Weight gain may not raise your concern or become a focal point in your early years of life but when you step in your late forties or early fifties, you suddenly observe that your dress has increased one number or that you no more fee agile as you used to long ago. If you have realized that slight increase in your size, you have greater chances to regain your posture.
How Much Increase is an Alarming Sign?
The initial sign of weight gain is a change in the shape of your body. If you see that your weight from the hips and thighs has transferred up to the waist and stomach, it’s time to take an action. Your apple shape now indicates your vulnerability to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some type of cancers.
Why Weight Gain at Middle Age Occurs?
Many factors contribute to the adding pounds in your weight. Some of these factors are directly linked to your physical status and some are related to your social life. Here is a brief look at the key factors to your weight gain.
The level of hormone Estrogen drops after menopause. This usually occurs between the late 40 to the early 50 years of life. This change contributes to the distribution of fat on the stomach area.
Diminishing Lean Muscle Mass
With the aging process, lean muscle mass decreases. Lean muscles burn energy more than the deposits of fat. The process of burning fat continues non stop which keeps the body fit and smart. But when the lean muscle diminish, fat increases in the body especially if we consume more kilojoules than we need. Women eating the same amount of food and doing little exercise experience more weight gain.
Metabolism ensures burning energy in our body to help us function well in life. But as women age, the rate of metabolism drops. The decreasing metabolism and diminishing lean muscle mass both contribute to storage of fat at different places in the body.
Women from 51 to 70 years old need 3300 KJ a day as compared to women 19 to 50 years old who need 8800 KJ per day. This calculation is for women who have normal weight. Those with extra weight need a further reduction in per day KJ consumption.
Women’s responsibilities increase after the age of 40 especially if they have to take care of aging parents or parents-in-law as well as their own kids. Home responsibilities are above that. This leads to their time jam-packed with work and only work. They find little time to do exercise or take enough rest – both factors leading to weight gain. Add with that, intake of heavy caffeine, sugary snacks and fast food options for gaining energy quickly.
More Stress – More Weight
Stressed people gain more weight because the stressed body releases hormones that are called cortisol and adrenaline. Adrenaline helps us cope with stress by giving us more energy and strength. Cortisol restocks our energy in the body after the stress time is over. This restock process increases the appetite. More stress leads to higher cortisol levels and subsequently, more hunger and more food consumption lead to weight gain. This situation gets worse when we consume empty calories in the form of cakes, biscuits, ice-creams, chocolates, fizzy drinks etc.
What to do to Keep Smart?
Many of the above factors are a part of our aging process and only a change in lifestyle can make us catch up with a normal weight and a smart figure. Here are the best changes you can consider:
Save the Lean Muscle through Exercise
One important step you take in the middle age is to do exercise and save your lean muscle mass. Popular exercises include lunges, squats, push-ups, etc. These resistant trainings have a more active role in weight reduction. Brisk walking, climbing stairs and playing sports are some good ways to keep your weight in check.
Plan Your Diet
You require less KJs as you age. Your diet must be packed with nutrients and no room for consuming empty calories. Pastries, biscuits, crisp potatoes, cakes, pizzas, deep fried foods and many more take away foods are dense with empty calories and no real nutrients. You can plan how to swap these with other healthy organic food options that are good for your health and at the same time suffice you. You have a wide variety both in nuts and dry fruits which are the top best nutrient-rich foods. Fresh fruits and their smoothies or juices are another very refreshing and healthy option.
Cut the Right Portion for You
What is your portion of the today’s meal? Since you need lesser KJs, you need a moderately filled plate of pasta or rice with a meat piece not larger than your palm. You can add with that a late fresh vegetable salad for added nutritional value.
Drinking Inconsiderately Can Add More KJs to Your Diet
Evaluate your favorite drinks and check how many KJs they are supplying to your body. You may cut on soft drinks but still drinking flavored coffee which is a big source of KJs. Middle-aged women tend to drink more coffee or wine in order to deal with their piling stress. If that is the case with you, increase water intake and keep two days a week fully alcohol-free.
Regular exercises increase lean muscle size but apart from that women also need aerobic exercises frequently. From moderate to vigorous physical workout, every week is necessary. Moderate intensity for 300 minutes a week is sufficient while half of this time is good for doing vigorous-intensity exercises every week.
Consider Stress Relief Options
Stress is one big reason behind increased weight and bad health at the middle age and after. You have an array of options to deal with stress. Choose from mindfulness, or yoga, or meditation or any other pleasant activity that suits your mood.