Even if the number on the scale is the same as it has always been, your waistline may expand as your proportion of body fat to lean mass changes. The good news is that you can take measures to minimize belly fat, even after you hit the half-century mark.
With Extra Effort, You Can Lose Belly Fat
Around the time of menopause, estrogen levels drop and fat redistributes away from the lower body, where it served as a fuel reserve for childbirth and breastfeeding, to the abdomen. This fat that expands your belly is likely visceral, or intra-abdominal fat, surrounding internal organs. It increases the risk of disease.
You may think you can’t lose belly fat after 50, but really it just takes more exercise and dietary diligence than it did when you were younger. As you age, your energy expenditure lowers because you naturally lose lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. Sarcopenia, this natural loss of muscle, begins in your 30s and continues throughout your later years; you lose about 1 pound of muscle every year.
As a result, your body becomes less efficient at burning fat and calories. Your metabolic rate reduces by about 2 percent per decade after age 25. At 50, your metabolism is approximately 5 percent slower than it was when your were 25. Physically inactive women will see the greatest effects of sarcopenia, but because it’s based on factors of aging, even active women will notice its effects slightly. For these reasons, it takes extra calorie-burning efforts and calorie trimming to get results.