Okay, I have to confess that I've not been exercising lately - but I have usually worked out 2 to 4 times a week for years and years, until I got a cold a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, by eating smaller portions and with the help of hypnosis, I've lost close to 25 lbs in the past year or so and am now at what I thought would be my goal weight of 135.
I'm a 65 year old female, small boned, presently 65 inches tall (lost an inch since my youth, when I stood at 5'6"). Except for my middle, I'm quite pleased with my size. Any suggestions? Could it be that I need to lose more weight than I had anticipated?
I agree with the targeted exercises to the belly myself. You sound like you are a pretty healthy weight already...just a little toning in that area. How awesome you have done with losing 25 pounds! You'll have to share some of your secrets! ; )
Congrats on your weight loss this year! I have to slightly disagree with the responses to do crunches. Not that doing crunches will do any harm, but ab work alone isnt enough to change your stomach. You arent going to see any kind of definition in your stomach if there is still a layer of fat covering your abs. And crunches don't burn enough calories to trim your stomach down either. Cardio will be more effective for trimming your waistline than crunches would be. Since you can't spot reduce where you lose weight, you would have to continue losing weight overall and seeing if your stomach gets flatter with more weight loss. But at 5'5 or 5'6, 135 lbs sounds great and I really don't think losing more weight is even necessary, especially if you're comfortable with your size.
Something else you have to take into consideration is that the weight in your stomach is probably due to hormone changes from menopause. It's VERY common for women to gain weight in their stomachs or get those little "pouches" after menopause so that could very well be why you can't seem to trim your stomach down. My mom was recently complaining to me how "fat" she's gotten because she has a pooch now, but she's this little itty bitty woman that can't weigh any more than 115lbs. She never used to have any kind of belly and she's still very thin so her stomach issues are most likely menopause related and I really think that may be why you're having that issue too.
I can't argue with your theory of the crunches, nor with the idea that losing more weight over all would not be the thing to do. At 5'5", 135 pounds sounds about right.
I would have to disagree some about the belly fat and menopause though, while keeping in mind that everyone is different and what works for one, won't necessarily work for all. I'm just not one that believes that because we reach a certain age or stage in life, we have to gain weight, get poochy tummy, ache all over, etc. Again, keeping in mind that everyone is different and hormonal issues, along with genetics can (does) play a role.
I am 59 yrs old, started menopause at about 42, then had a hysterectomy at 46, which meant "instant menopause" - that was 13 yrs ago. I am 5' tall (very small boned) and always weighed between 105 and 115 and if I did put on a few too many pounds all I had to do was cut back on the food. I never had a stomach at all until my thyroid whacked out a couple years ago and I put on 30 pounds in the course of a year while arguing with the doctor that there really was something wrong besides just not pushing away from the table soon enough. I've been on thyroid med since June 08 and can't lose weight much to speak of anywhere; which is why I mentioned yoga as well, because even though I can't seem to lose any pounds, I did trim my tummy a bit and toned up some.
Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on the core muscles and I've have good luck with it as far as toning is concerned, but like any other kind of exercise I have to do it on a regular basis. It's also good for those times when I feel like I need something "low impact" and relaxing because it pretty much requires that you clear your mind and concentrate on what you are doing.
I do agree that crunches alone would not help lose the belly fat. I was assuming you were already into cardio and other realted activities. I think you also might have to consider fat burning superfoods!
Here is a great article I found that you might enjoy reading - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/173587/the_top_ten_fat_burning_foods.html
You're right, i think, about menopause. That's when I gained the 25 lbs. that I finally lost. This belly fat is above and beyond what menopause did. It's like I lost the weight everywhere BUT my abdominal area. Very weird.
I've always done crunches, lying down bicycles, etc. - although, as i've said, I've been lazy of late. Got to get back with it. Also, I've been thinking of changing my exercise routine, because it's become routine. I wish I could afford a personal trainer, am thinking of splurging on a two or three sessions.
Thanks all for the great advice. I'm gonna read about fat burning foods right now.
Thanks for the yoga recommendation, barb. It might be a way to both change my routine and to resume exercise in a laid-back sort of way. My 23 year old niece goes to a great class on Sunday mornings - in Santa Monica, near the ocean. Yeah!
I've never gone to a yoga class - just do it at home with my dvd's and Wii Fit. I'd probably be too self conscious to go to a class. It is great exercise though and really makes you conscious of your body, muscles, etc. I hope you'll let me know if you like it. BTW - there are different types of yoga too. Some are specifically for weight loss, and others like I do, stretching and working the muscles and I think a few types in between. I don't know a whole lot about the different types - do a web search and read up on them. From what I understand it's like most other things - certain people really like one type, while certain people really like another type.
I've read that it's important to change your workout routine because your body gets used to the same one all the time and it's no longer a challenge. I think even just changing the sequence in which you exercise helps.
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