Muffin top after 40? Here’s what you can do about it
Unwanted weight gain and an expansion of the dreaded “muffin top” are the most common complaints of aging males and females. Surveys indicate that regardless of physical activity and nutritional status, a fair chunk of the population develops a muffin top; which forces them to opt for aggressive interventions like liposuction, fat-burning supplements and weight training.
Why does belly fat increase after 40?
With physiological aging, the basal rate of metabolism decreases and the risk of fat deposition increase. The mind-boggling question here is, why do fat deposits accumulate around the belly region? The answer is rather simple. The serum level of cortisol increases with advancing age due to physical, mental and emotional stress. Long-standing and poorly managed cortisol levels are known to alter fat metabolism, which causes redistribution of fat pads (especially in the belly region).
There are a number of other reasons that may explain why abdominal obesity is so common after 40 years of age; in both males and females:
- Mismatches between calorie consumption and calorie expenditure
- The serum level of metabolic hormones (especially sex androgens) decreases after 30 years of age. Sex androgens are known to stimulate metabolism and calorie expenditure at rest.
- Hormonal and biochemical imbalance promotes a state of chronic tissue inflammation to further enhance the abnormal deposition of fat in the omental layers of abdomen.
Why should you be concerned?
According to a study reported in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Internal Medicine (2), investigators suggested that certain risk factors like abdominal obesity and smoking can aggravate the risk of developing serious health issues such as thromboembolism. According to another study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (3), scientists explained that visceral obesity is an independent risk factor for the development of anxiety, depression and mood disorders in older males and females. The pathogenesis mainly revolves around high circulating levels of leptin. Other hazardous effects of abdominal obesity and high leptin levels are:
- Neuropsychiatric illnesses
- Type 2 Diabetes due to insulin resistance
- Higher risk of developing cardiovascular issues
- Accelerated arthrosclerosis
- Low self-esteem
- Poor self-image
- Sexual dysfunction and overall poor quality of life
How much is too much?
Some degree of abdominal (or truncal) obesity is normal or physiological in the middle-aged population; however, according to Hansson and Eriksson study, if your abdominal girth is more than 100 cm (in males), there is a high probability that you’ll develop the metabolic issues listed above.
What can you do to get rid of belly fat?
Abdominal obesity or belly fat pads can be taken care by:
- Diet modification: In some cases, diet modification or regulation can actually help a great deal in decreasing belly fat. This includes incorporating high fiber intake, consumption of fresh foods and organic vegetables, as well as antioxidant and supplements etc. However, for a number of individuals, diet adjustments may not work.
- Exercise: Moderate physical activity and dynamic lifestyle improves basal metabolism and reduces the risk of fat deposition.
- Bioidentical natural hormone replacement therapy: It has been observed that the most reliable method of decreasing belly fat (and resulting complications) in both males and females is to opt for natural hormone replacement. Data indicates that customized therapy is the most reliable therapeutic intervention to boost your basal metabolism and reduce the rate of abnormal fat deposition in aging females. Additionally, testosterone therapy in males can also help a great deal in restoring the natural hormonal balance to boost basal energy expenditure.
Experts suggest that the pellet mode of administration is most reliable and is associated with minimal risk of adverse effects. Call today to restore optimal quality of life and to reduce the risk of complex health issues due to stubborn belly fat.
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- Purnell, J. Q., Brandon, D. D., Isabelle, L. M., Loriaux, D. L., & Samuels, M. H. (2004). Association of 24-hour cortisol production rates, cortisol-binding globulin, and plasma-free cortisol levels with body composition, leptin levels, and aging in adult men and women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 89(1), 281-287.
- Hansson, P. O., Eriksson, H., Welin, L., Svärdsudd, K., & Wilhelmsen, L. (1999). Smoking and abdominal obesity: risk factors for venous thromboembolism among middle-aged men: the study of men born in 1913. Archives of internal medicine, 159(16), 1886-1890.
- Milaneschi, Y., Simonsick, E. M., Vogelzangs, N., Strotmeyer, E. S., Yaffe, K., Harris, T. B., … & Penninx, B. W. (2012). Leptin, abdominal obesity and onset of depression in older men and women. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 73(9), 1205.