“Muffin top,” “love handles” and “belly pooch” are words in the female vocabulary that are spoken with disdain by women of all ages. While the “muffin top” or “love handles” refer to the stubborn overhanging areas of fat on the sides of the lower waist, the equally hated “belly pooch” is that troublesome area in the front of the stomach. Have you ever noticed that you can eat the same healthy diet as your spouse or significant other and complete the same workout programs only to see him shrink quickly while your stubborn fat areas remain the same?
For women over 50 losing weight (especially stubborn body fat) becomes even more of a challenge. That’s because not only does the metabolism slow, but also exercise tends to taper off and your body no longer requires the same amount of calories. It doesn’t mean that you can’t still have the body you have always wanted however.
Let’s first look at what happens to the metabolism as we age.
How the Metabolism Changes with Age
After the age of 45, the typical person loses nearly 10% of muscle mass per decade. As this happens, fewer calories are needed since there is less muscle requiring these calories for fuel. In addition to this, many continue to eat the same way they always have but with a reduced muscle mass and a slowing metabolism, this typically results in the accumulation of fat in trouble areas, especially around the tummy and sides.
What many women over 50 don’t realize is that as a result of these changes her body is going through, she actually requires somewhere between 300 to 500 calories less than what she needed to maintain her weight in her twenties. Without a meal plan that reflects these nutritional changes, a woman can eat the same way she always has…but it will result in that stubborn fat.
Yes, it’s frustrating but the female body is designed to store fat whether we like it or not…and it just gets worse with age. Nearly every woman has lamented at one point in her life, “why do they call them love handles? I HATE them!” As we age, this becomes more and more of an issue. So what if you are over 50, living a healthy lifestyle and still can’t get the stubborn trouble areas to dissipate? While many may think that surgery is their only escape from this irritating fat, there is a new and less invasive procedure known as CoolSculpting and it’s changing the way we look at our bodies.
How CoolSculpting Works
While many women are hesitant to make any changes to their body, CoolSculpting is a much more natural approach than liposuction or other procedures for reducing fat. That’s because, as the name implies, fat cells are targeted and killed by freezing them. There are no knives, needles or scars. The appointment can typically be fit into a lunch break (typically takes an hour) and the downtime is minimal. This is because only the fat cells are being targeted. Other procedures can often cause damage to surrounding tissue which results in pain and prolonged recovery. These fat cells become crystallized from the cold and then die. They are naturally eliminated from the body without you even knowing it.
What women want to know is how long it takes to see results. For most, there is a noticeable difference after just one visit but for the best results it normally takes a few months. The good news is that you just need to continue to maintain your normal diet and workout routine in order to continue seeing the benefits.
The medical term for the procedure is cryolipolysis and it’s an FDA approved procedure. The reason that only fat cells are targeted during this procedure is that they are more sensitive to cool temperatures than the surrounding tissue. By freezing the area, only the fat cells die while the skin, nerves and other tissue remain completely healthy.
In a typical appointment, you will have an applicator attached to your skin over the trouble areas by a physician. The vacuum adaptor brings the tissue in while gently holding it between the cooling panels. This extracts heat from the area while sensors make sure the treatment is being delivered equally.
CoolScultpting is ideal for women who are over 50, relatively fit but can’t seem to get rid of rather large deposits of fat around their tummy, thighs and sides.
Managing Metabolism in Addition to CoolSclupting
While CoolSculpting results are noticeable for some time after the procedure, it’s important to also maintain a healthy nutrition and exercise program. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women over 50 require about 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. The range in calorie needs is dependent on activity level. For women who are looking to lose weight, the guidelines suggest a slightly reduced calorie intake of anywhere from 1,000 to 1,600 daily.
Increasing your fiber amount is also recommended over 50. Not only does this help keep you feeling fuller for longer, but it also helps keep the body regular.
Just as in younger women, consuming a high protein and low carb diet is also recommended for women in their 50s who are looking to lose weight. It’s important to keep in mind however that not all carbs are “bad.” In fact, they are necessary to maintain body functions. The carbs you want to avoid are those which are based mainly in sugar. Good carbs come from fruits and vegetables and have higher fiber content.
For those who don’t adjust their calorie intake, after age 45 a total of 12 pounds can be put on each year! Fortunately, knowing this can help you avoid it. In addition to sticking with the recommend calorie intake, remain active at least 4 times a week. This can be as vigorous as taking a taking a dance class or as low impact as simply getting out for a walk.
As long as you keep your body in motion, reduce your caloric intake and attend your CoolSculpting sessions there is no reason those love handles have to stay!