6 ways to avoid MIDLIFE WEIGHT GAIN

You don't HAVE to gain weight once you reach 45 plus.  Use these simple tips and possible lifestyle adjustments to prevent weight creeping around your middle and then sneaking to other bits of your body.

1 - START CUTTING DOWN THE AMOUNT YOU EAT DURING THE DAY.  For me this means no snacking and smaller portions at mealtimes.  The reality is you need less calories as the years pass.  I think it's ok to feel hungry at certain points during the day as this means your stomach is empty and you are using up any excess calories.  I tend to sleep better if I eat a light meal at night time and I get very hot and sweaty at night if I sleep of a full stomach.

2 - LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT.  Eating a diet with plenty of fibre from fruit and veg encourages the growth of all those good microbes.  They are able to harvest more calories from food.  Generally speaking, having a diverse microbiome is a good thing so if you are feeling really hungry make a dish with lots of raw veg like peppers, cucumber, carrots etc and a bowl of humous to up the veg content in your diet. 

3 - GET A SHIMMY ON AND MOVE.  We all know this but who incorporates exercise into their daily routine?  I used to go to a Zoom yoga class twice a week but found a 9.30am class tricky with work commitments and forget evenings as I am knackered by 7.30pm.  I decided to put aside 20 minutes every morning and just go through all the key moves which is enough to stretch and strengthen my body.  It has made a real difference and I don't resent the intrusion of time.  Find some form of exercise you enjoy and just do 15 mins a day to start with.  It's the daily commitment that makes the biggest difference.

4 - INCLUDE RESISTANCE EXERCISES - Have you noticed that you are becoming weaker as you move into your 40's and 50's.  Resistance exercise will help maintain muscle mass and improve balance.  Squats, press ups and lunges all help keep the bones strong.  Again, start simple and easy and build up as you begin to feel stronger.

5 - EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN - Not eating enough protein can accelerate the natural loss of muscle as you get older as our ability to convert protein from food into muscle decreases as we get older.  Food such as eggs, pulses, dairy, meat, fish are good sources of protein.  You could always add it as a supplement if needs be.  

6 - EXERCISE BEFORE BREAKFAST.  A pre breakfast workout, when insulin levels are lower might help burn off any excess food in your stomach from the night before.  I moved my breakfast to 11am (more like brunch) and then brought my evening meal forward to about 5.30pm.  Two meals a day now suits me and I feel I have so much more energy by eating less food which does seem counterintuitive.