The term “middle-age spread” isn’t just some empty cliché about midlife weight gain and belly fat: It’s a very real phenomenon that most women and men experience, to some degree, starting in their late thirties or early forties.
Why? The average adult in the United States gains about 30 pounds during middle age, and much of it accumulates through the midsection. Not only is it easier to gain belly fat after 40 — but those extra pounds often seem much harder to lose, as well.
With three offices in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Smooth Body Contours offers a full scope of body sculpting solutions to help you banish stubborn belly fat for good.
Read on as we discuss the various factors behind the so-called middle-age spread, and offer customized treatment solutions that can help you get your body back.
Increased belly fat is common in middle age
Several coinciding factors collide to make middle-age weight gain — and specifically, midsection thickening and stubborn belly fat — a common (if not nearly inevitable) experience of people in their late thirties, forties, and fifties. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Shifting hormone levels
Declining reproductive hormone levels is the main driver of increasing midlife belly fat, for men and women alike. How? Both the main female sex hormone, estrogen, and the primary male sex hormone, testosterone, play vital roles in fat storage, muscle mass, and metabolism.
For women, menopause-driven estrogen declines specifically promote increased midsection fat storage and the appearance of stubborn, exercise-resistant belly fat. For men, age-related testosterone declines also foster muscle mass loss and easier midsection fat storage.
As you might have guessed, the term “middle-age spread” refers to these normal age-related, waist-expanding hormonal changes.
Age-related muscle loss
Muscle mass declines naturally with age: Starting around the age of 30, you can expect to lose up to 8% of your lean tissue per decade. The only way to minimize the effects of this age-driven process is to make strength training a fundamental part of your exercise routine.
Why does involuntary muscle loss matter? Muscle tissue uses more calories to maintain itself, and it also burns those calories more efficiently than fat tissue, even when you’re resting.
If you don’t reduce your calorie intake as your muscle mass declines — and the process unfolds slowly, so most people don’t — the calories that once went muscle maintenance will go to fat storage, instead. Over the years, this can add up to plenty of extra midsection fat.
A slowing metabolism
The combined impact of hormonal changes and diminishing muscle mass can have a sort of “snowball effect” on your metabolism, causing it to slow. Metabolism is the complex process by which your body converts calories into energy, either for use or for storage.
That process can become less efficient and more sluggish — thereby reducing the number of calories you burn as fuel, and increasing the number of calories you store as fat — for many reasons, including:
- Reduced muscle mass
- Declining hormone levels
- Increasing fat storage
- Lack of physical activity
Essentially, as your hormones shift and you begin losing muscle mass, you start accumulating fat, causing your metabolism to slow and burn fewer calories. Unless you improve your diet and get more active, the cycle repeats — and continues building on itself over time.
You don’t have to live with stubborn belly fat
While regular exercise and clean eating can help you minimize midlife weight gain, lifestyle strategies aren’t always enough to keep stubborn belly fat at bay — or make it go away once it has arrived. That’s where we come in.
If you’re at a relatively healthy weight but still struggling with stubborn midsection fat, one of our noninvasive or minimally invasive cosmetic spot reduction treatments can get rid of excess belly fat and give you the trim, contoured physique you want.
At Smooth Body Contours, we offer a full menu of highly effective solutions for sculpting away the stubborn midlife belly fat that makes it harder for you to zip your jeans. Treatment options include:
- Minimally invasive Smooth Lipo
- Noninvasive liposuction (laser lipolysis)
- Noninvasive fat freezing (cryolipolysis)
- Aqualyx® fat-dissolving injections
After a comprehensive evaluation and consultation to discuss your fat reduction needs and body contouring goals, our experts can recommend the best approach for getting rid of your stubborn midlife belly fat.
Are you ready to banish the midlife bulge?
Ready to banish that midlife midsection bulge for good? Smooth Body Contours is here to help. Call or click online to schedule a consultation at your nearest office in Sandy Springs, Georgia, or Orlando or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.