Dr. Oz debuted his 5 Step Plan for Women Over 40 Who Need to Lose Belly Fat last night, and I spoke with Shirin Rafaee of KEYT, our ABC affiliate, about it. No surprise here: women’s needs are different from men’s weight loss needs.
Belly fat in men and women poisons your liver, blocks muscle from using sugar, and squeezes on your kidneys.
And the perimenopausal loss of testosterone, thyroid hormone and melatonin make it harder for women to build muscle, burn calories and sleep well.
His 5 step plan:
1. Eat dinner for breakfast (i.e., eat more calories in the morning than late at night):
The usual pattern is runway eating: start off with a small meal, and eat all your calories at the end of the day.
2. Have a glass of red wine daily (i.e., the resveratrol may interfere with fat synthesis, and other red wine polyphenols may inhibit aromatase, an enzyme made by belly fat that converts androgens to estrogens).
Men typically add alcohol to what they eat, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food.
3. Get 25 grams of mixed fiber daily: psyllium husk, oranges, bananas, Kashi cereals.
Men need 38 grams per day. Both men and women need a lot of water to hydrate that fiber, so it’s not concrete.
4. Use a belly band (aka tape measure) to get your waist under 32″: inexpensive on ebay.
For men, the optimal number is 37″.
5. Confuse your muscles (aka mix it up: Tuesdays for arms and Fridays for legs dumbbells; a few weeks later, use kettle bells or resistance bands; a few weeks later, pilates)
In women, the loss of estrogen is the main reason it’s hard to lose belly fat after 40: plus, your metabolism winds down 5% every 10 years, unless you work at it.
But with a systematic, structured program, belly fat can be belly flat.