Middle Aged Belly Fat: Why its Hard to Lose
If you are 40 to 60 years old, you are considered, to be middle aged. Being middle aged brings about its own set of challenges. Challenges such as being overweight or having middle aged belly fat. Meanwhile, 45 to 55 years old women are faced with menopausal belly fat. This post describes some of the reasons for these conditions. And being due to natural biological causes, they require dedicated effort to deal with them.
Effects of Hormonal Changes to Middle Aged Belly Fat
Insulin Resistance Effects on Belly Fat
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. This hormone helps glucose in your blood enter cells in your muscles, fat, and liver. Once glucose enters these cells it is used as a source of energy.
However, as you get older, your body becomes more insulin resistant. As a result, cells in your muscles, fat, and liver can’t easily absorb glucose from your blood. Consequently, you are more prone to store the unabsorbed glucose as belly fat.
In addition, studies show the hormone leptin - which signals to your brain that you are full and don’t need to eat more - decreases as you age. And the decreasing leptin levels tells your brain you are hungrier, more frequently. Which causes you to eat more calories than you're burning, or need. As a result, your belly fat accumulates faster than fat in other parts of your body.
Also, as women age, they find it much harder to lose belly fat than men. This is mainly due to a decrease in the hormone Oestrogen. In fact, a rapid drop in Oestrogen, as occurs at menopause, has been shown to impact fat distribution. As a result, fat is more likely to accumulate around the belly area than the hips and thighs.
Meanwhile, as you age, testosterone levels also start to drop, but at a slower rate. As a result, women start to hold on to weight in their bellies.
Incidentally, testosterone levels in men begins to drop around age 40. As a result, men experience loss of lean muscle mass, lower bone mass, increased fat mass around the abdominal area, along with other consequence.
Effects of Other Changes to Middle Aged Belly Fat
As you get older, your body changes how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body needs to function normally. As a result, you burn fewer calories, which means more get stored as fat in the body and you start putting on weight. In addition, if you tend to store fat around your belly, you will end up having excess belly fat.
Lastly, women aged 45 to 55 have to deal with menopause. If women gain weight after menopause, it’s more likely to be in their bellies. In menopause, their ovaries production of the hormone estrogen slows down and eventually stops completely. As a result, there is a redistribution of where their body fat is stored. For example, more of the extra body fat gets stored around their abdomen and waist (sometimes known as menopausal belly fat) , instead of being stored in their hips and thighs.