Many people assume that losing belly fat after 65 is a tall order. While it’s true that it’s harder for people over 60 to lose belly fat, there are plenty of simple and effective ways to beat the bulge in your golden years.
If you’re dreaming of the trim waistline of your twenties, we’re here to help you regain your trim figure. Losing belly fat won’t just make you more streamlined- reducing your weight measurement is also a great way to improve your health and minimize your risk of developing many of the health complaints common in seniors.
In this article, we’ll reveal the secrets of losing weight after 65 and how to shed inches from your belly, along with the best weight loss diet for seniors.
Let’s take a look at why losing belly fat after 60 is essential before we get started.
Why Is Getting Rid of Belly Fat After 60 a Good Idea?
Doctor measuring obese man waist body fat. Obesity and weight loss. Everyone holds a little fat around their belly, and a small amount is necessary for good health. However, too much can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and strokes. As seniors are at a higher risk of developing these conditions in any event, trimming down your tummy is a wise move.
There are two types of belly fat:
Subcutaneous: The soft fat under your skin. Subcutaneous belly fat is generally less harmful to your health, but many people like to lose it for aesthetic reasons.
Visceral: The harder fat surrounding your vital organs. Too much visceral fat comes with a heightened risk of health problems.
Fortunately, you’ll start to lose both subcutaneous and visceral belly fat when you follow a weight loss for seniors program. It’s impossible to target fat loss to your belly or ‘spot reduce’ your tummy, so the only way to trim it down is to reduce your body fat percentage.
Is My Belly Too Large?
Many seniors can tell their bellies are too large just by looking in the mirror or from the fit of their clothes. However, if your stomach is just a touch on the flabby side, how do you tell if it’s large enough to pose a health risk?
A large tummy circumference means that you have an increased risk of heart problems and other illnesses like diabetes, and it could even make cognitive decline more likely as you enter your senior years. Fortunately, it’s easy to tell whether your belly is big enough to cause issues by measuring it with a tape measure.
A waist measurement larger than 34.5 inches for females and 40 inches for males places you in the danger zone. If your belly measures more than this, it’s time to find out how to lose weight over 60.
Why Do Seniors Store Belly Fat?
The primary causes of excess belly fat are the same for seniors as they are for the rest of the population. To put it simply, if you eat more calories than you expend, you’ll lay down fat stores. However, various factors make you more likely to store belly fat as you get older:
Slower Metabolism: Metabolism and physical activity levels tend to slow down as you age, which means that you need to eat less food to keep your weight stable. If you don’t reduce your calorie intake a little as you get older, you’ll probably find yourself gaining fat all over your body, including around your belly.
Increased Stress: Many people experience more stress as they get older. High-stress lifestyles cause higher levels of a hormone called cortisol in the blood, leading to extra fat storage.
Decreased Muscle Mass: As humans age, their muscle mass gradually decreases. The less muscular your body, the slower your metabolism, and the more likely you are to gain belly fat.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that seniors tend to lose muscle tone, which can, in turn, make the belly look untoned and flabby. That’s why some very slim people still retain a stubborn poochy tummy. Fortunately, you can resolve this issue by toning the muscles with the midriff exercises for seniors in this article.
How do You Get Rid of Belly Fat After 60 with a Diet Plan?
If you want to know how to lose weight at 65 years old, we recommend checking out the ketogenic diet. A keto diet cuts your carbohydrate intake to just 20-50g per day while allowing lots of lean protein like fish, meat, and poultry. It’s also rich in nutritious vegetables and healthful unsaturated fats. Therefore, it contains all the essential nutrients your body needs as you age while helping you lose weight.
According to Harvard Health, the ketogenic diet offers several benefits that could help you lose more weight than a standard low-calorie diet that’s low-fat and high-carb:
- Reducing appetite and food cravings and promoting fullness
- Boosting the metabolism for faster fat loss
- Preserving lean muscle mass while encouraging fat loss
- Balancing blood sugar levels and lowering insulin
Another factor that makes the keto diet an excellent choice for seniors is that there is evidence to suggest it may help prevent age-related cognitive decline. It’s also safe for over 60s to follow long-term.
However, a note of caution if you suffer from diabetes. Ketogenic diets may be helpful for people with diabetes because they help manage their blood sugar levels. However, this may mean that you need to adjust your insulin doses to account for the effects of your new diet. Generally, diabetic individuals should start the ketogenic diet under their doctor’s supervision and guidance to ensure they’re doing it safely and avoid dangerously low blood sugar.
The most straightforward way to begin a keto diet is to subscribe to a weight loss plan. Our weight loss program for seniors is Weight Loss Evolved. This service is customizable to suit your unique needs and comes with plenty of healthy and delicious meal ideas and an exercise plan to boost your results.
