“Is weight gain inevitable as you age?” It’s a question women of all ages wonder about. Dr. Margit Lister has a straight forward answer and a few strategies to help fight belly bulge.
Is weight gain inevitable as you age?
First, the short answer is “Yes!” But this should come as no surprise to anyone. If we ate like we did when we were 10 years old, we would be much heavier than we are now.
If you think about Halloween Night alone, the average child brings home a bag of 3500 to 7000 calories in one bag. That would take walking constantly for 2 days to burn off!!
Adults don’t have the time or the stomach to handle that much sugar. So we develop our diet over time: Some diets with good habits and others with bad habits. The struggle for most people is that they have been doped with the marketing on packages and processing has destroyed the good food that we consume. Then add in all the misinformation about healthy diets and exercise. It is a struggle to understand what is ‘healthy’ and what is not.
The other struggle is that we are not cookie cutter copies of one another. What works with me, may not work with you. Our metabolism, our consumption of calories, and our genetic makeup determine our ability to prevent the middle age spread.
What is a lady to do? I tried to think of 5 easy universal things that you can do daily that will limit your diminishing metabolism.
Some basic facts:
1. Our metabolism will slow 2% each year. This is a natural part of aging. Like it or not, it is part of us we cannot change.
So make sure that your portion sizes are REFLECTING this change. Ensure that you use smaller plates and glasses and Do not eat while doing something else. Pay attention to your food, slow down and eat sitting down, preferably with your family/children.
2. Eat breakfast. This jump starts your metabolism. Eat WITHIN an hour of getting up. Even if it is an apple as you walk out the door, it is a start. Then make sure that you eat again in 30-60 minutes and make this attempt a meal. Most breakfast foods are not healthy, so eat what feels right, even if it is not usually for breakfast. Remember HALF of each meal should be fruits and vegetables!
3. Eat small frequent meals throughout the day. Snack on vegetables. They are low calorie foods with excellent nutritional value. If you don’t like vegetables or have never snacked on them, here are some tips. Eat a wide variety of vegetables: sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. You will begin to gravitate to a specific type and then incorporate more of this type in your medley. Use light ranch or peanut butter to dip them in and then cut back each day on the amount that you dip.
4. Drink water throughout the day. I am ALWAYS dumbfounded on the volume of calories that my patients consume when you look at the drinks that you mindlessly consume during your workweek. Drink water. It is good for you and is a ZERO calorie food. Which really means that you can eat more later!!! Drink water COLD, with ICE and through a STRAW. You will drink more and need to eat less. Drink half your body weight in ounces.
5. MOVE daily. I don’t care what you do or how you do it, but move. Our bodies were meant to move. Walk with your girl friends at work; skip with your children, dance, but move daily. Our metabolism is increased with activity and muscle mass, the more you create, the more calories you burn.
Margit Lister, M.D. specializes in obstetrics and gynecolgy at Wasatch OBGYN. To schedule and appointment with her visit: www.WasatchOBGYN.org.