Ultimate Guide: How Women Burn Belly Fat to Lose Weight

Belly fat is probably the most stubborn fat in the body. It is very difficult to get rid-off, whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s.

Some healthy fat is required in your body under the skin and around the organs. It acts like a cushion to the organs. If this fat increases it turns into visceral fat that leads to obesity in women.

While belly fat or abdominal fat is common among women of all age groups, it particularly harms older women more. Studies have suggested that belly fat can cause heart diseases and type-2 diabetes in women (1). 

Women need to burn belly fat at an early age to stop it from causing a health issue at a later age.

Following is the ultimate guide for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to burn belly fat to lose weight.

Ultimate Guide How Women Burn Belly Fat to Lose Weight Belly fat is probably the most stubborn fat in the body. It is very difficult to get rid-off, whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. Women need to burn belly fat at an early age to stop it from causing a health issue at a later age. Following is the ultimate guide for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to burn belly fat to lose weight. #burnbellyfat #loseweight #weightlossdiet #skinnydiet #fatlossdiet #losebellyfat

Causes of belly fat in women in their 20s

Most women face a transition phase in their 20s. Such as when you leave home for college, plan a career, settle in some other city, or even start a family.

Here are the factors that can contribute to obesity in women in their 20s:

Living on fast food: Young women mostly rely on processed food and fast food to save time. They have low nutrition value and are high on calories. This habit leads to the storage of excess fat around the abdominal area (2).

Irregular eating schedule: Stress of work or exams take a toll on your meal schedule. This sometimes results in skipping meals to meet deadlines. Thus, your metabolism slows down giving way for belly fat to settle in.

Stress eating: You tend to seek mental pleasure in unhealthy snacking or binge eating to keep away stress. While this pleasure is short-lived, the fat it forms in your abdomen will stay for long.

Lack of physical movement: A 9 to 5 job means sitting on that office chair for some time. This minimal movement slows down metabolism even in your 20s leading to obesity in women.

Unhealthy lifestyle: Ordering a pizza at home, or drinking at a party, may all seem convenient in your 20s. These are unhealthy calories going into your body gradually leading to stubborn belly fat (3).

Take away: Your body’s natural power to break down fat cells is strongest during your 20s. Despite this, belly fat can show up in women in their 20s. Some changes in lifestyle are possible reasons behind this weight gain.

Tips on how to burn belly fat in your 20s

Body metabolism is naturally strong in women in their 20s. Therefore, these 10 simple lifestyle changes can help you burn belly fat easily.

1. Take care of nutrition intake

The earlier you start the easier it is for you to maintain a flat belly. Increase your intake of protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Go low with refined carbs, sugar and trans-fat.

A balanced nutrition can normalize your body’s natural power to break down fat which is called metabolism (4). Specialized diet plans like Keto or Korean diet may not work for long term goals (5).

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of nutrition intake to burn belly fat:

Stick to high protein diet: Protein curbs appetite and boosts metabolism. This will increase the fat-burning process in the body naturally (6). Include eggs, beans, legumes, spirulina, yogurt, and avocado in your diet.

Eat more fiber: Fiber takes care of your digestive system. Fiber helps good bacteria in your stomach to burn fat cells faster. This also helps food to get digested completely without settling as belly fat.

Go low on carbs and sugar: Refined carbohydrates and sugar have zero nutrition and are high on calories. This does nothing good for your body apart from leading to obesity.

Don’t go on a crash diet: This might sound fun as it is in trend and will give quick results. The reality is the effect is short-lived. This kind of diet will lead to huger, fatigue, and lack of energy.

Spice up your food: Spices not only adds to the taste of your food but also takes care of your digestive health. Spicing up your food will increase body metabolism to burn belly fat faster (7).

Take away: A balanced nutritional diet can stabilize body metabolism to burn belly fat. A properly balanced diet should contain a large amount of protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals with a lower amount of carbs and sugar.

2. Exercise can help

Exercise has a lot of benefits in weight loss (8). Workout increases body metabolism in women that boost the fat-burning process.

Here are a set of exercises that will help to burn belly fat:

Brisk walk or run: These are cardio workouts that increase body metabolism while balancing the heart rate. These physical activities can help burn some fat.

Strength training: This workout involves large muscle groups. Thus, strength training tones up body muscles and also helps burn belly fat.

Plank: This engages multiple muscles at once. Plank increases core strength on the abdominal area which can help burn fat.

Yoga: Yoga has proved helpful in fighting obesity in women. Yoga poses like bow pose, camel pose, cobra pose, and sun salutation can help with burning fat.

Take away: Physical workout can increase body metabolism that helps to burn belly fat. Exercises like crunches, cardio, strength training, and yoga help you burn belly fat in your 20s.

3. Manage stress

Stress can lead to unhealthy snacking, sleep disorder, and fatigue in women in their 20s. All these can slow down metabolism leading to the storage of fat in the abdominal area (9).

