I’ve been told that 40 years old isn’t middle age anymore as more of us are living longer. This is good news for me but it doesn’t disguise the bulge hanging over my trouser waist. Maybe 40 isn’t middle age, but my body doesn’t realise this and I am still subject to the inevitability of ‘middle age spread’.
As you get older most of us don’t have to eat so much food. This is a fact I have neglected to take on board and have suffered as a consequence. Over the years I have joined countless gyms and have even spent months paying for a membership I only used on two occasions! You see, I would lose the motivation to go if I didn’t see my weight go down, then I would stop going altogether and be too ashamed to go back – I’m a bit scared of gym instructors!
In the end, I came to the obvious conclusion that the number of calories I was eating had to be monitored daily and I had to ensure that I was burning more than I was using. It is pretty obvious stuff but my attempts at keeping food diaries went out the window after a couple of weeks. These days I keep it a lot simpler by watching my diet in the following ways:
Eat breakfast – I used to skip this important meal and end up pigging out on junk food mid-morning. Eating a healthy breakfast full of carbohydrates which release their energy slowly (such as oatmeal) will ensure your hunger is kept at bay until lunchtime. Eating breakfast also has a secondary effect. If you don’t have anything to eat first thing in the morning, your body’s metabolism slows to conserve its stores of energy – not good if you wish to lose weight. Snack on fruit and nuts – Get rid of the potato chips and chocolate bars in favour of fresh fruit and unsalted nuts. They fill you up and are healthy and nutritious. Refuse that second portion greedy!–And keep meals smaller in general, with more emphasis of lean meat and fresh vegetables rather than on carbs. Build lean muscle – Lean muscle burns up more calories than weaker muscle, so incorporating some weight training into your fat burn workouts at the gym, will be a help in your battle to lose that middle age spread.
Middle age spread is a common phenomenon in the west, but it doesn’t necessarily have to happen to you. Healthy eating to lose weight doesn’t mean you can never enjoy your food again. There is loads of information online on low calorie meals. And low calorie doesn’t translate into low taste. It just means that you might have to eat smaller portions and perhaps use your imagination a little more!
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