other.
If you join The 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet program, you’ll not only have access to a coach (me!), you’ll join a Private Facebook Group of 2,000 others on the same journey as you.
I understand how important it is to have a support system in place for tough times or just to ask a few questions to.
What foods should I eat to lose weight on intermittent fasting?
I highly recommend doing intermittent fasting the healthy way as it’ll help you lower inflammatory, heal deficiencies, and lose weight and keep it off.
YOU SHOULD EAT THESE FOODS ON IF:
- Leafy green vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale, arugula),
- Fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, cod, mackerel),
- Other seafood (e.g., oysters, clams, mussels),
- Organ meats (e.g., liver, bone marrow, heart),
- Various meats (e.g., beef, chicken, lamb),
- Healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, tallow, lard, coconut oil and MCT oil).
- Some fruits (e.g., berries, coconut, avocados, olives), and
- A small amount of nuts and seeds.
YOU SHOULD AVOID THESE FOODS ON IF:
- Grains (e.g., wheat, barley, oats, corn, rice),
- Pseudo-grains (e.g., amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa),
- Starchy vegetables (e.g., sweet potatoes, potatoes),
- Sugary fruits (e.g., bananas, pineapples, mangoes),
- Dried fruits (e.g., dates, raisins, prunes),
- Seed oils (e.g., canola oil, sunflower oil),
- Artificial sweeteners and all junk processed foods (e.g., diet sodas, pizza, candies, bread, cakes, cookies), and
- Dairy products (e.g., cheese, milk, yogurt).
Learn How The 3-Week Intermittent fasting Diet Eliminates Gut Inflammation, Detoxes Your Liver, and Resets Your Thyroid
Start Your Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey The Right Way And Take The Next Step…
FIRST (AND ONLY) STEP: If you’re interested in starting an intermittent fasting diet, then please take the next best step and join a proven weight loss program: The 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet
You could try it on your own and just do the 6 steps I outlined above. You may or may not see success. I think you know when you invest in yourself, you’re more likely to stick to your plan.
It can be tough at times, which is why I have a group of almost 2,000 other people doing the 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet that are waiting to support YOU.
What Do Other 50+ Year Olds Know That You Dont?
If it seems like you’re always the one struggling to lose weight, it’s because other people are doing something you aren’t. They know something you don’t know.
Stay ahead of the pack by taking action on a hormone-balancing, metabolism-focused approach to eating and weight loss. If you’re tired of making the same mistakes over again and have the weight you do lose, just come back they why not try something new and start your HEALTHY fat loss journey today.
These women took on The 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet and here’s what happened:
If you’re ready to join these happy women, then head over and watch the FREE presentation to see what the metabolic fuss is all about click the next page here…