Losing Stubborn Belly Fat Really Comes Down to These Two Lifestyle Changes

There's no denying that it gets harder to fend off belly fat as we age. But with proper guidance and a little motivation, you can outsmart fluctuating hormones and a dwindling metabolism to transform your health and body.

"The biggest reasons women struggle with seeing results after age 40 are because they don't incorporate strength training and they're afraid to eat real food," says Los Angeles-based fitness expert and trainer Sarah Kusch, creator of The Toning Transformation DVD. "Eating clean and picking up weights—even light ones—are the fastest ways to change your body."

Prevention

Use this plan to get started.

STEP 1: START MOVING

"The key to success with exercise is consistency," says Kusch. "You need a simple plan that starts slow, builds as you get stronger, and doesn't take a lot of time or effort." Aim to work out for about 20 minutes at a time, using routines that you can adjust to your fitness level.

Tone and strengthen all over: Research shows that lifting weights can make a big difference in the way your body looks and feels, which is why strength training is a pivotal part of this plan. In fact, when postmenopausal women did two strength-training sessions a week, they significantly reduced their body fat and waist circumference in 6 weeks, according to a study published in the journal Menopause.

Turn up your burn: Combine toning with short but fast-paced bursts of action to make over your muscle tissue and fire up your metabolism.

Cue up your core: Engage your core and access those deep muscles during every movement for optimal toning. The result: a firmer, flatter belly and better posture.

Squeeze in stretching: With just a few minutes of gentle motion, you'll release tension, enhance recovery, and improve flexibility. "Stretching reduces aches and pains, and it feels amazing," says Kusch.

4 Fitness Must-Haves

AmazonBasics Quick-Dry Hand Towels

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AmazonBasics 20-Pound Dumbbell Set

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Flash Furniture Black Metal Folding Chair

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Backslash Fit Smart Mat

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STEP 2: EAT HEALTHY

Opt for whole foods (think fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like poultry, fish, and lentils) and avoiding as many processed foods as possible. When you eat this way, you'll automatically fill your plate with nutrient-dense foods that boost energy, build muscle, and fight disease-causing inflammation, Kusch points out. You'll also slash added sugar and trim extra calories without even noticing they're gone.

4 Nutrition Must-Haves

image

Hard-boiled egg

One egg packs 6 g of metabolism-revving protein.

They're high in the healthy kind of fats

Avocado

In addition to offering 2 g of protein per half, this fruit contains monounsaturated fats that may help reduce cholesterol, hunger, and even belly fat.

Background from freshly picked blueberries

Blueberries

They're full of fiber to stave off hunger, and research shows daily consumption can reduce muscle soreness from exercise.

spinach

Spinach

Of all the leafy greens, spinach boasts the highest protein content—5 g per 1 cup cooked.

Prevention

What's next? Try The Toning Transformation Plan DVD.

Here's what you'll get out of it:

  • Six 20-minute toning workouts and four 5-minute core or stretching routines
  • 8-week workout calendar for an easy-to-follow toning transformation
  • Enjoy what you eat with no calorie counting. Sarah also created a simple clean-eating plan that makes weight loss easy

Stay updated on the latest science-backed health, fitness, and nutrition news by signing up for the Prevention.com newsletter here. For added fun, follow us on Instagram.

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