Here is what you can do to manage stress:

Meditate: Meditation relaxes the mind, body, and soul. It increases concentration and helps to focus on life, the way you want.

Have patience: You have to understand that sometimes exact results are delivered with patience. Your 20s is the time to learn to understand things, judge things and plan out things for the future. Don’t stress yourself with unrealistic expectations.

Plan ahead: Stress can result from workload or studies. Planning ahead of the deadline can help to minimize stress and anxiety to a great extent.

Be optimistic: Being optimistic even in odd situations can help heal a stressed mind faster. Positive thinking and action can have a beneficial effect your health.

Take away: Stress can lead to unhealthy lifestyles like sleep disorder, binge eating, etc. This will further lead to the storage of fat in the abdominal area. Stress management is necessary for women to maintain a healthy weight.

4. Practice mindful eating

Eating habits can directly impact body weight in young women (10, 11). Developing healthy eating habits can help to get rid-off unwanted belly fat for a longer period. 

Here is how you can practice mindful eating:

Ditch processed food: Processed foods generally promise false nutritional value. The preservatives and added flavors that it contains are loaded with calories. This increases the risk of developing abdominal fat.

Read labels: Get into the habit of reading the label before purchasing packed food. Be careful of contents like trans-fat, added sugar, artificial sweetener, fructose, hydrogenated oil, etc. in the food label.

Never skip meal: Skipping a meal will not make you skinny, it will increase hunger and fatigue. In your 20s your body needs a lot of energy to burn calories. Proper food will provide the energy your body needs.

Avoid sugary beverages: Sweetened beverages are loaded with hidden calories and have low nutrition. Try to pick healthier options for beverages like natural fruit juice, coconut water, vegetable juice, or iced tea.

Take away: Mindful eating can help you control your calorie consumption to lower belly fat. It will also improve your eating habits to help you monitor your nutrition intake throughout the day.

5. Develop healthy kitchen habits

Cooking your meal can help you lose belly fat (12). Preparing your meal will help you to control your calorie intake, and also taking care of your wholesome nutrition.

Following are the weight loss benefits of cooking at home:

Count the calories: This means you can eat what you want and then balance it with a low-calorie food. This way you can keep a tab of your daily calorie intake to fight obesity.

Balance the nutrition: Cooking your meal will help you control portions of protein, vitamins, and micronutrients in your food. With this, you can strengthen your body’s natural fat-burning power.

Plan meals ahead: Organize meals a week ahead to save more time. This will help you focus more on other activities while taking care of your health.

Healthy ingredients: Cooking your food will allow you to choose wholesome ingredients. This way you can increase the nutritional level of your meals.

Take away: Cooking helps you to monitor the nutritional level of your meals and control the calorie intake. You can save time by planning meals in advance and also eat healthy to increase the body’s natural fat-burning power.

6. Monitor gut health

Gut health is your body’s natural ability to digest food. A healthy gut can help lose excess fat in women (13).

Our digestive system or gut has several good bacteria that break down food to form energy. These bacteria are also responsible for breaking down fat and preventing the storage of new fat cells.

A healthy gut is necessary to burn belly fat in both young and older women.

Following are the signs of unhealthy gut that needs medical attention:

Constipation: This is a fact that constipation can lead to overweight (14). Toxins accumulate in your intestines due to irregular poop which causes bloating.

Stomach upset: Conditions like diarrhea is an indication of poor digestive health. This, in the long run, can cause swelling in the stomach area.

Poor digestion: Frequent indigestion or acidity shows an unhealthy digestive system. Weak digestive system cannot break down food completely as a result it settles down as fat.

Constant fatigue: Poor digestive system will fail to absorb nutrition from food and create energy. As a result, you will experience fatigue and exhaustion.

Take away: Gut health determines a healthy digestive system that breaks down food to create energy and not fat. Conditions like constipation, diarrhea, and acidity are signs of a weak digestive system that causes bloating in the stomach area.

7. Party wiser

You can be the life of every party and also maintain a flat belly. Just a little modification in your party habits is all it takes.

Booze in moderation: Studies have proved that a high amount of alcohol causes obesity (15). However, a moderate amount of alcohol consumption is considered healthy without any risk of weight gain (16).

Go for low-calorie options: Calorie count varies with different alcohol. For example, a glass of white wine may contain 160 calories while a glass of vodka and soda will have only 60 calories.

Know your counter: Look for counters serving snacks like nuts and dark chocolate at any party. These foods are healthier but eat in moderation to watch your waistline.

Take away: Partying smart with healthier options of foods and snacks can avoid belly fat. Drinking in moderation is good for health provided it is low on calories to promote obesity.

8. Choose healthier options

Healthy food will be easy on your stomach. It will be completely digested without being stored as belly fat.

