Losing Abdominal Fat After 40
For a lot of men over 40 getting older also means getting fatter. You might have a better relationship, a good career and family life, but maybe you’ve traded your old “lean self” for the new “not so lean” self.
The problem is if you don’t fix it now, when are you going to fix it?
Belly fat accumulation becomes harder to shift as we get older, the more abdominal fat we gain, especially the deadly “visceral fat” that lingers around forever, the harder it becomes to shift.
And this problem won’t go away by itself, more of the what you’re doing today isn’t going to get you lean.
The good news is, losing abdominal fat is NOT the rocket science that everyone makes out. If you’ve read any of my other articles or new to Lean Over 40 for Men, you’ll quickly find out this website isn’t based on gimmicks or scientific jargon.
It’s built on solid principles that will help you get lean and stay lean, whilst keeping things simple.
The problem I see all the time is overcomplication with trying to get a lean body.
Even if complicated gym and nutrition programs work, what are the chances of you being able to maintain it over the long term? Especially now that you’re over 40 with a busy family and career?
The main TWO key factors I drill into men over 40 is strength training and nutrition. If you get those two factors correct, then you will lose belly fat.
Here are some tactics you can start to implement today to get you started:
1. Eat less sugar
The problem with sugar is it’s everywhere! It’s highly addictive and spikes insulin which can lead to fat storage – especially around the mid-section, try and cut down on it!
My recommendation is to look at the ingredients list when looking at food labels, if you see words such as honey, agave or even organic cane juice, know that there’s added sugar in your food.
A bit of sugar here and there is OK, but for the most part, it’s NOT doing you any good.
2. Lift weights
Lifting weights for losing belly fat is huge and becomes even more important as we age. As you get older you’ll naturally lose muscle and as you lose muscle your metabolism will drop, and body composition will change.
Have you ever noticed you weigh about the same on the scale, but you seem to look fatter?
That’s because it’s possible to lose lean muscle and replace it with body fat, you might think you’re not gaining fat from the scale, but its body composition you need to pay attention to i.e. your body fat percentage.
As you get older it’s important to stay strong, build and preserve lean muscle. The more muscle you can build, the more calories you’ll be able to burn at rest and the leaner you’ll be.
And lifting weights isn’t just about building muscle, it’s also about strengthening the tendons and ligaments as well.
Just by lifting weights you’re going to have a huge advantage over the man next door who doesn’t bother.
My recommendation for lifting weights for men over 40 is to stick to compound movements that target 2-3 of the biggest muscle groups at once, boost testosterone and save time.
Multiple sets of lower reps work best for men over 40, they’re far safer on the joints, keep workouts short, improve recovery and lead to increases in lean muscle.
3. Have patience
Losing fat isn’t a fast process! It took you time to get fat in the first place and there is no natural diet or training method that will get you losing fat over night!
I used to experience the same questions all the time when I worked as a full-time personal trainer on the gym floor, I’d have men over 40 coming to me wanting to lose a few stone in 2 or 3 weeks ready for a holiday.
It’s not going to happen! If you’re doing everything correctly, expect to drop 1 to 2lbs of fat per week to begin with and 1 to 1½lbs per week as you get closer to your goal weight.
It’s possible to lose “weight” at a faster rate, but I guarantee it won’t all be fat loss, you’ll lose lean muscle and water as well resulting in a down regulated metabolism.
While this might not seem like a lot of fat loss all those little bits soon add up to huge improvement.
4. Cut back on cardio
I’m not a huge fan of cardio because for men over 40 it’s not the most effective prescription for fat loss.
If that was the case, there would be more leaner men over 40 walking about but its simply NOT the case.
Cardio CAN help to create a bigger calorie deficit once you have your nutrition and strength training in place, but MORE cardio for fat loss isn’t the answer.
The reason is excessive cardio kills testosterone levels and the research is clear testosterone is lowered post exercise.
Excessive amounts of cardio will strip away muscle which won’t give you the lean look you’re after.
In my course Abs Over 40, I limit cardio to only 1 cardio-strength session performed in addition to your 3 strength training workouts.
By performing this extra session each week, you can fire up your metabolism and burn more fat without the testosterone killing effects of traditional cardio.
Another option that I love when it comes to cardio is simply walking.
By going on a few walks each week, you can expend more calories without it having a detrimental effect on your appetite, it’s also very enjoyable.
5. Axe processed carbs
Processed carbs aren’t going to help you lose fat.
Processed carbs spike insulin levels and are void of much needed vitamins, minerals and fibre that’s going to help you get a lean body.
This includes white bread, white pasta, baked goods, cereal, candy, sweetened drinks, chips, crackers and other “junk” carbohydrates.
That doesn’t mean you should eliminate carbs completely though, just make sure you’re eating healthy choices such as oats, whole grain pasta, potatoes, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
6. Boost protein intake
Protein has a thermogenic effect on the body. That means the body must work harder just to digest it, but it also keeps your feeler fuller as well.
That doesn’t mean you should be chugging down protein shakes every few hours though, in fact I recommend avoiding them altogether if your goal is to get the leanest body composition possible.
Eating about 0.8 grams of protein per pound lean body weight per day is a good rule of thumb and can be easily achieved through diet without the use of supplements.
Stick to whole natural sources of protein, the fewer the ingredients the better i.e. fresh fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, eggs and lean cuts of beef.
7. Stop doing endless crunches
Trying to spot reduce belly fat away won’t work. When you lose fat, you’ll lose it from every area simultaneously, resulting in your abdominal fat going away.
But focusing on the abdominals by doing endless crunches won’t do a thing for losing belly fat.
Focusing on compound exercises that train all the major muscle groups is the key to losing abdominal fat.
8. Make small changes
Stop thinking of losing abdominal fat as a huge process and instead start thinking of it as getting the daily units in place. If you can get “today” right, then you can get tomorrow right too.
Focus on getting all your “todays” right and long-term progress almost takes care of itself.
9. Have a strong why
Having a strong “why” you want to lose fat is very important.
For example, are you wanting to lose fat for an upcoming holiday or event? Having a strong why is important to keep you on track moving towards your objective, when that goals becomes tough you’ll stay on track ultimately leading you to success.
10. Don’t deprive yourself
I NEVER recommend drastic calorie restrictions or cutting out any of the important macronutrients, all are important for losing fat and getting lean.
To lose fat you should be eating less calories than what your body burns per day but also keeping yourself full and satisfied.
If you structure your nutrition plan as detailed in my course, Abs Over 40, you can’t go wrong.
I really hope you’ve found this article informative and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.