Fighting Midlife Weight Gain

Published:December 15th, 2011

©ColinBroug

If you’re in your forties and you weigh more than you do when you’re in your twenties – welcome to the club of midlife weight gainers. That’s right; you’re not the only one. Gaining weight is natural as we age but we can also lose it if we want to. So if you want to lose weight and look and feel at your best – read on.

Why do we keep gaining weight as we age? Well, we can’t blame it on just a single factor. There are tons of reasons which make  us gain weight, some of the common ones are:

Hormones

Having an imbalanced hormone level in the body (e.g. Estrogen, progesterone, androgen and testosterone) plays a major role in gaining weight.  If the hormone level is not balanced, it can trigger weight gain and bloating caused by the retention of fluids in the body. In addition, a low level of these hormones slows down the body’s metabolism ultimately resulting in a reduction of the consumption of calories.

Poor lifestyle

Year after year there are things that are supposed to make our lives comfortable such as we have television sets for entertainment, online transactions have almost replaced going to the shops, canned goods and fast food is eaten for dinner, we communicate using chat and email with a colleague who is just a couple of meters away, etc. All these activities are easy to do and make our lives simpler and easier. But the fact is that this has made us practically immobile and our muscular movements are reduced to
minimum. The less we move the fewer calories we burn and that makes us gain weight.

Overeating

Here, I’m not just referring to our eating habits at the dinner table but to our eating habits in general. Have you tried making a list of what you ate during the day? You may be surprised to see the quantity of chips you have had while watching television or the amount of “mini-snacks” you ate during the day. Keep doing it for thirty days and you’ll be amazed to know the number of times you have eaten outside.   Therefore, we often overeat unknowingly and as a result gain weight.

By the time you reach midlife, work and family takes precedence over your own body and health. Therefore, all of the causes mentioned above become a part of your lifestyle resulting in weight gain.

Ways to fight this weight gain

Use your muscles

Use your strength every time you have a chance. Say, if the grocery store is just half a mile away, walk and save the gas. Encourage your child to stop playing ball in video games and play the real thing with you instead. This will not only help you get fit but also make the bond with your child stronger. Instead of watching television on the weekends go to the gym and do some cardio. Doing a 20 minute walk every evening also helps. Try reviewing your lifestyle and you will discover areas that can be improved.

Eat less and eat healthy

Eating healthy means less junk food, less fast foods, and less processed food. It means more fruits and more vegetable servings during the day. Choose meat with lean protein and eat products that are made with whole grains. It may not sound appetizing now but once you get accustomed to it you’ll love it.

Do energy balance

Combine the two steps above. First, try to figure out how many calories you burn every day. Then calculate how many calories you consume every day. Compare the two; if you want to lose weight your calories burned should be greater than the amount of your calorie intake.

Try to incorporate the changes listed above but don’t expect immediate results. You cannot gain 20 pounds overnight; the same is also true while losing them.

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