This does not mean you cannot crave for your favorite food. It is just that you have to find the healthier version of it that will be light on your belly.

Here are 4 ways to help you shift to healthier options:

Pick unsweetened food: There are healthier options for your favorite breakfast that are tasty too. Try peanut butter instead of normal butter, have oats not cereals, go for banana pancakes and fruit smoothies, etc.

Dessert in a different way: Sugar can disturb your metabolism to form belly fat (17). So, for your dessert cravings switch to dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, grilled fruits, banana ice cream, etc.

Replace cooking fat: Vegetable oil contains bad fat that can lead to obesity. Replace cooking oil with applesauce, chicken or vegetable stock, small portion of butter, coconut oil, etc.

Eat wholesome instead of refined: Whole food contains a maximum portion of micro-nutrients and minimum calories. Refined foods are loaded with carbohydrates that can cause belly fat (18). For example, multigrain or whole wheat bread is better than white bread.

Take away: Some foods may appear healthy but contains sugar, carbohydrate, and bad fat that cause obesity. Choosing healthier options for the same food will prevent the accumulation of belly fat in women.

9. Move more

30 minutes to 1-hour exercise will increase your body’s natural power to break down fat cells, but not for the entire day. Light physical activity throughout the day is important to prevent the accumulation of belly fat.

Following are ways by which you can keep yourself physically active all day:

Walk while on phone: Try to stroll around when you are on a call. You can continue talking but this moderate stroll will engage your muscles.

Stand when you can: Sitting for long hours can increase the risk of getting belly fat (19). Between your 9 to 5 job, look for chances to work while standing instead of sitting.

Ditch vehicles for short distance: It is better not to take any means of transport for distances that can be covered by 15 to 20 minutes of walk. These little walks every day can burn that belly fat too.

Use your leisure: Live your leisure by some fun activities like swimming, boating, dancing and cycling. Use your 20s energy to kick away that belly fat.

Take away: Light physical activities throughout the day are important to steadily burn body fat. Some smart moves like short walks, strolling while on phone and leisure activities can do the trick to burn belly fat faster.

10. Set realistic expectations

Motivation and self-determination have proved beneficial for weight loss goals (20).

However, it is important to set realistic goals to stay motivated. Unrealistic goals can never be achieved and will further demotivate you.

The tips below may help you set realistic goals:

Stay positive: Stay determined to burn that belly fat for a fit body. Your 20s is just the beginning to set fitness goals, you have a long way to go.

Focus on your actions: Actions are more important than results. If you stick to healthy meals and exercise, it will have an impact on your belly fat.

Find like-minded people: Fighting obesity alone can be difficult at times. People who are living the same goal can inspire you to work hard to lose that belly fat.

Take away: Having realistic a goal is important to stay motivated to fight obesity. Staying in a positive surrounding and following a healthy routine will get you a healthy body.

Remember, you are at an advantage to reduce fat naturally because you are in your 20s. Your natural metabolism is working fine. Just a little effort can show brilliant results to burn your belly fat.

Causes of belly fat in your 30s

Women in their 30s experience some major changes in their lives. It is in this phase when you get pregnant, nurse a child, and manage your business or office.

Following are the reasons behind developing belly fat during your 30s:

Declining metabolism: Your metabolism in your 30s will not be the same as your 20s. With age, it will start to slow down. This will also reduce your body’s natural power to break down calories.

Pregnancy: Maternal obesity or weight gain during pregnancy is very common (21). This weight gain can be both long term and short term.

Loss of muscle strength: During your 30s your muscle mass gradually starts to reduce. This affects your body’s calorie-burning process leading to belly fat.

Stress: Your 30s is the crucial time for you to settle down in life. Naturally, stress becomes a part of life. Stress releases certain hormones in your body that slows down the natural calorie-burning process.

Take away: Women in their 30s face significant changes in their life like pregnancy, child upbringing, job stress, etc. These factors affect the already slowdown in metabolism leading to obesity. 

Tips to burn belly fat in your 30s

Belly fat can become difficult to burn if ignored in your 30s. There are both natural and clinical ways to remove belly fat for women in their 30s.

Following are 8 natural and clinical ways that can help you burn belly fat in your 30s:

1. Build muscle strength

There is no second thought to this. Intensive physical workout has proved effective in reviving a slowdown in metabolism (22).

Here is a set of exercise that can help your burn belly fat in your 30s:

Cardio: Exercise like cycling, running, jogging, etc. helps to activate resting metabolism in your body (23). This leads to calorie expenditure at a steady rate that burns belly fat.

Strength training: This includes weight lifting and resistance training that helps to build muscle mass. Stronger muscle mass helps to improve the body’s fat-burning process to fight belly fat (24).

High-Intensity Interval Training: Short sessions of push-ups, squats, and kettlebell swings with short intervals and repetitions are called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This ensures your body burns calories at a higher rate than usual cardio exercises.

