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Less Belly Fat: Muscle Loss is Fat Gain in Menopause

The Flipping 50 Show

Release Date: 03/29/2024

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For Less Belly Fat, Lift Weights: Muscle Loss is Fat Gain in Menopause

For less belly fat, the deep visceral type that isn’t just vanity, it’s deadly, lift weights. While yes, High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is notably recognized by science as a means for removing fat, it may have more positive impact on the over-the-top, er muffin top fat.

Weight training improves total body fat, abdominal belly fat and improves lean muscle resulting in “re-composition.” The influence of weight training decreases the risk of heart disease associated with waist girth. For women 35 or more inches at the waist is a heart health risk factor. However, if you’re a smaller woman, I think it’s important to note that less than 35 may still be a risk factor. Look in the mirror, and what do you see? If you carry your weight in your belly - an apple shape, more than a pear - you’re still at higher risk.

Let’s do something about that.

A few facts I know by heart and wish I didn’t:

  • 3-8% of muscle mass every decade beginning at age 30
  • 15% loss of muscle strength each decade starting at 50
  • 1-2% loss of muscle mass every year starting at 60

How that matters:

  • 50% of women over 50 have insulin resistance
  • Muscle mass loss can be prevented and or muscle mass can be gained by weight training plus nutritional and lifestyle habit strategies.
  • Yet fewer than 20% of women are lifting weights at least twice weekly.
  • If we could dig into that deeper we would likely find a much smaller percentage of women over 50 are strength training.

Is a diagnosis all we're waiting for? Are we holding off till it's more convenient?

Nothing good ever is.

Throughout time, there’s been about 2 studies showing that there may be spot-reducing with core work. But that’s over 4 decades. When research produces strong evidence, minds have to be changed, but in my point of view, if you spend more than five minutes a day working out your core and hope to lose visceral belly fat, you will see improvements in your body.

What else matters when you’re lifting weights and potentially don’t see the changes occur:

  • Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
  • Take 5gm creatine daily
  • Aim for at least 2.5 -3.0 g leucine per 25-30 gram protein at multiple meals for elderly and more for young adults (where does that leave you midlifer?)
  • Lift weights at least twice weekly for all major muscle groups
  • Perform multiple sets
  • Meet daily sleep needs
  • Avoid under eating (a situation of low energy availability)
  • Walk daily
  • Avoid excessive cardio

(Keep cortisol and blood sugar levels in control)

Connect with Debra Atkinson:

Website: https://www.flippingfifty.com/

On Social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Flipping50TV

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flipping50tv or https://www.instagram.com/flipping50

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debraatkinson or https://www.linkedin.com/company/flipping50


Stronger: https://www.flippingfifty.com/getstronger

Power Plate: (Save with code: Flipping50) https://www.flippingfifty.com/powerplate

Blood Glucose Monitor: https://www.flippingfifty.com/myglucose

HIIT: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/high-intensity-interval-training/

Other Episodes You Might Like:

Low Energy Availability in Menopause? Eating Too Little to Feel Good or Age Well


How Much Protein Do You Need After 50:


Weight Gain in Perimenopause and Menopause


10 Comprehensive Ways Resistance Training Revolutionizes Menopause Health


Exercise Physiology Plus Menopause Physiology for the Midlife Exercise Rx