Saturday, December 1, 2012

How Do You Prevent the Mid-Life Bulge?

The key to reducing the weight gain as we get older is the following; mind, mouth, muscle. For example; if your life is full of stress, you will have a problem. You may respond to stress by making poor lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthy and not exercising enough. Look at your nutrition -- in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency of eating.

Quality is all about eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein. Besides fluctuating hormone levels, your metabolism begins to slow down. This means it takes more work to burn the calories you consume. Another problem is that most adults lose between 30 and 50 percent of muscle each year. The smaller your muscles are, the fewer the calories you are able to burn.

Weight gain during your mid-life is also a danger to your health as it increases your risks for a range of serious medical conditions from diabetes to heart disease to Alzheimer's disease. Despite these possible setbacks to maintaining a healthy weight as you age, it is very important to prevent those extra pounds. There are four main reasons why people gain weight during their 40s and 50s and they are as follows:

1. Hormones
2. Overeating
3. Lack of exercise
4. Stress

Though it would be easy to blame weight gain on changing hormones, research has shown that hormones are responsible for only two to five extra pounds. This means that you can't blame on any one of the four reasons stated, you have to blame it on the combination of all four reasons. Therefore, you must work on all four causes in order to prevent the inevitable!

To keep working your muscles as you get older, I would recommend pairing regular cardio sessions (such as walking or biking) with strength-training exercises. You can work out with weights or doing yoga can help prevent the loss of lean muscle mass, which slows your metabolism. When you step up your fitness routine, you'll likely see some positive changes in your mood and attitude. When you eat right and exercise regularly, you will feel better about your body. That's partly because good nutrition and exercise can boost your overall well-being and self-esteem.

People who don't get enough sleep on a regular basis seem to have high levels of a hormone called ghrelin (which causes hunger) and low levels of a hormone called leptin (which normally helps to curb hunger). In women, estrogen produced by fat cells protects against osteoporosis and loss of skin elasticity, enhances sleep, and may help decrease hot flashes. Women at the age of 50 and above should be encouraged to focus on their total well-being rather than just their weight. Part of that focus should be on functional foods. The role of functional foods is three-fold: to manage menopause symptoms, control weight gain, and reduce the risk of post menopause diseases (heart disease, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancers, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes).

One tip is when your at the grocery store you should turnaround and run from the family-size bags. Quite often this will tend to make you overeat. Start reading the nutrition labels on everything you buy and make note of the serving size. The serving size is what all of the nutritional values are derived from on the package. Most people don't read the labels or don't understand them. You can make just these little changes to start on the road of a healthy diet. 

The next action you should take is to find an exercise regimen that is fun, effective and fits in your lifestyle. These actions can start you on your way to eliminating the mid-life bulge.

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