Belly press: This form of workout is especially targeted to tone the belly area. Belly press is effective in burning belly fat and toning of abs.

Elliptical trainer: Women in their 30s may find intensive workouts a bit difficult due to weak joints. Elliptical trainer can offer equal benefits of intense cardio without being heavy on joints.

Take away: Physical workouts can revive the slowdown in metabolism in women in their 30s. Exercises like cardio and strength training helps to increase natural calorie-burning process to reduce belly fat faster.

2. Diet smart

Your 30s is the time when your body needs proper food to produce energy to burn calories. Dieting in your 30s is not a good idea, but planning a healthy diet is.

Here are ways you can plan your nutrition intake at your 30s to avoid belly fat:

High protein low carb: Protein boosts the body’s natural metabolism to break down fat cells (25). It also reduces appetite to control calorie intake.

Carbohydrates acts as fuel for the body but a higher amount of carbohydrate can decline body metabolism (26).

Increase soluble fiber: Soluble fiber is proved effective in reducing belly fat (27). It is also beneficial in preventing the accumulation of belly fat.

Include healthy fat: Some amount of dietary fat is required to sustain lean tissue as you lose weight. Moderate intake of dietary fat can curb appetite and create hormonal balance to fight obesity (28).

Add probiotics: Probiotics are good bacteria found in some foods that support the digestive system to break down food completely. Probiotics help to lose belly fat by preventing the accumulation of new fat cells (29).

Go trans-fat free: Trans-fat is formed by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fat. It has proved to be responsible for gaining belly fat (30). Trans-fat is found mostly in processed foods, so don’t forget to read the label before purchasing.

Detoxify: Toxins that are produced by the body can create swelling if not flushed out. Detoxifying your body naturally through dietary intake can help you lose belly fat (31).

Chew more: Chewing your food not only aids in proper digestion but also signals your brain on the portion you are consuming. This has proved effective in losing excess fat (32).

Be careful about hidden calories: Some foods may appear healthy but have loads of hidden calories in them. For example, olive oil may seem a healthy option to cook but a spoon full contains about 120 calories. Similarly, 2 spoons of hummus can have 70 calories. 

Take away: Your nutritional intake plays an important role in burning belly fat. Your daily meals should be adequate to boost your body’s natural calorie-burning process.

3. Check sugar and alcohol

Sugar is related to several chronic diseases in women in their 30s apart from obesity. A high amount of calories in sugar is proved to increase belly fat in women (33).

Sugar has zero nutrition value except for a high amount of calories. Even the healthy versions like honey should be consumed in limitation.

Studies have indicated that low-calorie substitutes of sugar can also lead to the storage of fat in the stomach area (34).

To burn belly fat at your 30s it is advisable to cut down on sugar as much as you can. Apart from the sweet taste sugar has nothing useful for your system.

Alcohol consumption in a limited amount has proved to help women lose excess weight (35). However, a high amount of alcohol consumption can lead to abdominal fat in women (36).

Alcohol contains a high amount of calories. Consumption of too much alcohol may result in higher calorie intake compared to your body’s capacity to break it down.

This condition makes way for stored fat in your belly area that can be difficult to get rid of.

Take away: Sugar and alcohol contain high amount of calories that can disturb the body’s natural power to break down fat cells. A moderate amount of alcohol has proved to reduce fat in women. In contrast, even low-calorie substitutes of sugar can induce obesity.

4. Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is fasting for a limited period every day between meals or for a few days in a week. This has been proved effective in burning belly fat (37).

There are three types of intermittent fasting:

  • 24 hours fasting once or twice a week
  • Complete 16 hours fasting and then planning all meals in the rest of the 8 hours.
  • Consuming 500 or 600 calories for 2 days in a week and then having normal meals for the rest 5 days

Intermittent fasting can help you lose belly fat in many ways, check out below:

Works like a low-calorie diet: It is equally effective like a calorie-restricted diet to lose fat (38).

Reduce insulin level: Insulin level increases when you eat and decreases when you fast. Lower insulin level helps in burning belly fat faster.

Increase in growth hormones: Human growth hormones are responsible for regulating fat loss and muscle growth. Fasting highly stimulates growth hormones helping to burn belly fat.

Scheduled meals: Intermittent fasting will help you plan your meals in a fixed schedule. This will make your body metabolism adaptive to the schedule and will help you curb unhealthy cravings.

Take away: Intermittent fasting is equally effective in burning fat like a calorie-restricted diet. Fasting increases growth hormones, reduces insulin level, and regulates metabolism to help burn belly fat faster.

5. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is often considered a natural way to lose weight postpartum (39). It also has long term benefits of weight management for new mothers.

Here are the reasons behind weight loss due to breastfeeding:

Burns calories: Breastfeeding mothers can burn around 500 calories in a day. This is almost equal to 30 minutes of physical workout.

