6 Ways To Prevent Weight Gain In Midlife

A person’s metabolic rate, or the amount of calories he or she burns in a day, dwindles by as much as 5 percent every ten years. At some point, your fats just would not budge to your trusty diet regimen and exercise routines.

If you are 35 years old and above, you most likely experience these troubles. During this time, you may be encountering setbacks in your fight to lose weight. You’d probably burn a hundred less calories daily at age 35, 200 less at age 45. That could mean piling up as much as 12 pounds in one year, if you are sedentary.

Worse yet, you tend to lose muscles as you grow older. That’s a pity, because muscles burn calories faster than fats. Yet many people resort to crash dieting and other weight loss tactics, shrinking their metabolism even more.

All that said, playing with calories is a numbers game you can win at any age. The middle ages are some of the most exciting years in life, and you would want to look your best during this time. Consider these six tips to prevent weight gain in middle age and boost metabolism.

Never crash diet!

Slashing too much calories, i.e. not eating as much before, makes your body think it is starving. When the body thinks it is starving, it slows down its metabolic rate.

Fasting alone can cut an average person’s rate by 25 percent at least. In fact, if you eat less than 900 calories every day, your body would burn muscles, exacerbating your metabolism some more.

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On the contrary, if you maintain your caloric intake at no more than 1,500, no less than 1,200, your metabolic rate would drop by 5 percent at most. Plus, your body would burn fats, not muscles.

Rather than crash diet, consume plenty of lean protein, like beef, chicken and fish. You would want to take in lots of leucine, an amino acid which guards against muscle loss, easily derived from lean protein. Drink fat-free milk too, because it helps you build more muscle mass than soy varieties.

Strength training

Now that we’ve learned the role of muscles in a healthy lifestyle, you should find time to weight train. Otherwise, you stand to lose as much as five pounds of muscle mass every ten years.

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, e.g. jogging and biking, simply will not ratchet up your muscle mass as much as weight training does. Weight training forces the muscles to tear themselves and then rebuild.

Lift weights then. Each week, try integrating 40-60 minutes of weight training in your exercise plan. For beginners, get help from personal fitness trainers to maximize time and prevent injuries. As for women, keep going; you would not build unsightly muscles for the mere fact that you don’t have the same amount of testosterone as men.

Sleep more

In a Harvard Medical School study, researchers found that women whose sleeping hours clock in at five on average were more inclined to add 33 pounds than those who slept two hours longer.

When you deprive yourself of sleep, you simultaneously raise levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite. You also reduce levels of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full after meals. So get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

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Reduce stress

In response to stress, the hormone known as cortisol may order your body to crave for food high in fats. If you are chronically stressed out, cortisol may be hard at work expanding your waistline.

If you still want to fit into those jeans, then be constantly aware when you stress yourself too much. Take breaks, whether at work or school. You may want to indulge in meditation too. According to a study from Canada, people who meditated for just over an hour per week seem to be less stressed than those who do not.

Alter your exercise program

You know it’s time to change exercise routines when you are not drenched in as much sweat or feel as exhausted as before.

Muscles have a way of acclimatizing to your exercise routines. So if you always do the same amount of exercise, they would burn fewer calories than when you first started out.

In this thought, slip in intermittent bursts of high-intensity activity into your usual aerobic exercise routine, a process called interval training. Interval exercises make you work out more muscle fibers.

For example, when you jog, step up the speed for half a minute, then return to your normal pace. This makes one interval, which you should repeat. As you become more resistant, incorporate more intervals with more intensity and duration.

Ask for a body fat reading from certified experts

You need to tell apart the muscles from fats in your weight. One pound of muscle can burn three times more calories than the same amount of fat. If all you have are fats, then you would burn calories very slowly.

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To know how much of both you have, have an expert take a body fat measurement from you. Fitness centers and gyms usually have people trained in body fat reading.

Ideally, you must have a low percentage of body fat, high for muscle. If your body fat reaches above 30 percent, then it’s time to take serious action.

You may also get a picture of your body fat percentage by pinching your tummy. If the bulge is an inch long, you may have more fats than muscles. However, this is no accurate way of measuring, because even a slim figure may belie a disadvantageous muscle-fat ratio.

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