How to Lose Belly Fat Over 60 Years Old Using Supplements
Weight loss supplements aren’t a magic solution to excess belly fat. However, they can help you shed more weight than diet and exercise alone and are generally safe for seniors. You can buy weight loss supplements over the counter without a doctor’s script. They work in the following ways:
- Speeding up your metabolism to help you burn fat more quickly
- Reducing your appetite and helping you feel full and satisfied
- Soothing stress and anxiety to combat emotional cravings
- Increasing your energy to help you move more and burn calories
Not all weight loss supplements perform all of these functions, but we recommend looking for a multi-purpose product to get the best value for money and the best results. You can find reviews of our favorite fat-burning supplements here.
When you’re purchasing weight loss supplements, we only recommend buying directly from the manufacturer’s website or a reputable brick-and-mortar or online health store. That’s because many products available on websites like Amazon and eBay are counterfeit or totally ineffective. The worst-case scenario could be receiving unsafe supplements. So, don’t be tempted by cheap knock-off brands to try and cut costs. When it comes to your health, it’s best to spend a little more to make sure you’re getting the real deal.
While many seniors can take weight loss supplements without any issues, many contain ingredients that are unsafe for people with health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. They may also interact with other medicines. If you suffer from any illnesses or take regular medication, you should talk to your doctor to ensure that weight loss supplements are a safe option for you.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat After 50 with Exercise
There’s a common myth that you need to hit the gym or do high-intensity exercise to lose belly fat. However, any physical activity that increases your heart rate is excellent for burning calories and can help with losing the belly and weight loss for seniors.
While it’s true that high-intensity exercise like HIIT will help you burn maximum calories, these aren’t always suitable options for seniors. If you have joint pain or a medical condition that makes vigorous exercise unsuitable, walking and swimming are both ideal exercises for belly fat for seniors.
These activities are gentle on your joints and still pack a punch when it comes to beating the bulge. According to Harvard Health, the average person can burn 149 calories walking and 223 calories swimming at a gentle pace in just half an hour. Schedule in a few sessions a week, and you could see a significant difference in your waistline relatively quickly.
While cardiovascular exercise helps address excess fat around your belly, it’s also important to strengthen your core muscles to tighten and trim your waist. However, that’s not the only benefit of toning your abdominal exercises. Core workouts can help seniors increase their strength, reduce back pain, improve balance, and protect themselves against injury.
Here are some of the safest and effective core exercises for seniors:
Planks are famous for strengthening and toning your tummy, but they can be tricky if you lack strength. Many seniors find it easier to start doing planks against a stable, robust chair.
Start by positioning your chair against the wall so that it can’t move when you lean on it. Next, face the chair and firmly grasp the front sides of the chair, shuffling your feet backward until your body creates a straight line. Your arms should be straight with your hands beneath the shoulders. Try to remain in this position for as long as possible.
Don’t worry if you can’t hold a plank for more than a few seconds at first. Keep persisting and gradually increase the time until you can hold it for at least a minute. Once you’ve mastered a chair plank, you can try full floor planks.
- Seated Knee Lifts
Seated knee lifts are ideal exercises for people with limited core strength, but they’re also helpful for people who work out regularly. All you require for this move is a robust, firm chair. A dining chair is a better choice than an easy chair.
Begin by sitting on the seat with your back straight and head up. Tighten your tummy muscles and slowly raise your knee a few inches. Hold your knee in position for roughly 5 seconds, then slowly lower it back down to your initial position and perform the exercise on the other leg.
Ideally, you should do 12 reps on each leg, but you can begin with fewer and work up over time. You can make the exercise more vigorous by raising both knees simultaneously.
- Dead Bugs
Dead bugs work the same muscle group as seated knee lifts but are a little more challenging. We recommend beginning with seated knee lifts and moving on to dead bugs when your fitness and strength increases.
Begin by lying on the floor on your back with bent knees. Engage your core muscles and slowly raise your legs until your lower leg is parallel to the floor. Don’t forget to keep your knees bent throughout. If raising both legs simultaneously is too hard, you can start doing each leg separately and move on to full dead bugs over time.
What’s the Best Way to Lose Weight After 60- Tips and Tricks to Shed Belly Fat
The most effective ways for seniors to lose weight and shift belly fat are to eat a calorie-controlled ketogenic diet, take a weight loss supplement, and exercise regularly. However, we have some extra tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you lose the bulge a little faster.
None of these tips for senior weight loss will get rid of your belly fat on their own. However, you can use them to give yourself a helping hand alongside more effective measures. So, let’s find out how to lose weight after 60.