Planned diet: A breastfeeding mother needs to take special care of her diet as that will directly impact her child’s health. Her meals usually contain lean protein and fiber-rich foods that help to control body weight.

Long term weight management: Studies have shown that breastfeeding for a longer period has long term effects on postpartum weight loss (40). Women who breastfeed for 3 to 6 months are more likely to return to pre-pregnancy weight soon.

Take away: Daily breastfeeding can help mothers lose around 500 calories in a day. Breastfeeding for a longer period like 3 to 6 months will have long term benefits on postpartum weight management.

6. Sleep more

Insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain in women (41). This is because sleep disorder can lead to hormonal imbalance and other health conditions that aid in body fat accumulation.

Following are the reasons behind weight gain due to sleep disorder:

Weak metabolism: Sleep disorder can disturb your body’s natural metabolism. This will result in slowing down of the calorie-burning process leading to belly fat.

Low insulin tolerance: Inadequate sleep will decrease your insulin sensitivity reducing insulin tolerance in the body. This will reduce your body’s ability to break down fat cells.

Rise in cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone responsible for regulating body metabolism. An increase in cortisol will reduce metabolism slowing down the calorie-burning process (42).

Increase in leptin and ghrelin: Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones in the intestine responsible for regulating appetite. Improper sleep can increase these hormone levels leading to frequent unhealthy cravings.

Take away: Inadequate sleep can harm natural body metabolism slowing down the calorie-burning process. Sleep disorder also results in hormonal imbalance that can increase appetite and reduce insulin tolerance.

Sometimes belly fat may be tough to get rid of in your 30s by natural ways. Here you need to consult a professional who can guide you through a clinical procedure to burn belly fat.

Remember that clinical procedures may show instant result but has its cons too like:

  • Recovery from a fat removal surgery can be time-consuming.
  • Non-surgical methods may not give you the desired result.
  • Your lost weight might come back after some time.
  • You will need a medical expert to help you weigh the risks and benefits of a certain treatment.

Here are some clinical procedures that can help you lose belly fat in your 30s.

7. Non-surgical fat removal

Non-surgical ways to remove belly fat are less complicated and have low side-effects.

Cryolipolysis: You can call it fat freezing or “CoolSculpting”.  This is a non-invasive procedure of cooling down excess fat to break down fat cells.

Laser fat reduction: This method uses low-level laser therapy in the target area to liquefy or melt excess fat. After this treatment, fat cells in the body become hollow or empty and are gradually removed.

Injectable treatment: This process involves injecting certain chemicals inside the body that break down fat cells. The process is also called Mesotherapy.

Ultrasound fat reduction: It is also called ultrasonic liposuction where fat cells are liquefied and then removed from the body. The process involves the use of ultrasonic waves and ultrasound in target areas.

Red Light Therapy: This therapy uses infrared light to remove cellulite and dissolve fat cells. Red light therapy is common for body contouring and belly fat reduction.

Topical AE ointment: Certain ointments like “Arnebia euchroma” can be applied locally to reduce the storage of fat cells. Studies have proved the effectiveness of this topical ointment in removing belly fat (43).

Take away: Non-surgical fat removal methods are non-invasive and require a short recovery time. However, these methods may not give you the desired result, and chances of gaining back the lost weight are there.

8. Surgical ways to remove fat

Surgical fat removal procedures are invasive methods and need to be reconsidered if you are:

  • Having a higher body mass index
  • Suffering a chronic heart condition
  • Planning a pregnancy
  • Capable of losing weight by diet and physical workout

Following are two common surgical methods to remove belly fat:

Liposuction: This procedure involves complete or local anesthesia. A small tube-like section called a cannula is inserted in the belly fat area by the plastic surgeon. Medicines are used to dissolve the fat which is then removed by suction method.

Tummy tuck: This method is also done by a plastic surgeon by complete anesthesia. In this procedure, the surgeon removed excess skin from the belly area after removing excess fat cells. This gives a more firm and slim waistline.

Take away: Surgical methods require a long recovery time and are often limited due to certain health conditions. The desired result may be seen in a short time, but these treatments involve health risks as well.

Causes of belly fat in your 40s

Your 40s is the time when your hormones start showing disruption. This affects your body mass index in several ways.

Here are few causes behind developing belly fat at your 40s and after:

Decline in estrogen level: Your 40s is probably the time when you are going to hit menopause. This takes a toll on your estrogen level that constantly reduces after 40. Lower estrogen leads to poor body metabolism.

Low metabolism: The hormonal imbalance that starts when you reach your 40s has an impact on your body’s natural fat-burning process. The slowdown in metabolism reduces calorie expenditure leading to the storage of fat.

Lack of physical activity: Low metabolism results in fatigue and low energy level. This leads to less or no proper physical activity which further aids obesity.

