If you’re like me you’re trying to find out how to fight mid life weight gain. I was skinny as a rail as a kid and in my 20s and 30s. Then the 40s hit. All of the middle age weight gain came along with it. It didn’t happen all at once. Instead, it slowly crept up on me a few pounds here, a few there.
What is the cause of this madness? Hormones. As we age, our metabolism slows and hormones fluctuate. Throw in a decrease in exercise and general physical activity and before you know it, the dreaded muffin top appears.
Doctors advise how important it is to develop an exercise routine as we age. Keeping our weight at a healthy level during the empty nest years will help prevent diseases and other ailments down the road.
So what should we do to prepare ourselves for the middle-age transition?
Tips for Preventing Mid Life Weight Gain
Get Control of Your Stress
This is so important. Stress causes cortisol increases. This hormone causes cravings for sugar and increases in appetite. It’s not easy transitioning to middle age and lots of stress can come with it. We worry when our kids leave the nest. We tend to fret over what this crazy world has in store for them, how will they do in college and the workforce. Many of us also have aging parents to care for. There are various ways to fight stress. Practice mindfulness, participate in yoga, take walks, ride a bike or talk to a friend. Spending time praying is also another excellent way to combat stress and it is one I practice the most.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is important for your body to repair cells, refresh and renew. Studies have shown weight gain and sleep deprivation are linked, especially in women. We tend to make poor decisions when tired. Don’t lose your focus. Make it a priority to get plenty of sleep each night.
Consume plenty of fruit and veggies
If you want to eat fewer calories, add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet. They keep you filled longer and are rich in vitamins. If you participate in the Weight Watchers plan, they are worth zero points.
Don’t Emotionally Eat
Often it takes learning how to control our emotional eating to fight mid life weight gain. Life has plenty of ups and downs in the empty nest. We have plenty of changes to adjust to. If you find that you’re grabbing donuts when you feel blue, it is time to make a change. Depression, anxiety, and fear are some of the main culprits that cause us to crave unhealthy snacks. Keep fresh fruit and healthy snacks handy for the times you need a pick me up.
Our slowing metabolism and desire to become a couch potato after work does nothing to build good muscle mass. Did you know you start losing it as early as your 30s? Yea, it is time to get up and get moving. Strength training and body weight exercises help to build the muscle back up. Find a good fitness program. The ones you can do at home work just as well. If you feel like you need a personal trainer, go for it. Daily exercise is important for a healthy body during our middle-aged years. A little a day will go a long way to keeping you physically fit and healthy.