1. Add Spice to Your Meals
Chili peppers can enhance your meals’ flavor and make diet-friendly foods more interesting without adding unwanted calories. However, this ingredient can also help boost your metabolism and speed up fat loss thanks to a compound called capsaicin.
Capsaicin could help reduce your appetite, making it easier for you to consume fewer calories. There’s also some evidence that it can help you burn calories faster, although the effect is reasonably small. More research is required to explore the extent of capsaicin’s impact on metabolic rate.
Many people love fiery dishes like hot curries and spicy fajitas. However, if you don’t like the burning mouth sensation from eating chilis, you can take capsaicin as a supplement to get the benefits without the tingling tongue. In fact, many of our favorite weight loss supplements contain capsaicin as an active ingredient.
While chilis are generally safe to consume, we recommend sticking to moderate amounts. Consuming excessive amounts of chili can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal problems, including discomfort, vomiting, and loose stools. They can also cause heartburn or make it worse. If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend laying off the chilis until you feel completely better.
2. Reduce Stress
Many seniors experience heightened stress levels, but it’s terrible for their health and waistlines. A stressful lifestyle causes raised cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. Unfortunately, elevated cortisol can cause you to accumulate belly fat and make it harder to shift.
Stress can also cause various other health problems, including digestive issues, depression, insomnia, and headaches. It is also a contributing factor towards developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease in some seniors. Therefore, it’s sensible to take some steps to keep your stress in check.
One of the most effective ways to tackle stress is to figure out the root causes and then try to mitigate them. For example, if your hectic work schedule stresses you out, it may be time to try and reduce your hours or talk to your boss about how you could make your role less of a strain.
However, it’s often impossible to avoid your stress triggers altogether. Fortunately, there are still plenty of things you can do to try and regain some calm. Some ideas include:
- Making time regularly to relax and do enjoyable activities
- Practice mindfulness techniques, yoga, or meditation
- Schedule in regular self-care activities such as massages or a long bath
- Spending time laughing and relaxing with loved ones and friends
- Exercise regularly
- Practice calming breathing techniques
If you’re concerned that your stress is out of control or having a significant negative impact on your day-to-day life, we recommend asking your healthcare provider for support. Reducing stress can help you slim down your waistline and improve your overall physical wellbeing.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
There’s a common misconception that seniors need less sleep than other adults, but the truth is that they need as much shut-eye as they have always done. Ideally, you should aim for 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and many people find it harder to sleep well as they age.
While it’s normal for seniors to shift their sleep pattern slightly as they get older, going to bed earlier and rising earlier, many also find that regular medication, pain, or illness make it harder to sleep. Lack of sleep can cause mental health problems, irritability, forgetfulness, and even an increased risk of falls.
However, there’s another reason why getting adequate sleep should be high on your list of priorities. Poor sleep can make you more likely to gain belly fat and make you prone to emotional overeating. Therefore, improving your sleep is an integral part of tackling the post-60 bulge.
Furthermore, losing belly fat can actually help improve your sleep, as can exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet. As you can see, sleep and belly fat are closely linked.
Fortunately, there are some straightforward ways to sleep longer and better. These improve:
- Keeping your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool
- Only use your bed for sleep and sexual activity
- Avoiding watching TV and using smartphones and other devices in bed
- Switching off screens an hour before bedtime
- Enjoying a warm bath or shower before turning in for the night
- Avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and evening
- Reducing your alcohol intake, especially before bed
Restricting liquids before bedtime so you won’t be woken by the urge to urinate (although ensure you remain well-hydrated throughout the day)
If you’re concerned that your poor sleep is due to a disorder like sleep apnea or you have severe or chronic insomnia, your doctor may be able to help.
4. Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of fluids is important for hydration and overall physical health, but it’s also a wise move if you want to shed belly fat over 65. The link between hydration and belly fat is complicated, but there’s plenty of evidence to show that drinking more water can help you shift tummy fat.
First, water can dampen your appetite and make it easier to consume fewer calories. It can also help you avoid mistaking thirst for hunger and overeating. It also supports healthy metabolism and replaces unnecessary hidden calories in fatty and sugary beverages like take-out coffees and soda.
So, how much water is necessary for good health and fat loss? Eight glasses per day is often touted as the magic number, and this is a sensible and healthy target for most people. However, the exact amount you need varies depending on your lifestyle and body. For example, you may need to drink more if you live in a hot climate or do a physically demanding job. Overall, it’s important to listen to your body and drink whenever you feel thirsty.