Decrease in muscle mass: As you age your body loses muscle mass. At your 40s and above your body has already lost significant muscle mass that can affect your metabolism. This reduces the natural calorie burning process of the body leading to belly fat.

Take away: In their 40s, women experience certain changes in hormone levels that reduce the body’s natural calorie-burning ability. This leads to fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and low energy level for physical activity which further aids obesity.

Tips to burn belly fat in your 40s

Belly fat can have the worst impact on women of the 40s and above. It can cause diseases like diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, heart ailments, insulin resistance, and even cancers (44).

Here are 10 natural and therapeutic ways for women to burn belly fat at 40s:

1. Curb calorie intake

In your 40s your natural metabolism has already reduced. Your body can no longer break down as many calories as it could in your 20s and 30s.

Calorie restricted diet has proved beneficial to reduce belly fat in this age group (45).

Here are certain points to note before you go for a calorie-restricted diet:

Limited calorie, not low calorie: The body requires calories to carry out certain functions like digestion, metabolism, and physical activities. An extreme low-calorie diet can cause functional imbalance and nutritional deficiency (46).

A low-calorie diet is suggested for women in their 40s so that their body’s diminished metabolism can burn the entire calorie consumed without storing it as fat.

Understand your body: Your calorie intake depends on your body mass index. Before cutting down on calories, you have to know your body’s requirement to avoid fatigue and muscle loss.

Consider your physical activities: If you exercise daily then you may have to rethink a calorie-restricted diet. Physical workout requires energy that burns calories at a higher rate. Lower calorie intake can lead to fatigue and weak bones.

Don’t starve: Calorie restriction may result in decreased levels of proteins, calcium, vitamins, and magnesium in your meals. This can cause nutrition deficiency, fatigue, and low immunity.

Take away: The human body requires calories for metabolism, digestion, and daily physical activities. Limiting calories at your 40s to balance decreased metabolism can help lose fat. Extreme calorie restriction can disturb body functions causing fatigue, weak bones, low immunity, muscle loss, nutritional deficiency, and further decrease metabolism.

2. Cut down sugar and salt

Sugar is an empty calorie in any form that leads to obesity in women. Apart from weight gain, sugar can also lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalance etc. (47, 48).

A higher amount of salt intake can cause water retention in the body leading to weight gain (49). Sodium can also cause hormonal imbalance further slowing down body metabolism to aid fat storage (50).

Sugar promotes belly fat in the following ways:

High in calories: Sugar is loaded with calories. So, a little amount can be heavy for your metabolism to break down. This results in the storage of fat in the belly area.

Impact hormone level: Sugar intake can create an imbalance in your already disrupted hormones in your 40s. This will directly impact your body’s natural calorie-burning process further slowing it down.

Increases blood sugar level: Higher intake of sugar can cause insulin resistance leading to a high blood sugar level. Insulin resistance increases fat accumulation in the liver and abdominal area leading to belly fat (51).

Promote hunger: High sugar diet can leave you feeling empty and induce hunger for unhealthy snacking. This can lead to increased calorie consumption causing the storage of fat cells.

Salt induces obesity in these three ways:

Causes overeating: Salt can impact your hormones responsible for the digestion of food. This can induce unhealthy cravings to cause overeating.

Water retention: Sodium intake causes water retention in the belly area that leads to bloating. This gradually results in obesity after some time.

High blood pressure: Higher sodium intake leads to an increase in blood pressure level causing hypertension in women in their 40s and above (52). High blood pressure level can slow down the already diminishing metabolism in your 40s causing belly fat.

Take away: Sugar is loaded with calories that create hormonal imbalance, high blood sugar, and weaker metabolism to aid belly fat accumulation. Salt induces overeating, water retention, and hypertension that affects the body’s natural calorie-burning power causing weight gain.

3. Increase intake of lean protein and fiber

Protein has several weight loss benefits in women, so has dietary fiber (53, 54).

Take a look at the points below to know how protein helps you lose belly fat:

Stimulates fat regulating hormones: Protein boost hormones that are responsible for burning body fat. This removes stored fat in the belly area and other parts of the body.

Reduce appetite: Protein gives a fuller feeling for a long time. This ensures you don’t get unhealthy hunger pangs in between meals and keep your calorie intake in check.

Burn calorie: Lean protein is easy on the stomach and can be digested completely to form energy. This increases body metabolism to burn calories faster.

Increase muscle mass: Protein prevents loss of muscle mass which is a common problem for women in their 40s and above. Muscle mass boosts body metabolism to breakdown more calories.

Note that lean protein is more favorable than a high protein diet for women over 40s. This is because lean protein contains less cholesterol and fat that further helps to fight obesity.

Soluble fiber or dietary fiber helps to control weight gain when consumed in a high protein diet (55).

