It’s not a good idea to only focus on burning calories. You also need to be aware how many calories you consume.
In addition, we should know little about nutrition to be aware of the different types of food we consume. Some will trigger your body to store more fat while others will be beneficial for weight loss.
And I am sure you’ve heard of the myriad of diets for getting rid of belly fat after 40. I’ve tried many but sadly most doesn’t work. And the diets that do are usually time consuming or expensive.
But the good news is you don’t need to make the same mistakes I’ve made. In this article I’ll tell you some diet tricks that have helped me and my clients getting rid of belly fat after 40. All of them will be free or inexpensive!
Let’s start with the basics, then talk about diets that work, and finish with some tips and tricks.
Most people don’t know a lot about dieting and nutrition. That is understandable. The subject is not taught in school and on the Internet there are a lot of bad information. For me it took many years experimenting and studying to get to where I’m today.
For getting rid of belly fat after 40 I believe two things are important: how much food you consume (Calorie Tracking) and knowledge about our food (Nutrition). Let’s start with Calorie Tracking.
The first step should be to track what you eat. With today’s Internet tools it’s very simple and won’t take much of your time. And you only need to do it for a couple of weeks to collect sufficient data.
My favorite free calorie tracker is called My Fitness Pal. It’s easy to use and has a huge food database. In addition you can create daily calorie goals based on your weight, age and activity level.
After two weeks of collecting data you’ll have a good baseline of your calorie intake and can create a plan of action. Most people become very surprised when they see how many calories they consume.
Now you should identify your calorie heavy meals. Perhaps some ingredients can be replaced with nutrition rich alternatives. Or if you eat out everyday, maybe you can try to cook more at home. And unhealthy snacks can be replaced with more healthy alternatives. Follow along and I’ll explain them in more detail.
When you have finished your plan of action, track your calorie intake for another two weeks to see if your calories intake is reduced. Keep repeating until you see results both in your waist line and in your calorie intake.
These simple steps should be your base for getting rid of belly fat after 40!
Learning basic nutrition pays off in the long run. You should eat a well-balanced diet including all the macro nutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates). My Fitness Pal will help you create daily goals for each based on your weight, age and activity level.
Next let’s discuss carbohydrates in more detail.
There are two type of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Eating complex carbs will keep your blood sugar level on a constant level which is a great thing when it comes to weight loss. Simple carbs makes it fluctuate more. I’ve almost completely cut out white rice, white bread, pasta and potatoes from my diet, and replaced them with brown/black rice, whole-grain bread and sweet potatoes.
One carbohydrate of note is fiber. Fiber can make you less hungry and help to maintain a healthy bowel. I try to get my fiber from sources such as avocado and nuts.
Sugar is also a carbohydrate. Many diets argue that you should cut this out completely. Why I ask? Stuff made of sugar is so damn good! Instead use sugary products as a reward when you exercised and followed your diet plan for some days. But try to do it in moderation.
There are not many good diets for getting rid of belly fat after 40. However there are two I can vouch for. They are called Juicing and Intermittent Fasting and I successfully tried both of them.
- Juicing: This diet is extremely effective and great if you want to remove fat quickly. I got amazing results in just two weeks. But this diet is only for people with a good medical history. If you are uncertain check with your doctor
- Intermittent Fasting: This diet is effective if you’re already close to your ideal weight. You won’t get quick results like with Juicing but instead be able to keep a steady weight.
In my opinion juicing is the best diet for getting rid of belly fat after 40. And it’s pretty straightforward – you drink a healthy juice instead of eating a meal. Most people only replace one meal per day, but some (like I did) go on a juicing fast for a few days up to several weeks. It all depends on your goals and past medical history.
When I tried juicing around 2011 I had a lot of extra weight around my belly. I didn’t get good results at the gym and realized drastic measures were needed. One friend recommended juicing and I decided to give it a try. Boy what a game changer!
And it’s not that complicated. I bought fresh fruits and vegetable at a nearby farmers market and made larger batches that lasted several days. Making the juices was a quick and fun process.
First I began drinking juices just as a meal replacement. But my body reacted positively so I decided to drink only juices for two weeks. The results were amazing. The fat melted of my body. In addition my energy was the same and I could continue with exercise and work as usual.
To get started you only need a kitchen appliance called Juicer. I highly recommend my Breville BJE200XL. It makes excellent juices and is very easy to clean.
If you want to try my juicer you can buy it here.
For further reading I have a very comprehensive Juicing guide here that also has some tasty juicing recipes.
The second diet I can vouch for is called Intermittent Fasting (IF). The idea is to limit your eating to just certain hours of the day, the so called “eating window”. The rest of the time you are fasting.
In my case I decided to skip breakfast and have my first meal around lunchtime. I was initially skeptical and believed I would have no energy during the fasting period. But that has not been the case at all. I go to the gym in the mornings and have as much energy as before. It may be even more! It’s almost like the body activates some old primal instincts to release more energy in the hunt for food.
My eating window usually consists of three meals: lunch at noon, afternoon snack at 3pm and dinner around 7pm. Then I start my fasting period again until noon the next day.
There are many variations of this, and I recommend doing your own research to see what eating and fasting patterns works best for you. We all have different work schedules and health history.
Other Diet Tips
These are some other tips and tricks that will help you getting rid of belly fat after 40. They are not part of any particular diet but worth knowing anyway.
Cook at Home
If you have a kitchen I would recommend cooking your own food. Then you’ll know all the ingredients, which gives you a rough idea of your calorie intake. As a bonus you’ll likely save money.
My strategy for many years have been to cook larger batches on Sunday evenings. I put the food in separate boxes and store them in the fridge, or freezer, depending on when I plan to eat them. To make each meal taste different I use different types of dressings and spices.
I drink a lot of water. That is pretty much the only liquid I drink besides fresh fruit juices, and a beer here and there. Water has many health benefits. One is it makes you less hungry. I always have a full glass of water on my desk that I sip on throughout my working day.
And you need a good water filter to remove lead and chlorine from the water. In this article I talk in more details about the benefits of drinking water and I also give advice how to select a good water filter
In addition to the water, I always have a bunch of healthy snacks like nuts, seeds or fruits on my desk. My favorites are sesame seeds and almonds. Whenever I get hungry, I eat a handful of my healthy snacks instead of walking over to the vending machine.
I also keep a snack bag in my backpack. You’ll never know when hunger will strike!
I have to confess. Limit tasty things like sugar and alcohol can sometimes not be very fun. Therefore you have to allow yourself to eat your favorite food on a day or two. I’ve tried eating only healthy and clean food for longer periods of time and it’s not a way to live life. Life is about having fun and enjoy the food you like on a regular basis.
In the fitness community we refer these days as “Cheat Days”. It’s a reward for making good progress and will be of great help when getting rid of belly fat after 40.