5. Cut Down on Alcohol
Many people enjoy an alcoholic beverage during social events or to unwind. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional glass of wine or beer, and there’s some evidence to suggest that moderate consumption can benefit your health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
However, consuming alcohol can cause you to gain belly fat for a few reasons. First, it contains a lot of calories and very little nutrition. Your body also burns it as its primary energy source when available, which means that it isn’t burning carbohydrates or body fat. It can also make you sleep poorly and lower your inhibitions and willpower, making you more likely to give in to the temptation of sugary and fatty comfort foods.
Consuming too much alcohol also comes with other risks. These include:
- Certain cancers
- Weakened immunity
- Dementia and cognitive problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Alcohol dependence
Generally, women should stick to no more than one alcoholic drink per day, while men can have two. It’s also sensible to have a few alcohol-free days each week, especially if you’re trying to lose belly fat. Cutting out alcohol altogether is the best option if you want to cut as many calories as possible.
If you’re concerned about your alcohol use or find it difficult to cut back, we recommend seeking advice from your doctor.
6. Eat More Fiber
While subcutaneous fat can make your tummy look flabby, it’s most important to reduce visceral fat around your belly to reduce the health risks associated with being overweight. Both types of fat can make your stomach protrude, so losing visceral fat can help trim your waistline. According to research, increasing your fiber intake is an effective way to lose visceral fat.
A 2011 study found that increasing your fiber intake by just 10g each day can lead to a significant reduction in visceral fat, especially when combined with regular moderate exercise. Fortunately, many high-fiber foods also contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that contribute to good health. Sources include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Pulses and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark chocolate
You can increase your fiber intake further by consuming the peel when you eat apples and potatoes.
Eating a fiber-rich diet is also associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and an improved gut bacteria balance- good news for seniors who want to improve their overall health while shifting as much belly fat as possible.
Q: How can a senior citizen lose belly fat?
A: We recommend a calorie-controlled ketogenic diet for seniors who want to lose belly fat. Ensure that you include plenty of fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats in your meals and drink plenty of water. Burning calories through moderate exercise can also help, as can taking an over-the-counter fat-burning supplement. Seniors can also use some of the other tips and tricks in this article to lose belly fat faster, including toning their core muscles to tighten their tummy.
Q: How do you get rid of belly fat after 65?
A: On the whole, the advice for getting rid of belly fat is the same for people over 65 as it is for the rest of the adult population. The only way to shed inches from your belly is to reduce your overall body fat percentage through diet and exercise. Eating a reduced-calorie keto meal plan and taking regular walks are effective, and you can add a weight loss supplement for faster results.
Q: What exercises burn belly fat for seniors?
A: Any activity that raises the heart rate and makes you feel slightly breathless can help seniors burn belly fat. Many seniors find that walking and swimming are suitable exercises because they burn calories yet are gentle on the joints. You can also add in some abdominal and core exercises to tighten the muscles around your midsection.
Q: Can walking burn belly fat?
A: Walking burns calories, so it’s a great way to shift unwanted belly fat. Many seniors use walking as their preferred way to shed tummy fat because it is low-impact, enjoyable, and kind to the joints. However, it’s essential to make sure that you eat fewer calories than you burn, or you won’t see the results you want.
Q: What exercise burns the most belly fat?
A: High-impact exercise routines such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) require you to work extremely hard, burn the most calories, and therefore have the most significant impact on belly fat. However, many seniors find these workouts uncomfortably intense, and they can be tough on sore joints. Ultimately, any activity that raises your heart rate will help you lose belly fat, and increasing your daily movements in any way will be good for your health and your waistline.
Q: What is the best exercise for seniors?
A: Any exercise is good for seniors as long as it is comfortable and raises the heart rate somewhat. Some seniors enjoy high-impact exercise, while others prefer something a little more relaxed. If you have painful joints or another health condition that makes movement difficult, swimming and walking are good options.
The Bottom Line
It can be easy and even enjoyable to lose belly fat as a senior citizen despite popular belief. Reducing your calorie intake and burning calories through exercise are failsafe ways to reduce your body fat percentage and shift a wobbly belly. Shedding belly fat won’t just make you look and feel better- it also reduces your risk of a broad range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Generally, we recommend a ketogenic diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats to lose weight over 65. Moderate low-impact exercise and taking a fat-burning supplement can also help. Some seniors also find it useful to reduce stress, improve their sleep, and cut down on alcohol when trying to shift belly fat.
The advice in this article is safe and effective for most people aged 60 and over. However, you may need to take a different approach if you’re on regular medication or have a pre-existing condition. Your doctor can give you personalized advice to help you lose your belly fat and ensure that any diet or exercise plan is safe and healthy for you.