Here’s how dietary fiber can help you lose belly fat:

Burns calorie faster: Fiber nourishes good bacteria in the intestine that helps to burn stored fat cells. This produces more energy and boosts the calorie burning process of the body.

Prevent storage of new fat cells: Fiber is passed through the stomach almost undigested into the gut. Fiber stimulates gut bacteria to breakdown food completely without storing it as belly fat.

Curbs hunger: As fiber is not completely digested by the stomach, it gives a fuller feeling. This curbs unhealthy cravings.

Take away: A diet high in lean protein and dietary fiber can help boost body metabolism to break down fat cells faster. Protein and fiber curb appetite to check calorie intake helping to lose belly fat.

4. Engage in light physical activities

In their 40s women experience a lack of muscle strength, low metabolism, and weak joints. Intense physical training might result in joint pain and fatigue leading to other health conditions.

Studies have proved that light physical activities are equally effective for elderly women to lose belly fat as intense physical trainings (56).

Here is how light physical activities can help you burn belly fat:

Stimulate resting metabolism: Light physical activities throughout the day increases body metabolism and also stimulates resting metabolism to break down more fat cells.

Increased calorie expenditure: Continuous physical activities ensure you burn calories all day at a steady rate. This has an equal impact on your body as that of a 30 minutes intense physical workout.

Produce more energy: As your body’s resting metabolism is stimulated, your body burns more calories to produce more energy. This energy helps the breakdown of fat cells helping you to lose weight.

Following are some light physical activities that you can plan for a whole week:

  • Brisk walking/ jogging
  • Low impact aerobics like cycling, rowing, etc.
  • Swimming
  • Ballroom dancing
  • House cleaning
  • Gardening
  • Cooking

Take away: Light physical activities like low impact aerobics, dancing, gardening, etc. can have a similar impact on body weight as intense workouts. Light activities trigger the body’s resting metabolism to burn more calories that helps to reduce belly fat. 

5. Seek medical help when required

Sometimes obesity can be caused due to certain health conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism which is common in women in their 40s (57, 58).

Studies have also proved that some medications can also promote obesity or abdominal fat in women (59).

In such cases, you have to be observant of your medications to avoid belly fat. Here’s how you can do it:

Check your weight regularly: Weigh yourself at least thrice a week, preferably in the morning. This will help you to quickly identify any little change in your weight before it turns into stubborn belly fat.

Visit a doctor when needed: Your 40s is a crucial time when your body goes through several changes. You might develop a health condition that can lead to obesity. So, consult a professional whenever you notice a sudden weight gain without a reason.

Stick to your regime: Following your regime is very important to know if your sudden weight gain is due to a health condition or medicine. Being casual with your fitness regime can also cause weight gain that may not be alarming.

Consult for better alternatives: If you discover your sudden weight gain is due to some routine medicine, then don’t just stop taking it. Consult your medical expert for alternative medicines with lesser impact on your weight.

Take away: Some health conditions or medicines can cause belly fat in women in their 40s. You have to keep your weight in check and consult your doctor immediately as you notice sudden weight gain.

6. Anxiety management is important

Chronic stress and anxiety have proved to promote obesity (60). Managing anxiety is necessary to avoid weight gain when you are 40 and above.

Here are some factors that contribute to obesity when you are dealing with stress and anxiety:

Overeating: Stress can cause overeating or emotional eating. It is your state of mind that finds pleasure in unhealthy foods when you are depressed (61).

Disturbed hormonal balance: Anxiety increases the release of stress hormones called cortisol. This hormonal imbalance increases appetite and slows down the body’s natural calorie-burning process.

Diminish metabolism: Anxiety disturbs natural metabolism that decreases the breakdown of calories. This diminishes the natural fat burning process leading to the storage of belly fat.

Sleep disorder: Sleep loss can alter your metabolic health causing obesity (62). However, proper sleep duration is important to maintain a healthy weight.

Studies indicate that longer sleep duration can also cause obesity in adults (63). Hence, you have to follow a proper sleep duration which will not lead to either inadequate sleep or oversleep.

Take away: Anxiety can cause hormonal imbalance that slows down the body’s natural ability to break down calories. Anxiety management is necessary to avoid weight gain due to poor metabolism, overeating, and sleep disorder.

7. Check on alcohol

Alcohol consumption in moderation has weight loss benefits in elderly women (64).

At the same time, too much consumption of alcohol can lead to belly fat in women (65). To avoid storage of fat in the belly area you have to limit your alcohol intake after your 40s.

Here’s how too much alcohol can cause belly fat:

High in calories: Alcohol contains high calories that can increase your calorie intake in a day.

Burdens metabolism: In your 40s your metabolism has already diminished. Too much alcohol can burden your weak metabolism with loads of calories that is difficult to break down. This leads to the formation of belly fat.

Induce unhealthy snacking: Alcohol can encourage unhealthy cravings further increasing your calorie intake more than your body’s natural capacity to burn it.

