As you age, your body goes through a variety of changes, including an increase in belly fat. Also known as “android obesity,” this can have negative effects on your health. Excess abdominal fat can increase insulin resistance and put you at greater risk of diabetes.
To stay healthy and in shape, it’s crucial to follow the right exercise routine and diet. In this article, we’ll share some of the fastest ways to achieve a flat belly after 50 so you can deflate the flab and stay fit and healthy.
Incorporate Interval Cardio into Your Workout
Interval cardio, also known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can speed up calorie burn without spending a lot of time at the gym. A HIIT workout is usually set up with quick bursts of intense physical activity, such as jumping, cycling, or sprinting, with little breaks to rest in between.
“The best part is that it can be completed in as little as 20 minutes, which makes it easier to fit into even the busiest of schedules,” says Amy Goodson, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is an essential part of any healthy diet, and it can support your flat belly goals by making you feel fuller for longer. Studies show that the more soluble fiber you eat, the greater the reduction in visceral fat you’ll see.
Sources of soluble fiber include whole grains such as oats or barley, legumes, and fruits where you can eat the skin. “Simply swap your grain for a whole grain, and include fruit [in your] snacks,” says Goodson.
Add Protein to Your Snacks and Meals
Protein keeps you full long after the meal is done and helps decrease your appetite. “Protein has also been shown to elevate metabolism because it takes more effort for the body to digest. Plus, protein is important for maintaining muscle mass during periods of weight loss,” says Goodson.
You can easily add protein to snacks and meals throughout your day by incorporating fish, meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and beans. Whipping up a tasty protein shake with whey protein is a seamless way to amp up your intake if you find it difficult to add protein to other meals.
Ditch High-Calorie, Sugar-Packed Beverages
Swap your sip if you want to get a flat belly after 50. Beverages like sweet tea, sodas, fruit juice, energy drinks, and alcoholic drinks with mixers are jam-packed with unnecessary calories and added sugars. Plus, these drinks offer little nutrients (if they have any at all).
“Try swapping fruit juices for whole fruits to reap the benefits of added fiber and swap sodas for low-calorie flavored carbonated waters,” suggests Goodson.
Establish a Calorie Deficit
Creating a calorie deficit is critical for losing weight and burning belly fat. This means taking in fewer calories than you burn. “Sometimes, people may underestimate how many calories they consume in a day, especially with snacks and beverages,” explains Goodson.
“It can be beneficial to track your intake for a short period of time, such as one to two weeks, to monitor your calorie intake, increase your awareness, and identify any sources of excess calories to cut back on.”
Get sufficient sleep.
Getting enough solid rest can aid in your weight loss efforts and help you achieve the flat belly you desire. How so? As Goodson puts it, “Chronic lack of sleep can be detrimental [to your] overall health.
Research suggests that sleep deprivation may even make you feel hungrier by impacting hormones that increase your appetite and contribute to weight gain. Studies have shown that improving your sleep health may be associated with improved weight and fat loss.”
According to the Sleep Foundation, adults 18 and up should aim for seven or more hours of solid sleep each night.
Habits that can help boost your sleep hygiene include going to sleep at the same time every night, turning your blue light devices off, avoiding caffeinated beverages before you hit the sheets, and finding just the right supportive mattress.
Don’t underestimate the power of drinking enough H2O. “Being dehydrated can contribute to constipation, which may lead to bloating and make the stomach appear larger than it is,” Goodson tells us.
“Drinking water can help minimize bloating and water retention. Water also might also help with weight loss by helping you feel fuller at meals and eat [fewer] calories.”
Staying hydrated is important for maintaining overall health, not just for weight loss. Drinking enough water helps regulate body temperature, flush out toxins, and lubricate joints.
Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you are active or live in a hot climate.
As we age, it’s common to experience changes in our bodies, including an increase in belly fat. However, incorporating a few key habits into your routine can help you achieve a flat belly after 50.
Regular exercise, a healthy diet that’s rich in fiber and protein, sufficient sleep, and staying hydrated can all contribute to weight loss and fat burning.
By following these tips from sports dietetics expert Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, you can deflate the flab and reclaim your midsection.