There’s a common misconception about losing belly fat. While some people may think that you can target belly fat with a specific ab workout, losing belly fat is done through making dietary changes and increasing your exercise in general.
Unfortunately, weight loss becomes a bit more difficult with age, as things like metabolism and energy levels can change. To learn more about losing belly fat in your 50s, we talked with Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our expert medical board, and Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RDauthor at Go Wellness.
Learn about some helpful drinking habits that can help you lose belly fat in your 50s, and for more healthy aging tips check out The Worst Drinks to Have After 50.
Green tea is packed full of health benefits, including some important antioxidants that can help aid in weight loss and management.
“One of the most powerful drinks for weight loss is green tea,” says Goodson. “The catechins found in green tea are antioxidants that have been shown to potentially increase fat burning and elevate metabolism. Additionally, the caffeine found in green tea may help improve exercise performance by providing a boost of energy. For increased benefit, try consuming matcha, which is a type of green tea that is highly concentrated with catechins.”
“The caffeine in green tea can also help speed up your metabolism. To reap these benefits with green tea, you can drink up to three cups per day,” says D’Angelo.
There’s nothing wrong with being an iced mocha fan, but ordering these on a daily basis can contribute to weight gain.
“It might be obvious that beverages like sodas are full of sugar, but guess what, so are many of the fancy coffee beverages that people consume regularly,” says Goodson. “Fancy coffee drinks often have lots of calories from sugar, sometimes topping 300-plus calories. So, before you drink your next glorified coffee, make sure it’s not derailing your belly fat loss goals.”
Alcohol in moderation may not be an issue, and things like red wine can even provide some health benefits if consumed in lighter amounts. But heavy consumption of alcohol, especially before bed, may derail your weight loss goals.
“Alcohol consumption, in general, will almost always have a negative impact on your stomach radius, especially in our 50’s,” says D’Angelo. “However, drinking alcohol before bed is a bad habit for many reasons. Drinking too much before bed can harm your sleep patterns, and your body needs proper sleep in order to have energy the next day for things like exercise and dieting.”
“Heavy drinking before bed can also cause you to eat more unhealthy foods because it makes you hungry, and with alcohol already slowing down your metabolism, it’s a sure-fire way to add more fat to your belly area,” D’Angelo continues. “To avoid this, put the drink down at least an hour (preferably two) before your bedtime. This could help with overdrinking and lead you to make healthier choices.”
Staying hydrated is key in losing or managing your weight. But sometimes, plain water gets a bit boring.
“If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy drinking plain water, but want a little flavor, sparkling water can be a great alternative,” says Goodson. “Sparkling water has been shown to increase feelings of fullness to a greater extent than plain water by keeping food in your stomach for longer periods of time. Not to mention, sparkling water satisfies your bubbly craving without all of the extra calories.”