Take away: Alcohol is high in calories and too much consumption can slow down body metabolism leading to the storage of fat. Moderate intake of alcohol has shown weight loss benefits in elderly adults.

8. Hydrate yourself

Your 40s is the time when your body’s natural functions take a back seat. This leads to weaker metabolism, digestion, and endocrine system causing storage of toxins making you appear bloated.

Water can hydrate your body by removing all toxins naturally. Drinking water has shown weight loss benefits in women (66).

Here are the weight loss benefits of drinking water:

Lower appetite: Drinking water before meals can help you control portion, restricting your calorie intake. Having water after meals is also helpful in digesting food completely without storing it a fat. 

Remove toxins: Water flushes out all toxins from your body that causes swelling in different areas.

Breakdown fat cells: Water helps the body to breakdown carbohydrates and stored fat. When water reacts with fat cells it forms fatty acid which is then broken down to produce energy.

Increase energy level: Water naturally hydrates every organ in the body which helps to improve workout results by producing more energy. Hence, water intake should be increased before and after physical activities.

Reduce calorie intake: Beverages contain hidden calories in the form of added sugar, artificial flavor, caffeine, and carbonation. Replacing your beverage with water can quench your thirst without causing belly fat (67).

Take away: Water flushes out all toxins that cause body swelling and slow down metabolism. Water helps to lower appetite, burn fat, and reduce calorie intake to help lose belly fat faster.

9. Hormone treatment

Estrogen is a hormone that regulates fat burning process in the body. When women reach 40 their estrogen level declines naturally giving way to sudden weight gain.

Hormone therapy has been proved effective in reducing belly fat and improving lipid levels which is the presence of fatty substances in the blood (68).

Following are the benefits of hormone treatment in weight loss therapy:

Balanced estrogen level: Hormone therapy corrects decreasing estrogen levels in women after 40. This helps to revive natural metabolism in the body to breakdown fat cells.

Minimize metabolic syndrome: Metabolic syndrome includes conditions like high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and belly fat which is common in women of 40s.

Hormone treatment can lower this syndrome for equal distribution of fat in the body and improved blood lipid levels.

Reduce insulin resistance: Insulin resistance is caused by conditions like diabetes or high blood sugar level and hormonal disruption. Insulin resistance can increase the accumulation of fat in the liver leading to belly fat.

Hormone therapy can balance hormonal differences in the body to reduce insulin resistance. This gradually helps to decrease belly fat.

Note that hormone therapy involves certain health risks. Always consult a medical expert who can guide you through the risks and benefits to suggest what is best for your health.

Take away: Women at 40 and above experience a decline in estrogen level, a hormone responsible for regulating body fat. Hormone therapy can balance the estrogen level to help remove belly fat and improve blood lipid profile.

10. Join group fitness sessions

Studies indicate that workouts in groups are more effective in losing weight than working out alone (69).

Here are the benefits of working out in groups:

Feel motivated: Group fitness sessions will engage you in healthy competitions to push yourself harder. This will always keep you motivated to stay fit.

Stay committed: Weight loss is not easy and staying committed to a regime that involves a lot of sweat and restrictions is difficult. Your workout group can be your inspiration to stay focused on your regime (70).

Great emotional support: In your 40s when your body shows unusual changes, it may be difficult for you to accept them. Exercising with a group of people who are facing similar problems can be your emotional support.

 Set practical goals: Your body at 40s will not respond to diet or workouts in the same way it did in your 20s and 30s. This can be depressing for any woman. Group workout sessions with people of the same age can change your perspective practically.

Take away: Working out in groups has been proved more effective for women in reducing excess fat in their 40s and above. Group sessions will inspire you to work harder and feel motivated to stay fit every day.

Final thoughts on how women burn belly fat

Belly fat leads to obesity in women. It is difficult to burn compared to any other fat. It can show up at any age and can cause chronic health conditions too.

Belly fat in women results from several reasons that vary according to the age groups.

While women in their 20s may deal with bloating due to digestive disorder, for women in their 30s it can be from pregnancy, stress, or alcohol. Women in their 40s and above, the reason for belly fat can be stress, menopause, or any health condition.

This guide is aimed to provide research based information on how to lose belly fat with simple lifestyle tips and some clinical methods.

These techniques to burn belly fat mentioned here are detailed with a practical approach to help you realize the cause first and to understand the solutions better.

Ultimate Guide How Women Burn Belly Fat to Lose Weight Belly fat is probably the most stubborn fat in the body. It is very difficult to get rid-off, whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. Women need to burn belly fat at an early age to stop it from causing a health issue at a later age. Following is the ultimate guide for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to burn belly fat to lose weight. #burnbellyfat #loseweight #weightlossdiet #skinnydiet #fatlossdiet #losebellyfat
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